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Shows With Contributions by Bob Sundstrom

Eclectic Plumages of Eclectus Parrots

Eclectus Parrots are big, loud, colorful parrots native to the lowland rainforests of New Guinea and northern Australia. The female (seen right) and the male are so different, they were once thought to be two separate species. Such a dramatic sexual contrast in plumage is rare in parrots. It... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  plumage

Canyon Spectacle - Swakane Canyon

Canyons, whether large or small, can host a spectacular variety of birds! Consider Swakane Canyon, in central Washington State. It cuts west from the Columbia River into the Entiat Mountains for nine miles, while gaining nearly 3,000 feet. Steep slopes wall in the canyon floor, several hundred... read more »

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Ospreys Head South

Ospreys may log more than 160,000 air miles over a lifetime. One female Osprey in Massachusetts, which researchers tagged in 2008 and named Penelope, headed south in early September, later reaching the Bahamas. After pausing in the Dominican Republic, she traveled to the Island of Birds, off... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  migration

House Sparrows Can Open Doors

House Sparrows are ingenious birds that have learned a highly specialized skill: how to open automatic doors. House Sparrows have been seen activating electric-eye sensors to fly into restaurants, supermarkets, and home supply stores.What will they be up to next? read more »

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Topics & Themes:  human interaction

Bee Hummingbird

The Bee Hummingbird, found only in Cuba, is the smallest bird in the world. An absolute miniature, even among hummingbirds, it measures only two and a quarter inches long. Often mistaken for bees, they weigh less than a dime. The female builds a nest barely an inch across, and lays eggs about the... read more »

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Common Merganser

The Common Merganser is one of our biggest ducks, about the size of some loons. Although it’s not closely related to loons, it has evolved a similar overall structure and predatory behavior. But a merganser has a unique feature: tooth-like serrations along the edge of the bill that help the bird... read more »

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There's More Than One Way to Climb a Tree

No bird is better adapted for climbing up a tree trunk than a woodpecker. The foot of this Pileated Woodpecker is ideal for clinging, and its relatively short legs allow it to anchor itself securely. When traveling upward, the woodpecker’s a master. But hitching down? Not so much — usually they... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  ecology

Starlings and Roman Divination

European Starlings were present in great numbers in ancient Rome. They swarmed in massive flocks or murmurations — thousands of individuals cascading and folding in awe-inspiring geometric patterns in the sky. Roman augurs, or diviners, scrutinized these patterns for signs of how the gods were... read more »

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Birdwatching 103

One of the easiest ways to keep a finger on the pulse of the seasons is to keep an eye on the birds. When do the Dark-eyed Juncos (like this one) return from the mountains, ready to pick up at the birdfeeder where they left off last year? When do migratory Canada Geese fly over on an autumn... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  birdwatching

Binoculars and Birders' Exchange

Across Central and South America, conservationists, teachers, and researchers are benefiting from groups like Birder’s Exchange, a program of the American Birding Association. The program collects new and used binoculars, scopes, books, and tripods, and passes them on to people working to... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  birding, birdwatching

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