Welcome to BirdNote!

Birds connect us with the joy and wonder of nature. By telling vivid, sound-rich stories about birds and the challenges they face, BirdNote inspires listeners to care about the natural world – and takes step to protect it.

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Shows With Contributions by Bob Sundstrom

Short-eared Owl in flight

Wing-clapping

For most birds, wings are for flying. But for Rock Pigeons, they’re also for clapping. When the pigeons erupt into flight, some may slap their wings together above their bodies in a “wing clap.” A male Rock Pigeon will also do this when courting. Short-eared Owls, like this one, have…
Wilson's Warbler showing its bright yellow chest and face with black "cap" coloration on its head

Wilson's Warblers Benefit from Shade-grown Coffee

Early this fall, the tiny Wilson's Warbler began its long migration to Belize, where it winters. Navigating by the stars, the 1/4-ounce bird made a series of night flights spanning more than 2500 miles. This warbler returns to the same coffee plantation each year. Taller trees that shade…
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…
Boreal Owl facing forward, perched on a branch

Are Northern Forest Owls Coming South This Winter?

The boreal forest stretches across Canada and Alaska, a huge expanse of woods, wetlands and wilderness. And it’s full of magnificent forest owls that depend on mice and other rodents for food. Those populations can boom and bust, so in lean years, hungry owls often fly as far south as the…
Short-toed Snake-Eagle

Snake-Eagles Are Awesome

When a soaring Short-toed Snake-Eagle spots a delicious snake, it swoops down, grabs it with its talons, then tears off the snake’s head. Still on the wing, it swallows the entire snake, head first. Smaller than Bald Eagles, they live mainly in Africa and have legs and toes covered in…
A dark brown bird with wings outstretched as its long slender legs just touch the surface of the water. "BirdNote en Español" appears in the top right corner

Aves marinas en el desierto

El paíño de Elliot es un ave de mar pequeña, de plumaje blanco y negro que se puede observar en las costas de Chile y Perú. Los paíños pasan toda su vida en el mar, excepto cuando anidan, lo que ha intrigado a los científicos por mucho tiempo al tratar de encontrar dónde lo hacían. Una…
Long-billed Curlews

Beaks and Bills

A bird’s bill is an incredible multi-tool — good for preening feathers, building a nest, self-defense, scratching, displaying, building a nest, and egg-turning. And a bill must be the right size and shape for the bird’s diet, whether that’s probing for worms, cracking open seeds, or tear…
Killdeer in flight

Partial Migration - Killdeer Play Leap Frog

The cries of a Killdeer are familiar across most of the US during spring and summer. But where do they go in winter? Killdeer that breed in the southern half of the US and along the Pacific Coast are year-round residents. But those that breed in the northern US and Canada, where winter…
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…
A flock of geese flying in V formation across a partly cloudy sky

Geese in V-formation

Autumn…and geese fly high overhead in V-formation. But what about that V-formation, angling outward through the sky? This phenomenon — a kind of synchronized, aerial tailgating — marks the flight of flocks of larger birds, like geese or pelicans. Most observers believe that each bird…