For the Birds Radio Program
Fast Food Franchise Birds
(Dec. 29, 2000)
Laura talks about some of her own observations of birds mooching for french fries at fast food joints, and reads a personal letter from Roger Tory Peterson retelling his own experiences.
- Gluttony (Dec. 28, 2000)
Reworked from programs in the 80s about how much food birds can pack away.
- Feather Numbers (Dec. 27, 2000)
This is the time of year when birds have the most feathers.
- Christmas (Dec. 25, 2000)
Christmas celebrations often have a lot of birdy elements.
- Birds in the Movies (Dec. 21, 2000)
From Jimmy the Raven in many Frank Capra movies to Norman Bates’s stuffed crow, Laura notices birds in movies.
- Hunter in Florida Kills Two Whooping Cranes (Dec. 20, 2000)
A hunter is getting off with only minor penalties for shooting two Whooping Cranes in Florida. He claims he mistook them for ducks. Laura thinks he should lose his right to hunt and to own a gun.
- Mark Alt's Owl Story (Dec. 19, 2000)
Laura’s friend Mark Alt shares an amusing story about some backyard visitors—or were they?
- Loon Gifts (Dec. 18, 2000)
The sheer number of products with loons on them sold as gifts is surprising, but it’s a regional phenomenon.
- Hunting Stories (Dec. 15, 2000)
Many times hunters have sent Laura stories about their encounters with birds while sitting up in their deer stands. Pete Petrovek wrote to Laura about what it feels like for a hunter.
- Christmas Bird Count (Dec. 14, 2000)
How will Laura be strategizing the Christmas Bird Count this year?
- Deer feeding on songbirds (Dec. 13, 2000)
Laura was disconcerted to read that White-tailed Deer feed on grassland nestlings and eggs. It was as disillusioning as the past election.
- Four Cardinals! (Dec. 12, 2000)
Laura has four cardinals in her backyard, making her remember her own childhood, her grandpa, and also Lauren Bacall.
- Jim Baker's Blue Jay Vocalization Decoder Ring (Dec. 11, 2000)
Jim Baker can now decode what Blue Jays are saying! And hear the California Ravens with “Bohemian Rhapsojay.”
- Free Gifts for the Birds in Our Own Backyard (Dec. 8, 2000)
Minimize the use of lawn pesticides, don’t cut down trees in breeding season, and keep cats indoors.
- Free Gifts for the Birds in the Kitchen (Dec. 7, 2000)
Two simple practices in planning our meals can have major benefits for the birds.
- Free Gifts for the Birds: Conserve Energy (Dec. 6, 2000)
Every way we produce energy harms birds, and driving a bit slower both uses less energy and saves birds from collisions.
- Free Gifts for the Birds: Write Your Cell Phone Provider (Dec. 5, 2000)
Laura suggests that if you’re getting a cell phone for Christmas, look into how the different companies construct towers for their antennas. And send a note to your company requesting that they use bird-friendly construction. www.towerkill.com has a wealth of information about the issue.
- Gifts for the Birds, Part I (Dec. 4, 2000)
Acknowledging how much birds mean to us is a good reason to provide gifts for them. Laura will talk about ways we can help birds this week. Today she talks about gifts that cost money, from bird feeding to memberships in conservation organizations.
- Chickadee Vocalizations (Dec. 1, 2000)
Listen to chickadee calls as Laura explains what they mean.
- How Do Chickadees Manage with Their Tiny Brain? (Nov. 29, 2000)
If everything seems fresh and new to a chickadee, that’s because everything is.
- Chickadees: Beloved by All (Nov. 28, 2000)
Who loves a chickadee, and why? Several KUMD listeners explain.
- Pine Siskin (Nov. 27, 2000)
One of our most conspicuous feeder birds is named for the Swedish word for a chirper.
- November Turkeys (Nov. 24, 2000)
Laura thinks that since loons aren’t here in November anyway, we might as well call the turkey our emergency auxiliary state bird, at least at Thanksgiving.
- Thanksgiving Turkey Biology (Nov. 23, 2000)
Ever wonder what those turkey gizzards are all about, or why turkey have wish bones?
- Thanksgiving Gratitude 2000 (Nov. 22, 2000)
Laura’s grateful for many things this year.
- Two Emily Dickinson Poems about Bobolinks (Nov. 21, 2000)
Laura reads two of Emily Dickinson’s poems about Bobolinks.
