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Peregrines and Pigeon Plumages

Urban Peregrine Falcons rely on Rock Pigeons for much of their diet. But some pigeons appear harder to catch than others. Pigeons with white rumps evade pursuing falcons more often than those with dark rumps. When scientists took dark-rumped pigeons and colored their rumps white, their survival... read more »

Topics & Themes:  plumage

Bird of the Year, From Lyanda Haupt

Many birders play a New Year's game called "Bird of the Year." The first bird you see on January 1st becomes your theme bird for that year—one to bless your perspective, your imagination, your spirit. Author Lyanda Haupt was at first disappointed with her "bird of the year," a European Starling.... read more »

Topics & Themes:  birdwatching, reflection

Crows Recognize Individual Faces

To find out if a crow can recognize an individual human face, Professor John Marzluff of the University of Washington wore a mask while trapping, banding, and then releasing seven American Crows on campus. Later, when he walked through the campus wearing the mask, it was automatic! A big group of... read more »

Topics & Themes:  human interaction, science

Urban Birds Change Their Tune

The soft whistles of this Great Tit, a common European bird, can be hard to hear over city noises. So these birds now sing at a higher pitch and faster than normal. This song carries better over the traffic noise of the city. A bird singing at a higher range is better able to declare its... read more »

Topics & Themes:  science, vocalization

Kids in Nature

Unless kids are introduced purposefully to nature, they may understand the plight of the Amazon rain forest, but never dampen their feet in a local stream. They may never know the names and songs of the birds they see or understand the wonder of migration. Nature camps for children can invigorate... read more »

Topics & Themes:  birdwatching, human interaction

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 »


How Long Does a Robin Live?

If a young American Robin survives its first winter, its chances of survival go up. But robins still don’t live very long. The oldest robins in your yard might be about three years old (although thanks to banding, we know of one bird that lived to be almost 14).Support for BirdNote comes from... read more »

Topics & Themes:  ecology, nesting, science

Airport Wildlife Management

In January 2009, a US Airways flight completely lost power after striking a flock of Canada Geese. The captain was able to guide the crippled plane to an emergency landing in the Hudson River, and all passengers were safe. Protecting planes is a constant challenge. Wildlife biologist Steve Osmek... read more »