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!

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Shows With Contributions by Bob Sundstrom

Closeup photo of Rock Pigeon in profile

You Could Take a Pigeon to the Movies

A movie runs at 24 frames per second, just right for humans to sense as normal speed. Pigeons process the visual world several times faster. The frantic car chase that puts us at the edge of our seats would likely appear—to a pigeon—more like a slideshow or PowerPoint. A bird’s rapid-fire…
Pileated Woodpecker nest with parent and chicks

What's Inside a Woodpecker's Nest Hole?

Many woodpeckers chisel out deep cavities in tree trunks in order to lay their eggs and raise their brood. The cavities hollowed out by the birds vary in size, depending on the species of woodpecker. The chamber of a tiny Downy Woodpecker descends about a foot from the opening, while the…
Hummingbird sitting on its tiny nest built of plant material held together with spider's silk

Spider Silk - Duct Tape for Bird Nests

The spider’s web is an intricate piece of precision engineering. Made from large proteins, it’s sticky, stretchy, and tough. So it’s no surprise that many small birds — including this Anna’s Hummingbird — make a point of collecting strands of spider silk to use in nest construction. Spider…
Great Egret displaying its beautiful breeding plumage

Great Egret's Lacy Courtship

Male Great Egrets have special long feather plumes called aigrettes, which they use in courtship displays in the spring. These beautiful big birds were nearly hunted to extinction for these special feathers, which were used to adorn ladies’ hats. The plight of the egret spurred people to…
A Loggerhead Shrike has a reptile in its beak. The BirdNote en Español logo appears in the top right corner of the image.

El verdugo americano - El depredador que canta

Con su excelente sentido del olfato, los cerdos son famosos por su capacidad para descubrir trufas, un hongo que crece debajo de la tierra y que es muy preciado por su sabor. Pero resulta que algunas especies de aves también pueden encontrar su camino hacia un premio trufado…
American Robin

American Robins Are Exceptional Singers

As singers go, American Robins are exceptional. They’re often the first birds to sing in the morning, and the last you’ll hear in the evening. While their average song strings fewer than a dozen short phrases together and lasts only a few seconds, robins sometimes sing for minutes without…
Illustration of a giant eagle attacking Moa birds in New Zealand

An Enormous Eagle Evolves

Evolution on islands can produce unusually large species. Haast’s Eagle lived on the islands now known as New Zealand. With a wingspan of 9 feet and weighing up to 30 pounds, the eagle hunted the moa — a flightless bird that stood over ten feet tall. The eagles probably vanished not long…
Brown Pelican flying right above the water's surface, left wing tip touching the water.

Brown Pelicans - Conservation Success

Brown Pelicans are a regular sight today along the Gulf of Mexico and our southern coastlines. But these birds have not always been so plentiful. They were hunted for their feathers and as pests by fishermen. The Migratory Bird Act of 1918 protected their recovery. But by 1970, pesticides…
Scarlet Tanager showing vivid red plumage on head and body, with dramatic black eye, wing, and tail.

Scarlet Tanagers Under the Canopy

In summer, the forests of the eastern United States are home to a bounty of birds, including this gorgeous Scarlet Tanager, which spends most of the year in tropical South America. The male’s body is a dazzling red, in contrast to his black wings and tail. It seems that these boldly…
A Sungrebe swimming in shallow water in front of rocks, facing the viewer's right. "BirdNote en Español" appears in the top left corner.

El avesol americano - Bebé a bordo

Las aves han desarrollado diversas estrategias para proteger a sus crías. Pero solo hay una especie que puede meter a sus polluelos en un bolsillo debajo de sus alas y llevarlos hasta un lugar seguro. Es el Avesol de Centro y Sudamérica. Cuando los pequeños eclosionan, desnudos y frágiles…