Shows With Contributions by Ashley Ahearn

Osprey Stance

When humans ride a skateboard or snowboard or surf a wave, most prefer the same foot forward every time. A new study finds that Ospreys, too, often exhibit a favorite foot forward in flight. Today's show brought to you by the Bobolink Foundation.
Hooded Crow

A Wide World of Crows

Crows are found on every continent except South America and Antarctica. And while there are a lot of similarities, there are a lot of differences, too. Imagine a powder-gray crow with a pink beak. There’s one thing they have in common, though: they’re all smart.

You Could Take a Pigeon to the Movies

A movie runs at 24 frames per second, just right for humans to sense as normal speed. Pigeons process the visual world several times faster. The frantic car chase that puts us at the edge of our seats would likely appear—to a pigeon—more like a slideshow or PowerPoint. A bird’s rapid-fire
Syrinx and Satyr

Syrinx and the Satyr

Birdsong owes its beauty and variety to a complex structure called the syrinx. The name comes from an ancient Greek story. Syrinx was a beautiful wood nymph, and she was trying to escape the advances of the satyr Pan. Just as Pan caught her, Syrinx was transformed into reeds. And Pan was
Window reflecting trees and sky

Birds and Glass - Making Homes Safer

Forty-four percent of bird/window collisions happen with low-rise and residential buildings. Birds just don't understand glass and fly into windows at incredible speed. Biologist Matt Shumar has some easy ways to make your home safer for birds. First, reduce lighting, which attracts birds
Central Park in New York City

Birds and Glass - At the Wild Bird Fund

Rita McMahon started New York City’s only wild bird rehab center in 2005. Today, the Wild Bird Fund has grown to see more than 7,000 birds each year. What’s the biggest problem during migration season? Collisions with glass. And New York City has a lot of glass. But there's hope -- and new
Pigeon on cobblestone street

Pigeons Love Cities - But We Loved Them First

Though some might see them as winged rats in today’s cities, pigeons have a long-standing bond with people -- especially in our urban environment. From Mesopotamia, 7000 years ago, to the urban skyscrapers of today, pigeons have been a constant. They’ve served as meat and sacrifices
White Tern in flight

Charles Darwin and the White Tern

On a stop at the Cocos Islands near Sumatra, the naturalist Charles Darwin described his first encounter with a special little bird. He wrote: “It is a small snow-white tern, which smoothly hovers at the distance of a few feet above one’s head, its large black eye scanning, with quiet
Red Crossbill

When Does a Crossbill's Bill Cross?

A young crossbill starts life with a wedge-shaped beak. As it grows up and starts to feed itself by removing conifer seeds from their tough packaging, the tips of its bill begin to grow rapidly — and then they cross. By the time the bird is a month and a half old, the tips of its bill
Rhea

Rhea Nesting Is Mind-boggling

A typical bird nest will have maybe four to six eggs neatly arranged by the parent to hunker down on. But in one Rhea nest, you may find between 50 and 80 eggs! And they’re not all from the same set of parents. Male Rheas mate with several females and then build a single nest on the ground