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Shows With Contributions by Mary McCann

Birding with Grandpa -- With Dick Ashford

Dick Ashford, former board president of Klamath Bird Observatory, completed a career with the Navy before learning about birds in earnest. Like many, he's taking time to share his love of birds - and looking for Red-shouldered Hawks, like this one - with younger generations. One of the lucky kids... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  birding

The Lowly Starling

Much maligned as a pest and cursed by many as an "invasive species," the European Starling has had many fans, too. Eugene Schieffelin introduced about 50 pairs into the United States in the 1890s. And Rachel Carson noted that the starling carries "more than 100 loads of destructive insects per... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  music, vocalization

Common Redpoll

The tiny Common Redpoll, one of the smallest members of the finch family, weighs only as much as four pennies, yet it survives the cold and darkness of winter in the far North. Most birds depart in autumn to warmer climes. But redpolls feed on birch and alder seeds that are available throughout... read more »

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Eurasian Collared-Doves' Sense of Direction

The Eurasian Collared-Dove is rapidly increasing across the US and southern Canada. This sandy pink bird with the neat black neckband was released in the Bahamas in the 1960s. Brought in as pets, some doves escaped. They made it to Florida a few years later and have been spreading in a generally... read more »

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More Eyes and Ears

A family of dapper Black-capped Chickadees call as they hang upside down, pecking at alder seeds. A wren skulks and buzzes through the underbrush. A petite Downy Woodpecker whinnies nearby. Mixed-species flocks may include a dozen species and more than fifty individuals. More ears and eyes mean... read more »

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How Free Is a Free-range Chicken?

It can be confusing to buy truly free-range chicken and eggs at the grocery store. The next time you’re at the store, take a close look at the labels. Chickens raised for meat or eggs... chickens that spend their days outside pecking for bugs, grubs, and fresh green vegetation... are best known... read more »

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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 voles... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  vocalization

Bosque del Apache, High Desert Oasis

At this time of year, Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico is a birder's paradise. The refuge — critical wintering habitat for great numbers of birds — sits where the north edge of the Chihuahuan desert meets the Rio Grande River. Witness the magnificent spectacle of the... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  festival

Alex Chadwick in Big Bend: The Roadrunner and the Baird's Sparrow

In the Looney Tunes cartoon, the Road Runner is potential prey for Wile E. Coyote. But in the real world, the Greater Roadrunner is an excellent predator. BirdNote contributor Alex Chadwick visited Mark Flippo, a retired park ranger at Big Bend National Park, to learn more about the behavior of... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  humor

Long-lived Wisdom, the Albatross

A Laysan Albatross named Wisdom has been nesting and raising chicks on the island of Midway for nearly 60 years. She was banded back in 1956 and was rediscovered, still alive and healthy, in 2002. Since that time, scientists have watched Wisdom closely. Every year, she has managed to navigate the... read more »

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