Welcome to BirdNote!

Birds connect us with the joy and wonder of nature. By telling vivid, sound-rich stories about birds and the challenges they face, BirdNote inspires listeners to care about the natural world – and takes step to protect it.

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Shows With Contributions by Kenneth Cole Schneider

A female Wilson's Plover stands in sunlight, one leg tucked up beneath her.

The Gulf of Fonseca’s Restaurant and Restoration

The Gulf of Fonseca is shared between El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Ecologist Salvadora Morales studies best management practices in shrimp farming and salt production to benefit shorebirds in her native Nicaragua and other parts of the Gulf. The Wilson’s Plover, many of which…
A male Northern Cardinal sits on a leafy branch, his vivid red plumage and yellow beak highlighted by sunlight

Black Botanists Week

In 2020, the first Black Birders Week celebrated the contributions of Black birders and called for greater inclusivity in the outdoors. Later that summer, the first Black Botanists Week premiered. Georgia Silvera Seamans, an urban forester, helped organize the event. Now in its third year…
Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Kinglet Fireworks

Most of the time, a Ruby-crowned Kinglet is neither ruby nor regal. A tiny songbird washed in faded olive-green, the male shows a hint of crimson atop of his head — hardly a ruby crown. But don’t forsake the kinglet for flashier birds. When courting a female or dueling with another male…
A Fish Crow with its wings raised while it stands on a railing

The Nasally Fish Crow

The harsh caws of American Crows are one of the most familiar bird calls in North America. Fish Crows sometimes join flocks of American Crows as they forage for food. The two crow species look similar, but have a distinct call that sounds a bit like an American Crow with a stuffy nose. The…
Pair of Bald Eagles in nest

Birds of Prey and Nesting Territories

Red-tailed Hawks typically have a nesting territory of about a half-mile to a full square mile, depending on how much food there is. Bald Eagles’ nesting territories range from 2½ square miles to as much as 15 square miles, for the same reason. But the Gyrfalcons in Finland and Scandinavia…
American Robin standing in sunny grass

Spark Bird: The First Robin of Spring

Rasheena Fountain studied environmental science and worked at her local Audubon Society. Now she writes about nature and diversity in the outdoors. And what got her interested in the first place? It all started in kindergarten, with a teacher named Miss Beak and the first robin of spring.
Two Muscovy ducklings standing on grass, their soft fuzzy yellow bodies and dark eyes and beaks seen in overcast light.

From Egg-laying to Hatching and Beyond

Waterfowl like this Muscovy duckling spend up to 30 days in the egg, so they’re able to walk, swim, and feed themselves as soon as they hatch. We call these chicks precocial. By contrast, the chicks of most songbirds spend less time maturing in the egg. They must continue to develop in the…
Prairie Warbler perched on branch, beak open, singing

Prairie Warblers - An Early Successional Species

Despite their name, Prairie Warblers nest in tree farms of recently planted pines, in fields overgrown with scattered shrubs, and in clearings under power lines. Biologists call these “early successional” habitats. They’re characterized by plants that are the first to return to land…
Cattle Egret with grazing cow and calf

Cattle Egret - You've Got a Friend in Me

Many birds that forage in open country, such as Cattle Egrets, benefit from association with large grazing mammals. The mammals scare up insects as they move, making them more visible to the birds. In the egrets’ native lands in Africa, the birds feed with elephants, rhinos, and Cape…
Short-billed Dowitcher

Short-billed Dowitcher

Dowitchers are a common type of sandpiper seen across North America. Two species, the Short-billed and the Long-billed, stop to feed busily on wetlands during migration from their Arctic breeding grounds to their wintering areas. The origin of the name is unknown. Theories include that it…