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Shows With Contributions by Monica Gokey

Burrowing Owls: Howdy Birds

A Burrowing Owl is about as big as a can of beans on stilts. Between the long legs, bright yellow eyes, and signature bobbing salute, these little birds are comical members of the western ecosystem. Cowboys riding Western rangelands have a nickname for these little owls. They call them “howdy... read more »

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Peeps? Butterbutts? What are these birders talking about?

People who watch birds have developed nicknames and a whole lingo to talk about the birds they love. But don’t feel like you have to know everything – or anything! Birders love to share. Peeps are sandpipers. Can you guess what butterbutts are? Listen to today’s episode and find out!BirdNote... read more »

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Have You Ever Seen a Tom Turkey's Beard?

With his brilliantly colored plumage fanned out in display, this tom (male) Wild Turkey is a handsome sight to behold. He has a bright red head, long spurs, and… a beard. This “beard” is a small cluster of bristles that sprouts from the bird’s chest plumage. It looks like a misplaced ponytail.... read more »

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Swamp Gobblers

Osceola, also called Florida, Turkeys are right at home in Florida’s flatwoods and dense, swampy landscapes, which likely protected it from overhunting in the early 1900s. If you ever find yourself in the Florida woods, be sure to keep an ear out. If you’re on turkey turf, you’re likely to hear... read more »

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Common Poorwills Can "Hibernate"

Common Poorwills don’t sing much when the mercury drops. But they can do something else that is remarkable. As the winter cold deepens, these petite members of the nightjar family can enter a hibernation-like state — and stay like that for hours — or even weeks! Scientists call it torpor. It... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  migration

Of Grouse and Gizzards

During winter, the Greater Sage-Grouse is wholly reliant on its namesake species — sagebrush — for both shelter and for food. Scientists call this bird "sagebrush obligate," meaning it needs this plant to survive. In the spring, its diet shifts to insects and plants, as it gets ready for the most... read more »

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Western Tanagers Are Flashes of Bright Color

Western Tanagers dart from tree to tree, on the lookout for delicious bugs. They’ll find them by scanning the tree bark — or maybe snatching them from mid-air during flight — a tactic called hawking. Come winter, these lovely songbirds head south, where they fit right in with the other brightly... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  migration
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