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 Mary McCann

A young volunteer helping maintain a park

Get Involved

Go outside this weekend. Feel the wind in your hair. Listen to a bird. Discover a new park. Then get involved! Volunteer to lead your own bird walk. Participate in a bird count or cleanup. Or maybe you’re more comfortable around a laptop – lots of local parks and environmental nonprofits…
Short-billed Dowitcher

Dowitchers Get a Second Wind

The two American species of dowitchers, Long-billed and Short-billed, are similar in appearance but have distinctive calls. And they’re some of the continent’s most dramatic songsters. On their northern breeding grounds, Short-billed Dowitchers ascend as high as 150 feet in the air then…
American Avocets in non-breeding plumage

The Avocets of Bolivar Flats

The shallow waters and wide mudflats of the Bolivar Flats Shorebird Sanctuary northeast of Galveston, Texas, are alive with thousands of gulls, terns, and shorebirds. American Avocets are often among the most abundant birds, with 5,000 or more here most winters. The avocets have sensitive…
A Dark-eyed Junco sitting on a snowy branch

Return of the Snowbird

You may see Dark-eyed Juncos in the summer, but come fall, many more — those that have been nesting in the mountains or farther north — arrive to spend the winter. These juncos often visit birdfeeders for winter feasting. Dark-eyed Juncos forage on the ground. The flash of white tail…
Killdeer in flight

Partial Migration - Killdeer Play Leap Frog

The cries of a Killdeer are familiar across most of the US during spring and summer. But where do they go in winter? Killdeer that breed in the southern half of the US and along the Pacific Coast are year-round residents. But those that breed in the northern US and Canada, where winter…
Barn Owl

Three Worldwide Raptors

Consider three species of raptors: the Barn Owl, Peregrine Falcon, and Osprey. They’re on every continent except Antarctica. Each has a specialized hunting prowess distinct from the other. They can fly great distances. And like many birds of prey, they mate for life. The Barn Owl, pictured…
Boreal Chickadee

Boreal Chickadees Stay Home for the Winter

Boreal Chickadees live in the boreal forest year-round. How do they survive the harsh winter? First, during summer, they cache a great deal of food, both insects and seeds. Then in fall, they put on fresh, heavier plumage. And their feathers are denser than most birds', creating a comfy…
Bluejay and Northern Cardinals at a bird feeder

Pulling Rank at the Birdfeeder

Birdfeeders full of seeds or suet can spark nonstop action. Chickadees flitter in and out. Finches expertly crack one seed after another, while jays, doves, woodpeckers and sparrows all join the flurry. This might bring to mind a neighborly picnic — but it’s not quite as friendly. At any…
A group of White Pelicans feeding at a lake

Pelicans Go Fishing

There are two kinds of pelicans in North America – the American White Pelican and the Brown Pelican. And they’ve evolved different tactics to catch their prey.
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…