For the Birds Radio Program
The Hazards of Birding
(Dec. 30, 2014)
Birding seems fairly tame, but poses hazards to our safety, health, and even sense of dignity.Duration: 5′05″ Related blog post
- Bird Tongues Part 2 (Dec. 12, 2014)
More about bird tongues, including a rather shocking story about Laura and a Pileated Woodpecker.
- Bird Tongues Part I (Dec. 11, 2014)
Laura talks about bird tongues, particularly how the long tongue of woodpeckers and hummingbirds can stick out so far beyond the beak.
- Emily Dickinson's Birthday (Dec. 10, 2014)
December 10 is Emily Dickinson’s birthday, and in her honor, Laura muses about the bird perched in Dickinson’s soul.
- Day Trip to Vancouver Island (Dec. 2, 2014)
Laura and Russ took a day trip to Vancouver Island, seeing a wealth of birds from the ferry and on the island.Duration: 4′46″ Related blog post
- How the media skew stories (Dec. 1, 2014)
In 1987, Laura discovered how Duluth’s local newspaper distorted the news by proving false information fed to them by a powerful corporation with regard to construction of a cell phone tower. This seems to be happening today with regard to the Minnesota Vikings Stadium story, too.Duration: 5′02″ Related blog post
- Black Friday (Nov. 28, 2014)
On a day when many Americans crowd into stores, Laura Erickson thinks about how the best things in life are free.
- Rare Birds in Duluth (Nov. 27, 2014)
Three Common Eiders and a Golden-crowned Sparrow turned up in Duluth this month. One eider still remains, along with the sparrow. Laura Erickson finally managed to see them.
- A Visit to the Audiologist (Nov. 24, 2014)
Laura’s starting to lose her high frequency hearing, and needs hearing aids if she’s going to be able to hear many birds.
- Visiting Michael Conway Baker! (Nov. 19, 2014)
When Laura was in Vancouver, she visited her favorite musician/ composer in the known universe, Michael Conway BakerDuration: 4′50″ Related blog post
- Overview of My Trip to Vancouver (Nov. 18, 2014)
Laura went birding in Vancouver this month. Here’s how she made her plans.
- Oldest Wild Birds (Nov. 11, 2014)
Laura talks about birds that have led relatively long lives.Duration: 4′40″ Related blog post
- Oldest Wild Albatross (Nov. 10, 2014)
In anticipation of her birthday, Laura talks about the only wild bird known to be even older than she is.
- Bird Songs in the News! (Nov. 7, 2014)
Laura talks about recent news stories about mockingbirds singing in New Orleans and how Hermit Thrush songs include some note patterns found in human music.
- Star Trek and Bird Conservation Part II (Nov. 5, 2014)
How do we integrate a scientific approach to problems with what our hearts are saying? It can be tricky to integrate both Spock and McCoy, especially when some people are presenting information as “science” that isn’t. What’s a Kirk to do?
- Star Trek and Bird Conservation Part I (Nov. 4, 2014)
Considering elements of the original Star Trek may make us better bird conservationists.Duration: 5′22″ Related blog post
- Kingfishers in a Sitcom World (Oct. 29, 2014)
How and why would Belted Kingfishers ever reenact the iconic “group hug” from the final episode of The Mary Tyler Moore Show.Duration: 5′11″ Related blog post
- Belted Kingfisher Part 2 (Oct. 28, 2014)
Nestling Belted Kingfishers have a wonderful trait–they move together within their tunnel nest as if in a group hug.Duration: 4′43″ Related blog post
- Belted Kingfisher Part I (Oct. 27, 2014)
Laura goes into depth talking about the Belted Kingfisher.Duration: 3′51″ Related blog post
- Peabody Street Pickwick Club (Oct. 24, 2014)
Migration has quieted down over Peabody Street, but Laura’s having plenty of fun with the birds that remain.
- Little Katherine: Tiny Squirrel in a Big City (Oct. 22, 2014)
When Laura’s daughter Katie found a baby squirrel in Brooklyn, she, her partner Michael, and a surprising third person helped get the squirrel the help she needed.
- My First Book: The Little Golden Book Bird Stamps (Oct. 21, 2014)
Laura’s first book opened up a beautiful world.
- Star Tribune Editorial about the Vikings Stadium (Oct. 20, 2014)
Laura puts some facts and figures about bird mortality and the Vikings in perspective
- Auto Collisions and Birds (Oct. 10, 2014)
Driving at the slowest speed that is save, courteous, and convenient helps birds in unexpected ways.Duration: 4′28″ Related blog post
- One special warbler (Oct. 9, 2014)
It can be hard to remember that a horde of birds is made up of unique individuals, but one little warbler made it easier.
