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Arctic

Long-tailed Duck: Little Known Duck of Many Secrets!

The Long-tailed Duck is not widely known outside birdwatching circles. But what a wonderful duck it is. Found only locally at certain times of the year, and with an oddly goofy, human-like voice, the otherwise elegant Long-tailed Duck has some interesting departures from "normal" duck biology... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  plumage

Boreal Birds Need Half

The boreal forest of North America provides breeding habitat for billions of birds, such as this Semipalmated Plover. But the forest is under pressure. Many boreal birds are declining  — while development and resource extraction are intensifying. Fortunately, there’s an upside. Conservation... read more »

Follow Island Girl with Bud Anderson

"Peregrine" means "wanderer." And Island Girl, a Peregrine Falcon, has made the 18,000-mile round-trip journey from the high arctic of Canada to southern Chile three times. Bud Anderson of the Falcon Research Group calls her "a master of the air." Using satellite telemetry, he invites people to... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  migration, science

Interview with Gerrit Vyn

Imagine carrying heavy battery-operated equipment - along with all your camping gear - across the tundra. That's what recordist Gerrit Vyn did on assignment for Cornell's Lab of Ornithology. His mission? To record the calls of this Yellow-billed Loon. You can learn more about the lab and about... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  photography, recording

Ptarmigan in Winter

Both the Willow Ptarmigan and these White-tailed Ptarmigan, feathered mostly brown in summer, are utterly transfigured by an autumn molt. As snow begins to mantle their world, both species, now all white, blend in superbly. But the ptarmigan pulls another trick. It adds dense white feathering on... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  plumage

Paul Bannick and the Polar Bears

Passion and strength of character often define those who go to great lengths to photograph birds. Photographer and naturalist Paul Bannick braved the threat of polar bears, when he went to the Arctic to photograph this Snowy Owl and other birds. You can see more of Paul's photos at PaulBannick.com. read more »

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Topics & Themes:  photography

Why Arctic Terns Have Short Beaks

The bill and legs of Arctic Terns are shorter than those of Common Terns. Because Arctic Terns breed in the Arctic and winter in the Antarctic, they are subject to much colder weather than are Common Terns. Birds' bills and legs lose heat, because they're not covered by feathers. Birds in cold... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  science
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