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shorebird

Revitalized Bird Habitat at Owens Lake

The dry lakebed of Owens Lake, in Eastern California, was once a major source of pollution. Today, it’s a magnet for birds like these Eared Grebes. How was Owens Lake transformed? Pete Pumphrey of Eastern Sierra Audubon, explains: “The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power was ordered to... read more »

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Shorebirds - Masters of Long-Distance Migration

Dr. Dennis Paulson, BirdNote’s chief science advisor, is an expert on shorebirds. He says new technology is revealing fascinating information about migration routes. (For instance, the alpha-alpha flag, unique to this Whimbrel, tells us the bird was banded in Canada.) For many shorebirds,... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  migration, science

San Diego Bay in Winter

Birds and people share San Diego Bay -- a deepwater port, navy ships, pleasure boats, and salt-evaporation ponds. Even so, it’s one of the best bird habitats on the West Coast. Western Sandpipers probe the mud for worms and snails. Egrets stalk the shoreline for fish. Royal Terns crisscross the... read more »

Ridgway's Rails on San Francisco Bay

Once abundant around San Francisco Bay, the Ridgway’s Rail — formerly known as the California Clapper Rail — is now endangered. In the 19th Century, unregulated hunting plundered the species. In the 20th Century, rampant development reduced salt marsh habitat by 85%. But in the 21st Century, the... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  science

The Avocets of Bolivar Flats

The shallow waters and wide mudflats of the Bolivar Flats Shorebird Sanctuary are alive with thousands of gulls, terns, and shorebirds. American Avocets are often among the most abundant birds on the flats, with 5,000 or more here most winters. The avocets have sensitive bills that curve upward.... read more »

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Birds Respond to a Storm - With Patrick Comins

How do birds fare before a storm? Patrick Comins of Audubon Connecticut says, "Seabirds try to avoid a hurricane if they can, but sometimes end up getting blown off course. Most landbirds are pretty tuned in to weather changes. Whenever there's a storm approaching, you'll notice a lot of frenzied... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  science

Superstorm Sandy's Effects on Birds and Habitat

How did birds and their habitat fare in the wake of Superstorm Sandy? Patrick Comins of Audubon Connecticut, says: "It was extremely powerful. There was significant erosion and over-washing of dunes and beaches. I've had the chance to visit a few of the important nesting areas for Piping Plovers,... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  science

Montana Grassland Birds - Where They Go in Winter

Some of the most extensive grasslands on the continent remain in Northeast Montana. In winter, these lands lie under windblown snow. But in summer, the grass is verdant and grassland birds abound. Birds such as the McCown's Longspur, the Lark Bunting, and the Willet, like this one. And where do... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  migration

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 Unmistakable Ruddy Turnstone

The Ruddy Turnstone stands out among sandpipers. On taking flight, the turnstone flashes a vivid and unmistakable pattern of dark and light striping across its wings and tail. And that comical chatter is one of a kind too. Unlike most sandpipers, Ruddy Turnstones favor rocky beaches and jetties... read more »

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