For the Birds Radio Program
(Dec. 28, 2004)
In many birds, the male and female may seem identical, but look entirely different to each other because they can see in the ultraviolet range. This understanding is allowing endangered birds to reproduce in captivity at the Brookfield Zoo.
- Christmas Chickadees (Dec. 24, 2004)
Chickadee activity is one of the joys of December.
- Birds in the News: Bayer withdraws GMO crops (Dec. 22, 2004)
Bayer announced that they are withdrawing some of their patented GMO seeds.
- Birds in the News (Dec. 20, 2004)
Sad news about Whooping Cranes, and a new report about the prospects of many species with climate change. And good news about the building where New York’s Pale Male is nesting.
- Holiday Gift Ideas 2004, Part II (Dec. 17, 2004)
In addition to the ideas Laura presented yesterday, she recommends multimedia such as the Thayer guide–either the continental or the state version. She also recommends membership in the American Bird Conservancy. She explains some binocular basics, and recommends 8 power, mid-price models as a basic rule.
- Holiday Gift Ideas 2004, Part I (Dec. 16, 2004)
Laura recommends the Cornell Lab’s Handbook of Bird Biology for anyone who is deeply interested in birds. Lang Elliott’s Know Your Bird Sounds CD sets and Stokes Field Guide to Bird Songs are great for anyone. Stan Tekela’s Birds of Minnesota leaves out too many birds to be useful.
- Pale Male Controvery (Dec. 13, 2004)
The famous hawk living at 927 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan is far more popular with some people than others, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is less focused on protecting nesting raptors than they once were.
- Saved by a Hummingbird (Dec. 10, 2004)
Laura drove through extremely harrowing, icy conditions this weekend to the Twin Cities. En route she stopped at Tobies, where the Duluth newspaper had a big picture of Viola above the fold. Delighted people were gathered, looking at the paper.
- Birds in the News: Po'ouli extinct and glowing owls (Dec. 9, 2004)
Sad news about the Poʻouli of Hawaii, and more cheerful news about Saw-whet Owls, and how their feathers glow pink under ultraviolet lights.
- Sage Grouse in Trouble (Dec. 8, 2004)
Sage grouse are losing the sage they require as cheat grass is taking over, and the oil, gas, and cattle industries are fighting protecting the dangerously threatened species.
- Jeepers, the Neighborhood Pileated Woodpecker (Dec. 7, 2004)
When Laura was keeping her hummingbird feeders going for a Rufous Hummingbird in November and December in 2004, she was rewarded by a Pileated Woodpecker coming to a very close box elder right when her window was open to photograph it.
- Farewell, Viola (Dec. 6, 2004)
How did the saga of Viola the November Hummingbird end?
- Viola Update (Dec. 3, 2004)
As of December 2, Laura’s hummingbird is still there, but acting more cold stressed. Is she genetically unfit?
- Birds in the News: Extinctions (Nov. 29, 2004)
More than 15,000 animal species are in danger of extinction according to a recent report, and this is considered a vast underestimate. Continental extinctions are rising now, in addition to the many extinctions on islands. Hawaii contains 0.2% of the US land mass, but over 25% of the endangered species of the country.
- Another Hummingbird Update (Nov. 24, 2004)
Laura is in Florida, so had to make arrangements for someone to make sure the hummingbird is getting food.
- Owl Invasion! (Nov. 23, 2004)
The number of owls people are seeing in northern Minnesota is almost unbelievable. No one is sure why they’re down here—most of the ones banders are dealing with are of good weight.
- Hummingbird Update (Nov. 22, 2004)
Laura’s hummingbird is still visiting, and she reports on some other out-of-place hummingbirds wintering here and there in the northeastern US.
- November Evening Grosbeaks (Nov. 18, 2004)
Are Evening Grosbeaks really declining, or are we simply misremembering how abundant they once were?
(This program was reworked from 2003)
- November Hummingbird! (Nov. 17, 2004)
Laura had a Ruby-throated Hummingbird on October 1, for just a few minutes. And yesterday a new hummingbird showed up briefly!
