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Shows With Contributions by Mary McCann

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. read more »

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Topics & Themes:  ecology

How Much Do Birds Eat?

There used to be a saying about somebody who doesn’t eat much — “she eats like a bird.” But how much does a bird typically eat? As a rule of thumb, the smaller the bird, the more food it needs relative to its weight. A Cooper’s Hawk, a medium-sized bird, eats around 12% of its weight per day. For... read more »

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How Long Does a Robin Live?

If a young American Robin survives its first winter, its chances of survival go up. But robins still don’t live very long. The oldest robins in your yard might be about three years old (although thanks to banding, we know of one bird that lived to be almost 14).Support for BirdNote comes from... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  ecology, nesting, science

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 down... read more »

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Convocations, Coveys and Charms

Everybody’s heard of a gaggle of geese and a covey of quail. But what’s a group of penguins called? And a “conspiracy” of ravens? Maybe the way we label birds says more about us than it does about them.Support for BirdNote comes from American Bird Conservancy and Bringing Back the Birds, a photo... read more »

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Winter Birds Love Suet

Birds at a suet feeder... What a burst of vitality on a chilly morning! What's the attraction? A cake of suet, suspended from a branch in a small wire feeder. Suet is beef fat, a high-energy food critical for birds' survival in the colder months. Suet is an especially strong magnet for birds ... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  birdfeeding

Amazing Feet

What looks like feet on a bird are actually its toes. That backward-looking knee is more like an ankle. A bird’s feet are suited to its unique way of living. Eagles capture live prey with long talons, while water birds use webbed feet to guide and propel themselves. And ostriches have two massive... read more »

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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. Help build a trail. Or maybe you’re more comfortable around a laptop than a chainsaw – lots of local parks and environmental nonprofits have... read more »

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-feathers... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  migration

The Haunting Voice of the Common Loon

The call of the Common Loon brings to mind a summer visit to northern lakes. A "yodel" call is given by a male on his breeding territory. With his neck outstretched, the male waves his head from side to side, sending his eerie calls across forests and open water. The yodel entices females and... read more »

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