- The Tropics (Nov. 20, 2000)
Laura has yearned to go to Costa Rica for decades, and is headed there on 01-01-01. She’s been studying up for months, and now knows the difference between a jungle, a rainforest, and a cloud forest.
- Snowy Owls (Nov. 17, 2000)
Some Snowy Owls that find their way down here can be starving.
- New Binoculars (Nov. 14, 2000)
Laura just got a new pair of binoculars—10x42 Leicas.
- Blue Jays Are Here to Stay (Song only) (Nov. 13, 2000)
After the 2000 election, while the nation was wondering what was happening, the California Ravens came up with this musical number.
- Disgruntled Jim Baker (Nov. 13, 2000)
Jim Baker has a cure for those Florida ballot-counting blues.
- Kirtland's Warbler (Nov. 10, 2000)
Laura celebrates the birth of Jared Kirtland, born in 1793, for whom Kirtland’s Warbler is named.
- Interview with Jerome Pratt (Nov. 9, 2000)
Laura talks with the commander of the last Pigeon Company of the Army Signal Corps.
- Costa Rica Planning (Nov. 3, 2000)
Laura is headed to Costa Rica in January. How is she studying up?
- John Oberholtzer Poem for All Souls Day (Nov. 2, 2000)
In honor of All Souls Day and Dia del Muerte, Laura reads John Oberholtzer’s “Cemetery. “
- Using Crows for an Election (Nov. 1, 2000)
A listener called Laura about a bird-brained scheme to train crows to repeat the name of a mayoral candidate over and over.
- Purple Finches (Oct. 25, 2000)
Purple Finches are popular, interesting, and useful, but they’re not purple unless you have a classical education.
- Mar Mar's Blue Jay (Oct. 23, 2000)
My neighbors Bob and Mary (called Mar Mar by us since my kids were little) have a special Blue Jay who peeks into their window to get their attention when it wants peanuts.
- Saw-whet Owl: Fall migration (Oct. 17, 2000)
Hundreds of Saw-whet Owls are banded at Hawk Ridge every fall.
- Chickadee vs. Cat (Oct. 13, 2000)
Caring for a bird injured by a cat almost always ends with heartbreak.
- Passport (Oct. 10, 2000)
Laura just got a passport that will allow her to explore the entire world, or at least go to Costa Rica.
- Kinglets, Creepers, and Other October Treasures (Oct. 4, 2000)
Few birds sing in October, but a few have been brightening Laura’s days, as well as non-singing Golden-crowned Kinglets and Brown Creepers.
- Migration Watching (Sept. 22, 2000)
Different kinds of birders, like different kinds of birds, enjoy migration in different ways.
- Gone with the Wind: White-throated Sparrows (Sept. 20, 2000)
It’s easy to understand the complex mating system of White-throated Sparrows if you remember the book or movie, Gone with the Wind.
- Frozen Mice for Archimedes (Sept. 15, 2000)
Laura defrosts a mouse every single night for her education screech owl Archimedes.
- Joey Goes to College (Sept. 11, 2000)
This fall, Laura is facing her son going off to college: something hummingbird mothers think is no big deal.
- Poem by John Oberholtzer: Bird Legs (Sept. 8, 2000)
Laura reads a lovely poem by John Oberholtzer.
- Hummingbird vs. Kestrel (Sept. 4, 2000)
Laura saw a thrilling encounter between a hummingbird and a kestrel and wondered what makes a tiny hummingbird take on a much larger predator?
- The Miracle and Magic of Migration (Re-recorded from 1988) (Sept. 1, 2000)
Hummingbirds are heading out, wings beating 70 times every second, its heart beating 650 times every minute.
- Migration: why birds migrate (Aug. 23, 2000)
Migration used to mystify people, and mysteries still abound.
- My Uncle Dick (Aug. 15, 2000)
Is death sadder or more final for humans than it is for birds? Life is too short to wonder.
- Tropical Dreams (Aug. 11, 2000)
Laura’s been thinking about how lovely it would be to spend a year in Costa Rica, and another year here and there in South America.
- Early Fall Migration (Aug. 9, 2000)
What birds are moving about this time of the season? Listen to the sounds of waxwings and Merlins as well as learning about what they’re up to.
- Cardinal Memories (Aug. 7, 2000)
Laura’s encounter with a cardinal conjured some lovely memories. She also talks about how gratifying it is to whistle in a bird on your own.
- Bring back DDT? (Aug. 4, 2000)
The Wall Street Journal is reverting to the tactics of the 1960s trying to promote widespread use of DDT once again.
