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Shows With Contributions by Mary McCann

The Bushtit vs. the Elastic

BirdNote listener Catherine Alexander recently told of watching a Bushtit, in search of the perfect bit of stuff for its nest. It found a tattered, old sock, hanging from a tree. The Bushtit grabbed a frayed bit of elastic and pulled. The elastic held strong. Bushtit pulled. Elastic held. The... read more »

Topics & Themes:  humor, listener story

Leavenworth Spring Bird Fest 2010

In spring, Washington State bubbles with bird song. And you can see a lot of birds at the Leavenworth Spring Bird Fest in May. (Check the website for dates.) Join bird experts to explore the diverse natural habitats of north-central Washington and the more than 150 bird species regularly found... read more »

Topics & Themes:  festival

Earth Day Celebrates 40 Years

April 22, 2010 marks the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day. On Earth Day, we're reminded to honor the earth and preserve the balance of nature. Few things remind us more of the fundamental need to conserve and enjoy nature than the voices of birds - the irreplaceable voices of birds. This Eastern... read more »

Snipe Hunt

One of the most ethereal of spring sounds is that made by the Wilson's Snipe. Much as if they were playing a reed instrument, the male snipe produces a winnowing sound in flight by metering, with his wings, the flow of air over his tail-feathers. Among the most venerable of practical jokes... read more »

Topics & Themes:  language

Birds See Better

Birds see better than we do. Birds see objects in fine detail, two-and-a-half to three times farther away than we can. Their eyes have the most highly developed retina of any animal. Avian sensitivity to the spectrum of light is far beyond ours. This Eurasian Kestrel uses its ability to see... read more »


Master Gardeners Can Help

The Master Gardener program began in 1972, and is now active in 50 states and several other countries. Got bugs? They'll show you how to live with them-and without pesticides. They're water-wise, plant-savvy, and eager to help. Want to create a wildlife sanctuary in your yard? The Master... read more »

Topics & Themes:  gardening

Saving Shearwaters on Diamond Head

On Diamond Head on Oahu, Hawaii, on a vacant lot in the middle of an exclusive neighborhood, Wedge-tailed Shearwaters are nesting. The nesting success of shearwaters - including the Newell's Shearwaters seen here - has been greatly reduced on all of the main Hawaiian Islands. But Carolyn... read more »

Topics & Themes:  environmental champion

Former Abundance

On a November day in the late 1960s, flying in a light plane along the Mississippi River, the eminent waterfowl biologist Frank Bellrose came upon a raft of 450,000 Lesser Scaups that stretched for miles. Protection, restoration, and enhancement of habitats used during all seasons are under way... read more »


Hawkwatch - Chelan Ridge

You're at 5000 feet in the Cascade Mountains. Overhead, a Red-tailed Hawk catches an updraft. The Chelan Ridge Raptor Migration site is the best location in Washington State to see migrating raptors. The U.S. Forest Service and HawkWatch International are partners in a large network of North... read more »

Topics & Themes:  migration, science

The Folklore of Owls

Thanks to Harry Potter, the owl is flying high. But throughout history, the owl has received mixed reviews. The Greeks believed an owl flying over a battlefield foretold victory, while in other cultures, owls were considered omens of death, prophets of doom. Listen to the story again, and you'll... read more »

Topics & Themes:  myth