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 Ariana Remmel

A dark brown bird with wings outstretched as its long slender legs just touch the surface of the water

Seabirds in the Desert

The White-vented Storm-Petrel is a small black and white seabird found off the coasts of Chile and Peru. Storm-petrels spend their entire lives at sea, except when nesting. Scientists had long been mystified about just where this species nests. A search lasting eight years led them to a…
A Ruby-throated Hummingbird hovers mid-air against a black background. Its wings are a colorful blur.

Putting the Hum in Hummingbird

To figure out the source of a hummingbird’s hum, scientists built a special rig to measure air pressure, twelve high-speed cameras, and over 2000 microphones to observe hummingbirds fluttering in place at an artificial flower. The researchers found that the hum derives from the difference…
A bird clings to the bark of a tree while holding an insect in its beak.

Nuthatches Sweeping the Nest

White-breasted Nuthatches aren’t the toughest birds on the block — but when it comes to their nests, they know how to put up defenses. Squirrels could easily duck inside a nest cavity and gobble up the eggs. That’s why you might see nuthatches sweeping around their nest hole with a beetle…
A bright yellow bird with black eyes and short sharp black beak sits on a narrow branch with new leaves showing.

Warbler Migration in Ohio with Kenn Kaufman

Every spring in Northwest Ohio, the shores of Lake Erie transform into a birder’s paradise. Birder and author Kenn Kaufman, who lives in this area, says that of the many species that migrate through here, one group of vibrant, vivacious songbirds stands out from the rest: warblers. Trees…
A Pileated Woodpecker sits on a branch of poison ivy, and its open beak is near some berries on the branch.

Birds Can Eat Toxic Berries

Many bird species can eat the fruits of plants that are toxic to humans —even the white berries found on poison ivy. These birds just aren’t sensitive to the compounds in the berries that are irritating or poisonous to people. While you probably want to stay away from poison ivy, you can…
Female American Redstart bird is leaning forward while on a stout branch, holding her tail up high. She displays her light brown back with darker brown wing, lemon yellow on breast, and her tail has both yellow and dark brown on the feathers.

Including Female Birds in Conservation Plans

For many species of birds, scientists know more about the males than the females. And that’s a problem when making a conservation plan for a species that maps out which habitats to protect. Joanna Wu, a PhD student at UCLA, says that in some species of warblers, males and females live in…
 An Ornate Hawk-Eagle, its head and neck are handsomely patterned in black, white and rust below a tall black crest. It has vivid gold eyes.

At the Escarpment

Long, upward slopes called escarpments offer a good chance of seeing some of the many raptor species found in Belize. Shaped like a compact Red-tailed Hawk, White Hawks are white overall with black markings and scan the landscape for reptile prey. Bat Falcons have a darkly barred chest and…
A bird floats on calm water and looks to its left, showing a long narrow beak, a black head with red orange feathers on the sides and a black crest atop its head.

The Women Who Fought the Feather Fad

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the human fascination with bird feathers went a little too far. Women’s hats and dresses featured extravagant feathers from birds both near and far. The trade in feathers drove several species, from the Little Egret to the Great Crested Grebe, to…
A small brown bird with gray and orange on its face sits on a branch.

Truffle-Hunting Birds

With their excellent sense of smell, pigs are renowned for sniffing out truffles, a fungus that grows underground and is prized for its taste. But it turns out that some bird species can also find their way to a truffle treat. Researchers working in the Patagonia region of Chile had…
A Fairy Prion flies close above the surface of sunlit blue water

Prions Filter-Feed Like Whales

Birds called prions have an especially creative approach to getting their food. They pass seawater through their mouths and filter it to catch tiny animals such as krill and other small crustaceans. It’s similar to how baleen whales feed, leading to the prion’s nickname: the whale-bird…