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Whip-poor-will

In September, 1851, Henry David Thoreau wrote: "The Whip-poor-wills now begin to sing in earnest about half an hour before sunrise, as if making haste to improve the short time that is left them. As far as my observation goes, they sing for several hours in the early part of the night . . . then... read more »

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Great Horned Owl Duet

The 22-inch Great Horned Owl has two tufts of feathers that stick up from the top of its head. This owl is difficult to see, but it's often heard during dark winter evenings and pre-dawn mornings. A pair of owls may call back and forth or overlap their hoots. The male's call is slightly lower in... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  vocalization

Douglas Squirrel

The Douglas squirrel is a pint-sized, chestnut-red native resident of forests west of the Cascade rim. They waste no time in telling you - and other squirrels - you're in their territory, particularly if you're near their central larder of conifer cones. They're named for Scottish explorer and... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  vocalization

Raven and the Sun, A Myth

Raven, in Northwestern Coastal mythology, is the Trickster, the agent of mischief and games. Raven was covetous of the sun but couldn't figure out how to steal it. He finally found a way and when you hear him call, he's still laughing about how clever he was. This photo courtesy of John Fletcher... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  myth

Ecuador's Nature Reserves

Ecuador is home to 1,600 species of birds — twice the number in all of North America. Artist and naturalist Paul Greenfield, a long-time resident of Ecuador, has helped create conservation reserves, large and small. He feels that smaller reserves may have the best chance for long-term success.... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  environmental champion

Chickadees on a Cold Night - Interview with Susan Sharbaugh

The Black-capped Chickadees of Fairbanks, Alaska, endure nights as cold as 40 degrees below zero. Dr. Susan Sharbaugh, a scientist at the Institute of Arctic Biology at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, has studied them. She says that each chickadee wedges itself into a tiny cavity. Then the... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  science

Clark's Nutcracker - Nature's Arborist

High in the mountains, a Clark's Nutcracker buries a cache of whitebark pine seeds. This will be nearly its sole source of food until the next summer. But some of those cached seeds will germinate, spawning a small grove of pines. Whitebark pines are one of more than 20 species of pines worldwide... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  gardening

Sounds of the Boreal Forest

The boreal forest is a vast band of spruce and poplar, extending from coast to coast across Alaska and Canada. Called North America's "songbird bread-basket," for a brief time, it teems with song. Birdsongs heard on this show include a Common Loon (like this one), Swainson's Thrush, White... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  nesting, vocalization

Band-tail, Pigeon of the Woods

Band-tailed Pigeons are found mostly in low-altitude forests. Though about the size of city pigeons, they can be shy and sometimes hard to see. Strictly a bird of the western states, the Band-tailed Pigeon is decreasing in numbers. This is probably because the forests that the pigeons depend on... read more »

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Chickadees in Winter

How do Black-capped Chickadees manage to survive the rigors of winter at high latitudes? For survival, chickadees have three things going for them: they're insulated, they're active, and they have a good memory. Thanks to a half-inch coat of feathers, the Black-capped Chickadee maintains its body... read more »

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