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Category: Natural Sciences

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Reviews: 3

 Jun 23, 2019
I so look forward to listening to this podcast every day. It's a great way to greet the morning!

 May 14, 2019

 Sep 1, 2018
My apologies for not writing this review sooner. You produce one of my favorite podcasts. Great for birders and general audience as well. Thanks!


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.

Episode Date
The Beauty of Webbed Feet
Webbed feet are ideal for birds that swim, on the water’s surface or under. In fact, they’re such a nifty adaptation that they evolved, independently, in several bird groups. Ducks and geese, gulls, cormorants, loons, pelicans, penguins, puffins and boobies all have webbed feet.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Mar 30, 2020
Music Inspired by Chicks Hatching - Mussorgsky and Ravel
Inspired by a talented friend's painting called "Ballet of the Unhatched Chicks," Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky wrote a piano piece as part of his famous work Pictures at an Exhibition. The composition was later orchestrated by Maurice Ravel.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Mar 29, 2020
Thirsty Rufous Hummingbird
Hummingbirds need to consume five times their body weight each day. This Rufous Hummingbird of the West is looking for flowering plants to quench that mighty thirst on its spring migration. A feeder would work, too. Put a hummingbird feeder up in your yard, and see who turns up!<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Mar 28, 2020
Great Tinamou, Eerie Voice in the Jungle
The eerie sound of the Great Tinamou can be heard in the lowland jungle throughout much of Central and South America. Secretive — and almost impossible to see — Great Tinamous call early and late in the day. And their voices carry a long distance.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Mar 27, 2020
Red-winged Blackbird Harem
As spring begins, the male Red-winged Blackbird brandishes his red epaulets to warn other males away from his patch of cattails. At the same time, he sings to lure females into his marsh...many females, in fact. One male may attract up to a dozen females.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Mar 26, 2020
Dawn Song - Emily Dickinson
Emily Dickinson: "The Birds begun at Four o'clock..." As the first rays of sunlight fill the trees on a spring morning, a symphony of birdsong erupts. As early morning light extinguishes the stars, male birds begin to belt out their songs. One of the magical gifts of spring is the dawn song.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Mar 25, 2020
Syrinx and the Satyr
Birdsong owes its beauty and variety to a complex structure called the syrinx. The name comes from an ancient Greek story. Syrinx was a beautiful wood nymph, and she was trying to escape the advances of the satyr Pan. Just as Pan caught her, Syrinx was transformed into reeds.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Mar 24, 2020
Elf Owl
By late February or March, Elf Owls depart Mexico to breed in the US. These miniscule owls weigh less than an ounce and a half — a bit less than a golf ball. During the breeding season, Elf Owls live in woodlands and desert cactus habitats from southwest Texas into southern Arizona.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Mar 23, 2020
Spring, The Sky Rippled with Geese - With Maria Schneider
Birds provide a lot of inspiration for composer Maria Schneider, whose album titled Winter Morning Walks won three Grammy awards in 2014. One song from that album, “Spring, The Sky Rippled With Geese,” features Ted Kooser’s poem of the same title.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Mar 22, 2020
Drumming with Woodpeckers - West
Early spring in the West resounds with the percussive hammering of woodpeckers. Their rhythmic drumming functions as other birds' songs do, to broadcast over a long distance a clear statement of territory and mating rights.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Mar 21, 2020
Bearded Vultures Return Home to Europe
With its enormous size and black tuft of a beard, the Lammergeier, or Bearded Vulture, has a stark appearance. These distinctive birds erroneously acquired a reputation for killing livestock and stealing babies, which led to relentless persecution and eventual disappearance from much of Europe.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Mar 20, 2020
Vernal Equinox
Today marks the Vernal Equinox. And birds are singing in the new season. Listen to the sounds of the Greater Prairie-Chicken, Limpkin, Vesper Sparrow, Black Scoter, Horned Lark, Sandhill Crane, Western Meadowlark, Black Oystercatcher, and Western Screech-Owl.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Mar 19, 2020
New Zealand&#039;s Kakapo
The Kakapo of New Zealand is a kind of parrot, but one that doesn’t fly. At five pounds, it’s the world’s heaviest parrot. And like many parrots, it’s long-lived -- up to 90 years. Still, the species is highly endangered.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Mar 18, 2020
Green Birds on St. Patrick&#039;s Day
You'd think that with so much green in nature, many birds would be a'wearin' the green for camouflage. Not just on St. Patrick's Day, but every day. Yet very few of our birds cavort in Irish green.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Mar 17, 2020
Secretive Varied Thrush
Except in winter, when it gathers in loose flocks to move to lower elevations, this shy bird prefers solitude. The intricate pattern of color on its wings resembles dappled sunlight on the forest floor. Naturalist Louis Agassiz Fuertes called the song of the Varied Thrush, "...<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Mar 16, 2020
Hummingbird Feeder Homebrew
