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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
Burrowing Owls: Howdy Birds
A Burrowing Owl is about as big as a can of beans on stilts. Between the long legs, bright yellow eyes, and signature bobbing salute, these little birds are comical members of the western ecosystem. Cowboys riding Western rangelands have a nickname for these little owls.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Jul 19, 2019
The Female Oriole Weaves a Nest
In summer, across much of North America, a sudden flash of orange and black in the treetops usually means one thing: orioles. Baltimore Orioles in the East, Bullock’s Orioles in the West, and Hooded Orioles in the Southwest and California.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Jul 18, 2019
Why Do Downy and Hairy Woodpeckers Look So Similar?
Generations of birders have puzzled over how to tell Downy Woodpeckers from Hairy Woodpeckers. The two species’ patterns of black and white feathers are so alike that it was long thought they were the closest of relatives.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Jul 17, 2019
Most Kingfishers Don&#039;t Fish
In North America, kingfishers fish. But in tropical regions of Asia, Africa, and Australia, most of the roughly 90 species of kingfishers don’t “fish.” They hunt in woodlands, where the smaller ones, like the four-inch Pygmy Kingfisher, eat grasshoppers and centipedes.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Jul 16, 2019
Bond. James Bond. Birdwatcher.
The real James Bond was born in Philadelphia in 1900 and worked as a banker after college. But his first love was the natural world. Eventually, he kissed the banking world goodbye and dedicated the rest of his life to exploring and documenting birds and nature.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Jul 15, 2019
Jazz for the Birds
Birds are an inspiration for many musicians. Before writing “The Penguin,” Raymond Scott probably saw these birds at the Central Park Zoo. Though penguins are clumsy on land, Gentoos like the ones pictured here are the fastest of any diving bird, reaching 22 miles an hour.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Jul 14, 2019
Rock Pigeons: Bobbleheads
A Rock Pigeon bobs its head as it walks, making it appear that its head and feet are linked. Pigeons' eyes are on the sides of their heads, permitting them to watch for predators from all directions, but limiting their ability to distinguish distances.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Jul 13, 2019
Aldo Leopold and the Field Sparrows
The Field Sparrow was the first bird song Aldo Leopold awoke to on his farm in the 1940s. In his Sand County Almanac, a classic of conservation and nature writing, Leopold brought to life scenes of nature, a month at a time.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Jul 12, 2019
Tracking Birds During Migration
It’s more important than ever to map their travels – to learn when birds take flight, where they stop to rest, and what they require for food and shelter along the way.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Jul 11, 2019
Wrens from North to South
There are nearly ninety species of wrens in the world, and quite a few are exceptional singers. Nearly all of them reside in the Western Hemisphere, with the majority living in Central and South America.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Jul 10, 2019
Anhingas - Snakebirds
In the black water of a Louisiana bayou, the water ripples where a slender form glides just beneath the surface. It appears to be a snake, but look closer at the long, narrow spike of a beak.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Jul 09, 2019
Swift Bricks
Common Swifts in Europe nest in eaves and under roof tiles and gables. But modern construction doesn’t have these nooks and crannies, and populations of swifts have been declining.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Jul 08, 2019
Fruit as a Bribe
In summer, many shrubs bear fruit that birds find irresistible. Elderberries, serviceberries, blackberries, dogwood berries, mulberries, and currants attract many species of birds, including waxwings, tanagers, robins, warblers and this Rose-breasted Grosbeak.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Jul 07, 2019
Do Birds Use Ants as Tools?
