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The two American species of dowitchers, Long-billed and Short-billed, are similar in appearance but have distinctive calls. And they’re some of the continent’s most dramatic songsters. On their northern breeding grounds, Short-billed Dowitchers ascend as high as 150 feet in the air then glide slowly earthward, singing. At the end of the glide, they may take off again for another bout of song.More info and transcript at BirdNote.org. Want more BirdNote? Subscribe to our weekly newsletter. Sign up for BirdNote+ to get ad-free listening and other perks. BirdNote is a nonprofit. Your tax-deductible gift makes these shows possible.
The alpine forests of Australia’s southeast are home to an iconic pint-sized gray parrot with a bright red mohawk, and a call that’s been described as a “flying creaky gate”. The Gang-gang Cockatoo has seen significant habitat loss in recent years, especially after the 2020 wildfires. It’s now listed as an endangered species. A new national working group is coordinating recovery efforts. Researchers and community scientists are trialing an innovation on the Gang-gang population called the “Cockatube” — a PVC tube designed to host a cockatoo nest.More info and transcript at BirdNote.org. Want more BirdNote? Subscribe to our weekly newsletter. Sign up for BirdNote+ to get ad-free listening and other perks. BirdNote is a nonprofit. Your tax-deductible gift makes these shows possible.
Have you ever watched ducks walking around in freezing temperatures and wondered why their feet don't freeze? And how do birds, including this Northern Flicker, sit on metal perches with no problem? Birds' feet have a miraculous adaptation that keeps them from freezing. Rete mirabile — Latin for "wonderful net" — is a fine, netlike pattern of arteries that interweaves blood from a bird's heart with the veins carrying cold blood from its feet and legs. The system cools the blood so the little blood that goes down to the feet is already cold, so the birds don't lose much heat. The small amount that goes to the feet is likely just enough to keep the feet from freezing.More info and transcript at BirdNote.org. Want more BirdNote? Subscribe to our weekly newsletter. Sign up for BirdNote+ to get ad-free listening and other perks. BirdNote is a nonprofit. Your tax-deductible gift makes these shows possible.
The shallow waters and wide mudflats of the Bolivar Flats Shorebird Sanctuary northeast of Galveston, Texas, are alive with thousands of gulls, terns, and shorebirds. American Avocets are often among the most abundant birds, with 5,000 or more here most winters. The avocets have sensitive bills that curve upward. As they wade, they sweep their heads back and forth and snap up the tiny crustaceans that touch their bills. This tactile feeding method is unique among the birds here. The Bolivar Peninsula is famous for its big flocks of water birds and concentrations of migrating songbirds. Both National Audubon and American Bird Conservancy have designated it an Important Bird Area, or IBA. More info and transcript at BirdNote.org. Want more BirdNote? Subscribe to our weekly newsletter. Sign up for BirdNote+ to get ad-free listening and other perks. BirdNote is a nonprofit. Your tax-deductible gift makes these shows possible.
When Maya Higa started interning at a zoo, she wasn't especially into birds — until she began rehabilitating a Red-tailed Hawk named Bean. Meanwhile, Maya was doing live-streams of herself singing and playing guitar on the website Twitch, just for fun, to a pretty small audience. The video went viral, and Maya's audience grew from there. Thousands of viewers watched Bean's rehabilitation on her streams, forming a bond with the bird. And this reminded Maya of her education work at the zoo. She has since founded the Alveus Sanctuary, a nonprofit animal sanctuary and virtual conservation education center. More info and transcript at BirdNote.org. Want more BirdNote? Subscribe to our weekly newsletter. Sign up for BirdNote+ to get ad-free listening and other perks. BirdNote is a nonprofit. Your tax-deductible gift makes these shows possible.
Titmice Lead the Way