- Massive Migration Fallout! (Oct. 8, 2014)
A huge number of birds are passing through Duluth right now. Why are they so exceptionally abundant this year?
- Duluth International Airport's hazardous windows (Oct. 2, 2014)
A listener wrote to Laura Erickson about 20 or so dead birds she’d found littering the ground beneath the windows at the Duluth International Airport on September 21. Laura has suggestions about how we can start documenting this and other collision kills in Duluth.
- Three Decades on Peabody Street (Oct. 1, 2014)
Some of the trees in Laura’s backyard are getting pretty old. But so is she.
- Bird-Killing Glass on the New Vikings Stadium? Just Say No. (Sept. 29, 2014)
These are the remarks Laura made on September 27 at the protest against the 200,000 square feet of bird-killing glass on the proposed Vikings Stadium.
- Peabody Street Bobwhite (Sept. 26, 2014)
What’s a tiny quail doing in Duluth, hundreds of miles north of her natural range?Duration: 4′32″ Related blog post
- Ovenbird Rescue (Sept. 25, 2014)
What should we do when a songbird is stunned at our window?Duration: 6′07″ Related blog post
- Fruit-eating Birds (Sept. 19, 2014)
Hordes of waxwings, robins, and Swainson’s Thrushes are pigging out on mountain ash berries in Laura Erickson’s Duluth neighborhood right now.
- Hawk Ridge Update (Sept. 18, 2014)
Laura spent a few hours at Hawk Ridge, having a jolly time with more than just raptors.Duration: 4′24″ Related blog post
- Book Review: The Warbler Guide (Part II) (Sept. 17, 2014)
Laura Erickson reviews a 2013 book that she considers a game changer in the world of bird identification and field guides, The Warbler Guide. Today she considers how the book deals with warbler vocalizations.
- Book Review: The Warbler Guide (Part I) (Sept. 16, 2014)
Laura Erickson reviews a 2013 book that she considers a game changer in the world of bird identification and field guides, The Warbler Guide. In this episode she covers how the book deals with warbler plumage.
- Struggling with Warblers? (Sept. 12, 2014)
Laura describes her first experiences with identifying warblers.Duration: 5′19″ Related blog post
- Cold Front vs. Hummingbirds (Sept. 11, 2014)
When a cold front hits in early September, should people bring in their feeders? Laura says no.
- Audubon Report about Climate Change and Loons (Sept. 10, 2014)
The National Audubon Society released a report today about how birds will far in coming decades, assuming projected changes due to global warming. How will Common Loons, Baltimore Orioles, and Northern Hawk Owls fare?
- Predation on Hummingbirds (Sept. 9, 2014)
Is it true that hummingbirds do not have natural predators? Laura says “no way!”Duration: 4′29″ Related blog post
- Mark Twain's Autobiography: Hunting Pigeons and Turkeys (Sept. 8, 2014)
Mark Twain’s autobiography includes a few non-indexed accounts of his interactions with birds. Laura reads excerpts about him hunting Passenger Pigeons and Wild Turkeys during his childhood.
- Merlin Tag Team (Sept. 5, 2014)
When Laura was up at Hawk Ridge, she watched a couple of Merlins take on an owl decoy. What was that all about?Duration: 4′30″ Related blog post
- Afternoon at Hawk Ridge (Sept. 4, 2014)
On September 2, Laura spent a couple of hours at Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory in Duluth. It was time well spent!
- Watching Migration from My Window (Sept. 2, 2014)
When Laura can’t get out birding, she waits for the birds to come to her.Duration: 4′26″ Related blog post
- 100-Year Anniversary of Martha's Death and the Extinction of a Species (Sept. 1, 2014)
Laura Erickson remembers a father, a grandfather, and a vanished bird.
- Bird-killing Minnesota Vikings Stadium (Aug. 28, 2014)
Minnesota taxpayers will be providing a half billion dollars to build a new stadium designed with 200,000 square feet of glass–a design that promises to kill thousands of birds every year.