The familiar components of a hummingbird feeder include a bottle, sugar water, and something red to attract the birds. (But not the water, please! Food coloring can be harmful to hummers.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Mar 15, 2020
Lark Sparrow
The Lark Sparrow is large, gorgeous, and unmistakable. Because of its beauty, a Lark Sparrow was chosen for the cover of Sparrows and Buntings: A Guide to the Sparrows and Buntings of North America and the World.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Mar 14, 2020
Voices and Vocabularies - The Basics
Birds’ voices invite us to step into nature and learn more about the singers. Hearing what’s distinctive in one bird’s voice — compared to another — helps us identify our avian neighbors without seeing them. Amazing!<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Mar 13, 2020
Those Raucous Jays
A raucous call and a bold flash of blue at your feeder means a jay has arrived. East of the Rockies, your visitor is quite likely a Blue Jay (left). Out west, you're probably seeing a Steller's Jay. These daring blue dandies sound the alarm, announcing the approach of a predator.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Mar 12, 2020
Birds and Glass - Making Homes Safer
Forty-four percent of bird/window collisions happen with low-rise and residential buildings. Birds just don't understand glass and fly into windows at incredible speed. Biologist Matt Shumar has some easy ways to make your home safer for birds. First, reduce lighting, which attracts birds.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Mar 11, 2020
European Starling Nightmare
You can find European Starlings in huge flocks from coast to coast, and from Northern Canada deep into Mexico. Yet not one of these iridescent-black, yellow-billed starlings is native to the Americas. One hundred starlings were released in Central Park in New York City in 1890.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Mar 10, 2020
Birds and Glass - Ovenbird Release
During the migration season, many birds are injured when they collide with glass skyscrapers in New York City. Those that survive may end up at the Wild Bird Fund, the city’s only wildlife rehab center. Good news!<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Mar 09, 2020
Tune Up Your Ears - West
By March in the West, Song Sparrows and other songbirds that don't migrate are already singing heartily to attract mates. Many other birds - including this Warbling Vireo - will return north from the tropics in April and May, announcing themselves in song as soon as they arrive in nesting areas.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Mar 08, 2020
Turkey Vultures on the Move
Before we see or feel spring, we often hear it first — in the testimony of a Red-winged Blackbird, the energy of a Song Sparrow, or the serenade of an American Robin. But across much of North America, an earlier sign of spring is the return of Turkey Vultures.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Mar 07, 2020
Wetland Birds Thrive
While nearly a third of North American bird species are in decline, many birds that depend on wetlands are thriving. Duck breeding populations in 2009 were an estimated 25% above historical averages.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Mar 06, 2020
Birds and Glass - At the Wild Bird Fund
Rita McMahon started New York City’s only wild bird rehab center in 2005. Today, the Wild Bird Fund has grown to see more than 7,000 birds each year. What’s the biggest problem during migration season? Collisions with glass. And New York City has a lot of glass.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Mar 05, 2020
Snatching Berries on the Wing
When American Robins gather to pluck berries, you can expect to see a lot of fluttering. The robins are heavy, making it a lot harder to perch and creep along a thin stem. And they have long, strong legs because they spend so much time walking and hopping on the ground in search of food.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Mar 04, 2020
Birds and Glass - Community Science
Birds do not understand glass. They see the reflection of open sky or trees and fly into windows at incredible speeds. These collisions, in both cities and residential areas, may claim the lives of as many as one billion birds in the US each year. But there's hope!<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Mar 03, 2020
Amazing Pied-billed Grebe
The small, nondescript Pied-billed Grebe has an astonishing talent. The grebe is the master of its own buoyancy. It can squeeze out both the air trapped in its feathers and in its internal air-sacs and sink effortlessly.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Mar 02, 2020
Why Birds Sing
Why do birds sing? Ornithologists have learned that the longer hours of light that come with spring trigger the release of hormones in birds. These hormones prompt the enlargement of the birds' gonads which, in turn, stimulate male birds to sing.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Mar 01, 2020
Leaping with Sandhill Cranes
With a graceful leap, wings outstretched, Sandhill Cranes welcome the longer days. The stately cranes are courting, renewing an annual dance they perform in earnest as the days lengthen into spring.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Feb 29, 2020
American Kestrel
The American Kestrel is the smallest, most numerous, and most widespread North American falcon. This bird is built for speed, its long pointed wings often bent back at the tip. While hunting, kestrels hover above an open field.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Feb 28, 2020
Flocking and Foraging
In winter, a foraging flock might include several species of birds: chickadees, kinglets, and even a Downy Woodpecker. Many bird species eat alone, so you might wonder why these birds have chosen to dine together. Different species foraging in a group to find food enhances the success of all.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Feb 27, 2020
