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Field Notes

Fighting Western Sandpipers

On the Washington Coast early one May, photographer Gregg Thompson witnessed a couple of Western Sandpipers fighting, well away from their Arctic breeding grounds. Western Sandpipers are aggressively territorial, more so than any of the dozen species of related shorebirds that also breed in... read more »

Anna's Hummingbird Family

This delightful Anna's Hummingbird family was photographed by Gregg Thompson. In three weeks, the hatchlings grew to fledglings under the watchful and tireless eye of their mother.The chicks are snug in a tiny, marvelous nest made of bits of leaves, twigs, lichen, bound together and anchored in... read more »

Next Generation 2018 - A Summary

BirdNote: Next Generation 2017-2018Program Summary and Content LinksThe goal of the Next Generation grant program is to promote the adoption of BirdNote resources by educators and to develop new BirdNote content with media producers locally, regionally, and nationally, in order to reach a younger... read more »

Belted Kingfisher Catches a Tidepool Sculpin

Photographer Gregg Thompson shares these photos of a Belted Kingfisher at the Edmonds Marina in Washington State. Having caught a tidepool sculpin, the kingfisher shows its nimble moves for getting this meal down the hatch!Note the nictitating membrane covering the Belted Kingfisher's eye in this... read more »

Topics & Themes:  photography

Birds and Nature in Poetry

BirdNote is thrilled to feature poets who write about our feathered friends. Assistant producer Mark Bramhill spoke with Traci Brimhall and Sidney Wade about their work and their love of birds. Check out these new BirdNote stories — and meet the poets who inspired them.BlueWhile birding in... read more »

Topics & Themes:  reflection

Green Heron Gulp

Gregg Thompson captured a series of images of this Green Heron fishing in an urban marsh. The Green Heron is widely distributed in wetlands throughout North America--primarily the eastern half of the United States and the Pacific Coast--as well as Central America and the Caribbean. Most... read more »

Topics & Themes:  photography

A Great Blue Heron Goes Fishing

Photographer Gregg Thompson captured a quick succession of images of a Great Blue Heron striking - and then swallowing - an unlucky fish. Herons have modified vertebrae, which allow them to hold their necks in an "S" shape and recoil quickly to capture fast-moving prey. Besides fish, a Great Blue... read more »

Topics & Themes:  photography

Great Blue Heron Catches a FROG!

Mike Hamilton captured a sequence of images of a Great Blue Heron catching and eating - GULP - a large bullfrog! Herons stalk a wide variety of prey, from fish and insects to small mammals, reptiles, amphibians - and even birds. ###Listen to BirdNote shows about Great Blue HeronsThe Heron... read more »

Topics & Themes:  photography

Gyrfalcon in Flight

Gyrfalcons - the largest falcons in the world - are amazingly powerful hunters. Body design and muscle allow these athletic birds to soar, stall and stoop with speeds up to 130 mph. They dine mostly on birds but will grab mammals for a meal - squirrels, lemmings, even a rabbit. On a lucky day,... read more »

Topics & Themes:  photography

Palm Cockatoos - Different Drummers

Male Palm Cockatoos keep the beat during courtship, creating tools to make music! Researchers with the Robert Heinsohn lab at the Australian National University documented that the wild "Palmies" in the population on Cape York Peninsula in far north Queensland engage in the unique behavior of... read more »

Topics & Themes:  breeding display