- Birds in the News: Great Horned Owl, poaching, bird flu, and safer rice crops (Nov. 16, 2004)
The Great Horned Owl is the only raptor in Minnesota that is not protected legally in the state. Customs found Mountain Hawk-Eagles in a poacher’s bag. Bird flu is now being found in Russia. And the RSPB is recommending organic, bird-compatible rice crops.
- Birthday 2004 (Nov. 11, 2004)
Chickadees help keep us young.
- Two-winged Eagle (Nov. 9, 2004)
Politicians in this election likened themselves to an eagle and their opponent as an ostrich.
- Aurora (Nov. 8, 2004)
Laura witnessed some extraordinary northern lights and started wondering about how birds perceive them.
- Birds in the News: Seabirds Eating Garbage (Nov. 5, 2004)
Researchers are discovering plastic in the digestive tracts of seabirds in northern Canada and Alaska, and that albatrosses pick up cigarette lighters and other trash that they feed their young.
- Birds in the News: protecting Israeli aircraft and birds (Nov. 4, 2004)
An Israeli ornithologist is working on protecting Israeli military aircraft from collisions with migrating birds by mapping bird migration and how high birds are depending on weather, to figure out where and when aircraft can fly most safely during migration. Thanks to his work, bird-aircraft collisions have declined 75 percent.
- Birds in the News (Nov. 3, 2004)
Canada is considering a potentially dangerous pipeline; garlic repels birds as effectively as it does vampires; birds caught by banders in the U.K. are setting new longevity records; and Northwestern Crows are sneakier with their families than with strangers.Audio missing
- Birds in the News (Nov. 2, 2004)
Audubon just released their State of the Birds report: 30 percent of North American birds, including 70 percent of grassland species, are declining significantly. A study in Washington found that students who had environmental education programs in their schools did better in other subjects as well. Audubon recommends that while people are waiting at the polls, they should use their birding skills.
- Eurasian Tree Sparrow (Nov. 1, 2004)
Laura looked forward for many years to seeing the Eurasian Tree Sparrow, which are found in North America only in St. Louis. She happened to accomplish her goal the very morning after the St. Louis Cardinals broke the Boston Red Sox curse.
- Hurricanes and Birds, Continued (Oct. 28, 2004)
More birds have been killed in this year’s devastating hurricane season.Audio missing
- Clark's Nutcracker in Silver Bay (Oct. 25, 2004)
A western corvid named for William Clark has inexplicably turned up in Silver Bay.Audio missing
- Cool Migration: 2004 (Oct. 11, 2004)
Lots of amazing birds have been appearing in Duluth lately, so Laura and Photon headed out to see some at Erie Pier.Audio missing
- Ivory-billed Woodpecker (Oct. 8, 2004)
Tonight Duluth Audubon will hear from Jim Fitzpatrick about the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s 1935 expedition to record Ivory-billed Woodpeckers, and about their much more recent acoustic monitoring in an attempt to find any survivors or verify that they are truly gone.Audio missing
- West Nile Virus: Crows dealing with grief (Oct. 7, 2004)
West Nile Virus, which has now reached Hawaii, is hitting birds far worse than it is humans. Individually tracked crows in Ithaca, New York, are reacting to losses of relatives and neighbors in surprisingly human ways.Audio missing
- Late Hummingbird (Oct. 4, 2004)
A late Ruby-throated Hummingbird turned up in Laura’s yard last week.Audio missing
- Birds in the News (Sept. 23, 2004)
Bad News: Bald Eagles have been succumbing to West Nile Virus, and foggy weather in Duluth and Milwaukee have been killing migrants. Good News: Red-cockaded Woodpeckers may be more resilient than people thought.Audio missing
- Downy Woodpecker (Sept. 20, 2004)
Downy Woodpeckers are dealing as well as they can with Duluth’s massive hawk migration.Audio missing
- Birds in the News: Hurricane Charley, and drug testing for pigeons (Sept. 15, 2004)
How did Hurricane Charley affect coastal birds? And drug testing for racing pigeons?Audio missing
- Birds in the News: Endangered Kiwis and Parrot Vocalizations (DD) (Sept. 9, 2004)
A coal mine may put endangered Great Spotted Kiwis in jeopardy in New Zealand, and ornithologists are manipulating the tongues of dead parrots as they pass air through the syrinx to see if they can produce vowel sounds.Audio missing
- Hurricanes and Birds (Sept. 7, 2004)
This year’s hurricanes have pushed a lot of birds around.Audio missing
- The Fab Five and Burrowing Owls (Sept. 3, 2004)
Burrowing Owls clearly do not watch Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. The little owls’ use of dung around their nest attracts beetles that the owls eat.
