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nesting

Noah Ventola: Environmentalist and Entrepreneur

Noah Ventola’s four-year-old daughter, Madelyn, knows her chickadees from her nuthatches. But her first bird was a bluebird, and that is where this story begins.Noah and his family live in Durham, Connecticut (between Hartford and New Haven), in a wooded area rich with bird life. Noah, a regular... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  citizen science, nesting

Indigo Bunting - Bird of the Ecotone

Many birds – like this Indigo Bunting – can be found in ecotones, the borders between two habitats. Indigo Buntings breed in the ecotone between forest and meadow. They are common at Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge in Indiana, where grassland and forest are interspersed to produce superb... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  nesting

Fairy-Wrens Sing Secret Passwords to Unborn Chicks

Superb Fairy-wrens teach their embryonic chicks a secret code. This "incubation call" contains a special note that will later serve as a password. When the chicks have hatched, this password enables the adult birds to identify their babies in the darkness of their domed nest. A species of... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  nesting, science, sound

Robert Otto Loves Bluebirds

For 30 years, Robert Otto (pictured here) has been putting up nest boxes for bluebirds near his home in northern Michigan. A retired mechanical engineer, Robert has designed and built nest boxes that are easy to maintain and make it simple to check for eggs and fledglings. There are now 101 nest... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  environmental champion, nesting

Pied-Billed Grebe Nest Construction

The call of the Pied-billed Grebe is unusual. Their nests are unusual too – little platforms of plant material that float on water, hidden behind vegetation. Martin Muller, an expert who loves unraveling the mysteries of Pied-billed Grebes, explains how grebe parents like this one build their nests. read more »

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Topics & Themes:  nesting

Laysan Albatrosses Nest at Midway Atoll

Midway Atoll is the winter home of nearly a million nesting albatrosses. Laysan Albatrosses return to Midway in November to breed. Roughly 450,000 pairs wedge their way into a scant 2½ square miles of land surface. And why do Laysans nest in winter? Well, the big birds forage mostly at night, so... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  breeding display, nesting, vocalization

The Endangered Spoon-billed Sandpiper - With Gerrit Vyn

Gerrit Vyn of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology recorded the Spoon-billed Sandpiper in the far northeast of Russia, where as few as 100 remaining pairs breed each summer. This sandpiper depends on key coastal wetlands near the Yellow Sea to fuel the long-distance migration to its wintering areas.... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  human interaction, migration, nesting

The Summer of the Coops - Watching a Cooper's Hawk Nest

One morning in April, Al Parker of the Mount Auburn Cemetery staff was fishing with his brother at Horn Pond in Woburn, Massachusetts, near the Arlington Road entrance. He heard a branch snapping on a nearby tree and he looked up at that recognizable sound and saw a Cooper's Hawk take off. The... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  nesting

Pied-billed Grebes - With Martin Muller

Birds, while guided by instinct, seem able to adapt to specific situations. Martin Muller is an expert on waterbirds called Pied-billed Grebes. One spring day, on an urban lake in Seattle, Martin observed a pair of grebes switching roles in order to protect their young and defend their territory.... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  nesting

Muggers - How Red-necked Grebes Got the Name

Few sights are as endearing as a mother Red-necked Grebe with three stripe-headed downy chicks nestled on her back. This species breeds along the shores of northern lakes, with many other grebes and ducks, including Mallards. Red-necked Grebes are excellent divers and can swim under water, coming... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  nesting

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