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Pacific Northwest

Triple-duty Garden - with Joanna Buehler

What can one person do when large-scale human development replaces nearby natural habitat? Seattle-area lakeside resident Joanna Buehler spoke out for clean water and the needs of wildlife. As she watched parking lots and buildings replace wetlands and woods, she created a rain garden where storm... read more »

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Learning to Band Birds - Puget Sound Bird Observatory

Picture yourself holding a tiny, Black-capped Chickadee like this one. Or a big, blue Steller’s Jay! Volunteer Mark Purcell did just that while learning to net and band birds with the Puget Sound Bird Observatory. “It’s thrilling to see a bird that close,” he says. “You have complete control over... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  citizen science, ecology, science

Creative Landscaping Captures Run-off

Joanna Buehler moved into her home on Lake Sammamish east of Seattle in 1987. The entire subdivision had been scraped clean and not a single tree or bush existed. She put in minimal landscaping at first – mainly grass seed and a few trees - and later added western red-cedar, coastal redwood, Doug... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  environmental champion, gardening

The Year of Listening Carefully, With Kurt Hoelting

Writer Kurt Hoelting spent a year not driving his car, or riding in a jet, to reduce his use of fossil fuels. During his adventure in local living, he made an important discovery: “I noticed, maybe six weeks into the year, that I could really begin to feel the pace of my own body slowing down –... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  environmental champion

Citizen Scientists Monitor Pigeon Guillemots

Govinda Rosling, co-coordinator of the Pigeon Guillemot Research Group, is one of 60 volunteer citizen scientists who dedicate their time during the summer months to survey birds at 25 breeding colonies. The guillemots are an indicator species -- their health really echoes the overall health of... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  citizen science, science

Studying Pigeon Guillemots as a Citizen Scientist

What’s it like to be a citizen scientist studying Pigeon Guillemots? It’s fun!It’s early on a calm, July morning. I’m with Govinda Rosling, co-coordinator of the Pigeon Guillemot Research Group on Washington’s Whidbey Island. We’re surveying Pigeon Guillemots in the colony at the feeder bluffs at... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  citizen science

Fake Marbled Murrelet Eggs Cause Jays to Vomit

Because the Marbled Murrelet lays only one egg, its odds of raising a family are slim. Steller's Jays – as they frequent campgrounds in the redwood forests of northern California, looking for human handouts – further threaten murrelet reproduction by eating their eggs. Fortunately, scientists... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  ecology, nesting

Gordon Hempton's One Square Inch of Silence

One Square Inch of Silence, located in the Hoh Rain Forest of Olympic National Park in Washington State, is the quietest place in the Lower 48. This location is not truly silent—as the stream and calling birds in the recording below can attest—but it is free of anthropogenic, or human-generated,... read more »

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Exploring a Quiet Planet with Gordon Hempton

Emmy-winning acoustic ecologist Gordon Hempton has circled the globe in pursuit of the most pristine sounds in nature. Now, thanks to our partnership with Gordon and Quiet Planet, his online library, you can hear his recordings in selected BirdNote shows.“Gordon’s recordings give us a rare... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  recording, sound

Palouse Country

The Palouse country in southeastern Washington features rolling hills, fertile soils, and grassland birds like this Western Meadowlark, which nests in native vegetation between wheat fields. Horned Larks are less choosy, nesting in the wheat fields and fledging their broods before harvest time.... read more »

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