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Field Notes

Common Raven - The world's largest perching bird

Eric Dinerstein shares these reflections on the Common Ravens that live near Cabin John, Maryland.By October, most of the birds that breed in the East have taken wing to warmer climes — South Carolina, Florida, the Caribbean, Central America, or even the Peruvian Amazon — to pass the winter in... read more »

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BirdNote Trip to Cuba (Oct 19-26)

Cuba was the destination for BirdNote's first international trip in October 2015. I don't think we could've picked a better location. Nor could we have picked a better group of 18 participants.We had a well-balanced itinerary that exposed our group to the arts, food, culture, natural spaces, and... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  birding, birdwatching

Mandarin Ducks - Ducks with Flair

North America's Wood Ducks have nothin' on the Mandarin Ducks of Asia. But they are related.Check out these images of Mandarins!© Karen BlakemanAlthough native to East Asia, Mandarins have such appeal that they've ended up in "waterfowl collections" all across Europe and North America. © Bastien... read more »

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Common Nighthawk

Common Nighthawk... Not a hawk, and not all that common, either!The Common Nighthawk is not, of course, a hawk, but belongs instead to the family Caprimulgidae. This includes Whip-poor-wills, Common Poorwills, Chuck-will’s-widows, and a wide variety of other species, all known as nightjars. They... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  ornithology

Biking Thousands of Miles ... for Birds

11,500That's how many miles Dorian Anderson had biked when I met him on the coast of Washington State in late August. He'd averaged nearly 50 miles a day since he started from his home state of Massachusetts on the morning of January 1. The weather on his first day was freezing with a stiff wind ... read more »

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Catchin' Some Rays

EEKS! What's the matter with that bird, flopped on the ground. Is it sick or injured or something?Well, it's the last week of summer vacation, and most of us want to be outdoors, catching one last bit of sun. These birds are takin' in some rays, too. Yes, American Robins are among the top... read more »

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It's a bird, it's a plane, it's a ... fish?

My wife and I were on a whale-watching boat off Maui in May. I was on the side of the boat, scanning the horizon for birds. It was a pretty quiet day on the water bird-wise, just a White-tailed Tropicbird and Wedge-tailed Shearwater to keep me interested.My wife isn't a birdwatcher but she will... read more »

Duck Stamps: Not Just for Hunters

In the mid-1980s, my mother became one of the first employees of the Seattle Audubon Society. I was about six years old at the time, and I consequently spent the most impressionable years of my childhood around people who loved birds. They loved birds so much that they volunteered their time not... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  birdwatching, environmental champion

Traveling over 1,500 miles to experience "One Square Inch"

A BirdNote listener in Texas heard the story about Gordon Hempton’s One Square Inch of Silence, located in the Hoh Rain Forest in Olympic National Park. Known as the quietest place in the United States, the site is emblematic of the need to protect natural wilderness areas from human noise. She... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  reflection

Peregrine Falcon - Eating On the Wing

Gregg Thompson was recently out photographing shorebirds in Washington State and caught sight of an unusual behavior. "A juvenile Peregrine Falcon came out of the sun behind our backs with some type of shorebird in its talons. We were excited to see this action but mad that we'd missed... read more »

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