- Endangered Species Act Revisited (Aug. 22, 2014)
Laura recounts the history of endangered species protection in the United States, and how protections were increased from the time of the Lacey Act in 1900 and the Endangered Species Act in 1973, but how these protections have been reduced since then.Duration: 5′10″ Related blog post
- Hummingbirds (Aug. 21, 2014)
Laura was a speaker at the Henderson Hummingbird Hurrah this year, and learned interesting things about hummingbirds.Duration: 5′13″ Related blog post
- My Father-in-Law (Aug. 14, 2014)
Laura remembers her father-in-law, Ellwood Erickson, on what would have been his 98th birthday.Duration: 4′00″ Related blog post
- Nature: Cataloging the particular (Aug. 13, 2014)
The moment Laura started bird watching, she started absorbing more and more information about nature.Duration: 4′54″ Related blog post
- Amorphous Nature (Aug. 12, 2014)
Throughout Laura’s childhood until she became a birder, she was singularly ignorant about nature.
- Rescuing Baby Birds, Part 4 (July 24, 2014)
“Educating” baby birds to survive in the wild takes a lot of care and knowledge. Again, the only way we can legally and ethically care for them is to bring them to a licensed wildlife rehabber.(See Ludwig the Blue Jay to hear a happy ending about baby bird rescue.)
- Rescuing Baby Birds, Part 3 (July 22, 2014)
Nestling baby birds need a lot of care beyond food. (Again, this is why baby birds should be taken to a wildlife rehabber.)
- Rescuing Baby Birds, Part 2 (July 18, 2014)
The diet for any baby bird should be close to what their natural parents feed them, and how often and how much to feed them. Rehabbers must know how to identify each bird, and what each species needs.
- Rescuing Baby Birds, Part I (July 17, 2014)
Laura talks about her very first experiences trying to keep baby birds alive, and how much she didn’t know.
- Hawks and Doves (July 16, 2014)
It occurred to Laura Erickson that hawks have never been useful during wartime, except as mascots, while doves have served bravely and with distinction.
- My favorite cow (July 15, 2014)
Laura almost missed seeing a Pacific Golden-Plover on her Big Year. Who helped her see the species? A cow.
- Falling in love all over again: Zeiss SF (July 9, 2014)
Laura got to test an innovative pair of binoculars in Europe, and fell in love with them.
- My evolving relationship with binoculars (July 8, 2014)
When Laura worked for an optics company, she learned to appreciate some of the best qualities of high end binoculars even as she learned that as useful as binoculars are, the bottom line is that they’re commodities.
- My second binoculars (July 2, 2014)
Laura’s second pair of binoculars were 8x25 pocket binoculars.Duration: 5′04″ Related blog post
- My first binoculars (July 1, 2014)
Laura talks about the very first binoculars she ever had: a pair of Bushnell 7x50 Instafocuses.
- Review: Smart Phone Apps (June 17, 2014)
Laura reviews several birding apps for smart phones.Duration: 4′03″ Related blog post
- Update on my chickadee with the deformed bill! (June 13, 2014)
The chickadee with the oversized, deformed bill that has been visiting Laura’s feeder this winter seems to be doing well.
- Sandy Gillum's Oriole (June 12, 2014)
Laura’s friend, the loon-expert Sandy Gillum, had an interesting experience with a Baltimore Oriole on St. George Island off Florida.
- Hoopoe! (June 11, 2014)
Laura used to get a lot of letters from soldiers serving in Iraq wondering about the strange birds they were seeing. One of the ones that caught a great many eyes was the Hoopoe.
- Birding in Europe! (June 10, 2014)
Laura was invited to spend a week in Europe, and saw plenty of birds.
- The Best Things in Life Are Free (May 29, 2014)
Mad Men is a program that has absolutely nothing to do with birds–the only episode where birds even feature has Betty Draper shooting her neighbor’s pigeons. But this week’s program inspired Laura.
- Where are the conservationist hunters of yesteryear? (May 28, 2014)
Hunting has a rich history of conservation, but not all hunters live up to the name “conservationist.”Duration: 7′37″ Related blog post
- Spruce Grouse (May 26, 2014)
Laura led a Road Scholar field trip to a wonderful bog near Eagle River, Wisconsin, and they all got splendid looks at a Spruce Grouse.Duration: 4′34″ Related blog post
- Endangered Species Day (May 20, 2014)
May 16 was Endangered Species Day, so Laura talks about the history of the Endangered Species Act.Duration: 5′25″ Related blog post
- Weird Warbler Migration 2014 (May 19, 2014)
This cold spring has been hard on small songbirds, and has drawn some unusual birds to feeders.
