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The Lobstick Family of Whooping Cranes

The celebrities of the Whooping Crane world have to be the Lobstick family, named for the Lobstick marshes where they nest in Canada. The Lobstick male, at 33, is the oldest Whooping Crane in the wild whose age we know for certain. And Tom Stehn of the US Fish and Wildlife Service tells us the... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  migration

Probing with Sandpipers

The variety of bill sizes and shapes among the sandpipers is astounding! Many sandpipers have sensitive nerve receptors in their bill tips, so they can find unseen prey through touch, odor, and pressure changes. Those sandpipers with long, straight bills - like this Long-billed Dowitcher - are... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  migration

Surfin' Bird Meets Surfbird

The Surfbird - nothing like the "Surfin' Bird" of 1960s Trashmen fame - makes its home along the Pacific Coast. An oddly constructed sandpiper, the Surfbird forages on rocky jetties along the coast. The bird's winter range ranks among the longest and narrowest of any bird, from Kodiak Island to... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  music

Wood Storks and Climate Change

Wood Storks nest in trees, often in big colonies, and only when conditions are just right for them. Because of their feeding technique, they thrive in the early part of the dry season, when receding floodwaters concentrate fish in small pools. But this method of feeding is effective only when the... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  nesting

Piping Plovers on the Beach - Interview with Patrick Comins

Young Piping Plovers hatch in early summer, in competition for use of the beach. Patrick Comins, Director of Conservation for Audubon Connecticut, says if there were no fences or exclosures, it would be very easy to step on the eggs. "You can hardly see them. We have to put up little cages around... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  nesting

Red Knots and Horseshoe Crabs

The Red Knot returns to the Delaware Bay each May to feed. These sandpipers are on their way to their nesting grounds in the northern Arctic and stop here to refuel - their stopover coincides with the spawning of horseshoe crabs. But beginning in the 1980s, vast numbers of the crabs were... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  migration

Habitat Restoration on the Gulf

The natural habitats of the Gulf Coast are critical to birds migrating between North, Central, and South America. With the BP oil spill, restoring Gulf-coast habitat has taken on new urgency. The Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program is restoring habitat and rejuvenating the maritime... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  migration, science

Stalking the King Rail

John James Audubon called the King Rail the "Elegant Rail." These rails are the largest rails in North America. And they are also one of the most threatened. American Bird Conservancy is working to save the King Rail by conserving freshwater wetlands and ensuring effective pollution laws. Learn... read more »

Pelicans Go Fishing

Unlike Brown Pelicans, which dive from above to capture fish, American White Pelicans often feed by forming a group. They swim in a line, and—while herding a school of fish—dip their heads all at once. The pelican's broad bill spreads its huge pouch, as the bird pushes through the water. As the... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  ecology

Marbled Murrelet - Interview with Martin Raphael

The endangered Marbled Murrelet is a bird of two worlds. Martin Raphael, a biologist with the Pacific Northwest Research Station, explains: "It lives in the marine world. But then it nests on the limbs of large, old trees. Its fate is tied not only to the fate of the trees, but also on marine... read more »

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