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 Bob Sundstrom

Sandhill Crane pair doing their leaping dance

Leaping with Sandhill Cranes

With a graceful leap, wings outstretched, Sandhill Cranes welcome the longer days. The stately cranes are courting, renewing an annual dance they perform in earnest as the days lengthen into spring. Sandhill Crane pairs remain together for life, and their spirited dance plays an essential…
Purple-throated Fruitcrow facing the viewer's right. "BirdNote en Español" appears in the top right corner.

Amanecer de invierno en Costa Rica

En una mañana de invierno en Costa Rica, un colorido coro de aves le da la bienvenida a un nuevo día. Una pareja de soterrey castaños canta un dueto brioso poco antes del amanecer. Desde las copas de los árboles del bosque tropical de tierras bajas, un grupo de tucanes pico iris emite su…
Gray Catbird perched in greenery, a red berry held in its beak

Birds, Berries and Germination

Some plants have evolved fruits with edible flesh that attract birds. When birds swallow the fruit, they also ingest the seeds. They transport the seeds to new spots for the plants to take root. Birds’ digestive systems grind away the hard outer coating of the seed, making it more likely…
Black-bellied Hummingbird, its body horizontal and wings swept forward, hovers in place while feeding at flower blossoms

Hovering Is Hard Work

Hummingbirds are built for hovering flight, with flexible wrists that rotate their wings in a rapid figure-eight motion that generates almost constant lift. Eurasian Skylarks, on the other hand, hovers by fluttering its wings 10-12 times per second, singing all the while. Some raptors such…
A Sanderlin in right profile while it buries its bill in wet sand while feeding, the foam of a wave's edge in the background.

Dining with Sanderlings

While many shorebirds have gone south, tiny sandpipers called Sanderlings are easy to find on winter shores. They follow the waves as they lap in and out, probing the swirling sand for prey. They often eat various small crustaceans such as mole crabs, isopods, and amphipods. But they also…
Pileated Woodpecker showing nictitating membrane

Nictitating Membranes - Nature's Goggles

For most birds, keen eyesight is critical for survival. But many birds lead lives that can be very hard on the eyes — like flying at breakneck speed, racing for cover into a dense thicket, or diving under water to capture prey. Imagine how the chips fly as this Pileated Woodpecker chisels…
American Robin perched on an ice-covered slender branch, reaching for the frozen berries.

Finding Food When it Snows

Fresh-fallen snow is beautiful, but it poses a challenge to birds. The ground where they found food is now covered by several inches of snow. Birds such as juncos and other sparrows flit under bushes where snow doesn’t cover the ground. Finches and chickadees pick at the seed heads of…
Purple-throated Fruitcrow

Costa Rica Winter Sunrise

On a winter morning in Costa Rica, a colorful choir welcomes the day. A pair of Bay Wrens sings a brisk duet just before sunrise. Perched in the upper canopy of the tropical lowland forest, a group of Keel-billed Toucans calls out. In a nearby tree, Purple-throated Fruitcrows (like this…
Illustration of wrens snuggling inside a nestbox on a cold night

On a Cold, Cold Night

When the bitter cold of winter arrives, songbirds face an emergency: how to keep warm through the night. On normal nights, many prefer sleeping solo in a sheltered spot. But in severe cold, some kinds of birds may have a greater prospect of survival by roosting with others.
Pair of Barred Owls perched on a branch

Here Come the Barred Owls

The emphatic hoots of a pair of Barred Owls resonate in the still of a winter's night. Like many owls, Barred Owls initiate their vocal courtship in winter. And they're among the most vocal. These owls have more than a dozen calls, ranging from a "siren call" to a "wail" to a wonderfully…