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Midwest

New Sam Peabody

In late winter, White-throated Sparrows erupt into song, easily set to human words: “Old Sam Peabody, Peabody, Peabody.” Or “Oh, sweet Canada, Canada, Canada.” But something changed since those classic memory aids were coined. Sixty years later, the bird sings a simpler, shorter song. Bird song,... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  vocalization

Solon Towne and the Meadowlarks

Over a century ago, a Nebraska man — an audiologist by training — named Solon Towne “collected” the songs of meadowlarks. According to his daughters, he’d saunter about their farm, listening carefully. Then he’d hurry back to his desk to transcribe the birds’ songs into musical notes. To help him... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  vocalization

Men Who Stay

BirdNote writer Todd Peterson reflects on his friend, a hunter, from Nebraska. Todd’s friend, who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, has lost the urge to hunt. He sits in the duck blind, but he does not shoot . . . read more »

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Topics & Themes:  human interaction, reflection

The Most Gorgeous Bird in North America

“Do you hear that bird singing high in the tree?” I asked my wife. “The one that sounds like a robin with a sore throat?” By May, after the oaks have leafed out in the deep forests of the East, the best way to spot the most gorgeous bird in North America is to listen for it. Once I located the... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  birding

Sharp-tailed Grouse on a Lek

During spring at Lostwood National Wildlife Refuge in North Dakota, male Sharp-tailed Grouse  - like the one pictured here - perform their elaborate mating dances on a matted patch of ground called a lek. They stomp their feet, extend their wings, and zip around the lek. Then, in an instant,... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  breeding display, science

Sprague's Pipit - The Missouri Skylark

In Rare & Elusive Birds of North America, naturalist William Burt writes about Sprague's Pipit, also known as the Missouri Skylark. "Upward he goes, in bounding spirals: two, three, four, even five-hundred feet above the plain it is supposed; then he weaves about slowly, easily, as if... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  breeding display, reflection, sound

Mississippi Flyway Stand-out Species: Kirtland's Warbler

Pacific Flyway:Calliope HummingbirdCentral Flyway:Whooping CraneMississippi Flyway:Kirtland's WarblerAtlantic Flyway:Wood ThrushOver the last three weeks, BirdNote has highlighted special birds in each of the North American flyways: Wood Thrush in the Atlantic, Whooping Crane in the Central, and... read more »

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16-Year-Old Aaron Gyllenhaal Sets New Birding Record

Aaron Gyllenhaal is only 16 years old, but he can identify more than 1,000 species of birds! In October 2013, Aaron set a new record, having observed more than 276 species in a single year in Cook County, Illinois. Such an accomplishment requires perseverance. Finding a Lapland Longspur, like... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  birding

Central Flyway Stand-out Species: Whooping Crane

Pacific Flyway:Stay tuned!Central Flyway:Whooping CraneMississippi Flyway:Stay tuned!Atlantic Flyway:Wood ThrushEvery Tuesday during the month of December, BirdNote is highlighting beloved birds and places in each of the four North American flyways – the Atlantic, Mississippi, Central and Pacific... read more »

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Northern Forest Owls - Coming South this Winter?

Of all the surprises that winter might bring, among the most wonderful would be a grand influx of northern forest owls like this Boreal Owl. Every few years, a surprising number of owls move south from the boreal forest of Canada and Alaska into the northern tier of the United States, especially... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  ecology

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