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The Real Story

Birds make their momentous journeys across the continents, navigating by ancient codes and intelligences. The equinoxes proceed to find their balance of day and night. As Rachel Carson wrote: "Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  migration, music, reflection

Autumnal Equinox

Today marks the mid-point between June's longest day and December's shortest day. We may hardly notice, but ancient cultures closely watched the changes in the sun's daily patterns. One legend from the Andes of South America held that only the giant Andean Condor (like the one pictured here),... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  reflection

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

River of Birds - Arctic Tern

One of the world champions of long-distance migration is the Arctic Tern. Arctic Terns nest across the far northern reaches of the continent during our summer, then fly south to Antarctica for the rest of the year. Some will circle the polar ice-pack before heading north again, completing a total... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  migration

The Delirian - Believe it or not

April 1 - High above the clouds caressing the upper reaches of the mountains soars the most majestic bird you are never likely to see or hear: the Semi-Fixed-Wing Silver Delirian. With a wingspan of some four yards, a sleek metallic silver body almost as long as its wingspan, and huge winged feet... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  humor

Anting: Avian Spa Treatment?

On a warm, sunny day, an American Robin flops on the ground, wings outstretched and tail splayed behind. The robin sits astride an anthill, and the ants are swarming over its body! This is called "anting," and probably has to do with transferring the ants' formic acid to the bird's body. This... read more »

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Who Was Anna?

The Anna's Hummingbird is the only hummer that stays in the Northwest and West for the winter. How did this lovely jewel get its name? Anna's Hummingbird was named for Princess Anna de Belle Massena. John James Audubon himself was charmed by her, but it was actually naturalist René Primevère... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  history

Angry Birds

Every day, nearly 3.5 million hours are spent playing Rovio's award-winning game, "Angry Birds." We don't know of too many birds whose eggs are stolen by pigs, but no bird is happy when its eggs are stolen. You might hear an American Robin, sounding its alarm. An angry Peregrine Falcon protects... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  humor

Tony Angell Watches a Peregrine Falcon Fledge

Tony Angell writes: "I was standing opposite a peregrine falcon's cliffside nest ... the female falcon, carrying prey, flew into a stand of madronas overhead. It was early ... and the hungry youngster had yet to be fed. Seeing the meal she had, the nestling responded with wing flapping and... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  reflection

Tony Angell Reflects on Nature

Tony Angell, gazing on Puget Sound, writes: "From the beach below, that evocative perfume of the sea, decaying kelp, is wafted up on the breeze... Near the shore, disputing kingfishers rattle in their mercenary manner, chasing one another... Behind me, in the woods, a Cooper's hawk chants and... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  reflection

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