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 Sam Johnson

An illustration of a Puerto Rican Parrot with the text "The Puerto Rican Parrot Comeback"

The Puerto Rican Parrot Comeback

In the season premiere, we travel to Puerto Rico to meet a bird that has survived deforestation, hurricanes and the exotic pet trade. The Puerto Rican parrot saw its numbers drop to almost zero at one point. But today, its population is growing and stabilizing. To achieve this, the people…
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…
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…
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…
Episode promotional graphic for Bring Birds Back: "Spooky Birds" featuring the podcast artwork and headshot of guest, Kaeli Swift

Spooky Birds That Squawk in the Dark

For Halloween, corvid researcher Kaeli Swift joins Tenijah for a show-and-tell of spooky birds. Corvids, vultures, and owls all have reputations as ominous and foreboding — and today, we’re digging into those ideas. Kaeli unpacks why the birds are seen as scary, shares cool facts beyond…
Episode promotional graphic for Bring Birds Back: "Birding On The Hill" featuring the podcast artwork and headshot of guest, Tykee James

Birding on the Hill

So many of the challenges facing birds are systemic, bigger than what any one person can fix — so how do we get governments to step in and do something? Tykee James, a Sr. Government Relations Representative for The Wilderness Society, has approached this issue in a creative way: by…
The episode artwork for Threatened: "Hope for the ‘Ua‘u"

Hope for the ‘Ua‘u

We end our season with a little seabird that’s making a comeback. The Hawaiian Petrel, or ‘Ua’u, was once written off as going or gone from the islands. But after recent discoveries of remnant colonies, we see how some human intervention with the right tools can make a huge difference for…
The Threatened episode artwork for "Saving the ʻAlalā"

Saving the ʻAlalā

Hawai‘i has its own species of crow, the clever and charismatic ʻAlalā. But the species hasn’t been able to survive in its shrinking native habitat. The only reason the ʻAlalā still exists is because of captive breeding programs. Reintroducing them to the wild is fraught with challenges…
The episode illustrative graphic for Threatened: Rewriting the Story of Extinction

Rewriting the Story of Extinction

In 1823, a young princess was presented with an incredible gift, and a choice: protect the Native Hawaiian way of life, or embrace the teachings of newcomers. Today, the gift resides in a museum, and its story tells of tragedy and hope, the duality of life, and maybe a different…