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With its awe-inspiring vistas and eons of geologic time on display, the Grand Canyon also offers a unique habitat for birds. What you're likely to see first is this Bronzed Cowbird, strutting on the lawn of a lodge or restaurant. Common Ravens call and squabble. If you're lucky, you may spot the largest of all North American birds, a California Condor!
Bird Life at the Grand Canyon
Written by Frances Wood
This is BirdNote!
[Music from Aaron Copland throughout]
With its awe-inspiring vistas and eons of geologic time on display, the Grand Canyon also offers a unique habitat for birds, some very rare.
What you’re likely to see first are Bronzed Cowbirds, dark, long-tailed birds strutting on the lawns of lodges and restaurants.
[Vocalizations of Bronzed Cowbird]
Common Ravens call and squabble from the branches of scraggly pines.
[Calls of Ravens]
Gazing out across the bright canyon wall, you notice dark shapes floating on the updrafts. Those large birds holding their wings in a broad “V” are Turkey Vultures.
Suddenly a large shadow floats across the landscape and you squint up into the sun. For a breathtaking moment, wings nine feet across float above the canyon rim. The bird banks to show whitish undersides, then drops away out of sight.
The largest of all North American birds, a California Condor, has dipped his wings to you!
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I’m Mary McCann.
[Go out with Aaron Copland music]
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Bird sounds provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Bronzed Cowbird recorded by G.A. Keller; Common Raven by Gerrit Vyn.
Musical selection from Aaron Copland’s “Suite from the Ballet Billy The Kid: Introduction the Open Prairie” from Copland: Fanfare For the Common Man, performed byThe Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, 2009 Royal Philharmonic Master Works.
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Chris Peterson
© 2014 Tune In to Nature.org August 2016/2019/2021 Narrator: Mary McCann