Shows With Contributions by Bob Sundstrom

Rhinocerous Hornbill

Rhinoceros Hornbill

Rhinoceros Hornbills are among the largest of the world’s 54 species of hornbills, which are spread across Africa and India to Asia and New Guinea. Some hornbills eat mostly fruit. Others are carnivorous, snapping up lizards, small mammals, and birds. Most live in mature, tropical forests
American Robins flocking en masse

61 Tons of Robins!

In winter, flocks of American Robins spend the night together. Typically, a few dozen to a few hundred birds roost communally in trees or an old barn, or under a bridge. But larger robin roosts can number in the thousands, or even tens of thousands! In 2007, observers near St. Petersburg
Flicker showing white in rump

The Flicker's White Rump

When a Northern Flicker takes flight, a bold patch of white feathers flashes on its rump, in contrast to its brown body. This white rump likely evolved as an anti-predator adaptation. A hawk flying in pursuit of a flicker may focus on the white spot rather than the darker image of the
Bohemian Waxwing

Bohemian Waxwings - Exquisite Winter Visitors

It's winter, and apples litter the ground. A few still hang, frozen and thawed again and again. Suddenly a flock of hundreds of birds rises from the ground beneath the trees, swarming in tight formation, wing-tip to wing-tip. Bohemian Waxwings are erratic winter visitors from their nesting
Annas Hummingbird nest with two eggs in it

The Secret Stash of Eggshells

Developing eggshells requires a key ingredient — calcium — in larger quantities than the female typically has in her bloodstream. Just how different bird species supply or store calcium for egg-laying isn’t fully known. While some species seek out extra calcium from their environment, many
Hooded Merganser

Hooded Merganser

Hooded Mergansers, affectionately known as “Hoodies,” nest across most of the northern US and well into Canada. They’re especially prevalent around the Great Lakes, though some winter as far south as Florida. By November, courtship and pair formation is well under way. And by early spring
Pied-billed Grebe feeding feather to her chicks

Why Do Grebes Eat Their Feathers?

Eared Grebes eat brine shrimp and aquatic insects for sustenance, but rigid exoskeletons make them hard to digest. So these grebes -- along with their other grebe cousins -- evolved to use their feathers as a way to slow down digestion. The feathers form dense balls in the digestive tract
Long-eared Owl perched in tree

Long-eared Owls Fly at Night

Nocturnal Long-eared Owls tuck up in dense stands of trees across North America and temperate Europe and Asia. They may form communal roosts up to a hundred in number in the winter. After dark, their low-pitched hoots carry for half a mile, as they cruise low over fields, listening
Great Gray Owl

Why Do Owls Bob Their Heads?

If you were to stand face to face with an owl, including this Great Gray Owl, it would eventually move its head, bobbing rhythmically from side to side, then forward, then back. Or almost completely upside down. This head-bobbing action helps make up for an anatomical limitation: an owl’s
Red-cockaded Woodpecker at nesting hole

Saving the Red-cockaded Woodpecker

After carving a nest cavity in a living tree, which can take a year or more, Red-cockaded Woodpeckers peck holes around the nest, causing sap to flow downward. This creates a barrier to thwart hungry snakes. The mature longleaf pine woods where these endangered birds live are shrinking