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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 Tenijah Hamilton

A Clark's Nutcracker bird perched atop a vertical branch of Whitebark Pine

Clark’s Nutcracker and the Whitebark Pine

Clark’s Nutcracker is a clever corvid that has a special relationship with a tree called the whitebark pine. The tree’s cones don’t open on their own, and Clark’s Nutcracker is one of the few species that can pry them open. When the nutcrackers cache the seeds for the winter, they’ll leave…
Male Red-tailed Hawk, wings extended in flight against a clear blue sky

Spark Bird: Maya Higa and Bean

When Maya Higa started interning at a zoo, she wasn't especially into birds — until she began rehabilitating a Red-tailed Hawk named Bean. Meanwhile, Maya was doing live-streams of herself singing and playing guitar on the website Twitch, just for fun, to a pretty small audience. The video…
The episode artwork for Bring Birds Back: This is Your Brain on Birds

This is Your Brain on Birds

In order for us to show up for birds, we must first show up for ourselves. Our show is all about ways we can help our bird friends, but today we’re looking at how birds and nature can help restore us. Over the past few decades, researchers have found strong links between our connection to…
Episode promotional graphic for Bring Birds Back: "The Birds and the Trees"

The Birds and the Trees

Clark’s Nutcracker and the whitebark pine have a strong mutualistic relationship: the tree is the bird’s best source of food, and the bird is the tree’s most dependable seed disperser. But several factors are putting the tree at risk — and the decline in whitebark pines is making that…
A pair of Acorn Woodpeckers perched on a branch, looking at each other.

Wenfei Tong on Seeing Ourselves in Birds

For biologist and writer Wenfei Tong, the line between people and animals has always felt fuzzy — or maybe feathery, in the case of birds. Wenfei loves to highlight commonalities we share with birds, like how young adult Acorn Woodpeckers sometimes stay with their parents if there aren't…
The episode artwork for Bring Birds Back: The Fascinating World of Bird Behavior

The Fascinating World of Bird Behavior

Since Tenijah Hamilton began birding, a lot of questions have come up about why birds do some of the strange things that they do. Writer and biologist Wenfei Tong joins Tenijah to answer some burning questions about what’s going on with our bird friends – questions about different…
Purple Martins perch at an "apartment" of numbered plastic gourds for them to nest in.

Providing Homes to Purple Martins

In the Southeast, on the lands of the Cherokee, Chickasaw, and Choctaw, Purple Martins nested in dried gourds hung up by Native Americans. This relationship might have developed because Purple Martins defend their turf, says Kelly Applegate, a tribal member and Commissioner of Natural…
The episode artwork for Bring Birds Back: The Streaming Sanctuary

The Streaming Sanctuary

Maya Higa is a 24-year-old streamer, falconer and sole founder of Alveus Sanctuary, a wildlife reserve outside of Austin, TX. What's unusual about Alveus is its digital footprint — it's "a virtual conservation education center facility" primarily found on Twitch where Maya streams to teach…
A Common Raven in profile against a diffuse orange background.

Who’s Afraid of Corvids?

Of all the birds out there, the corvid family — the crows, ravens, and jays — might have the spookiest reputation. But this idea that corvids are spooky is far from universal — it's mainly in the Western world, as corvid researcher Kaeli Swift explains.
A Canada Goose, beak open, stands in profile against a grassy background

The Five Birds You’re Scared Of

Author and bird enthusiast Ashley C. Ford says that it’s good to have a list of at least five birds that you’re scared of — like the six foot tall cassowary — just to keep you honest. “It's very important to humble yourself and to understand where you actually lie on the food chain,” she…