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Shows With Contributions by Paul Bannick

Birdwatching 103

One of the easiest ways to keep a finger on the pulse of the seasons is to keep an eye on the birds. When do the Dark-eyed Juncos (like this one) return from the mountains, ready to pick up at the birdfeeder where they left off last year? When do migratory Canada Geese fly over on an autumn... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  birdwatching

Great Blue Heron, Alone Again

Great Blue Herons nest in colonies, in adjoining trees or with several nests in one tree. But by autumn, the adults and gangly young have left the nests to take up solitary lives, a pattern that is the reverse of many other species. After all the "togetherness" of the nesting colonies, the Great... read more »

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The Barred Owl Calls

Barred Owls are very territorial, and they don't migrate. Solitary calls from a male in early spring probably mean that he has not attracted a mate. In May and June, he continues to hoot, though less frequently. By summer, breeding season has passed. Maybe this solitary Barred Owl is what some... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  vocalization

Woodpeckers Love Ants

Woodpeckers - such as this Williamson's Sapsucker - eat far more ants than do most birds. Although many other vertebrates avoid ants because of their stings or the foul taste, the Northern Flicker is known to have ingested over five thousand ants in one sitting! A woodpecker's sticky tongue can... read more »

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The Call of the Loon

The call of the Common Loon brings to mind a summer visit to northern lakes with sunny blue skies. A "yodel" call is given by males on their breeding territories. The call of the Common Loon that we hear during winter is quite different from the breeding call in summer. Common Loons have another,... read more »

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Peace in Wild Places

Wendell Berry wrote: When despair for the world grows in me and I wake in the night at the least sound in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be, I go and lie down where the wood drake rests... Where do you go to rest and renew yourself in nature? Where do you come into the peace of... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  reflection

Singing Sandpipers

We've all seen sandpipers foraging busily on mudflats or at the ocean's edge. But this Lesser Yellowlegs often carols from the top of a tall conifer in its nesting territory in Alaska. The name "sandpiper" actually comes from the voices of these birds, rather than from their long-billed probing... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  vocalization

Lazuli Bunting

With its beautiful colors, the Lazuli Bunting might just have inspired Navajo artists. In summer, these beautiful singers inhabit the brushy canyons east of the Cascades. And where the Lazuli Bunting sings, you'll often hear the music of Vesper Sparrows and Western Meadowlarks. read more »

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Burrowing Owl

The Burrowing Owl is most active during the day. It migrates south for the winter and returns each spring to an ever more uncertain fate. The owl is in serious decline, due to intensive agriculture, urban sprawl, destruction of ground squirrel colonies, and elimination of sage habitats. Support... read more »

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Barn Swallow, Natural Pest Control

Barn Swallows have adapted to nesting near people, and build their cup-shaped mud nests in barns or garages, or on protected ledges, often near each other. The good news? These twittery, flittery birds love to eat the insects that humans consider pesky.Imagine: 60 insects per hour, a whopping 850... read more »

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