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raptor

Wimbledon Raptors - And Pigeons

Wimbledon is legendary: the verdant green of the courts, the throngs of fans in sun hats, sightings of royalty ... and lots of pigeons. Since the tennis tournament at the All England Club began in 1877, pigeons nested in the stands and generally made a mess of things. Today, though, very few... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  human interaction

Follow Island Girl with Bud Anderson

"Peregrine" means "wanderer." And Island Girl, a Peregrine Falcon, has made the 18,000-mile round-trip journey from the high arctic of Canada to southern Chile three times. Bud Anderson of the Falcon Research Group calls her "a master of the air." Using satellite telemetry, he invites people to... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  migration, science

Raptors and Wind Farms

Wind farms allow us to convert renewable wind energy into electricity. The concept seems environmentally benign, but the windmills are often installed along the same ridges favored by migrating birds for their currents. The farms would be less hazardous to migratory birds if they were sited... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  migration

National Symbol - Turkey vs. Eagle

As an old tale goes, after the eagle was chosen for national emblem, Benjamin Franklin questioned the choice. In a letter to his daughter regarding a medal created by the Society of the Cincinnati, he wrote wrily: "The Bald Eagle is too lazy to fish for himself; when the Osprey has taken a fish .... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  history

Birds and Wind Power

What effect does wind power have on birds? Scientists are taking a close look. Surveys of wind-power projects in Oregon and Washington estimate that wind turbines kill more than 6,500 birds annually. Of particular concern are raptors such as owls, hawks, and eagles. Is replacing oil with wind... read more »

Sizing Up Sharp-shinned Hawks

Sharp-shinned Hawks are swift, bird-catching predators. The male is jay-sized. The female stands a head taller and weighs almost twice as much. Female birds of prey are most notably bigger than males among hawk species that hunt very agile prey, such as other birds. The smaller male will tend to... read more »

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Martyn Stewart Part I

We owe a lot to the nature recordists who travel the world to document the calls and songs of birds. Recordist Martyn Stewart describes how he obtained the call of a Rough-legged Hawk (like this one), which nests on the tree-less Arctic tundra: "I had seen this on the Arctic National Wildlife... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  recording, sound

Vultures Sail the Strait

From atop a thermal, Turkey Vultures in groups of up to 200 sail across the Strait of Juan de Fuca, making landfall near Salt Creek County Park on the Olympic Peninsula. The Olympic Peninsula Audubon Society sponsors a free field trip to witness this autumnal passage. Check out that or other... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  migration

Myth of the Thunderbird

Legend tells of a huge bird called the Thunderbird. Its origin remains a mystery, even to Native Americans. According to myth, Thunderbird was so large and flew so high, it carried the rain on its back and created thunder and lightning. Perhaps Teratornis merriami was the creature that inspired... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  fossil, myth

Martyn Stewart Part II

Martyn Stewart's calling is recording the sounds of birds and nature. He describes some of the rewards of working in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge: "It is a great place to go record birds and animals. You know generally that once you point your microphone at a nesting bird or a bird that's... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  recording, sound

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