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ecology

Woodpeckers Carve Out Roost Cavities, Too

In spring, we often hear woodpeckers hard at work, carving out nest holes in tree trunks. And now that fall has arrived, we may hear that excavating sound again. Some woodpecker species stay year round in the region where they nest, while others migrate south in winter. Those that remain, like... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  ecology, nesting

Evolution of European Blackcaps - Featuring Mike Webster

Nature is evolving constantly. Dr. Mike Webster of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology describes an example of rapid evolution and adaptation from the world of birds. He says the European Blackcap, a species of warbler, used to breed in Germany during the summer and migrate to Spain in the winter. But... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  ecology, human interaction, migration

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

Shelterbelts and Their Birds

Many species of birds nest in shelterbelts — also known as windbreaks — parallel rows of trees and shrubs planted to shelter houses, farms, and livestock from strong winds and drifting snow. Because shelterbelts often provide more food and lack the predators found in woodlands, they are great... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  ecology, nesting

Hawaiian Petrels Atop Haleakala

As the sun sets off Maui, a pair of Hawaiian Petrels calls. Crow-sized seabirds with long, slender wings, the petrels sit at the mouth of their nest burrow, dug high in the rim of Haleakala volcano. To feed their young, adult petrels glide low over the dark ocean, snatching squid from the surface... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  ecology, nesting

Cuckoos - Tent Caterpillar Birds

One of two species of cuckoos in North America, the Yellow-billed Cuckoo, pictured here, lives in broadleaf forests throughout the East and riparian stands in the Southwest. They were common breeding birds in the Pacific Northwest as late as the 1920s, but then they disappeared. The Black-billed... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  ecology

Converting Pastures to Forest in Hawai'i

BirdNote producer John Kessler writes about spending a day in the Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge with Jack Jeffrey. For more than 25 years, Jack was the senior field biologist there and has overseen the restoration of thousands of acres of natural forest vital to the endemic birds of the... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  ecology

Hakalau Forest National Refuge - With Jack Jeffrey

Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge was created in 1985 to protect endangered birds and their rainforest habitat. Only about 25% of old-growth forests remain on the Big Island of Hawaii, and people like Jack Jeffrey have been working to protect and restore them. 60-70% of the plants in Hawaii... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  ecology, environmental champion

Alexa Freeman and the Birds of Papua New Guinea

Tropical biologists Alexandra and Ben Freeman are in Papua New Guinea, documenting the effects of a warming climate on birds that live on the slopes of a remote mountain. Birds like this King of Saxony Bird of Paradise. Often, their research puts them in touch with unexpected beauty, especially... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  ecology, ornithology, science

Wildfire Benefits Many Bird Species

Wildfire Benefits Many Bird SpeciesFire season is in full swing, and some of the mega-blazes have proven nearly unstoppable. Audubon reporter Nick Neely looks at what happens after the flames die down and wildlife returns to burnt areas.In 1969 the Ad Council produced a Smokey the Bear campaign... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  ecology

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