Titmice Lead the Way

2022-11-2401:36

In winter, many songbirds join flocks made up of multiple species that travel around looking for food, benefitting from safety in numbers. But a bird flock that doesn't move in the same direction soon scatters to the wind. It turns out that the Tufted Titmouse, a small gray songbird, is often the one leading the flock. Researchers studying the flight paths of flocks found that the paths taken by the titmice best reflected the direction of the group as a whole, compared to other species in the group. This was especially true when the flock moved quickly between sites, when staying organized is key.More info and transcript at BirdNote.org. Want more BirdNote? Subscribe to our weekly newsletter. Sign up for BirdNote+ to get ad-free listening and other perks. BirdNote is a nonprofit. Your tax-deductible gift makes these shows possible.
When a soaring Short-toed Snake-Eagle spots a delicious snake, it swoops down, grabs it with its talons, then tears off the snake’s head. Still on the wing, it swallows the entire snake, head first. Smaller than Bald Eagles, they live mainly in Africa and have legs and toes covered in thick scales to protect them from bites. Snake-Eagles take on some of the swiftest and deadliest snakes in the world, like cobras and black mambas.More info and transcript at BirdNote.org. Want more BirdNote? Subscribe to our weekly newsletter. Sign up for BirdNote+ to get ad-free listening and other perks. BirdNote is a nonprofit. Your tax-deductible gift makes these shows possible.
For Molly Adams, the founder of the Feminist Bird Club, getting COVID didn’t just mean a week or two under the weather. Like other people with long COVID, they’re continuing to have chronic symptoms after the viral infection. Fortunately, before COVID they had learned about a technique called atlasing — observing birds closely to figure out if they’re breeding in a certain habitat. The observations become part of a record called a breeding bird atlas. Molly says atlasing is a more soothing, slowed-down approach to birding and involves getting to know birds as individuals.More info and transcript at BirdNote.org. Want more BirdNote? Subscribe to our weekly newsletter. Sign up for BirdNote+ to get ad-free listening and other perks. BirdNote is a nonprofit. Your tax-deductible gift makes these shows possible.
Bird Names in Meskwaki

Bird Names in Meskwaki

2022-11-2101:45

The poet Ray Young Bear writes in both English and Meskwaki, his first language. He says that the task of passing on Indigenous languages feels especially urgent now as linguistic scholars predict the loss of languages. The Meskwaki language is rich with bird names, like Tti Tti Ka Kwa Ha, the name for the robin, which emulates the bird’s song, he says. After decades of creating poems, novels, and songs, Ray Young Bear has dedicated himself to preserving and teaching his language and culture.More info and transcript at BirdNote.org. Want more BirdNote? Subscribe to our weekly newsletter. Sign up for BirdNote+ to get ad-free listening and other perks. BirdNote is a nonprofit. Your tax-deductible gift makes these shows possible.
Return of the Snowbird

Return of the Snowbird

2022-11-2001:41

You may see Dark-eyed Juncos in the summer, but come fall, many more — those that have been nesting in the mountains or farther north — arrive to spend the winter. These juncos often visit birdfeeders for winter feasting. Dark-eyed Juncos forage on the ground. The flash of white tail-feathers when one is alarmed alerts other members of the flock, and is also used as part of the courtship display.More info and transcript at BirdNote.org. Want more BirdNote? Subscribe to our weekly newsletter. Sign up for BirdNote+ to get ad-free listening and other perks. BirdNote is a nonprofit. Your tax-deductible gift makes these shows possible.
Beaks and Bills

Beaks and Bills

2022-11-1901:45

A bird’s bill is an incredible multi-tool — good for preening feathers, building a nest, self-defense, scratching, displaying, building a nest, and egg-turning. And a bill must be the right size and shape for the bird’s diet, whether that’s probing for worms, cracking open seeds, or tear apart prey.More info and transcript at BirdNote.org. Want more BirdNote? Subscribe to our weekly newsletter. Sign up for BirdNote+ to get ad-free listening and other perks. BirdNote is a nonprofit. Your tax-deductible gift makes these shows possible.
Bringing Condor Home

Bringing Condor Home

2022-11-1801:45

Tiana Williams-Claussen is a member of the Yurok Nation and Director of the Yurok Tribe Wildlife Department. In this episode, she shares the story of how the California Condor, known as Prey-go-neesh in the Yurok language, went extinct on Yurok lands due to the environmental exploitation that followed the California Gold Rush. The Yurok Tribe has forged a partnership with the National Park Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to bring condors back home.More info and transcript at BirdNote.org. Want more BirdNote? Subscribe to our weekly newsletter. Sign up for BirdNote+ to get ad-free listening and other perks. BirdNote is a nonprofit. Your tax-deductible gift makes these shows possible.
The cries of a Killdeer are familiar across most of the US during spring and summer. But where do they go in winter? Killdeer that breed in the southern half of the US and along the Pacific Coast are year-round residents. But those that breed in the northern US and Canada, where winter conditions are more severe, migrate south to Mexico and Central America. Because the northern Killdeer fly south — right over the region where other Killdeer reside year-round — they are known as leap-frog migrants. More info and transcript at BirdNote.org. Want more BirdNote? Subscribe to our weekly newsletter. Sign up for BirdNote+ to get ad-free listening and other perks. BirdNote is a nonprofit. Your tax-deductible gift makes these shows possible.
In bear country, food left outside or uncovered trash cans can become irresistible targets for bears looking for a quick snack. But even if you’ve put away any human food, don’t forget about bird feeders. Bears are omnivores and won’t hesitate to grab a bird seed snack. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation recommends that people take down bird feeders between April 1st and November 30th, when black bears are most active. During the winter, the bears return to their winter dens and bird feeding can resume.More info and transcript at BirdNote.org. Want more BirdNote? Subscribe to our weekly newsletter. Sign up for BirdNote+ to get ad-free listening and other perks. BirdNote is a nonprofit. Your tax-deductible gift makes these shows possible.
Geese in V-formation