Jacana - Lily-trotter
The strange wading birds known as jacanas are nick-named "lily-trotters" for their ability to walk on lilypads. In Jamaica, they're known as "Jesus birds," because they appear to be walking on water — a feat made possible by their long toes. But that's not all that's cool about jacanas.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Feb 26, 2020
Kirtland’s Warbler - A Conservation Success
State and federal efforts, combined with the work of community volunteers, have brought the Kirtland’s Warbler back from the brink of extinction in the 1970s. Today, about 2300 pairs nest in the northern Midwest and into Ontario. It was taken off the Endangered Species List in 2019.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Feb 25, 2020
Why the Black Skimmer Skims
That’s not a distant dog barking. It’s a Black Skimmer in flight, at the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge in Virginia. This striking, black-and-white bird with a red bill and red feet has a most unusual way of feeding. It flies low along the surface of the water with its beak open.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Feb 24, 2020
Crow Funeral - with Tony Angell
Tony Angell, along with Professor John Marzluff of the University of Washington, wrote the book, Gifts of the Crow: How Perception, Emotion, and Thought Allow Smart Birds to Behave Like Humans.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Feb 23, 2020
How Birds&#039; Names Change
Have you ever heard of a marsh hawk or a sparrow hawk? These long-familiar bird names have passed into history. The study of birds, like any science, remains a work in progress.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Feb 22, 2020
Pigeons Love Cities - But We Loved Them First
Though some might see them as winged rats in today’s cities, pigeons have a long-standing bond with people -- especially in our urban environment. From Mesopotamia, 7000 years ago, to the urban skyscrapers of today, pigeons have been a constant.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Feb 21, 2020
Nest Cavities - Book Early
Tree Swallows and bluebirds — like this Western Bluebird — are among the earliest northbound migrants to arrive, heralding spring a month before the equinox. These species will nest only in cavities, such as old woodpecker holes or man-made nestboxes.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Feb 20, 2020
Cranes&#039; Voices Across the Globe
There are fifteen species of cranes across the globe, found everywhere but Antarctica and South America. During the winter, cranes forage and rest together by the thousands. Listen in to the voices of cranes from all over the world.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Feb 19, 2020
Mockingbirds Are Southerners
It wasn’t until the 19th century that Northern Mockingbirds began nesting in the Northeastern states. In the 20th century, the birds expanded their range into Ohio and the upper Midwest. Much of California saw the arrival of mockingbirds in the 20th century, too.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Feb 18, 2020
Regal Great Blue Heron
Tall and prehistoric-looking, the Great Blue Heron is the largest heron in North America. Great Blue Herons are often seen flying high overhead with slow wing-beats. When foraging, they stand silently along riverbanks, on lake shores, or in wet meadows. Quickly then, they stab at their prey.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Feb 17, 2020
The Crane Wife
Throughout history, the Japanese have viewed the crane as a symbol of good fortune. Because cranes mate for life, they also represent fidelity and honor. Visit, to learn more about the International Crane Foundation and the fight to save the Japanese Red-crowned Crane.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Feb 16, 2020
Northern Saw-whet Owls - Common but Unknown
Northern Saw-whet Owls reveal we have much to learn about the world of birds. Author and naturalist Scott Weidensaul shares his insight: “Here’s a species that up until the early to mid-1990s was considered to be rare in most of its range . . .<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Feb 15, 2020
Annual Great Backyard Bird Count
The annual Great Backyard Bird Count, February 14-17, 2020, is sponsored by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Birdwatchers across the country count birds and then report the numbers on-line.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Feb 14, 2020
Conserving Canada&#039;s Boreal Forests
The vast Canadian boreal forest provides breeding habitat for almost half of North America's migratory ducks, geese, and songbirds - including this Olive-sided Flycatcher.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Feb 13, 2020
Charles Darwin and the White Tern
On a stop at the Cocos Islands near Sumatra, the naturalist Charles Darwin described his first encounter with a special little bird.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Feb 12, 2020
When Does a Crossbill&#039;s Bill Cross?
A young crossbill starts life with a wedge-shaped beak. As it grows up and starts to feed itself by removing conifer seeds from their tough packaging, the tips of its bill begin to grow rapidly — and then they cross.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Feb 11, 2020
Common Poorwills Can &quot;Hibernate&quot;
Common Poorwills don’t sing much when the mercury drops. But they can do something else that is remarkable. As the winter cold deepens, these petite members of the nightjar family can enter a hibernation-like state — and stay like that for hours — or even weeks!<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Feb 10, 2020