- Birds in the News: Puffins (DD) (Sept. 2, 2004)
The Wall Street Journal tells an exciting story about Atlantic Puffins and how children in Iceland rescue them. Of course, they were scooped by children’s book author Bruce McMillan, who wrote Nights of the Pufflings in 1995.Audio missing
- Great Horned Owl Drama (Sept. 1, 2004)
A Great Horned Owl, a murder of crows, and a spunky Blue Jay were the characters in an exciting drama in Laura’s neighborhood.Audio missing
- Migration Report (Aug. 31, 2004)
Hawk migration is starting to pick up right now.Audio missing
- Hummingbirds (Aug. 26, 2004)
Laura is savoring her hummingbirds while they’re still here.Audio missing
- Birds in the News (DW) (Aug. 25, 2004)
A terrible die-off of migrating storks in Israel, research to make racing pigeons taste bad to Peregrine Falcons, and research into Townsend’s and Hermit Warblers are stories this week.Audio missing
- Birds in the News (Aug. 18, 2004)
A tern die-off in Massachusetts, a rare bird turning up in Massachusetts, and discovery of a “new species” that indigenous people had known about all along are the stories this week.Audio missing
- Migration Strategies (UDY) (Aug. 16, 2004)
Different strokes for different folks, and different migration strategies for different birds.Audio missing
- Shoreline Conservation Tips (Aug. 12, 2004)
Laura has some tips for those who live near shorelines.Audio missing
- DDT Revisited, Part II (Aug. 11, 2004)
Protecting people indoors may help birds outside.Audio missing
- DDT Revisited, Part I (Aug. 10, 2004)
DDT can provide safe and effective protection from mosquito-borne diseases when applied to upper walls and ceilings.Audio missing
- Cedar Waxwings (UDY) (Aug. 9, 2004)
Cedar Waxwings are gathering in flocks, so many calling at once in soft, sibilant calls that the bushes sound as if they’re purring with sleepy contentment.Audio missing
- News from the Milwaukee Humane Society (Aug. 6, 2004)
Scott Diehl reports on a Peregrine Falcon with a fractured wing, someone intentionally running down a group of gulls, a Green Heron entangled in monofilament, and a Red-tailed Hawk that had been caught in Tanglefoot.Audio missing
- Albatross Race (Aug. 5, 2004)
Tracking White-capped (Shy) Albatrosses in a race raises a lot of money and awareness for conservation.Audio missing
- Bird Tragedies: More Bad News (Aug. 4, 2004)
More serious climate change problems.Audio missing
- More Bird Expressions (Aug. 3, 2004)
Odd duck. Just ducky. “Chick,” in reference to a woman. Where did those expressions come from?Audio missing
- Bird Tragedies (Aug. 2, 2004)
The sandeel population in the northern Atlantic crashed, probably more due to warming waters than overfishing, and this led to an unprecedented crash in seabird breeding in many places.Audio missing
- National Blue Jay Awareness Month 2004 (July 30, 2004)
Blue Jays are facing West Nile Virus, but once in a blue moon we should take time to honor them.Audio missing
- Book Review: Kaufman Guide to Birds of North America (July 29, 2004)
Laura has finally discovered a field guide with photographs that she likes.
