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nesting

Anniversary of Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

December 6th is the anniversary of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, designated so in 1960. The Arctic coastal plain is probably the most important place in Alaska for the widest number of avian species - including this Pectoral Sandpiper - and the greatest number of birds. Ironically, that... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  migration, nesting

The Arctic Plain in June

In early June, millions of birds arrive on the Arctic Coastal Plain in Alaska, from all over the world. They're there to attract a mate and raise their young. One shorebird, the Pectoral Sandpiper, has a pectoral sac on its chest. It stands on the ground and inflates this sac, and then takes off... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  breeding display, nesting

Nesting and Roosting

A young bird's nest is its first home. But most birds don't live in a nest year round, even at night. By August, many birds have left the nest behind. So, after they spend the day flying and foraging, where do they go at night? What most birds do at night is roost: they find a safe place to sleep... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  nesting

Honeybees and Red-tails

BirdNote writer, Todd Peterson, is also a beekeeper. His spring and summer labors in the apiary have long been accompanied by the cry of Red-tailed Hawks that nest in the woods nearby. If it survives its first two years, a Red-tailed Hawk can live from 10 to 15 years. Red-tails and other birds... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  nesting

Rufous Hummingbirds' Marvelous Nest

The nest-building skills of the female Rufous Hummingbird are amazing. She first weaves a cup of soft, fluffy plant material, then envelops it with moss and binds it with strands of spider web. The final touch: a layer of lichen flakes to provide perfect camouflage. A favorite nest site is the... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  nesting

Pigeon Babies Do Exist

Rock Pigeons are one of the most common urban birds. But why do we never see baby pigeons? Some baby birds - like down-covered ducks, geese, and chickens - leave their nest shortly after hatching and do a lot of growing up while following their parents around. Others, like pigeons, depend on... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  nesting

Red-winged Blackbird Harem

As spring begins, the male Red-winged Blackbird brandishes his red epaulets to warn other males away from his patch of cattails. At the same time, he sings to lure females into his marsh...many females, in fact. One male may attract up to a dozen females. The male is dressed for defending his... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  breeding display, nesting

The Female Oriole Weaves a Nest

In summer, across much of North America, a sudden flash of orange and black in the treetops usually means one thing: orioles. Baltimore Orioles in the East, Bullock’s Orioles in the West, and Hooded Orioles in the Southwest and California. These vividly colored birds return each spring from... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  nesting

Ospreys Weather the Storm

Ospreys nest near water in a tall tree or on a tower, where they're exposed to the elements, including direct sunlight which can sometimes produce scorching temperatures. At other times, they're pounded by rain, as they protect their young. When the storm's over, it's back to feeding those hungry... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  nesting

City Peregrines

The Peregrine Falcon is the fastest bird on earth. But its speed couldn't help it avoid the dangers of the pesticide DDT. By the 1970s, the species had declined as much as 80-90% across the US. Since the ban of DDT – and with the help of the Endangered Species Act – well, theyyyy're baaaack! And... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  nesting

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