The purpose of anting remains something of a mystery, although most experts agree it has to do with transferring the ants’ secretions to the bird’s body. It’s likely that the ants’ formic acid helps the bird control feather-mites and other parasites.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Jul 06, 2019
Flyin&#039; in the Rain
Most birds are mostly waterproof. Their feathers, aided by oil from preen glands, keep them pretty watertight. So why do birds avoid flying during rainstorms? It may have more to do with the air than with the water. Rainstorms tend to occur when atmospheric pressure is low.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Jul 05, 2019
The Bald Eagle, A National Symbol
Immature Bald Eagles look so different from mature Bald Eagles that John James Audubon thought they were a different species entirely! Sitting about three feet tall, these majestic birds have wingspans of more than six feet.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Jul 04, 2019
Swallow-tailed Kite
There's a bird of prey in the American Southeast that takes grace to an utterly new level: the Swallow-tailed Kite. A sleek raptor with a white head, slender black wings, and a long, deeply forked black tail, the Swallow-tailed Kite almost never flaps its wings.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Jul 03, 2019
Canada Jays Are Bold Residents of the Mountains
Formerly known as the Gray Jay — and nicknamed the Camp Robber or Whiskey Jack — the mountain-dwelling Canada Jay seems to crash your picnic even faster than hungry ants.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Jul 02, 2019
The Peacock&#039;s Tail: More Than Meets the Eye
When a male Indian Peafowl unfurls its magnificently-colored tail and shakes it, it creates an ultra low frequency sound that we humans can’t hear. But it seems to get the special attention of female birds, called peahens.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Jul 01, 2019
Turkey Vultures and Gas Pipelines
Do vultures detect carrion by sight or by smell? The lightbulb moment came to ornithologist Kenneth Stager when a Union Oil employee told him of vultures congregating at the spot<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Jun 30, 2019
Brewer&#039;s Sparrow, Sageland Singer
One of the most musical and complex bird songs in the US is that of the Brewer's Sparrow. It's a veritable aria, ringing forth from the sagebrush of Eastern Washington's Columbia Basin. Shrub-steppe is disappearing from the interior west as it is cleared for irrigated crops.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Jun 29, 2019
Gannets and Dolphins
Northern Gannets, fish-eating seabirds, dive headfirst into the ocean at speeds of up to 60 miles an hour, pursuing their prey. Sometimes, they get help. Dolphins herd fish into dense, frantic concentrations near the surface, while gannets take advantage and plunge into the shoals from aloft.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Jun 28, 2019
The Arctic Plain in June
In early June, millions of birds arrive on the Arctic Coastal Plain in Alaska, from all over the world. They're there to attract a mate and raise their young. One shorebird, the Pectoral Sandpiper, has a pectoral sac on its chest.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Jun 27, 2019
Great Black-backed Gull, North Atlantic Predator
Great Black-backed Gulls have a reputation as serious predators of other birds. During the nesting season, they’ll prey on eggs and nestlings of other seabirds. They’ll also hunt adult seabirds including puffins and grebes, as well as songbirds as big as a grackle.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Jun 26, 2019
Audubon and the Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Hummingbirds have a symbiotic relationship with flowers: They buzz in close to drink the sweet nectar that the flowers make. While the hummer has its long beak and even longer tongue deep in the tube of the flower, it’s being dusted with pollen all across its face.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Jun 25, 2019
Sound Escapes - A Jubilant Riot of Music
When he was just 22 years old, a young man named Samuel Clemens (who would go on to become the writer Mark Twain) signed on to train as a pilot on a Mississippi riverboat.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Jun 24, 2019
Hearing Loss and Birds
More than 20 years ago, Professor Ed Rubel of the University of Washington discovered that chickens could repair their own damaged hearing. The birds regrow tiny structures in the inner ear, known as auditory hair cells. Most vertebrates can regenerate these cells - but mammals cannot.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Jun 23, 2019
Giant Owls of Cuba
The Cuban Giant Owl, now extinct, was 3½ feet tall and weighed 20 pounds — the largest of all known owls. It had very small wings, running after its prey on long, powerful legs. Similar large owls, with long legs and small wings, have been unearthed in places as disparate as Georgia and Hawaii.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Jun 22, 2019
Sound Escapes - Dawn on the Mississippi
The Mississippi Flyway is one of North America’s four major corridors for migrating birds. Billions of birds make their way north from Central and South America into the U.S. and Canada each spring and head south again in the fall. For a time, they join residents, including this Barred Owl.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Jun 21, 2019
Birds Move from Fresh to Salt Water
To hear a Common Loon in the wild during summer, you’ll need to find a northern, freshwater lake where a pair is nesting. But to find that same Common Loon in winter, you’ll likely need to look on a saltwater bay. This shift from fresh to salt water would kill most animals.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Jun 20, 2019
What Are Birds Saying with Their Crests?
