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 Chris Peterson

Great Horned Owl fledgling

Great Horned Owls Calling

A fledgling Great Horned Owl calls to be fed. Judging from the young bird's persistence, the parents seem to be responding only with calls, not with food. These entreaties can go on for weeks. Both parents let the fledgling know that it's time for him to feed himself. They've been bringing…
Olive-sided Flycatcher clinging to the tip of a branch, and looking to its right.

Bird Sound Types and Qualities Part I

Since it’s often hard to see a bird, veteran birders characterize the sounds of birds in order to identify them. So what words do they use? Well, they use “whistle,” for example, to describe the sound of this Olive-sided Flycatcher. And "rattle" for that of the Belted Kingfisher. There's…
Swainson's Thrush

Bird Sound Types and Qualities Part III

When it's just too hard to see the bird you hear, let your ears take over! Listen for the qualities of the sound as well as the pattern. A flute-like and upward-spiraling sound is characteristic of this Swainson's Thrush. Quite a contrast to the plaintively whistled notes of a Black-capped…
Whooping Crane chick running across sunlit grass

Wood Buffalo National Park - Birthplace of Whooping Cranes

In Canada, where Alberta meets The Northwest Territories, lies Wood Buffalo National Park, where endangered Whooping Cranes dance, nest, and raise their young. It's a "place of superlatives,” says park superintendent Rob Kent. “Visitors can see pristine ecosystems, 5,000 bison, 150-pound…
Common Kingfisher

Biomimicry - Japanese Trains Mimic Kingfisher

In the 1990s, train engineers in Japan built trains able to travel nearly 170 miles per hour. The problem was that when the trains exited a tunnel, the air in front of their bullet-shaped noses expanded rapidly, creating a loud “tunnel boom.” The chief engineer, a birder, looked to the…
Snow Geese flock take flight

A Swirl of Snow Geese

Snow Geese nest from far northeastern Russia to Greenland, in the arctic and subarctic. They winter in large flocks on the deltas of rivers in northwestern Washington, areas along the Eastern Seaboard, and throughout the Mississippi Flyway. Watching Snow Geese in flight, Barry Lopez…
Colorful sunrise over the North Cascades in Washington State

A New Year Dawns

Listen to the earth awaken, as dawn circles the globe. Acoustic ecologist Gordon Hempton recorded these sounds around the globe. He's with SoundTracker.
Belted Kingfisher

Bird-friendly Planting in Fall - With Joanna Buehler

The landscape around Joanna Buehler’s home on Lake Sammamish was once completely barren. But today, it provides food, water, and refuge for many species of birds. You can create a bird sanctuary in your own yard by selecting native plants adapted for your area. If you’re lucky, nature will…
Swainson's Hawk in flight, wings outstretched against a clear sky

Swainson's Hawks Migrate South

In autumn, hundreds of thousands of Swainson's Hawks migrate to South America. With the help of a satellite tracking device, let's follow an individual male. On September 14, he leaves his breeding territory near Hanna, Alberta; reaches southwest Saskatchewan by September 23; passes…
Dee with Magellanic Penguins

Life Improved for Penguins in Argentina

Professor Dee Boersma, working with the Wildlife Conservation Society and the Province of Chubut, has been studying the Magellanic Penguins of Argentina. "In 1983, we realized that oil pollution was really a huge problem for these birds. We were seeing birds coming ashore, covered in oil…