Image: The Ultimate Bird Drawing Throwdown Showdown Graphic featuring images of David Sibley and H. Jon Benjamin

Join BirdNote tomorrow, November 30th!

Illustrator David Sibley and actor H. Jon Benjamin will face off in the bird illustration battle of the century during BirdNote's Year-end Celebration and Auction!


Shows With Contributions by John Kessler

A Pied-billed Grebe swims in a lake near aquatic vegetation in sunlight

Spark Bird: John Kessler and the Music of Birds

John Kessler served as BirdNote’s senior producer for over 18 years. But before BirdNote existed, he was recording the sounds of Seattle for public radio station KPLU, now called KNKX. After capturing many of Seattle’s well-known spots on tape, he broadened his scope by connecting with…
Hermit Thrush stands on branch, facing left

BirdNoir: A Dark and Stormy Night

In this episode of BirdNoir, Private Eye Michael Stein gets a call from his friend Billy, a mail carrier. Billy says he hasn’t seen a single bird on his route since the storm came into town, even though at this time of year the streets are usually chock full of birds. He asks, what happens…
Green Budgie

Birds Talk, People Squawk

Darvin Gebhart is a champion goose-caller. But there are also birds that use human language. Sparkie Williams was a famous parakeet, or budgerigar, that lived in England in the 1950s. He recorded commercials for bird seed and released his own hit single "Pretty Talk." Alex, the African…
Close up of Ostrich looking into the camera

Consider the Ostrich

The flightless Ostrich is a bird of superlatives. It's the largest and tallest bird on the planet, growing to maybe eight feet tall, and weighing 250 pounds! It's also the fastest creature on two legs, capable of running at 40 miles an hour. Ostriches have never been observed to stick…
Tweety Bird illustration

Tweety Bird

Do you recall when you were a young Saturday-morning birdwatcher, learning the intricate lessons of predator-prey relationships? Twitiavis superciliosis is a small, animated yellow bird, native to Southern California. It's particularly susceptible to predation, and so has developed a…
Pied-billed Grebe

Pied-billed Grebes - With Martin Muller

Birds, while guided by instinct, seem able to adapt to specific situations. Martin Muller is an expert on waterbirds called Pied-billed Grebes. One spring day, on an urban lake in Seattle, Martin observed a pair of grebes switching roles in order to protect their young and defend their…
Yoho National Park at Sunrise

Our Solar-Powered Jukebox

In the season finale of Sound Escapes, acoustic ecologist Gordon Hempton takes us on a whirlwind tour of nearly every habitat on the planet. From tropical forests to deserts to wetlands, you'll hear what the Earth truly is: music spinning in an otherwise silent space. Thank you for joining…
A slow, burbeling brook

Mark Twain's Limpid Brook

“By modern standards, Mark Twain was really a switched-on listener,” says our Sound Escapes host, Gordon Hempton. “He brilliantly used sound in the crafting of his novels. Birds would sing at the right time of day and in the right situations. He would use thunderstorms to mark the…
A canoe on the shore at Voyageurs National Park in Minnesota

Song of the Paddle

After a long winter in northern Minnesota, everything seems to awaken at once. From the songs of migratory birds to the croaks of frogs and toads, we can witness a wonderful rejuvenation. In this episode of Sound Escapes, paddle a canoe through Voyageurs National Park alongside Gordon…
Pipestone Canyon in Eastern Washington State

The Poetics of Space

This week’s episode of Sound Escapes takes us to Pipestone Canyon in Eastern Washington, where you can hear a ridgetop wind come from a mile away. Here, you can not only listen to coyotes in the distance, but also how the coyote waves as it passes through the canyon: a form of dimensional…