For the Birds Radio Program
How the Raven Saved Christmas (reworked)
(Dec. 24, 2001)
Everyone knows that snow from Lake Superior squalls is magical; if Santa dusts his sleigh runners with it, he can keep his sleigh running even where it’s warm. But one year there was no snow in the northland. A raven saved the day!Duration: 4′32″ Related blog post
- Ross's Gull (Dec. 20, 2001)
One of the most beautiful gulls is also one of the rarest and most elusive. Laura dreamed of seeing this bird for decades, and finally saw it in Ashland.
- Green Jay (Dec. 7, 2001)
The corvid family is famous for their brains. The Green Jay is as beautiful as it is intelligent.
- House Karma (Dec. 6, 2001)
When Laura and Russ searched for a house 20 years ago, they found a good one on Peabody Street.
- Varied Thrush (Dec. 3, 2001)
A listener has a Varied Thrush visiting his yard in Cromwell
- Monteverde Cloud Forest (Nov. 26, 2001)
Laura read a news story saying the Monteverde Cloud Forest of Costa Rica is losing its clouds and humidity. Wildlife that tolerate warmer, drier conditions are moving in and cloud forest creatures are disappearing. The Golden Toad has entirely disappeared.
- Lawn Chemicals (Nov. 22, 2001)
In a thorough examination of dead birds retrieved in New York after the outbreak of West Nile Virus, more of the birds had died from pesticides than the disease. Laura thinks lawn care companies should be prohibited from applying insecticides without evidence of actual problems with insects, and should be required to spot spray weeds where the weeds cover less than 10 percent of the lawn.
- First Harry Potter movie (Nov. 19, 2001)
The Erickson family enjoyed the first Harry Potter movie; Laura was of course especially taken with the owls.
- Birthday 2001 (Nov. 12, 2001)
Are we really getting older, or simply upgrading our system? Laura talks about the longest living wild birds.
- Hope Is the Thing with Feathers (Sept. 14, 2001)
This was produced during the week following September 11, 2001.
- Owl pellets (Aug. 8, 2001)
Laura and some young girls dissected owl pellets, and learned a lot about how and why owls produce them.
- Canada Warbler and other Fall Birds (Aug. 1, 2001)
You have to look for them, but plenty of warblers are still about.
- Alaska Alcids (July 30, 2001)
Laura got to see lots of alcids—birds in the auk family—in Alaska.
- Steller and His Jay (July 27, 2001)
A wonderful jay is named for a ship naturalist.
- Birding on an Alaskan Cruise (July 25, 2001)
Laura and Russ took a cruise on a small ship through the Inside Passage, where Laura focused on birds.
- Hummingbirds (July 24, 2001)
Laura talks about the birds of superlatives which weighs about the same as two pennies—appropriate in a bird that likes to give us its two cents’ worth. And she thinks to herself, “what a wonderful world.”
- Nighthawks (July 23, 2001)
Laura talks about a bird whose fragile wings carry it back and forth from here to Argentina every year.
- Familiar Places and Bluebirds (Robert Frost's Fragmentary Blue) (July 20, 2001)
Laura loves birding in Port Wing, Wisconsin, where she can count on familiar friends. What makes her love for bluebirds grow the more she sees them?
- Nemesis Bird: White-headed Woodpecker (July 19, 2001)
White-headed Woodpeckers are rare and declining; very dependent on mature, healthy stands of pine. That actually explains why they have a shorter tongue than most woodpeckers.
- Kirtland's Warbler 2001 Census (July 18, 2001)
This year 1,085 Kirtland’s Warblers have been counted—a new high.
- Port Wing Centennial (July 17, 2001)
At Port Wing’s centennial celebration, celebrating the wealth of trees and fish a century ago, made Laura wonder if in another hundred years, people will look back on us with gratitude or melancholy.
- Robert Frost's The Exposed Nest (July 16, 2001)
Laura’s been watching the harsh after-effects of mowing pastures, calling to mind Robert Frost’s wonderful poem.
- Headed to Alaska (July 13, 2001)
Laura’s gearing up for a trip to Alaska.
- Deer Eating Baby Birds (July 6, 2001)
White-tailed deer eat a lot more than plants. This was a slightly shortened version of the program that aired in December 2000.