- Birds in the News (July 23, 2004)
Racing pigeon mystery, West Nile virus update, research on the color blue in birds and mammals, and an odd story about a birder who became mired in mud while tracking down some Great Blue Herons.Audio missing
- Illegal eBay Bird Sales (July 15, 2004)
People seem to be selling wild birds and their parts on eBay.Audio missing
- A Wood Stork in Minnesota!? (July 13, 2004)
A young man—a very young man—discovered a Wood Stork in Grand Marais.Audio missing
- Baby Spotted Sandpipers (July 12, 2004)
Dealing with baby shorebirds is very tricky, but this story has a happy ending.Audio missing
- Farewell to the Quarry (July 5, 2004)
One of Laura’s favorite spots on the planet has been fenced off.Audio missing
- Missing Pelicans (June 29, 2004)
The largest American White Pelican colony in the world, in North Dakota, has suddenly been abandoned and no one knows why, or where the birds went.Audio missing
- Learning to Recognize Everyday Birds (June 22, 2004)
When Laura started birding, it took her some time to learn the names of the everyday birds she’d been seeing her whole life.
- Goatsuckers (June 16, 2004)
Laura and an Elderhostel group just had a splendid evening at a spot near Shannon Lake in Wisconsin, looking at and listening to nighthawks and whip-poor-wills.Audio missing
- Quad 30 (June 14, 2004)
Noel Cutright is running a Breeding Bird Survey every single day from May 30 through the end of June to raise money for bird conservation.Audio missing
- Graduation (June 3, 2004)
Laura’s third nestling has fledged from high school.Audio missing
- Tower Kills (June 2, 2004)
On May 24, a major bird kill happened at a lighted tower at the Carlos Avery Wildlife Management Area.Audio missing
- Cape May Warbler (May 27, 2004)
Laura’s been enjoying Cape May Warblers, up close and personal.Audio missing
- Cold Spring! (May 26, 2004)
A freakishly cold snap is sending a lot of unusual birds to backyard feeders.Audio missing
- Jelly Belly (May 24, 2004)
Laura had a scary encounter with a Red-breasted Nuthatch.Audio missing
- Crex Meadows and the Great Wisconsin Birding and Nature Trail (May 19, 2004)
The Great Wisconsin Birding and Nature Trail officially opens Thursday, May 20, in a ceremony at Crex Meadows, and Laura will be speaking at the celebration.Audio missing
- Baby Geese (May 17, 2004)
Baby geese are hatching in Port Wing, leading to dramatic, heartbreaking, and joyful sights.Audio missing
- Spring Warbler Walks (May 14, 2004)
Why do people wake up early to go on warbler walks?Audio missing
- Slow Down! (May 12, 2004)
There is no excuse for running over a prairie chicken.Audio missing
- Loon Nest Platforms (May 10, 2004)
Loon nest platforms are working wonders for nesting loons, but it’s extremely important not to provide too much of a good thing.Audio missing
- Duluth Birding Festival (May 7, 2004)
Duluth Audubon and the Lake Superior Zoo are joining forces to celebrate International Migratory Bird Day this weekend.Audio missing
- A Walk in Port Wing (April 30, 2004)
Laura and Photon discovered a weasel and other delights on their walk.Audio missing
- Book Review: Stokes Field Guide to Warblers (April 20, 2004)
Laura gives this one a thumbs up.Audio missing
- Conservation: Urban Sprawl (April 19, 2004)
“In wildness is the preservation of the world.” But in cities is the preservation of wildness.Audio missing
- Evening Grosbeak Decline (April 15, 2004)
Trying to figure out where Evening Grosbeaks have gone is tricky.
- Geek Prom (April 14, 2004)
The Miss Manners of Birding has a few gentle suggestions for proper deportment at social gatherings, and extends an invitation.
- April is the cruelest month (April 12, 2004)
April is most cruel for lonely souls, in the face of all the pairings and romantic songs and surging new life all around. Perhaps we must feel a part of nature, rather than bitter onlookers, to take joy in the reawakening of song and romance and nesting and new life.Audio missing
- Turkey Vulture (April 9, 2004)
Laura reads a poem by David Bottoms to celebrate a new spring arrival.Audio missing
- Mourning Dove Hunt: Facts and Figures (April 6, 2004)
The 2003 US Fish and Wildlife Service Mourning Dove survey showed a shocking 46.4% decline in Mourning Dove breeding numbers from the 2002 tally. Overall, this adds up to a 5.6% average annual decline during the past 10 years, and a 2.1% average annual population drop since the survey began in 1966. Why did the Minnesota DNR hide these numbers when proposing a dove hunt?Audio missing
- The Continuing Saga of Arizona's California Condors (April 5, 2004)
California Condors in the Grand Canyon area are leading lives right out of a soap opera.Audio missing
- Wilson Bulletin (March 31, 2004)
Laura talks about some of the interesting stories in the current Wilson Bulletin, including one that brings to mind her “pooped-upon” list of birds that have pooped on her.Audio missing
- Conservation: Chimneys and Plastic Rings (March 30, 2004)
Laura has tips on how to protect birds from some horrible fates.Audio missing
- Cooper's Hawk Eye Color (March 29, 2004)
Why do accipiter eyes change color as they get older?
