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Category: Natural Sciences

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Reviews: 2

 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
One-Bird Symphony
To make their beautiful songs and calls, birds have different sound-making anatomy than people. Humans have a larynx at the top of our windpipe. Birds use a different organ, called the syrinx.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
May 21, 2019
Birdsongs near Home
Who's in the neighborhood today? It's amazing how many birds you can see – and hear – when you go for a walk. There's a towhee... and a Steller's Jay ... now, a junco ... There's the "tin trumpet" sound of this Red-breasted Nuthatch.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
May 20, 2019
Ruddy Duck
When male and female Ruddy Ducks meet on their breeding grounds, the male gets right to strutting his stuff. The male raises his tail and his head, until his feathers look like horns. He inflates his neck and, faster and faster, strikes his chest with his bill.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
May 19, 2019
Listening to Nuthatches
Nuthatches rank high on the list of favorite backyard birds. Compact and stub-tailed, they climb down tree trunks and along the underside of branches with comical ease. One at a time, they flit in for suet and sunflower seeds.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
May 18, 2019
Endangered Species Day
This Golden-cheeked Warbler nests only in a Central Texas woodland. Its small breeding range is ever more fragmented by residential development, and its numbers are in serious decline.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
May 17, 2019
The Land Between the Lakes
We’re at the Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area, just 50 miles northwest of Nashville, Tennessee. It’s this massive inland peninsula, bordered by sections of the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
May 16, 2019
Hold the Phone
Many birds are difficult to see, such as the Sora. Its plumage blends perfectly with the dense marsh grass where it lives. So how can we get a good look at this denizen of the undergrowth? One way is to play a bird-call app on a mobile device. But using an app requires sensitivity.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
May 15, 2019
Recycle Your Eggshells to Help Nesting Birds
Female birds need to eat calcium to have enough of the mineral to lay their eggs. But it can be hard to find enough of it to eat in nature. We can help our backyard birds by offering them some extra calcium in bird feeders and by recycling our used egg shells.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
May 14, 2019
A Young Bewick&#039;s Wren Learns to Sing
Donald Kroodsma, avian communication expert, offers great research on the songs of the Bewick's Wren. At this time of year, a very young male Bewick's Wren is beginning to learn how to sing.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
May 13, 2019
America&#039;s Love of the Lawn
According to NASA, there are about 63,000 square miles of lawn in the US — nearly enough to cover the state of Wisconsin. That’s bad news, because most birds (other than this European Starling) prefer shrubs that provide food and cover.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
May 12, 2019
The Ruby-crowned Kinglet Tunes Up
The Ruby-crowned Kinglet is one of the smallest songbirds on the continent, weighing in at just a little more than half a chickadee. Mostly green and hard to spot, it hovers in mid-air as it catches tiny insects.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
May 11, 2019
Why Is My Robin Half White?
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May 10, 2019
Which Species of Bird Sings First in the Morning?
The dawn chorus is that time when, just before sunrise, birds begin to sing. One by one, then all together, their voices join to greet the new day. But which bird sings first? The timing of when a bird joins the chorus seems to depend on how well it can see in low light.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
May 09, 2019
Maria Schneider and Cerulean Skies
Millions of migratory birds are winging their way north. In her jazz composition Cerulean Skies, American jazz composer Maria Schneider, celebrates their return.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
May 08, 2019
Ponderosa Pine Savanna
In a Western ponderosa pine savanna, tall pines dot an open, grassy landscape. A Western Bluebird flits from a gnarly branch, as this Cassin's Finch belts out a rapid song. The trees here grow singly or in small stands. Upslope, the pines become denser, mixing with firs.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
May 07, 2019
Have You Ever Seen a Tom Turkey&#039;s Beard?
