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vocalization

Frank Chapman and the Solitaire

Frank M. Chapman, born in June, 1864, was the father of the Audubon Christmas Bird Count. He became Curator of Birds at the American Museum of Natural History. The author of many books, Chapman carried on an active program of field research in Central and South America. And his choice for the... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  history, ornithology, vocalization

Common Nighthawk, Uncommon Sound

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. read more »

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Topics & Themes:  vocalization

Carol of the Birds - With Nancy Rumbel

To celebrate the season, Nancy Rumbel, who composed and played the BirdNote theme music, performs "Carol of the Birds." This version was arranged by Nancy herself, with the accompaniment of Pine Siskins, Black-capped Chickadees, a Red-winged Blackbird, Song Sparrow, House Finch, American... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  music, vocalization

Encounter with a Cassowary

In a tropical woodland in eastern Australia, you glimpse a Southern Cassowary, a huge flightless bird that must rate as the most prehistoric looking of all birds. Cassowaries are capable of making remarkable sounds, including the lowest known bird call in the world, barely audible to the human... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  sound, vocalization

John Burroughs II

John Burroughs, one of the masters of American nature writing, wrote "The birds do indeed begin with the day. The farmer who is in the field at work while he can yet see stars catches their first matin hymns. In the longest June days the robin strikes up about half past three o'clock..."... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  vocalization

Common Murres - Nature's Laugh Track

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 blunt... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  vocalization

Chipping Sparrows

The begging calls of male baby Chipping Sparrows mix into what is known as "subsong," a sort of infant babbling. And, very quickly, subsong begins to change to imitations of adult songs. Next spring, when the young male returns for its first breeding season, it will settle in near an older male.... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  vocalization

Bobolinks

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 songs... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  breeding display, vocalization

Mistaken Identity

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 though it's... read more »

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Matching Birds with Their Habitats

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. read more »

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Topics & Themes:  vocalization

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