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Hollywood

Amazing Pied-billed Grebe

The small, nondescript Pied-billed Grebe has an astonishing talent. The grebe is the master of its own buoyancy. It can squeeze out both the air trapped in its feathers and in its internal air-sacs and sink effortlessly. Learn more about the amazing, sinking Pied-billed Grebe at Cornell's... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  Hollywood

Bird Songs Go to Hollywood

Movie-makers love to add bird sounds to a film, to evoke a mood or set a scene. For all the attention to some details though, nature's details often get a little mixed up... like an Australian Laughing Kookaburra guffawing in the depths of the Florida Everglades? For a jungle sound, it's hard to... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  Hollywood, humor, vocalization

Harry Potter's Owls

Many owls appear in the Harry Potter films. Harry's owl Hedwig is a two-foot tall Snowy Owl. (Portrayed as a female, it's actually a male - you can tell because it's pure white.) Ron Weasley, Harry's friend, also has an owl, named Pigwidgeon, a Scops Owl. And the evil Draco Malfoy has as his... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  Hollywood

Donald Duck

Today, we celebrate Donald Fauntleroy Duck, first sighted in Hollywood in 1934. Despite nearly 80 years on the big screen and more than 150 films and countless comic books to his credit, Donald's plumage has never changed. Donald doesn't migrate, but resides year round in Duckburg. To our... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  Hollywood, humor

Cartoon Birds

At this time of year, you may see young birds making their first forays outside the nest. Despite its lack of experience, a bird must learn to fend for itself. The plight of the young bird is illustrated by this encounter between predator and prey, as a young hawk first sets out to hunt. The... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  Hollywood, humor

Tweety Bird

Do you recall when you were a young Saturday-morning birdwatcher, learning the intricate lessons of predator-prey relationships? Twitiavis superciliosis is a small, animated yellow bird, native to Southern California. It's particularly susceptible to predation, and so has developed a complex... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  Hollywood, humor

Acorn Woodpecker

He doesn't sound exactly like Woody Woodpecker, but the Acorn Woodpecker was probably the model for the cartoon character. The story goes that Walter Lantz and his new bride, Grace, were on their honeymoon in a cabin in California. A racket on their roof drew them outside, where they spotted an... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  Hollywood, humor, vocalization
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