With his brilliantly colored plumage fanned out in display, this tom (male) Wild Turkey is a handsome sight to behold. He has a bright red head, long spurs, and… a beard. This “beard” is a small cluster of bristles that sprouts from the bird’s chest plumage. It looks like a misplaced ponytail.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
May 06, 2019
Long-billed Curlew - Singing over the Grassland
The Long-billed Curlew is North America's largest shorebird, seen here in its breeding habitat, a western grassland. They may be the largest, but they're also among the rarest. Their numbers are declining as arid grasslands disappear.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
May 05, 2019
Morning on the Bayou
Cypress trees draped with Spanish moss rise from still, dark water. A Barred Owl hoots mightily as an alligator slithers by. It's morning on the bayou. Bayous are found in much of the Southeast from Arkansas to Alabama, across flat land that drains into the Mississippi River.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
May 04, 2019
Bird Songs Reflect the Environment
Different sounds travel better in different environments. The explosive notes of a Marsh Wren carry well through thick vegetation. A Common Yellowthroat's choppy, repetitive song rattles right through a stand of cattails.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
May 03, 2019
Traci Brimhall: Intimacy and the Everyday
April is National Poetry Month in the US, so we featured some of our favorite poets who write about our feathered friends. Traci Brimhall is an associate professor of poetry at Kansas State University.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
May 02, 2019
A Heron Nest Starts with Just One Stick
During winter and early spring, Great Blue Herons build their nests high in the treetops. The male delivers the supplies to the nest site stick by stick, as the female arranges things. It’s the perfect childhood home for their young, made without blueprints, architects or engineers.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
May 01, 2019
Which Chickadee - Black-capped or Carolina?
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Apr 30, 2019
American Robin, Valiant Challenger
The male American Robin - fiercely territorial - belts out its distinctive cheery song to defend its breeding territory from invasion by other robins.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Apr 29, 2019
The Peregrine Falcons of Rome
Falconer Steve Layman has worked closely with raptors for most of his life. And he has a theory that runs counter to what many scientists believe: he says not all predators hunt the weak and diseased.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Apr 28, 2019
Limpkin - Bird of the Swamp
It's dawn on a spring day in the Big Cypress Swamp of Florida. Mist rises from quiet water into Spanish moss hanging from the cypress branches. A Limpkin is foraging for apple snails. When it touches a big, round shell, it grabs it quickly and pulls it from the water.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Apr 27, 2019
Burrowing Belted Kingfisher
The Belted Kingfisher dashes through the air, warning intruders with its rapid-fire, rattling call. In spring, the best places to see Belted Kingfishers are along sandy banks -- they are busy digging burrows, where they will nest.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Apr 26, 2019
Learning to Listen - Patterns in Songs of the Song Sparrow
Heidi Hoelting, a musician, listens carefully to the songs of birds. In her piano studio at her home in the woods, she wrote down several variations of the different sounds a Song Sparrow makes. In this BirdNote, Nancy Rumbel plays some of those variations on a bamboo whistle.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Apr 25, 2019
Cactus Wren Nest Orientation
Cactus Wrens, which may nest several times between March and September, carefully orient their nests in tune with the season. These bulky twig structures have a side entrance that curves toward the inner chamber.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Apr 24, 2019
Sound Escapes - The Auditory Horizon
Looking out from a tall mountain on a clear day, you might be able to see for dozens of miles. Expansive, scenic views are treasured for their beauty — but what about being able to hear over long distances?<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Apr 23, 2019
Remembering Mary Oliver
On January 17, 2019, renowned American poet Mary Oliver passed away. She was known for her beautiful writing about the natural world. We spoke with poet Traci Brimhall about Oliver's passing and asked her to read the first poem she ever memorized, Wild Geese.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Apr 22, 2019
Restoring the Land - An Interview with Susan Freeman
Aldo Leopold, in A Sand County Almanac, described his family's efforts to restore their land to its natural state. Leopold's granddaughter, Susan Freeman, a piano teacher in Seattle, inherited that land ethic.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Apr 21, 2019
Tricolored Blackbirds Face the Future
Tricolored Blackbirds nest primarily in California, but smaller groups breed from the state of Washington to Mexico’s Baja California.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Apr 20, 2019
Sound Escapes - Our Listening Guide
