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Field Notes

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

Next Generation

Environmental Education ProgrammingBirdNote Next Generation awards grants to environmental education programs to incorporate BirdNote media into their curricula. BirdNote also contracts with media producers to create new media about, by, and for young listeners.The 2019 environmental education... read more »

Horned Grebe Catches a Bay Pipefish

Photographer Gregg Thompson watched a Horned Grebe catch — and eat — a bay pipefish at the Edmonds Marina on Puget Sound in Washington State.Wondering how this bird got the descriptor "Horned"? Check out its breeding plumage!Gregg writes: "Bay pipefish are family relatives of seahorses. The males... read more »

Topics & Themes:  photography

The Amazing Whiskered Treeswift

The Whiskered Treeswift is the smallest of four species of treeswifts. Treeswifts are closely related to swifts, but unlike the latter, treeswifts are able to perch. And that perching makes for the ultimate camouflage of a treeswift's nest. Photographer Con Foley spotted these birds in the Panti... read more »