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BirdNote is a two-minute radio show that combines rich sounds with engaging stories, to illustrate the amazing lives of birds and give listeners a momentary respite from the news of the day.

BirdNote is a two-minute radio show that combines rich sounds with engaging stories, to illustrate the amazing lives of birds and give listeners a momentary respite from the news of the day.
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Tacoma, WA




BirdNote is a two-minute radio show that combines rich sounds with engaging stories, to illustrate the amazing lives of birds and give listeners a momentary respite from the news of the day.




BirdNote PO Box 99456 Seattle, WA 98139 206-522-8099


Nest Building

Make a gift to BirdNote through GiveBIG on May 2, 2012, and s-t-r-e-t-c-h your donation!Give now. And thanks! - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Imagine building a bird's nest. An averageAmerican Robinweighs less than three ounces. An average person 1,000 times as much as a robin. A robin’s nest, made of grass and mud, weighs about seven ounces, so yours will weigh 450 pounds. You’ll need to collect about 350 strands of grass, each about four feet long. And don’t forget the...

A Young Bewick's Wren Learns to Sing

Make a gift to BirdNote through GiveBIG on Wednesday, May 2, 2012, and s-t-r-e-t-c-h your gift!Here's how. Donald Kroodsma, an 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. His father sings a crisp well-defined song, separated by pauses, but the young bird's song is fuzzy, unfocused, a little rambling. Each adult maleBewick's Wrenhas his own set of unique songs. A...

Sapsuckers and Hummingbirds

The sapsucker is a type of woodpecker that notches rows of small holes in trees, causing sap to well out. The birds eat the sugary liquid flowing from these sapwells. Now tree sap is similar in sugar content to the nectar hummingbirds take from flowers. And it is no coincidence that just as theYellow-bellied Sapsuckersget their sapwells flowing in spring,Ruby-throated Hummingbirdscome migrating north. Several species of hummingbirds partake of the bounty of sap released by sapsuckers, even...

Mapping Songbird Migration with Geolocators

Devices called geolocators are giving us new insights into how, when, and where birds migrate. They record daily changes in light levels at different latitudes and longitudes by recording the time of each sunrise and sunset. And by attaching them to migrating birds - like thisRed Knot-scientists can determine where the birds have been and for how long. Some migrants make lengthy fall stopovers that were previously unknown, and some wintering zones have been pinpointed with new accuracy....

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. The Brownsville, Texas dump was, for years, the only place in the US you could find thisTamaulipas Crow. For a more sedate birding adventure, visit a cemetery. Especially in rural areas and in the Midwest, cemeteries are often repositories of native plants, and thus magnets for migratory birds,...

American Woodcock

At sunset, the maleAmerican Woodcock— a plump, robin-sized bird — walks slowly on short legs from the cover of the forest to a nearby clearing. After a few sharp calls, the woodcock takes flight. As it spirals upward, slim, stiff feathers at its wingtips create a curious twittering. At the apex of its flight, the woodcock circles, then descends in a slow spiral, putt-putting like a tiny car about to run out of gas. The woodcock’s odd looks and sounds have earned it many colorful nicknames....

John James Audubon Birthday

April 26th is the birthday of John James Audubon - flamboyant, groundbreaking artist, dedicated observer, adventurer, and writer. John James Audubon grew up in France, but moved to Philadelphia at 18. Embracing the natural wonder of his new homeland, Audubon set out to paint all the birds of America.This "Audubon's" Yellow-rumpedWarbler was named for him, and he is also recognized as the man after whom theAudubon Societywas named.Learn more.

Sage Thrasher and Sagebrush

The glorious song of the maleSage Thrasher rings out every spring from tracts of sagebrush throughout the West. Sagebrush was once widespread in the Great Basin region, and so were the thrashers. But huge areas of sagebrush were turned into alfalfa and potato farms, and the songs of the Sage Thrasheraren’t so common today. Sagebrush badly needs advocacy. Learn more about theImportant Bird Areasprogram that works to protect key habitats for birds.Here’s howyou can help.

Mistaken Identity

ThisBand-tailed Pigeonmay sound like an owl, but it's a case of mistaken identity. The song of the American Robin could be confused with that of the Black-headed Grosbeak. And then, there’s the Black-capped Chickadee. At certain times of year, the male sings Fee-bee, fee-bee, even though it’s not a "phoebe." Listen to more bird songs and calls attheMacaulay Libraryof Natural Soundsat Cornell University.

