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BirdNote at 10

10 years of stories about birds and nature!
© BirdNote View Large

To celebrate BirdNote's 10-year anniversary, we asked BirdNote founder Chris Peterson how she came up with the idea for the show. The StarDate public radio program provided inspiration. “I had this idea grab me around the neck,” Chris recalls. “Why don’t we do for birds what StarDate does for stars?” She gathered a team, and the first BirdNote broadcast, “Bald Eagle – National Symbol,” aired on KPLU (now KNKX) 88.5 FM Seattle/Tacoma on February 21, 2005. Since then, more than 1200 shows have aired. We thank stations and listeners for all their support along the way.

Full Transcript


BirdNote at 10
An interview with Chris Peterson

This is BirdNote's tenth anniversary show. 

We asked BirdNote founder Chris Peterson how she first came up with the idea for the show.

     One day I was traveling over the mountains from western to eastern Washington
… [Music - I'll take you for a ride in my big green tractor…}

     …and there used to be a program on the airwaves here - well there still is - called StarDate. Little vignettes about the stars. And I just had this idea grab me round the neck.  Why don't we do for birds what StarDate does for stars?
[Our universe probably holds a hundred billion galaxies…}

     It turned out that when we got to where we were traveling, it was a holiday gathering, I started asking anybody, you know, 'If you could hear a story on the radio about birds, what are the elements that it would include? You know, what would it have to capture your interest?'   

              'Well I would want to hear song' [Song sparrow 191231]

I would want to hear a little bit about the history…' ['Born in England in October 1789 Swainson…]

               'I'd like to hear some success stories.'
[But a third pair did succeed in hatching a single male chick…']

               'When I step outside my door I want to be able to go out and say "Oh, that's what that is."'  
[Song Sparrow]

     So the original idea came from…out of the blue. But thinking about following a model like that and creating these stories for the birds.
 [Song Sparrow]


Bird sounds provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Song Sparrow song [191231] recorded by W L Hershberger
Extract from 'StarDate' used by permission of The University of Texas McDonald Observatory:
Ambient car audio recorded by Dominic Black
BirdNote's theme music was composed and played by Nancy Rumbel and John Kessler.
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Dominic Black
© 2015 Tune In to    February 2015   Narrator: Michael Stein
ID#   petersonc-01-2015-02-21

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