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Adventure in the Galapagos

Follow the path of Darwin on a complete natural history exploration of the famed Galápagos Islands, July 6-15, 2018.By any measure, the Galápagos Islands are one of the world’s most exciting travel destinations. The sheer abundance of wildlife, the amazing volcanic setting, and the historical... read more »

Hummingbird Bills and Heliconia Flowers

These Purple-throated Caribs live on many of the Antillean Islands in the Caribbean. The female’s bill is long and deeply curved. The male’s is shorter and straighter. And this one species of bird has a specialized relationship with two different species of flowering Heliconia plants. When... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  ecology, evolution, science

The Loudmouth Kingfisher

What is the loudest bird on Earth? An irritated male Belted Kingfisher is a good candidate, especially if you are next to a perched bird uttering his piercing scream-rattle. There’s a good evolutionary explanation for being such a loudmouth: announcing to your competitors that this is your turf,... read more »

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Millerbirds Thrive on Laysan Island

“There’s no place in the world that’s had more bird extinctions since human settlement than the Hawaiian Islands,” says Dr. George Wallace of American Bird Conservancy. Of the 42 native bird species that remain, nearly three-quarters are endangered. But there is hope: Thanks to habitat... read more »

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Hawaiian Petrels Atop Haleakala

As the sun sets off Maui, a pair of Hawaiian Petrels calls. Crow-sized seabirds with long, slender wings, the petrels sit at the mouth of their nest burrow, dug high in the rim of Haleakala volcano. To feed their young, adult petrels glide low over the dark ocean, snatching squid from the surface... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  ecology, nesting

Converting Pastures to Forest in Hawai'i

BirdNote producer John Kessler writes about spending a day in the Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge with Jack Jeffrey. For more than 25 years, Jack was the senior field biologist there and has overseen the restoration of thousands of acres of natural forest vital to the endemic birds of the... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  ecology

Hakalau Forest National Refuge - With Jack Jeffrey

Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge was created in 1985 to protect endangered birds and their rainforest habitat. Only about 25% of old-growth forests remain on the Big Island of Hawaii, and people like Jack Jeffrey have been working to protect and restore them. 60-70% of the plants in Hawaii... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  ecology, environmental champion

Laysan Albatrosses Nest at Midway Atoll

Midway Atoll is the winter home of nearly a million nesting albatrosses. Laysan Albatrosses return to Midway in November to breed. Roughly 450,000 pairs wedge their way into a scant 2½ square miles of land surface. And why do Laysans nest in winter? Well, the big birds forage mostly at night, so... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  breeding display, nesting, vocalization

Attu and Its Island-hopping Rock Ptarmigan

Attu, at the western end of Alaska’s Aleutian chain, is home to the Rock Ptarmigan. Although grouse are not long-distance fliers, Rock Ptarmigans can cross open water, so they occur from one end of the Aleutians to the other. They are supremely adapted for high latitudes, with thick feathers,... read more »

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