Geese in V-formation

2022-11-1501:44

Autumn…and geese fly high overhead in V-formation. But what about that V-formation, angling outward through the sky? This phenomenon — a kind of synchronized, aerial tailgating — marks the flight of flocks of larger birds, like geese or pelicans. Most observers believe that each bird behind the leader is taking advantage of the lift of a corkscrew of air coming off the wingtips of the bird in front. This corkscrew updraft is called a tip vortex, and it enables the geese to save considerable energy during long flights. The V-formation may also enhance birds’ ability to see and hear each other, thus avoiding mid-air collisions. Small birds probably do not create enough of an updraft to help others in the flock and don’t fly in vees.More info and transcript at BirdNote.org. Want more BirdNote? Subscribe to our weekly newsletter. Sign up for BirdNote+ to get ad-free listening and other perks. BirdNote is a nonprofit. Your tax-deductible gift makes these shows possible.
Ray Young Bear is a writer, musician and a member of Meskwaki Nation. He considers himself a word collector, writing poetry in both English and Meskwaki, his first language. And he enjoys taking photos of the birds around his home in Iowa. In the spring of 2021, he was spending time with his grandson, Ozzy Young Bear. He composed a song in Meskwaki about how his grandson enjoyed watching the robins hunt for earthworms. He later recorded the song for a music collection called For the Birds: The Birdsong Project. Over 200 musicians, artists and writers contributed, with proceeds going to the National Audubon Society.More info and transcript at BirdNote.org. Want more BirdNote? Subscribe to our weekly newsletter. Sign up for BirdNote+ to get ad-free listening and other perks. BirdNote is a nonprofit. Your tax-deductible gift makes these shows possible.
Consider three species of raptors: the Barn Owl, Peregrine Falcon, and Osprey. They’re on every continent except Antarctica. Each has a specialized hunting prowess distinct from the other. They can fly great distances. And like many birds of prey, they mate for life. The Barn Owl, pictured here, has long been considered the single most widespread land bird in the world. But Ospreys and Peregrines have proven equally adaptable. More info and transcript at BirdNote.org. Want more BirdNote? Subscribe to our weekly newsletter. Sign up for BirdNote+ to get ad-free listening and other perks. BirdNote is a nonprofit. Your tax-deductible gift makes these shows possible.
Surf Scoters Stand Out

Surf Scoters Stand Out

2022-11-1201:36

Surf Scoters are large colorful sea ducks. The male Surf Scoter’s huge red-orange bill with its white and black spots really stands out. It is a great tool for eating hard-shelled mollusks like clams and mussels. Surf Scoters spend the winter along the coastlines of North America. Look at the winter shore and you might see hundreds of them together at one time, diving in unison.More info and transcript at BirdNote.org. Want more BirdNote? Subscribe to our weekly newsletter. Sign up for BirdNote+ to get ad-free listening and other perks. BirdNote is a nonprofit. Your tax-deductible gift makes these shows possible.
Haley Scott lives in the Bronx, where she helps other people experience the joy of New York’s wildlife as a bird walk leader. But she maintains a connection with another community of birds outside the city, on the Unkechaug Nation’s land, where she visits her dad’s side of the family. Leading bird walks in New York City with the Feminist Bird Club, Haley emphasizes the importance of recognizing the original inhabitants of the land, the Lenape. More info and transcript at BirdNote.org. Want more BirdNote? Subscribe to our weekly newsletter. Sign up for BirdNote+ to get ad-free listening and other perks. BirdNote is a nonprofit. Your tax-deductible gift makes these shows possible.
Boreal Chickadees live in the boreal forest year-round. How do they survive the harsh winter? First, during summer, they cache a great deal of food, both insects and seeds. Then in fall, they put on fresh, heavier plumage. And their feathers are denser than most birds', creating a comfy down parka. Most impressive? The chickadees lower their body temperature at night from 108 degrees to just 85 degrees, conserving their stores of insulating fat. Hats off to the Boreal Chickadee, a truly rugged bird! Learn more at the links below.More info and transcript at BirdNote.org. Want more BirdNote? Subscribe to our weekly newsletter. Sign up for BirdNote+ to get ad-free listening and other perks. BirdNote is a nonprofit. Your tax-deductible gift makes these shows possible.
Comments (5)

SAHAL KK

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Jul 15th
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ID22355918

I love how creative and insightful these episodes are. Thank you

Apr 20th
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Mubin Sultan

how lovely!

Jun 14th
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Erika S.

,

Feb 4th
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Lynn A Anderson

This podcast is wonderful & so informative. Thanks for sharing.

May 17th
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