- Mourning Dove Season (March 24, 2004)
Laura went down to St. Paul to testify about the proposed Mourning Dove season, but dirty tricks were the order of the day.Audio missing
- Tragic Side Effects (March 22, 2004)
Diclofenac, a common veterinary analgesic, is wiping out the vultures of India, Pakistan, and Nepal, leading to tragic consequences for people as well.Audio missing
- Nebraska (March 17, 2004)
Visiting the Platte River in Nebraska is well worth the effort.Audio missing
- Recycle Mercury Items (March 16, 2004)
Mercury is in way more objects than Laura realized.Audio missing
- Conserve Water (March 15, 2004)
Sewage overflows and crumbling infrastructure promise to endanger birds and us. Conserving water will at least minimize the problems.Audio missing
- Window Collisions (March 12, 2004)
How can we reduce the number of birds that crash into our windows? And how big of a problem is it, anyway?Audio missing
- Cats Indoors (March 11, 2004)
Laura’s working on a conservation book, and one section is about cats.Audio missing
- Conserve Energy (March 10, 2004)
How does saving energy help birds?Audio missing
- Chickadee Anniversary 2004 (March 3, 2004)
Laura celebrated the 29th anniversary of seeing her first Black-capped Chickadee by feeding her backyard chickadees by hand, when what to her wondering eyes should appear but a Boreal Chickadee.
- Spring Is Coming! (March 1, 2004)
This year we’re enjoying many early signs of spring, along with some late winter birds.Audio missing
- Snowy Night by Mary Oliver (Feb. 20, 2004)
Is Mary Oliver a birder or a birdwatcher? You be the judge.Audio missing
- Poems by Mary Oliver (Feb. 19, 2004)
Laura reads “Wild Geese,” “Goldfinches,” and “Little Owl” from Owls and Other Fantasies.Audio missing
- DVD Review: Hitchcock's The Birds (Feb. 16, 2004)
Laura plays sound clip excerpts from her new DVD.Audio missing
- Shade-grown Coffee (Feb. 13, 2004)
How much does our choice of coffee affect birds? A lot.Audio missing
- The Great Backyard Bird Count, 2004 (Feb. 11, 2004)
The Cornell Lab of Ornithology sponsors a fun and valuable bird count every February.Audio missing
- Woodpeckers and Fungus (Feb. 9, 2004)
The ecological importance of woodpeckers is, literally, mushrooming.Audio missing
- Stumpytail (Feb. 4, 2004)
Laura tells the story of a squirrel without a tail.Audio missing
- Bird Flu (Feb. 3, 2004)
Millions of chickens are being slaughtered as some humans have died from bird flu.Audio missing
- American Heritage Dictionary (Feb. 2, 2004)
Since the 1980s, Laura has been on a mission to get “Blackburnian Warbler” or at least “Blackburnian” entered in the American Heritage Dictionary.Audio missing
- Buffalo heads (Jan. 23, 2004)
The Common Goldeneye and Bufflehead share their scientific name with Alexander the Great’s horse.Audio missing
- Varied Thrush (Jan. 19, 2004)
Varied Thrushes occasionally appear in the Midwest in mid-winter. No one understands why. (Slightly modified from one from December 2001.)
- Wintering Brown Thrashers (Jan. 9, 2004)
This year there have been several wintering Brown Thrashers, including one on the Isabella Christmas Bird Count.Audio missing
- Gluttonous Hunting (Jan. 5, 2004)
More and more hunters are taking part in “canned hunts,” in which they can shoot unlimited numbers of pheasants and ducks without licenses.
- Christmas Chickadees (Dec. 24, 2004)