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Escape the daily grind and immerse yourself in the natural world. Rich in imagery, sound, and information, BirdNote inspires you to notice the world around you. Join us for daily two-minute stories about birds, the environment, and more.
 
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Shorebirds' lives take them to many places other than the shore. Most of the shorebirds we see along our coasts migrate to the Arctic in summer. Here, many nest on the tundra, some along rushing streams, and others on rocky mountainsides. Long-billed Curlews winter on the Florida, Gulf, and Pacific coasts. But this one was seen in a field near Cres…
 
Many oceanic species like grebes, loons, pelicans, and gulls migrate far inland to raise their young near freshwater lakes. Ring-billed Gulls, for example, breed throughout the northern U.S. Forster’s Terns can be found catching fish in the upper Midwest in the summer. In northern Canada, you may even catch a glimpse of a Surf Scoter as it dives be…
 
Black-crowned Night-Herons feed primarily on fish, but they will consume everything from earthworms to clams to eggs of nesting birds and refuse at landfills! Because they are high on the food chain, found throughout much of the world, and nest in colonies, Black-crowned Night-Herons can tell us a lot about the health of our environment. Learn more…
 
Aleutian Cackling Geese, which have a slighter build and shorter beak than Canada Geese, build their nests on a chain of islands off the western coast of Alaska. In the 1700s, fur traders introduced foxes to the islands, nearly wiping out the geese. For decades, they were believed to be extinct. But in the 1960s, a biologist discovered about 300 bi…
 
The landscape around Joanna Buehler’s home on Lake Sammamish was once completely barren. But today, it provides food, water, and refuge for many species of birds. You can create a bird sanctuary in your own yard by selecting native plants adapted for your area. If you’re lucky, nature will do some planting for you! That’s what happened in Joanna’s …
 
The Ring-necked Pheasant is likely the best-known bird in North America that isn’t native to the continent. Indigenous to Asia, Ring-necked Pheasants were introduced to Oregon in 1881. The birds thrived in rural landscapes for many years, but modern industrial farming practices have diminished pheasant habitat. In some areas, however, wildlife agen…
 
This Bar-tailed Godwit makes one of the longest migrations of any animal — a 7,200-mile non-stop flight each autumn from western Alaska to New Zealand. In his book A World on the Wing, Scott Weidensaul explores the remarkable transformation godwits undergo to make this migration possible. Their digestive organs shrink as their weight more than doub…
 
In autumn, hundreds of thousands of Swainson's Hawks migrate to South America. With the help of a satellite tracking device, let's follow an individual male. On September 14, he leaves his breeding territory near Hanna, Alberta; reaches southwest Saskatchewan by September 23; passes through Nebraska, October 1; Tamaulipas, Mexico, on October 7; Hon…
 
The Dark-eyed Junco is one of the most abundant backyard birds in North America. But it’s not our only junco. In the Southwest, the Yellow-eyed Junco lives in cool mountain forests from Arizona and New Mexico, through Mexico into Guatemala. Ornithologist Francis Sumichrast was in Veracruz, Mexico, in the 1860s. He reported that the locals believed …
 
Professor Dee Boersma, working with the Wildlife Conservation Society and the Province of Chubut, has been studying the Magellanic Penguins of Argentina. "In 1983, we realized that oil pollution was really a huge problem for these birds. We were seeing birds coming ashore, covered in oil. We started bringing this to the government's attention. And …
 
Every year, hundreds of bird species migrate between North and South America. Some species likely evolved from ancestors that moved north in search of new breeding habitats: the “southern home” hypothesis. But others may have extended their winter ranges south: the “northern home” hypothesis. Many birds have likely gained and lost the ability to mi…
 
It's the time of year that geese migrate south for the winter. Isn't it? So why are there so many geese still hanging around, setting up housekeeping on our parks and golf courses? Did they decide to forgo the long trip north? In the early 1900s, non-migratory geese were brought in by the hundreds to populate wildlife refuges. Now, while many Canad…
 
Do you ever see flocks of birds in your yard that show up in droves one year, but are completely absent the next? Some nomadic species such as Pine Siskins move based on the availability of food and habitat. It’s called “irruptive” migration, and it sometimes leads to backyards full of siskins. While these flocks are a delight for bird watchers, th…
 
Through all of spring and summer, swallows dart and sail overhead, their airborne grace a wonder to behold. But by October, the skies seem empty. Most swallows have flown south, in search of insects. The eight species of swallows that nest in the US - including this Cliff Swallow - migrate south to Central or even South America. Watch for them agai…
 
In spring, we often hear woodpeckers hard at work, carving out nest holes in tree trunks. And now that fall has arrived, we may hear that excavating sound again. Some woodpecker species stay year round in the region where they nest, while others migrate south in winter. Those that remain, like this Pileated Woodpecker, are chiseling out roosting ca…
 
Biologists with Manomet tagged a Whimbrel named Lindsay with a GPS tracker. She has spent the summer breeding in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge on the northern coast of Alaska. As fall migration begins, she heads straight into a storm in the Gulf of Alaska. The tempest slingshots her toward British Columbia, where she picks up a tailwind down …
 
Just a couple dozen miles off the Northwest coast, immense dark birds with long, saber-shaped wings glide without effort above the waves. These graceful giants are Black-footed Albatrosses, flying by the thousands near the edge of the continental shelf. Black-footed Albatrosses do not breed until they are at least five years old, and after the youn…
 
European Starlings regularly adorn their twig nests with marigolds, elderberry flowers, yarrow leaves, and even willow bark — all of which are full of aromatic chemicals, which fumigate their nests and are thought to discourage pests and parasites. Scientists discovered that starlings hatched in well-fumigated nests tend to weigh more, and live lon…
 
In many urban areas, collisions are the fate of hundreds of thousands of birds, like this Brown Creeper. But Annette Prince and volunteers with Chicago Bird Collision Monitors are making a difference. Every morning during spring and fall migration, Annette and her team rescue birds that have collided with skyscrapers – and transport the survivors t…
 
After flying all the way from South America, migratory songbirds that fly through cities often seek out urban green spaces such as parks and cemeteries. These modest-sized areas can act as verdant oases in the middle of pavement and metal and can be hidden gems for city dwellers hoping to see migratory birds in their neighborhoods. Learn more at Bi…
 
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