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Spring

Early Spring Songs (Washington State)

In March, we welcome the lengthening days and the renewal of bird song. Among the earliest spring singers in the Northwest is this House Finch, whose sweet, jumbled song carries along city blocks and rocky canyons. And spring songs are breaking out all over the country. Listen to the song of the... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  migration, vocalization

Cranes Bring Economic Benefit to the Platte

Every March, Sandhill Cranes return to the Platte River in Nebraska, on their way to nesting grounds in coastal Alaska, northern Canada, and Siberia. Birdwatchers come from all over and contribute mightily to the state's economy - as much as $30 million per year. In addition to being of intrinsic... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  festival

Rufous Hummingbirds Are on the Way

It's March, and - following a winter sojourn in Mexico - thousands of fiery-orange male Rufous Hummingbirds are migrating northward, ahead of the females. Many pass through California on their way to breeding sites in the Northwest. To learn more about how to attract hummingbirds to your yard --... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  migration

Sage Sparrows Return

A chill wind ruffles the feathers of a male Sagebrush Sparrow (formerly known as the Sage Sparrow), as he sings atop a tall sagebrush. It is late February, a few miles from the Columbia River in Central Washington. Sagebrush Sparrows are arriving north from wintering in the Southwestern deserts.... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  migration

The Ruby-crowned Kinglet Tunes Up

The Ruby-crowned Kinglet is one of the smallest songbirds on the continent, weighing in at just a little more than half a chickadee. Mostly green and hard to spot, it hovers in mid-air as it catches tiny insects. In early spring, the kinglet's rollicking song echoes from the forest edge in the... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  vocalization

Birds Dress for Spring

It's spring! And for many birds, a time to look their best to attract a new mate. This American Goldfinch has recently molted. Its old, worn-down feathers have fallen out, and new ones have grown in. When goldfinches molt in the fall, they lose these brightly colored feathers. Their winter... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  plumage

Migration: Following the Stars

Studies have shown that many songbirds use stars to help guide them, and will fly the wrong way when they are disoriented. Imagine flying thousands of miles without map or compass, in the dark of night. Throughout April, songbirds are traveling north on their annual spring migration. Visit your... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  migration, music

Leavenworth Spring Bird Fest 2010

In spring, Washington State bubbles with bird song. And you can see a lot of birds at the Leavenworth Spring Bird Fest in May. (Check the website for dates.) Join bird experts to explore the diverse natural habitats of north-central Washington and the more than 150 bird species regularly found... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  festival

High Island - Migration on the Gulf

If you're near High Island, Texas in the spring, you might witness a "fallout," one of the great spectacles of bird migration. Thousands of birds, including Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, orioles, Painted Buntings, and warblers of all kinds, as well as tanagers and Indigo Buntings, like this one, drop... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  migration

Dawn Song, Spring Equinox

As the first rays of sunlight fill the trees on a spring morning, a symphony of birdsong erupts. As early morning light extinguishes the stars, male birds begin to belt out their songs. One of the magical gifts of observing birds is to hear the dawn song in spring. Early in the morning, warblers,... read more »

RELATED
Topics & Themes:  reflection, vocalization

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