Image: The Ultimate Bird Drawing Throwdown Showdown Graphic featuring images of David Sibley and H. Jon Benjamin

Join BirdNote tomorrow, November 30th!

Illustrator David Sibley and actor H. Jon Benjamin will face off in the bird illustration battle of the century during BirdNote's Year-end Celebration and Auction!


Shows With Contributions by Matthew Studebaker

A slim brown and white bird on a mossy log stands in profile to the viewer while singing.

Some Birds Have Two Voices

The amazing vocal organ found in most birds, the syrinx, has two sides, with different sets of muscles and nerves controlling each side. That lets some songbirds sing two separate melodies at the same time. The Veery, a species of Thrush, can even sing a rising melody and a falling melody…
A Common Loon, with just its head breaking the surface of the water as its long legs propel its body underwater

Diving Birds Are Dense

While many birds have hollow bones that make flying a breeze, diving birds are built differently. The bones of divers such as Common Loons are denser than those of songbirds and other expert fliers. With a lightweight skeleton, they’d be too buoyant to dive and chase fish. Instead, loons…
Yellow-rumped Warbler

Yellow-rumped Warbler - The Winter Warbler

By winter, most warblers have migrated south. But the Yellow-rumped Warbler, which birders affectionately call “butterbutt” is a lesson in adaptation, notes Bryan Pfeiffer, a writer, naturalist, and educator who lives in Vermont. “In winter, when most of their kin are enjoying insects in…
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary

National Audubon's Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary is birdy at any time of year. But in winter, this mixture of cypress swamp and pineland comes alive with migratory songbirds. On a warm, sunny morning, birds are active all around, from the tops of the tall cypresses to the shrubs along the…
Red-shouldered Hawk in flight

The Red-shouldered Hawk - One Gorgeous Bird of Prey

Sharp, insistent cries signal the presence of one of North America’s most beautiful birds of prey: the Red-shouldered Hawk. There’s no mistaking this striking hawk for any other; the front of its body glows bright chestnut, the back boldly spangled black and white, the shoulders, that same…
Common Loon diving

Diving Birds – Below the Surface

By December, an array of diving birds that nested at far northern latitudes are wintering on temperate waters across the continent. If we could watch them under water, we'd see this Common Loon racing like a torpedo. A goldeneye dives under water and swims about 10 feet from the surface…
Connecticut Warbler

Connecticut Warbler

Connecticut Warblers nest in the northern boreal forests, migrate through the Midwest, and winter in the rainforests of South America. Even with all that traveling, you rarely see one of these birds. Though their loud, ringing song might be easy to identify, it often seems to emanate from…
Fox Sparrow with its head tipped back, beak open as it sings while perched on a branch.

Singing with Fox Sparrows

A modest thicket of trees along a street can be the perfect place to hear one of the earliest bird songs of spring: the Fox Sparrow. You can hear their loud, spirited songs from dense vegetation throughout much of the U.S. The easternmost birds have the rufous color of a Red Fox. Others…
Cerulean Warbler

Recording Cerulean Warblers with Charlotte Goedsche

For 20 years, Charlotte Goedsche studied the Cerulean Warblers that breed in the mountains near Asheville, North Carolina. And she learned some fascinating things! For example, Charlotte could identify individual Cerulean Warbler males like this one, by listening to their songs. She hopes…
Great Blue Heron in rosy light

Tribute to Cynthia Lufkin 1962-2013

Today’s show is dedicated to Cynthia Lufkin, friend of BirdNote, birds, and places important to birds. The music was composed by BirdNote’s Nancy Rumbel, and performed by Nancy on oboe and Eric Tingstad on guitar. The words are drawn from Kentucky poet Wendell Berry’s memorial to a dear…