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humor

Seagull Calling Contest

There are more than two dozen species of gulls living in North America. Some people might dismiss them as just “seagulls.” But not the people of Port Orchard, a small town on Washington State’s Puget Sound. Each year, hundreds of people gather at the town’s waterfront in late May for the annual... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  festival, humor, vocalization

Fastest Bird on Two Legs

Imagine an Ostrich, an Emu, a roadrunner, and the world’s fastest man and woman, all lined up for a race. Olympic sprinter Usain Bolt holds the men’s record for the 100-meter dash — 28 mph — and Florence Griffith-Joyner ran it just a shade slower. But in this race, Africa’s Ostrich takes gold,... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  humor

Big Bird - America's Favorite Flightless Bird

There’s at least one bird that nearly everyone knows on sight: Big Bird. He’s been a Sesame Street celebrity since 1969, cutting a colorful figure for pre-school fans and their parents across the world. Big Bird is really a big kid with a kind heart, who makes friends everywhere he goes. He helps... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  humor

Yogi Berra's Wit and Wisdom

The late Yogi Berra, renowned New York Yankees catcher, is sometimes remembered less for his exceptional play and more for his turns of phrase. One of which was reported as, “You can observe a lot by just watching.” When it comes to observing birds such as this Golden-crowned Kinglet, Berra was... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  birding, birdwatching, humor

Waxwing Nightlight

The warm colors and bright accents of the Bohemian Waxwing might make you think it glows in the dark. For the better part of two thousand years, that’s what people believed. Pliny reported that their feathers “shine like flames” in the dark forests of central Europe. The Germans allegedly used... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  history, human interaction, humor, ornithology

What Do You Call a Group of BirdNote Listeners?

We recently ran a show about collective nouns for groups of birds, A Murder, A Party, A Stare, Or a Siege. At the end, we asked what a group of BirdNote listeners might be called. We asked -- and you answered! Here are some of the suggestions.LisaP and JoeMcA had the same idea. They told us a... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  humor, language

Wishbones and Dinosaurs

The anatomical structure we call the wishbone was long thought unique to birds. But fossil discoveries of recent decades have shown that some dinosaurs, including the mighty Tyrannosaurus rex, and the Velociraptors of ”Jurassic Park,” also had wishbones. And there is now wide consensus among... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  fossil, humor, science

Alex Chadwick in Big Bend: The Roadrunner

In the Looney Tunes cartoon, the Road Runner is potential prey for Wile E. Coyote. But in the real world, the Greater Roadrunner is an excellent predator. BirdNote contributor Alex Chadwick visited Mark Flippo, a retired park ranger at Big Bend National Park, to learn more about the behavior of... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  humor

"You Need a Mister!"

Ken Jacobsen is a retired senator in Washington State who’s a keen birder. When he was on the campaign trail, Jacobsen often advised constituents on ways they could improve conditions for birds in their yards and neighborhoods. You won’t believe what happened when he encouraged one constituent to... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  humor

Do Birds Play?

Black Swans, surfing off the Gold Coast of Australia? What's that about?Do birds play? We think so. And these videos seem to prove it! Here's what BirdNote science advisor, Dennis Paulson, has to say:For a long time, scientists resisted the idea that animals other than humans played. But more and... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  humor

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