Subscribe to BirdNote

Sign up to receive a weekly email preview of the following week's shows!

Sign Up
Support BirdNote

Help BirdNote tell more stories, reach more people, and inspire action.



The Ballet of the Grebes

When a pair of Western Grebes decides it’s time to mate, they call loudly and approach one another. Each bird curves, then straightens, its long neck gracefully. They then face each other, necks on the water’s surface, their bills flipping up drops of water. If attraction prevails, they rush... read more »

Topics & Themes:  breeding display, nesting

Bushtits Build Their Nest

Mike Hamilton photographed a pair of Bushtits building their sock-like, hanging nest. Both the male and the female work in building the pendulous nest, made from moss, lichen, and spider webs. The female (she's the one with yellow eyes) focuses more on the bowl, while the male builds out the... read more »

Topics & Themes:  nesting, ornithology

Bringing Puffins Back to Maine - With Stephen Kress

In 1977, Stephen Kress used a creative approach to reintroduce Atlantic Puffins to Eastern Egg Rock, an island in Maine’s Muscongus Bay: decoys! It had been 100 years since these charismatic birds had inhabited the island. Today, thanks to the continuing work by Dr. Kress and Project Puffin, the... read more »


Restoring Bird Colonies with Social Attraction

What does relocating Caspian Terns from an island in the Columbia River have to do with luring Short-tailed Albatrosses away from an active volcano in Japan? They both use methods of social attraction pioneered by Dr. Stephen Kress. Social attraction utilizes visual cues such as decoys and audio... read more »


Counting North America's Waterfowl

In autumn, millions of North American waterfowl – like these Redheads – migrate south. They come from Alaska, the prairies and forests of Canada, the Pothole region of the Dakotas, and Eastern Montana. Their arrival is awaited by birders and hunters alike. Because waterfowl are a vital natural... read more »

Topics & Themes:  migration, nesting, science

Clean Nestboxes in October

It’s a beautiful moment when your backyard birds — like these Black-capped Chickadees — depart their nestboxes. By October, it’s time for one last duty as nestbox landlord: to clean it out. Cleaning will reduce the incidence of parasites in the box and make it more inviting to next spring’s... read more »

Topics & Themes:  nesting

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 »

Topics & Themes:  ecology, nesting

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 »

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 »

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 »

Topics & Themes:  ecology, nesting