- Spirit and Soul (May 23, 2001)
A poem by Mary Oliver and a bit of prose by Walt Whitman got Laura thinking about the differences between spirit and soul.
- Night Sounds (May 21, 2001)
Laura talks about some of the sounds we can hear after dark in spring.
- Bird Sounds in Commercials and TV Shows (May 18, 2001)
Many producers use bird sounds in the soundtracks. Some make more sense than others.
- Forest Tent Caterpillars (May 16, 2001)
Forest Tent Caterpillars are covering the north woods right now. The ways we control them can be worse than the caterpillars.
- Hurt Saw-whet Owl (May 14, 2001)
When some listeners brought Laura a hurt Saw-whet Owl, she discovered that it was at least seven years old!
- Last moments of a dying nuthatch (May 11, 2001)
Laura wrote this on May 9, 2001, while cradling in her hand a nuthatch, dying from the mortal wound of a cat.Duration: 5′11″ Related blog post
- High Tech Birding (May 9, 2001)
Birds are utterly low tech creatures, but Laura finds herself more and more dependent on computers to watch them.
- Extraterrestrials (May 7, 2001)
Why search for intelligent life on other planets when we have so much right here on earth?
- American Kestrel (May 4, 2001)
Our tiniest and loveliest falcon is often seen from roads and highways.
- Cruisin' with Spring (March 19, 2001)
Laura drove between Duluth and Milwaukee, seeing the progression of spring.
- Why Birds? (March 12, 2001)
What is it about birds that attracts so many people to them?
- Pileated Woodpecker (March 5, 2001)
Laura talks about her neighborhood Pileated Woodpeckers and about the species’s population trends.
- Bird Recordings, Part II (Recordings of foreign birds) (Feb. 21, 2001)
Laura loves the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Diversity of Animal Sounds and their bird song sets from many American regions and states and from foreign lands.
- Bird Recordings, Part I (Which recordings are best?) (Feb. 20, 2001)
Laura started out learning bird songs with the Peterson recording. Now she uses the Stokes Field Guide to Bird Songs—most species are on their own track, and recordings are longer per species. She also likes Lang Elliott’s Know Your Bird Sounds and Wild Sounds of the North Woods.
- Winter: the Season of Silence (Feb. 5, 2001)
The silence of winter makes Laura think of owls. The harshness of a Minnesota winter is offset by the loveliness of a Great Gray Owl. She brings Paul Simon into it.
- Resplendent Quetzal (Feb. 2, 2001)
Laura’s best experience in Costa Rica was seeing her first Resplendent Quetzals.
- Feeder and Bird Bath Issues (Feb. 1, 2001)
Laura answers questions about maintaining winter bird baths and whether it hurts birds to stop feeding.
- Expressions Part II (Jan. 31, 2001)
Laura looks into more bird-based expressions, including “looney” and “naked as a jaybird.”
- Expressions Part I (Jan. 30, 2001)
Are bluebirds really happier than other birds? And where did the expression “to eat crow” come from? Laura talks about the origins of some bird expressions.
- David Morrison's Grackle Story (Jan. 25, 2001)
KAXE listener David Morrison told an interesting and heartwarming story about a baby grackle he’d raised, and how he knew it had become truly wild.
- Alaska Chickadees with Deformed Bills (Jan. 23, 2001)
An increasing number of Black-capped Chickadees are turning up in Alaska; no one knows why this is happening.
- Why birds? Alexander Skutch's explanation (Jan. 15, 2001)
People who spend their time in nature may enjoy many things, but birds are among the main creatures people enjoy. Alexander Skutch explains.
- Chickadee delights (Jan. 9, 2001)
What is it about chickadees that we find so endearing?
- Cardinals (Jan. 8, 2001)
Thanks to the Duluth City Council’s cat leash ordinance, we’re seeing more cardinals, and more of their babies are surviving.
- Bohemian Waxwings (Jan. 5, 2001)
When Laura a flock of Bohemian Waxwings flew along next to Laura’s car, she started thinking about how they dress and act like true Minnesotans.
- Winter bird activity (Jan. 4, 2001)
This winter, Laura’s feeders have been hopping with birds, but she’ll be in Costa Rica this month so won’t get to enjoy them for a while.
- Ross's Gull (Dec. 20, 2001)