- Farley (July 28, 2000)
Laura talks about life with a Cockatiel named Farley.
- Archimedes (July 26, 2000)
Laura’s getting a major education from her education screech-owl.
- Fish and Birds (Re-recorded from 1987) (July 24, 2000)
Many birds eat fish, and sometimes fish return the favor.
- Macaws (July 21, 2000)
Do parrots deserve to lead lives as pets?
- Warblers and Edge (July 19, 2000)
If warblers need mature stands, why are they so often found on edges?
- Robin fighting reflection (July 17, 2000)
Why is a robin hitting my windows over and over?
- Brown-headed Cowbird (July 14, 2000)
Laura gives a different spin on an unpopular brood parasite.
- A Visit to the Field Museum of Natural History (July 12, 2000)
Laura and her family go “birding” to see Ivory-billed Woodpeckers and other extinct species.
- Summer Birding (July 10, 2000)
Summer birds are quiet but worth watching, and Ogden Nash is always worth listening to.
- Baby Birds, Part III (July 7, 2000)
“Precocial” chicks—those of ducks, geese, and shorebirds—need entirely different care from baby songbirds because they’re imprinted on their parents.
- Baby Birds, Part II (July 5, 2000)
Laura has some tips for if you find a baby songbird that absolutely needs help.
- Baby Birds, Part I (July 3, 2000)
Laura has some tips to help baby birds in general, and to help individual baby birds in trouble.
- Slow Down! You Move Too Fast (Re-recorded) (June 27, 2000)
This is a good time to slow down and look up to see the birds all around us. (Originally recorded for 1987-04-17)
- Yawning (Re-recorded) (June 23, 2000)
Do birds yawn, or when they open their beaks, is it merely a “jaw stretch”?
- Win Vader's Winter Wren Story (June 22, 2000)
When King Lear says, “Die for adultery? No! The wren goes to’t,” he was talking about the bird we know as the Winter Wren.Laura’s friend Wim Vader recounts a legend about them in Norway.
- Ovenbird and Vireo (June 21, 2000)
Laura talks about two birds that live by the exact opposite of the rule, “Children should be seen but not heard.”
- Trespassing on the Wild (June 20, 2000)
Walking on a bird’s territory can seem very rude to the bird.
- Thunderstorms (June 19, 2000)
How do birds survive dangerous thunderstorms?
- My Favorite Warbler (June 16, 2000)
It turns out Laura can’t really figure out which warbler is her favorite.
- American Redstart (June 15, 2000)
This active little warbler is nicknamed “candelita” in Cuba.
- Northern Parula (June 14, 2000)
This zippy little warbler, the tiniest in North America, makes an intricate nest in “old man’s beard.”
- Magnolia Warbler (June 13, 2000)
This colorful warbler has a tricky song but is easy to identify if you see it.
- Chestnut-sided Warbler: summer (June 12, 2000)
Laura took care of a Chestnut-sided Warbler for a few days; he was a confiding little guy.
- Beautiful Songs (Re-recorded from 1987) (June 8, 2000)
What are some of the most lovely songs of the north woods?
- Black-backed Woodpecker (June 7, 2000)
Laura talks about one of our uncommon, secretive woodpeckers.
- Blackbirds and Black Birds (June 6, 2000)
When is a black bird not a blackbird?
- Summer Feeding (June 5, 2000)
Is feeding birds in summer a good thing? Only if it’s as good for the birds as it is for us.
- Movie Review: Sleepy Hollow (June 2, 2000)
Some bird issues were dealt with well in the movie Sleepy Hollow, if you don’t mind a head chopping here and there.
- End of Spring (June 1, 2000)
Spring migration is intense but fleeting.
- Alexander Skutch's Hummingbirds (May 30, 2000)
Alexander Skutch’s book, The Life of Hummingbirds is filled with fascinating information about hummers, including some charming stories.
- Common Yellowthroat (May 29, 2000)
A spunky little bird with a loud song is victimized by cowbirds more than most birds.
- Baltimore Oriole (May 25, 2000)
May is when it’s time to set out oriole feeders.
- Nashville Warbler (May 24, 2000)
A warbler that never ever nests in Nashville is one of our north country treasures.
- Chestnut-sided Warblers in Spring (May 23, 2000)
Laura talks about a very welcome third-of-an-ounce warbler.
- Black-and-White Warbler (May 11, 2000)
The first warbler Laura ever saw is one of the easier warblers to notice because of its distinctive behaviors.
- Hummingbird Feeders (May 9, 2000)
Maintaining hummingbird feeders is important for them and for us.
