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 Rick Wright

Long-eared Owl perched on side of tree, orange eyes gleaming

Long-eared Owl - You Don't See Me!

Long-eared Owls aren’t rare, and they don’t live in remote locations. But their plumage and habits make them incredibly elusive. The mixture of warm browns and cool, bark-like grays lends the bird an astonishingly branch-like appearance. When potential predators approach, the birds close…
A tiny Costa's Hummingbird shows his iridescent purple head and throat feathers while perched on a twig

Decibels Per Gram

Some of the tiniest birds in the world have impressively loud voices. The Ruby-crowned Kinglet — that bright-headed sprite of the treetops — would be downright deafening if it were just a little bigger. Hummingbirds were originally named for the mechanical buzzing produced by their…
A brown-and-white striped hawk with long tail and wings outstretched in flight against a clear blue sky.

Urban Cooper's Hawks

Next time you’re in the city, look up. When pigeons are wheeling, you might just see a different bird in pursuit. The Cooper’s Hawk, once known as the “chicken hawk,” used to be in steep decline due to hunting and the effects of DDT on breeding. Today, it’s the most abundant of the bird…
Screech Owl in nest with chick

Blind Snakes and Screech-Owls

During the breeding season, when Eastern Screech-Owls capture the worm-like reptiles known as blind snakes, they deliver them to their chicks alive and wriggling. Some are gulped down immediately, but others escape by burrowing beneath the nest. The surviving “snakes” feed on the insect…
White-throated Sparrow

New Sam Peabody

In late winter, White-throated Sparrows erupt into song, easily set to human words: “Old Sam Peabody, Peabody, Peabody.” Or “Oh, sweet Canada, Canada, Canada.” But something changed since those classic memory aids were coined. Sixty years later, the bird sings a simpler, shorter song. Bird…
Short-billed Dowitcher

Dowitchers Get a Second Wind

The two American species of dowitchers, Long-billed and Short-billed, are similar in appearance but have distinctive calls. And they’re some of the continent’s most dramatic songsters. On their northern breeding grounds, Short-billed Dowitchers ascend as high as 150 feet in the air then…
Chestnut-collared Longspurseen in profile, perched on dried plant stems

Chestnut-collared Longspur

The cheerful-voiced Chestnut-collared Longspur shares its northern prairie breeding range with grazing cattle. Although heavy grazing can have adverse effects, breeding densities of longspurs jump by two, three, or even 10 times when ranchers graze their cattle responsibly on native…
Connecticut Warbler

Connecticut Warbler

Connecticut Warblers nest in the northern boreal forests, migrate through the Midwest, and winter in the rainforests of South America. Even with all that traveling, you rarely see one of these birds. Though their loud, ringing song might be easy to identify, it often seems to emanate from…


The peace of the vast Guyanan jungle is abruptly broken with the dawn chorus of male Capuchinbirds, one of the most bizarre birds in South America. The singing male bows forward, then suddenly stretches to his full length, raising a monk-like cowl of feathers around his naked blue-gray…
Broad-tailed Hummingbird fanning its tail out while perched on a branch

Western Hummingbirds, East

Not long ago, the only hummingbird that someone living in the eastern United States and Canada could hope to see was the Ruby-throated Hummingbird. But things have changed. Today, more and more hummingbird species — such as this Broad-tailed Hummingbird — have been discovered beyond their…