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Shows With Contributions by Frances Wood

The Bald Eagle, A National Symbol

Immature Bald Eagles look so different from mature Bald Eagles that John James Audubon thought they were a different species entirely! Sitting about three feet tall, these majestic birds have wingspans of more than six feet. Stretch your arms as far as you can, and imagine a bird whose reach is... read more »

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Canada Jays Are Bold Residents of the Mountains

Formerly known as the Gray Jay — and nicknamed the Camp Robber or Whiskey Jack — the mountain-dwelling Canada Jay seems to crash your picnic even faster than hungry ants. The fluffy, long-tailed jay will escape with any edible bits it can get, which it will store for the long mountain winter by... read more »

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Audubon and the Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Hummingbirds have a symbiotic relationship with flowers: They buzz in close to drink the sweet nectar that the flowers make. While the hummer has its long beak and even longer tongue deep in the tube of the flower, it’s being dusted with pollen all across its face. Then, the bird will go on to... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  history

Black-bellied Plover, Arctic Nester

In the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, June days offer almost continuous daylight to breeding birds, including this Black-bellied Plover. At this high latitude, Black-bellied Plovers can complete their breeding cycle in a month and a half. Not long after the summer solstice, the adults begin... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  migration, nesting

White-crowned Sparrow

The White-crowned Sparrow pours out its song over and over on spring and summer days-and even on moonlit nights-often up to 15 times a minute. Now here's a curious thing: Just as people in different regions may have different dialects, White-crowns have different songs, according to where they... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  vocalization

The Song of the Canyon Wren

The Canyon Wren makes its home on the steep rocky outcrops and vertical stone cliffs of the coulees and mesas of the West. The birds are found from Mexico all the way through southern British Columbia. They live among the rocks all year long, nesting in rock piles and beneath overhangs, their... read more »

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From Egg-laying to Hatching and Beyond

Waterfowl like this Muscovy duckling spend up to 30 days in the egg, so they’re able to walk, swim, and feed themselves as soon as they hatch. We call these chicks precocial. By contrast, the chicks of most songbirds spend less time maturing in the egg. They must continue to develop in the nest... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  ecology, nesting, ornithology

American Robin, Valiant Challenger

The male American Robin - fiercely territorial - belts out its distinctive cheery song to defend its breeding territory from invasion by other robins. Sometimes, the robin sees its own reflection as an interloper and challenges the “invader” over and over, even to the point of exhaustion or... read more »

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Burrowing Belted Kingfisher

The Belted Kingfisher dashes through the air, warning intruders with its rapid-fire, rattling call. In spring, the best places to see Belted Kingfishers are along sandy banks -- they are busy digging burrows, where they will nest. The holes typically reach three to six feet into the bank, but... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  nesting

Birds Dress for Spring

It's spring! And for many birds, a time to look their best to attract a new mate. This American Goldfinch has recently molted. Its old, worn-down feathers have fallen out, and new ones have grown in. When goldfinches molt in the fall, they lose these brightly colored feathers. Their winter... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  plumage

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