- Scale Insects and Passenger Pigeons (May 16, 2014)
Scale insects are proliferating on some of Laura’s houseplants, and washing them off is making her think about how easily we humans kill.
- Nesting Black-capped Vireos (May 5, 2014)
Laura spent time in the Wichita Mountains to see one of her favorite birds and to leave some of her dog Photon’s ashes where they shared some lovely experiences.
- Lesser Prairie-Chicken Festival, Part 2 (May 2, 2014)
When Laura spent several hours in an observation blind to photograph Lesser Prairie-Chickens, the experience was better than she’d hoped.Duration: 5′18″ Related blog post
- Lesser Prairie-Chicken Festival, Part I (May 1, 2014)
The Lesser Prairie-Chicken Festival in Oklahoma gave Laura some close encounters she’ll never forgetDuration: 4′25″ Related blog post
- Field Trip to See Displaying Spruce Grouse (April 24, 2014)
Laura talks about an upcoming event in northern Wisconsin. (Time sensitive)Duration: 4′51″ Related blog post
- Chickadee with Deformed Bill (April 23, 2014)
Black-capped Chickadees with deformed bills have been appearing in high numbers in Alaska since 1999. One appeared in Maple Grove, MN, this winter, and now Laura Erickson has one visiting her yard.
- My Little Bird Dog (April 14, 2014)
Laura remembers all her birding adventures with her little dog Photon, who died earlier this month.Duration: 7′01″ Related blog post
- Breaking Bird (April 1, 2014)
Saul Goodbird, legal eagle, brings us the true story of Walter Shrike and his wife, Skylark.
- Book Review: New Sibley Guide (March 31, 2014)
Laura reviews the new edition of the popular “Sibley Guide to Birds,” but cautions people that the best way to learn birds is to commit to one field guide and use it.
- Oil Spill in Galveston Bay (March 24, 2014)
Oil companies are playing Calvinball with people, changing the rules of how we tally bird deaths at oil spills.Duration: 5′50″ Related blog post
- Movie Review: A Birder's Guide to Everything (March 18, 2014)
Laura thoroughly enjoyed this coming-of-age movie
- Eileen Bentzen's Pileated Woodpecker (March 10, 2014)
One of Laura’s friends came upon one of the coolest things she’d ever seen and got a photo of it.Duration: 3′53″ Related blog post
- "Baiting" or Luring Owls with Mice, Part 2 (Feb. 27, 2014)
More and more photographers and some birders lure owls in for a better view by tossing out mice on the snow. How ethical is this?
- "Baiting" or Luring Owls with Mice, Part I (Feb. 26, 2014)
More and more photographers and some birders lure owls in for a better view by tossing out mice on the snow. How ethical is this?
- Banding Owls (Feb. 25, 2014)
We’ve learned a lot of valuable things from banding owls that help owl populations, and sometime the banding helps individual owls, too.
- Birding by Amtrak (Feb. 24, 2014)
When Laura took a train from the Twin Cities to Chicago, she found some fine birds.
- This Frigid Winter (Feb. 12, 2014)
The winter of 2013-14 is the coldest in 30 years. How is it affecting birds?
- Old Cootdom (Feb. 6, 2014)
Laura’s new Senior Pass, allowing her free entry into national parks and wildlife refuges, comes at a steep price: It makes her feel old. But don’t you dare call her a crone, as she explains.Duration: 4′31″ Related blog post
- The Last Duck My Uncle Dick Ever Shot (Feb. 4, 2014)
Making eye contact with a wounded Mallard as she died was all it took for my Uncle Dick to stop hunting for good.Duration: 4′47″ Related blog post
- Where Are All the Birds? (Jan. 17, 2014)
Now that Laura’s big year is over, she’s disappointed about how few birds are in her own backyard.
- Book Review: A Feathered River Across the Sky (Passenger Pigeon Part II) (Jan. 15, 2014)
Laura talks about an important book about the Passenger Pigeon, published this year in honor of the centennial of its extinction.
- Passenger Pigeons, Part I (Jan. 14, 2014)
This year marks the 100-year anniversary of the extinction of a bird that had once been the most abundant land bird in the world. Laura talks about how she learned the sad story as a small child.
- The Listing Game (Jan. 13, 2014)
For one brief and shining moment, Laura was #1 on the American Birding Association’s “Listing Central” website for a Lower-48 Big Year for 2013. But it didn’t last.
- Conservation Big Year Recap (Jan. 6, 2014)
Laura sums up her birding year.
- Bird Tongues Part 2 (Dec. 12, 2014)