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 Michael Stein

Turkey Vulture in flight

Turkey Vultures on the Move

Before we see or feel spring, we often hear it first — in the testimony of a Red-winged Blackbird, the energy of a Song Sparrow, or the serenade of an American Robin. But across much of North America, an earlier sign of spring is the return of Turkey Vultures. In the U.S., you may see them…
Gray Catbird perched in greenery, a red berry held in its beak

Birds, Berries and Germination

Some plants have evolved fruits with edible flesh that attract birds. When birds swallow the fruit, they also ingest the seeds. They transport the seeds to new spots for the plants to take root. Birds’ digestive systems grind away the hard outer coating of the seed, making it more likely…
A Tennessee Warbler perches upside down on a branch looking for food

Tennessee Warbler, Nectar Thief

Tennessee Warblers love drinking nectar, but they do it without helping to pollinate flowers. By tapping a hole into the base of a flower, these warblers enjoy an easy meal while bypassing the flower’s pollen. But they give back to their ecosystems in other ways – such as eating countless…
American Robin perched on an ice-covered slender branch, reaching for the frozen berries.

Finding Food When it Snows

Fresh-fallen snow is beautiful, but it poses a challenge to birds. The ground where they found food is now covered by several inches of snow. Birds such as juncos and other sparrows flit under bushes where snow doesn’t cover the ground. Finches and chickadees pick at the seed heads of…
A side-by-side image of a Baltimore Oriole and an American Robin, both singing

Telling Apart Two Cheery Bird Songs

The American Robin and the Baltimore Oriole both have cheery, upbeat songs. At first, you might think there’s no way to tell these two cheery, upbeat singers apart. But there are a couple of differences. American Robins usually have a longer song, while Baltimore Orioles usually stop after…
Illustration of wrens snuggling inside a nestbox on a cold night

On a Cold, Cold Night

When the bitter cold of winter arrives, songbirds face an emergency: how to keep warm through the night. On normal nights, many prefer sleeping solo in a sheltered spot. But in severe cold, some kinds of birds may have a greater prospect of survival by roosting with others.
A Sandhill Crane flaps its wings while flying low over a grassland

Sandhill Cranes Are Expanding Their Range

In some parts of North America, Sandhill Cranes are common as ants at a picnic. In New England, on the other hand, they’ve been almost as rare as pterodactyls — until relatively recently! Birders began reporting cranes scattered throughout the region. When a Sandhill Crane chick hatched in…
Osprey seen from above as it flies over sunlit water

BirdNoir – Dial E for Eagle

In this BirdNoir mystery, the private eye fields a call from a woman who says a large bird that looks like a Bald Eagle stole a Rainbow Trout from her pond. Through a process of elimination, the detective is able to rule out a few likely suspects and arrive at the probable answer. When you…
Closeup of Wandering Tattler standing on rocks, facing left

Wandering Tattlers Traverse the Pacific

The Wandering Tattler is one of the few birds equally at home along the coast and high in the mountains. They’re found far and wide along Pacific shores, living up to their “wandering” name and gaining names in many local languages throughout the ocean basin. Their nesting habitats in the…
Golden-crowned Kinglet and Common Raven

Songbirds: The Large and Small of It

The group of birds called “songbirds” — the perching birds — is incredibly broad. Half the world’s 10,000 birds are in the songbird group, and their range of body sizes is mind-boggling. One of the smallest songbirds in North America is the Golden-crowned Kinglet, barely larger than a…