Birds in Shakespeare - With Rod Molzhan

Shakespeare's plays abound with birds. A Midsummer Night’s Dream names seven birds in one, short song. The Ousel-cock so black of hue, with orange tawny bill, The Throstle with his note so true, the Wren with little quill. … The Finch, the Sparrow and the Lark, the plain song Cuckoo gray, Whose note full many a man doth mark, and dares not answer nay. Learn more about this Chaffinch at RSPB, theRoyal Society for the Protection of Birds. And Happy Birthday, Mr. Shakespeare.

In Celebration of Earth Day

The populations of some birds have declined dramatically – more than 80% in the past 40 years. Here are a few: theNorthern Bobwhite, theEvening Grosbeak, theNorthern Pintail, and theBoreal Chickadee.Common Terns– like this one – migrate along both coasts and through the interior to their nesting grounds in Canada from their winter home in the tropics. What can you do this Earth Day, to help make the world a better place for birds? Find ideasat

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. When offered the chance to help restore a watershed on Western Washington’s Olympic Peninsula, Susan and her husband Scott dug right in. Working to restore the five-mile-long Tarboo Creek, they’ve planted more than 5,000 trees so far. What could you do to help the natural world? Find...

Brown Pelicans -- What We're Learning

During the winter of 2009-2010, thousands of Brown Pelicanswashed ashore on Pacific beaches, wet, cold, starving. Fierce storms, thought to be more frequent because of global climate change, probably made it difficult for the birds to feed. And storm-water runoff washed oil and pollutants into the water, destroying the birds’ natural insulation. Perhaps carpooling and using your car less can benefit birds like Brown Pelicans, which are on the receiving end of oil-based pollution. Learn...

Walk Down an Arroyo

Arroyo means "stream" in Spanish. With mesquite, yucca, and cactus along their edges, arroyos in the Southwest fill with water only a few times a year, mostly during the heavy rains of late summer. There’s a remarkable diversity of wildlife here, including thisPyrrhuloxia. Birds here are most active in the morning, except those that are nighttime specialists. The sounds of life in an arroyo are magical, day and night. Visit us onFacebook, and let us know what you think of the show.

Limpkin - Bird of the Swamp

It’s dawn on a spring day inthe Big Cypress Swamp ofFlorida. 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. Then, moving to solid ground, the Limpkinpositions the shell, and using the curved tip of its lower mandible, it scissors loose the operculum and pulls out the snail.Have you spent time in a cypress swamp? Tell us your story...

Kids in Nature

Unless kids are introduced purposefully to nature, they may understand the plight of the Amazon rain forest, but never dampen their feet in a local stream. They may never know the names and songs of the birds they see or understand the wonder of migration. Nature camps for children can invigorate their connections with the natural environment. Your localAudubon chaptermay have a kids' camp.NatureRocks.orghas lots of ideas for family activities.And check outCoyote's Guide to Connectingwith...

Midway Project - The Plastic Gyre, with Chris Jordan

Artist Chris Jordan brings a deep energy to a huge environmental problem – the accumulation of plastic debris in the world’s oceans. He’sdocumenting its effect on the Laysan Albatrosses of Midway Island. Adultbirds mistake pieces of plastic for squid and fish, feeding them to their chicks – unwittingly, killing them. But Chris has faith in a culture’s ability to correct its course. “We act, when we feel something deeply…” See Chris Jordan’s moving photos of the albatrosses of Midway...

Dry Tortugas Archipelago

From a bird’s perspective, the Dry Tortugas in the Gulf of Mexico can be a lifesaver. Millions of migratory songbirds fly north across the Gulf and Caribbean each spring, headed for North America. If they run into heavy wind and rain blowing down from the continent, the Dry Tortugas provide their first landfall. In a storm, thousands of storm-tossed birds – warblers, thrushes, cuckoos, and others – seek shelter on theDry Tortugas. No doubt that thisBlackpoll Warblerwas happy to touch down...

Birds Dress for Spring

It’s spring! And for many birds, it's a time to look their best to attract a new mate.ThisAmerican Goldfinch has recently molted. Its old, worn-down feathers have fallen out, and new ones have grown in. When American Goldfinches molt in the fall, they lose these brightly colored feathers. Their winter camouflage helps them blend in with the drab background of the season. If you’d like to make a gift to BirdNote,begin here.

Follow Island Girl with Bud Anderson

"Peregrine" means "wanderer." And Island Girl, a Peregrine Falcon, has made the 18,000-mile round-trip journey from the high arctic of Canada to southern Chile three times. Bud Andersonof the Falcon Research Groupcalls her "a master of the air." Using satellite telemetry, he invites people to share in the adventure of Island Girl’s journey. With online maps, you can now follow this gorgeousPeregrinein her wanderings. She’ll head northward from Chile early to mid-April.Check it out!