Shows With Contributions by Ariana Remmel

A male Phainopepla glistens in the sunlight, its black plumage including a crest atop its head, and red eye, striking against a clear neutral background.

Phainopeplas Glisten

A slim, sleek bird with a spiky crest, Phainopepla comes from the Greek for “shining cloak.” The name refers to the male’s glistening, inky black feathers, which are set off by piercing red eyes. And if the Greek name isn’t helping you picture it, a common nickname might: the goth cardinal…
Peregrine Falcon looking toward the camera over its left shoulder.

Rock Climbing Among the Peregrines

Eagle Cliff in New Hampshire’s Franconia Notch State Park is an important nesting site for Peregrine Falcons. Each year, popular climbing routes in the area close temporarily to give nesting falcons their space. After peregrines disappeared from the northeast due to the pesticide DDT…
A Blue Jay perched amidst leafy greenery and dappled light. The bird is looking up and to its left in a contemplative pose.

BirdNoir - That Raptor’s an Impostor!

In this episode of BirdNoir, the Private Eye gets a call from his friend Frank, his eyes and ears in the neighborhood. He’s hearing a Red-shouldered Hawk call, but there’s no hawk in sight. Going through the lineup of usual suspects found in backyards, they examine the surprising talent…
A Thick-billed Longspur sits on a strand of barbed wire. The bird looks to its left, and displays a black throat, speckled belly, white eyebrow, and brown patterned wings.

Thick-billed Longspur

It can feel like there’s nowhere to hide in the shortgrass prairie. But the Thick-billed Longspur calls this place home. The bird’s burbling song helps create the high plains’ soundscape. The species was formerly named McCown’s Longspur after a Confederate general who participated in…
A small flock of Cherry-headed Conures eating birdseed from the cupped hands of a person wearing a dark blue jacket.

The Wild Parrots of San Francisco

Flocks of Cherry-headed Conures, a species native to South America, are now found throughout San Francisco. While a local legend claims that a pet shop owner introduced them by burning the shop down, it’s more likely that that a few of these loud-mouths exasperated their owners until they…
Illustration of a giant eagle attacking Moa birds in New Zealand

An Enormous Eagle Evolves

Evolution on islands can produce unusually large species. Haast’s Eagle lived on the islands now known as New Zealand. With a wingspan of 9 feet and weighing up to 30 pounds, the eagle hunted the moa — a flightless bird that stood over ten feet tall. The eagles probably vanished not long…
American Robin feeding its three open-beaked nestlings with a green caterpillar.

Planting Oaks for Birds

Oak trees are an important resource for birds finding insects to feed their young. It takes thousands of caterpillars from an oak tree to raise a single nest of baby birds. By planting an oak species native to your area, you can help ensure that birds are able to raise their young…
A female Baltimore Oriole looks to her right while facing the camera, showing her bright yellow/orange breast and sharp beak.

Adopt a Tree to Save the Birds

Many birds depend on caterpillars often found on trees lining city sidewalks. But few insects spend their whole lives on the tree: the next stage is in the leaves and soil under the tree. In cities, that habitat is often compacted and leafless. By adopting a tree and creating a “soft…
A Masked Lapwing parent shelters its small chicks against/beneath its chest

Listening From Inside the Egg

Shorebird chicks hatch into a dangerous world, so they need to be vigilant from the start. Researchers in Australia noticed that some shorebird chicks began chirping in their final days in the egg. The chirps fell silent when the researchers played recordings of a Little Raven, which hunts…
Rose-breasted Grosbeak showing its black head and back, with white breast topped with red patch. The bird is eating small red berries off a fruiting branch.

Beautiful and Beneficial Gardening for Birds

Buying enough birdseed to keep all your backyard birds satisfied can run up a big bill. Homegrown National Park® co-founder Douglas Tallamy says that growing native plants in your garden can provide a balanced diet for birds. While there’s a misconception that native plants lead to a messy…