Summary: 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.
Sapsuckers, a specialized group of woodpeckers, don’t actually suck sap. After pecking neat rows of small holes in trees to cause the sugary liquid to flow, the birds lick it up with tongues tipped with stiff hairs. So why doesn’t a sapsucker’s beak get stuck shut?
Avalanches tend to follow historic channels down the face of a mountain, sweeping with them standing trees and boulders, while adjacent slopes remain clad in evergreens. Such natural snow courses are known as avalanche chutes.
Did food play a role in your courtship? Well, Arctic Terns share a food-related ritual. Early in the breeding season, a female Arctic Tern perches near a possible nesting site. The male appears carrying a small fish in its bill.
This quiz features - an American Robin ...- an Olive-sided Flycatcher, like this one ... - a Red-tailed Hawk ...- a Steller's Jay, which you're most likely to hear west of the Rockies ... - and a Blue Jay, usually seen east of the Rockies.
Gull-watching is pretty tame along the coasts most of the summer. Many gull species retreat north to nest; a few others nest inland. Along the Atlantic, it’s mostly nesting Herring and Laughing Gulls that stick around through summer. On the Pacific Coast, it’s Glaucous-winged and Western.
Out in the arid West, miles north of Winnemucca, a small caravan of birdwatchers searches for raptors along a distant ridgeline of basalt and sage. Nearby, a circle of green, created by pivot irrigation, attracts Northern Harriers that hunt over fields and marshes.
By late summer, the male Mallard’s need for fancy feathers to attract the females has passed. These birds have molted, and their bright feathers are replaced with mottled brown ones. Subdued colors help camouflage the male ducks, protecting them from predators.
The call of the Common Loon brings to mind a summer visit to northern lakes with sunny blue skies. A "yodel" call is given by males on their breeding territories. The call of the Common Loon that we hear during winter is quite different from the breeding call in summer.
Puffins are icons of the seabird world. With clown-like faces and huge, multicolored bills, they stand upright on sea cliffs along the northern oceans. Tufted Puffins nest on islands and rough coastlines, from the Channel Islands of Southern California across the north Pacific to Siberia.
A close look at this Red Crossbill reveals a curious adaptation. The long tips of the upper and lower bill don't meet, but instead cross over each other. The bills of young birds are not crossed at hatching, but cross as they grow.
High in the mountains of Chiapas, the southernmost state of Mexico, a male Highland Guan is performing his territorial display. The Highland Guan perches on a tree-branch, whistles, and then glides on vibrating wings. The resulting wondrous sound is like no other.
Tony Angell reflects: "It's a cloudless summer day as I listen to ravens behind me in the woods. There's an endless repertoire of croaks, krawks, barks, yelps, and yodels.
American Bird Conservancy says that about 80 million pet cats, plus 60 to 100 million homeless or feral ones, kill more than 500 million birds every year in the U.S. Only one-third of cat owners always keep their cats indoors.
Bird life is abundant on the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge in southern Texas. This large stretch of Tamaulipan brushland was preserved for its wildlife, including many species found nowhere else in the United States. One of the special birds on this refuge is the Green Jay.
In the rural Southeast, roadside ditches – known as “bar ditches” – carry on for miles. They’re full of water and full of life, these narrow wetlands. Herons stalk the shallow water, stabbing at minnows. Common Gallinules, like this one, swim on the surface.