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Shows With Contributions by Dan Streiffert

Black-headed Grosbeak Sings!

The song of this male Black-headed Grosbeak has been described as that of a drunken or scat-singing robin. Compare the songs of both birds, and draw your own conclusion! Singing Black-headed Grosbeaks can be heard from May well into summer, especially in streamside woods. read more »

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Topics & Themes:  birdwatching by ear, sound

Why Birds Sing

Why do birds sing? Ornithologists have learned that the longer hours of light that come with spring trigger the release of hormones in birds. These hormones prompt the enlargement of the birds' gonads which, in turn, stimulate male birds to sing. Male birds - like this Black-headed Grosbeak - can... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  breeding display, nesting, vocalization

Grosbeaks and Monarchs

Black-headed Grosbeaks are one of very few birds that regularly eat Monarch butterflies. Most birds and other animals find the butterflies unpalatable, if not downright toxic. The caterpillars of Monarchs consume milkweeds that contain toxic substances known as cardenolides. The poison is stored... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  science

Landscaping for Wildlife I - Interview with Russell Link

Healthy habitat is the key to the future of birds. And October is a good time to enrich your backyard habitat. Russell Link, who wrote the book, "Landscaping for Wildlife," says one of his top ten plants is a snag, because it's so important to a wide variety of birds. Plants that have berries in... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  gardening
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