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Shows With Contributions by Minette Layne

Sound Escapes - Morning on the Big Island

It’s a warm summer morning on the western shore of the Big Island of Hawaii. A native 'Apapane is foraging in the brush. It’s early, the sun is rising, and the tide is coming in. The Pacific Ocean is “Peaceful Ocean,” and its beat is something that permeates every place you go on the island.... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  recording

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. A fairly large owl - a perching bird is 21 inches tall - Barred Owls are also among the most vocal. More than a dozen Barred Owl calls range... read more »

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Long-Distance Migration Takes Fuel and Water

Long-distance migration can be hard on a bird’s body. For example, this Swainson’s Thrush might migrate between northern Canada and South America, twice a year. In the weeks before such a long journey and during key stopovers en route, the thrush eats like crazy to put on fat. But during the... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  ecology, migration

The Jay Game

Many jays, including this California Scrub-Jay, store food for sustenance in harsher seasons. An individual bird may cache nuts, insects, and even worms in several thousand spots. If jays visit your yard, here’s a game you can play with them. Each day, preferably when the jays aren’t watching,... read more »

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The Benefits of a Raven's Black Feathers

The desert seems an unlikely habitat choice for all-black birds. But ravens thrive even in the arid Southwest, where common sense suggests that light-colored feathers would be a better adaptation to the scorching sun. As it turns out, a raven’s black plumage works well in the desert.  read more »

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Topics & Themes:  ornithology, plumage

How Young Birds Learn Songs

Within two weeks of hatching, a young male Bewick's Wren is already out of the nest, skulking in the shrubbery. Over the next couple of weeks, the fledgling will learn at least 15 different song variations his father sings. After he wanders off to find his own territory, about a mile from his... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  vocalization
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