The raucous laughter of the Common Murre rings out from a nesting colony, high on a narrow ledge on a sea cliff. Precarious as their nest site is, Common Murres nest by the thousands along the Pacific Coast, perhaps millions north along the Bering Sea. Their eggs are pointed at one end and
Swooping and diving through the air on its long slender wings, the Common Nighthawk emerges at dusk to chase down aerial insects. Nighthawks have short bills that open wide, so they can vacuum up their insect prey as they fly along.
Close kin to the Whip-poor-will, the nocturnal Common Poorwill can be heard in summer in the rocky scrublands of the West at the deep end of dusk. And the Common Poorwill's greatest claim to fame? It was the first bird confirmed to hibernate, based on evidence verified in 1946. Since then
Darvin Gebhart is a champion goose-caller. But there are also birds that use human language. Sparkie Williams was a famous parakeet, or budgerigar, that lived in England in the 1950s. He recorded commercials for bird seed and released his own hit single "Pretty Talk." Alex, the African
Washington Irving called the Bobolink "the happiest bird of our spring...he rises and sinks with the breeze, pours forth a succession of rich tinkling notes ..." Bobolinks nest in hayfields and grasslands, returning north each spring, all the way from southern South America. Listen to more
The boreal forest is a vast band of spruce and poplar, extending from coast to coast across Alaska and Canada. Called North America's "songbird bread-basket," for a brief time, it teems with song. Birdsongs heard on this show include a Common Loon (like this one), Swainson's Thrush, White
This Band-tailed Pigeon may sound like an owl, but it's a case of mistaken identity. The song of the American Robin could be confused with that of the Black-headed Grosbeak. And then, there's the Black-capped Chickadee. At certain times of year, the male sings "Fee-bee, fee-bee," even
Close your eyes and let’s take a little trip today, from one landscape to another, discovering new birds calling in the wild. Particular birds are tied to their particular habitats. As these natural places go, so go the birds.
Barred Owls are very territorial, and they don't migrate. Solitary calls from a male in early spring probably mean that he has not attracted a mate. In May and June, he continues to hoot, though less frequently. By summer, breeding season has passed. Maybe this solitary Barred Owl is what
The emphatic hoots of Barred Owls resonate in the still of a winter's night. These owls initiate their vocal courtship in winter. Their signature hooting sequence has been memorably described as "who-cooks-for-you?! who-cooks-for-you-all?!" Watch for them at dawn or dusk, as they fly low