Saskatchewan’s Grasslands National Park, just a few miles north of the Canada/US border... To be heard over the loud winds, birds like this Chestnut-collared Longspur need to have a wide dynamic range.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Apr 19, 2019
High Island - Migration on the Gulf
If you're near High Island, Texas in the spring, you might witness a "fallout," one of the great spectacles of bird migration.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Apr 18, 2019
The Colors of Chicken Eggs
Except around Easter, chicken eggs usually come in a predictable range of colors: white, brown, and sometimes pale blue or green. Chickens are descended from the Red Jungle Fowl of Southeast Asia, which has been providing eggs for humans for thousands of years.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Apr 17, 2019
Turkey Calling - Real or Unreal
Preston Pittman won his first turkey-calling contest when he was only 16, and he makes the sounds with his mouth. Sadler McGraw uses the "friction" technique. He pulls a "striker" - almost like a screwdriver - across a crystal surface.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Apr 16, 2019
Hovering with Horned Larks
Horned Larks rival meadowlarks as the most colorful birds of North American grasslands. They live in prairies, fields, and tundra, but agriculture and development now intrude on many of the Horned Lark's traditional nesting areas.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Apr 15, 2019
How Humans Affect Competition Among Birds
Evolutionary time is long — the earliest ancestors of birds emerged around 50 million years ago. Against that yardstick, the length of time humans have been living in cities is a blip.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Apr 14, 2019
The Eagle Trains the Man
A Golden Eagle perches on the arm of a Kazakh horseman in the Altai Mountains of Northwestern Mongolia. The horseman and bird are hunting golden foxes, hares, even wolves. It is said that as the man trains the eagle, the eagle trains the man.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Apr 13, 2019
Kinglet Fireworks
Most of the time, a Ruby-crowned Kinglet is neither ruby nor regal. A tiny songbird washed in faded olive-green, the male shows a hint of crimson atop of his head — hardly a ruby crown. But don’t forsake the kinglet for flashier birds.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Apr 12, 2019
Dry Tortugas Archipelago
From a bird's perspective, the Dry Tortugas, a cluster of islands in the Gulf of Mexico, can be a life-saver. Millions of migratory songbirds fly north across the Gulf and Caribbean each spring, headed for North America.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Apr 11, 2019
The Thieving Magpie?
Rossini’s 1815 opera, The Thieving Magpie, tells of a household maid who nearly goes to the gallows for stealing silver from her employers. At the last instant, it’s revealed that the thief was actually a magpie.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Apr 10, 2019
Female Blackbirds Choose Their Mates
One male Red-winged Blackbird’s marshland territory may include five—or even as many as fifteen—nesting females. And he makes an effort to mate with every one of them. Biologists call this polygyny - when one male claims breeding rights with multiple females.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Apr 09, 2019
Making a Home Among the Saguaros
In the arid Arizona desert, where cacti thrive but trees are scarce, the Gila Woodpecker and this Gilded Flicker carve out nest cavities in living saguaros. Tall, old saguaros may be pocked with twenty or more nest holes, bearing witness to decades of woodpecker families.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Apr 08, 2019
Unlikely Places to Go Birding
Birding is often best in the least likely places. At sewage treatment plants, watch for ducks and gulls - and raptors keeping watch over them all. Another place might be your local landfill or dump.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Apr 07, 2019
Spring Migration Across the Globe
Each spring, millions of birds head north. From Ecuador, beautiful Scarlet Tanagers fly to the eastern US and Canada, many traversing the Gulf of Mexico, an arduous journey.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Apr 06, 2019
Birds Dress for Spring
It's spring! And for many birds, a time to look their best to attract a new mate. This American Goldfinch has recently molted. Its old, worn-down feathers have fallen out, and new ones have grown in. When goldfinches molt in the fall, they lose these brightly colored feathers.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Apr 05, 2019
Sidney Wade - Blue
April is National Poetry Month in the United States, and to celebrate, we're featuring some of our favorite poets who write about our feathered friends. Today, in this extended podcast, we're sharing the work of poet Sidney Wade, professor emeritus at the University of Florida.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Apr 04, 2019
Northern Mockingbird
The Northern Mockingbird has a broad repertoire. It can mimic everything from other birds to inanimate objects. And it does so at all hours of the day and night.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Apr 03, 2019
Sound Escapes - The Next Best Thing to Being There
Take a trip to the Hawaiian Islands with BirdNote with our new podcast Sound Escapes. We’ve teamed up with Gordon Hempton to bring the world’s sonic landscapes to your ears.<img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Apr 02, 2019