- Kirtland's Warbler (Reworked from 1988) (May 8, 2000)
The “Bird of Fire” is easy to find if you’re in the right place at the right time.
- Downy Woodpecker (May 5, 2000)
Laura talks about our tiniest woodpecker.
- Ruby-crowned Kinglet (Reworked) (April 27, 2000)
When a Ruby-crowned Kinglet alighted on Laura’s finger, the thrill reminded her of a Robert Frost poem.
- Fox Sparrow (April 26, 2000)
One hardy sparrow seems to sing most persistently the worse the weather is.
- 100,000 Miles (Ford Aspire) (April 25, 2000)
Laura’s Ford Aspire hit the 100,000 mile mark!
- Great Blue Heron (April 20, 2000)
The enormous Great Blue Heron weighs less than most newborn babies. Learn more about this majestic bird and why monofilament line is so dangerous for it.
- Cormorant fishing (Re-recorded from original transcript) (April 18, 2000)
Using birds to catch fish is an ancient sport.
- Swans (April 14, 2000)
Swans live up to their “family values” reputation.
- Enter: Archimedes! (April 12, 2000)
Laura came home from Ohio with a screech owl!Audio missing
- Common Grackle (April 10, 2000)
This shiny black bird with a yellow eye is one of the most conspicuous signs of spring.
- American Woodcock (April 3, 2000)
Sitting in the starlight listening to and watching woodcocks is the best way to spend a north country spring night.
- Smew! (March 27, 2000)
On March 24 and 25, a Smew turned up off Wisconsin Point, but disappeared by the time most people arrived.
- John Kieran's White-breasted Nuthatch (March 20, 2000)
Laura reads from John Kieran’s words about his “spark bird,” a White-breasted Nuthatch.
- Sharp-shinned Hawk (March 17, 2000)
Laura is caring for a Sharp-shinned Hawk for a short time, and musing about what the Sharp-shinned Hawk thinks about the situation.
- Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (March 15, 2000)
Laura talks about one of her favorite signs of spring.
- Magpie story (March 13, 2000)
WXPR listeners Marcia and Bill Beseler had a wonderful summer with a magpie. And this is an animal story with a happy ending.
- Iiwi (March 10, 2000)
One of the most spectacularly bizarre birds in the world must be Hawaii’s Iiwi, which seems to come straight from an avian circus.
- Hawaii Flight, Part II (March 8, 2000)
An hour after Laura landed from her longest flight, she took the shortest flight she’d ever taken, from Honolulu to Maui, and the plane was low enough that she could see whales!
- Flight to Hawaii, Part I (March 6, 2000)
Laura took a long airplane trip over the Pacific Ocean, speculating about how the time we spend on a journey enhances our idea of the distances we’ve traveled.
- Sam Robbins (March 1, 2000)
Laura talks about a real hero, Sam Robbins, author of Wisconsin Birdlife, who died on February 19, 2000.
- Jet Skis (Feb. 28, 2000)
Laura wrote to Governor Ventura about the problems birds are facing due to jet skis.
- National Bird Feeding Month (Feb. 21, 2000)
As winter ebbs, birds’ needs for food are at their greatest. Maintaining feeders and providing food with high nutrition are critical.
- Gambling (Feb. 18, 2000)
Chasing down rare birds is a form of gambling.
- Winter: Snow-bathing Snow (Feb. 15, 2000)
Winter poses more tricky difficulties that just cold.
- Bird Houses (Feb. 14, 2000)
Why is it so important to exclude starlings and sparrows from bird boxes?
- Wintering Cape May Warbler (Feb. 11, 2000)
For the first time ever, a Cape May Warbler turned up on Duluth’s Christmas Bird Count, and stuck around until January.
- Planning a Trip to Hawaii, Part 2 (Feb. 10, 2000)
What birds is Laura hoping to see in Hawaii?
- Planning a Trip to Hawaii (Feb. 9, 2000)
Laura is learning a lot about Hawaii’s geography and geology in anticipation of her trip.
- Hawaii! (Feb. 8, 2000)
Laura is going on a family vacation to Hawaii, and all she can think about are birds.
- Geography and History: Laura learns about Hawaii (Feb. 7, 2000)
Laura never had a solid sense of geography until she became a birder. Now she’s fascinated with Hawaiian history.
- Cats, Part II (Feb. 4, 2000)
Laura discusses some of the more global issues involved with cats.
- Gluttony (Dec. 28, 2000)