A bird’s crest is made up of a slender array of feathers on top of its head. These feathers are a bit longer and can be spiked up or slicked back, depending on what the bird is trying to communicate.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Jun 19, 2019
Henry David Thoreau and the Wood Thrush
In June 1853, Thoreau wrote of an enchanting encounter with the Wood Thrush: "This is the only bird whose note affects me like music. It lifts and exhilarates me. It is inspiring. It changes all hours to an eternal morning." Wood Thrushes thrive in large expanses of forest.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Jun 18, 2019
Eastern Wood-Pewee and Eastern Deciduous Forest
Each year, the plaintive song of the Eastern Wood-Pewee carries through the forests of eastern North America. For the past 25 years, the number of Wood-Pewees has fallen. But providing economic incentives for private landowners to save forests can help.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Jun 17, 2019
Father Birds
The male hummingbird leaves the female to build the nest and raise the young alone, but other father birds are more involved. A Peregrine Falcon father shares duties almost evenly with the mother.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Jun 16, 2019
Oxbow Lakes Are Often Rich With Birdlife
Many birds look for islands when they want to find a great nesting site, because islands are often protected from mammalian predators. Some of the best places to find islands are oxbow lakes, like many of the ones protected by the National Wildlife Refuge System.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Jun 15, 2019
Black-bellied Plover, Arctic Nester
In the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, June days offer almost continuous daylight to breeding birds, including this Black-bellied Plover. At this high latitude, Black-bellied Plovers can complete their breeding cycle in a month and a half.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Jun 14, 2019
Dunlins and Peregrines
In a dramatic and sometimes deadly aerial ballet, a Peregrine Falcon dives on a flock of Dunlins. Seeking escape, the shorebirds flash white and dark, rippling through the sky.  This dance has changed dramatically since the banning of the pesticide DDT in 1973.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Jun 13, 2019
Black-headed Grosbeak Sings!
The song of this male Black-headed Grosbeak has been described as that of a drunken or scat-singing robin.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Jun 12, 2019
How the Oriole Got Its Name
The oriole’s name comes from the Latin oriolus, (or-ee-OH-lus) meaning “the golden one.” Despite their similar names, the Eurasian Golden Oriole and the Baltimore Oriole aren’t related at all. Each belongs to a family unique to its side of the Atlantic.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Jun 11, 2019
Peeps? Butterbutts? What are these birders talking about?
People who watch birds have developed nicknames and a whole lingo to talk about the birds they love. But don’t feel like you have to know everything – or anything! Birders love to share. Peeps are sandpipers. Can you guess what butterbutts are? Listen to today’s episode and find out!<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Jun 10, 2019
The Auklet&#039;s Whiskers - Not Just for Show
In Alaska’s Aleutian Islands, thousands of Whiskered Auklets — miniature relatives of puffins and murres — nest in deep rock crevices. The birds owe their name to the white plumes that sprout from their heads each summer. These fancy “whiskers” likely play a role in courtship.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Jun 09, 2019
White-crowned Sparrow
The White-crowned Sparrow pours out its song over and over on spring and summer days-and even on moonlit nights-often up to 15 times a minute.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Jun 08, 2019
The Song of the Canyon Wren
The Canyon Wren makes its home on the steep rocky outcrops and vertical stone cliffs of the coulees and mesas of the West. The birds are found from Mexico all the way through southern British Columbia.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Jun 07, 2019
What&#039;s Inside a Sandpiper&#039;s Bill?
Sandpipers spend most of their days running back and forth at the edge of the surf. They stick their long bills into the mud, looking for little crabs and critters and sea worms just below the surface.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Jun 06, 2019
Baby Birds - Leave Them Alone
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.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Jun 05, 2019
From Egg-laying to Hatching and Beyond
Waterfowl like this Muscovy duckling spend up to 30 days in the egg, so they’re able to walk, swim, and feed themselves as soon as they hatch. We call these chicks precocial.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Jun 04, 2019
The Ancient Greeks Believed Kingfishers Were Born of Epic Love
The ancient Greeks believed the gods turned two distraught lovers into kingfishers — or “halcyon birds.” Thanks to divine assistance, these birds would enjoy calm weather during their nesting period. Even today, many kingfishers have echoes of this story in their scientific names.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Jun 03, 2019
Golden-crowned Sparrows in the Klondike
Words help us identify birds by vocalizations. Like the towhee's "Drink your tea,” or the Great Horned Owl’s “Who’s awake? Me, too…” Then there are the sweet, clear whistles of the Golden-crowned Sparrow.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Jun 02, 2019
City Gulls - Rooftop Nesters
Juvenile Glaucous-winged Gulls are taking flight over downtown Seattle. In Chicago, young Ring-billed Gulls are heading for Lake Michigan. And before long, juvenile Herring Gulls will be soaring over the Atlantic Ocean. More and more, some gulls are raising their families in the city.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Jun 01, 2019
Burped Ps
Parrots are famous for their ability to mimic human voices. But to teach a parrot all the sounds of human language is actually really challenging. They might not have the right anatomy to replicate the sound faithfully, but they can usually improvise.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
May 31, 2019