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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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Gordon Hempton, an acoustic ecologist known as the Sound Tracker, has mastered the art of truly listening. In this podcast, he shares soundscapes that will immerse you in incredible places and help you become a better listener.
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It's dawn in a western marsh in mid-summer, and man! Those birds are singin'! The males of more than a dozen species are staking out their territories and attracting mates. One of the noisiest of all is the Red-winged Blackbird. He sings not to attract just one mate, but to gather a whole harem! Drop us a line and let us know what you think of Bird…
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Brown Pelicans are a regular sight today along the Gulf of Mexico and our southern coastlines. But these birds have not always been so plentiful. They were hunted for their feathers and as pests by fishermen. The Migratory Bird Act of 1918 protected their recovery. But by 1970, pesticides were killing pelicans outright and thinning their eggshells.…
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In summer, the forests of the eastern United States are home to a bounty of birds, including this gorgeous Scarlet Tanager, which spends most of the year in tropical South America. The male’s body is a dazzling red, in contrast to his black wings and tail. It seems that these boldly colored birds might offer an easy target for a birdwatcher’s watch…
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Just because a young bird appears to be alone – whether on the ground or squawking loudly from a bush or tree – doesn't necessarily mean it is sick or injured. In June, young birds, including this juvenile Northern Flicker, are leaving their nests. And most likely, a parent is near-by and will soon return. What can you do to help? Keep your cats in…
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If you had to pick the bird most like a superhero, the Bobolink might not be an obvious choice. But these quirky blackbirds have abilities that would impress Superman himself. Every year, Bobolinks fly from their wintering grounds in southern South America all the way to grasslands in North America. Completing the 12,000 mile round trip in the fall…
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Eleven-year-old Zjencès Bell took an early interest in birds after he learned his first bird call. As a piano student, Zjencès soon blended his love of birds with his musical skills by creating piano compositions inspired by bird calls and songs. In this show, hear an excerpt of his composition inspired by the otherworldly voice of the Common Loon.…
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The crocodilians — crocodiles and their relatives, like the American Alligator — are the closest living relatives of birds. About 250 million years ago, the ancestors of all crocodiles split off from the dinosaur group that gave rise to modern birds. While crocs these days are mostly short-legged ambush predators, before mass extinction there were …
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A male American Golden-Plover proclaims its nesting territory with an aerial display known as the "butterfly flight." After flying up 50 feet, the plover switches to slow motion, raising its wings languidly until the wingtips nearly touch over its body, then lowering them gradually until they almost touch below – all the while calling. The plover s…
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Author Nick Belardes was walking at a park near his home in San Luis Obispo, California, when he saw a man who seemed in tune with birds. Belardes asked him what the coolest bird around was, and the man replied Vermilion Flycatcher. Belardes and his wife soon went out looking for the ruby-like bird, finally spotting it through rain and mist. He rem…
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The Northern Hawk Owl is one of the least studied and least known of all birds in North America. Northern Hawk Owls are owls, but they share several traits with hawks and falcons: A streamlined body shape, daytime hunting habits, and stiff wing feathers for daytime hunting. (Owls that hunt at night have soft edges on their wing feathers, so they ca…
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The Baltimore Oriole is a standout bird. With adult males’ electric orange and jet black feathers, and females and immature birds in various shades of yellow and orange, it’s no surprise that these birds show up in art, illustrations, and on the uniforms of Baltimore's baseball team. But they’re not the only orioles worth knowing. Orioles in the Am…
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After a Northern Flicker carves out a nest cavity, chances are the birds will use the cavity for just one nesting season. But the cavity may have a prolonged career as a home for small owls, bluebirds, swallows, and other birds – including the Bufflehead. Buffleheads are the only ducks small enough to use the cavities of flickers. Clear-cutting in …
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Organized by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and by Birds Canada, volunteers for Project NestWatch observe local nesting birds and track whether they’re successful in raising their young. Because the nest-watching volunteers monitor birds over a huge area, they cover way more ground than a small team of scientists ever could. Data from Project NestW…
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Some gulls and terns may show a glowing pink color, similar to that of flamingos and spoonbills. This pink color comes from pigments in the birds' food called carotenoids. These gulls and terns are able to convert these naturally occurring pigments to hues that may enhance their success at attracting a mate. More info and transcript at BirdNote.org…
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An evening baseball game isn’t the only thing illuminated by the bright stadium lights. High in the air, countless flying insects are drawn to them. And those insects are a perfect snack for the game’s avian attendees! Common Nighthawks swoop with their wide mouths open to hoover up the flying insects under the lights, performing aerial stunts over…
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Resident Cooper’s Hawks that nest in the urban areas of Albuquerque, New Mexico, are thriving as the populations of doves, their prey, have exploded. The easy prey gives the urban birds a competitive advantage over hawks in more natural habitats, where prey is less concentrated. The soaring numbers of urban Cooper's Hawks could help preserve the ge…
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As it began to hail, Marlon Inniss saw several Canada Geese doing something odd. Rather than trying to shield their heads, the geese pointed their bills skyward, directly into the path of the hail. The geese were pointing the smallest surface area of their sensitive bills, the narrow tip, into the hail — minimizing the impact. Inniss’s video of the…
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