For the Birds Radio Program
Like a Box of Chocolates
(May 31, 2023)
When we set out for a day of birding, we never know what we’re going to get, but even when there aren’t many birds, the ones we do see can be pretty sweet.
- Circular Firing Squad: Windows v. Habitat Part II (May 30, 2023)
Helping birds requires us to attack more than one issue at a time.
- Circular Firing Squad: Windows v. Habitat Part I (May 29, 2023)
It took mainstream conservation biologists decades to notice how dangerous collisions with windows are for birds.Duration: 6′30″ Related blog post with transcript Permalink
- Dee Dee Nana and Walter's first official Bird Walk (May 26, 2023)
On May 25, Laura took her grandson on a long bird walk, but they saw a lot more than birds.Duration: 5′24″ Related blog post with transcript Permalink
- Spring Update: Too Much Windy (May 24, 2023)
The exceptionally high wind on so many days this spring is hard on birds.Duration: 5′20″ Related blog post with transcript Permalink
- 700: A Memorable Achievement—I Hope! (May 23, 2023)
What was the 700th bird on Laura’s continental US life list? (Photo of Smooth-billed Ani is from Panama in 2019.)
- Snail Kite (May 15, 2023)
A splendid bird that was on the original Endangered Species List is now doing well by making the best of a bad situation.Duration: 5′36″ Related blog post with transcript Permalink
- Lesser Prairie-Chicken (May 12, 2023)
In the past 3 weeks, the U.S. House Natural Resource Committee and the U.S. Senate both voted to rescind Endangered Species protections from the imperiled Lesser Prairie-Chicken, a slap in the face to the scientists and managers charged with safeguarding our natural resources, and to all Americans who love this splendid all-American bird, found nowhere on the planet except in the United States, vanishing before our eyes.Duration: 5′50″ Related blog post with transcript Permalink
- Gray-headed Swamphen (May 4, 2023)
An unexpected four-day trip to Kissimmee, Florida, gave Laura a lifer!Duration: 5′13″ Related blog post with transcript Permalink
- A Chickadee in Florida (May 3, 2023)
Traveling to Florida raised several ethical issues for Laura.
- When Numbers Get Serious (May 2, 2023)
Laura talks about the listing and numerical elements of her birding life.Duration: 6′01″ Related blog post with transcript Permalink
- Record-breaking Snow and Climate Change (April 21, 2023)
Yesterday’s ice storm in Duluth was harsher on birds than it was on us. (This program mentions the loon fallout happening right now. To report a downed loon, call REGI at 715-623-4015 or Loon Rescue at 715-966-5415.)
- Spring Update (April 20, 2023)
What’s happening at the western tip of Lake Superior right now?Duration: 5′04″ Related blog post with transcript Permalink
- Avian Influenza Update (April 19, 2023)
Bird flu is far from over. If we are feeding backyard birds, we need to be paying attention to them.Duration: 6′04″ Related blog post with transcript Permalink
- Yellow-rumped Warblers (April 18, 2023)
Yellow-rumped Warblers return well before other warblers because they literally have intestinal fortitude.Duration: 4′30″ Related blog post with transcript Permalink
- First Robin of Spring (April 11, 2023)
Robins appeal to our eyes and ears, and also to our hearts and souls.Duration: 5′09″ Related blog post with transcript Permalink
- April Is the Cruelest Month (April 10, 2023)
April is cruelest for lonely souls who may not discern 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.
(This program was recast from a 2004 “For the Birds” program for which the audio is lost.)Duration: 5′33″ Related blog post with transcript Permalink
- Spring Reunions (April 6, 2023)
Mother Nature loves to play tricks on us on April Fool’s Day, but sometimes it’s worth braving the weather, whether we’re swans or humans.Duration: 5′21″ Related blog post with transcript Permalink
- Baker's Blue Jay Podcast (for April Fools Day) (April 1, 2023)
Jim Baker, from Baker’s Blue Jay Barn, “Up the Shore a Ways,” has an exciting announcement! (Stations can play this on Friday if they want.)Duration: 5′29″ Related blog post with transcript Permalink
- BB, My Special Pileated Woodpecker (March 30, 2023)
Laura’s been keeping track of a banded Pileated Woodpecker since November 2021, and now he seems to have found love.
- Heartbreak on Peabody Street (March 29, 2023)
Laura found herself with a hurt Hairy Woodpecker last week, which reminded her of her old rehab days and why she no longer does this every day.Duration: 5′43″ Related blog post with transcript Permalink
- Looking for Spring in All the Wrong Places (March 27, 2023)
It’s the sixth snowiest winter on record in Duluth, and Laura is hungry for spring.Duration: 4′51″ Related blog post with transcript Permalink
- Flaco the Eagle Owl: To Count or Not to Count? (March 20, 2023)
Last month, a Eurasian Eagle-Owl escaped from the Central Park Zoo in New York City and, despite many efforts to capture him, seems to be doing fine on his own so far. David McArthur, one of Laura’s podcast listeners in New York, wonders if he can count this bird on his life list?
The Eurasian Eagle-Owl recording used in this program was made in France by Dominique Guillerme, XC780278 via xeno-canto.org. And the photo of Flaco is from Wikipedia, taken by Rhododendrites.
- Eurasian Tree Sparrow! (March 14, 2023)
This year, some plucky little Eurasian Tree Sparrows, far from their species’ established range, have been wintering in Superior, Wisconsin. Laura and Erik Bruhnke spent Saturday morning looking for them.Duration: 5′26″ Related blog post with transcript Permalink
- Enhance Your Nest Boxes with Bark! (March 13, 2023)
Just in time for spring, Laura’s friend, wildlife biologist, and all-around good person Jerry Wayne Davis has a great suggestion for improving our nest boxes–add bark to the front to give birds a more secure and comfortable perch.Duration: 4′28″ Related blog post with transcript Permalink
- Spring Update (March 9, 2023)
It may not look like it yet, but spring has sprung.Duration: 4′44″ Related blog post with transcript Permalink
- Chickadee Day (March 8, 2023)
Most birders do not keep track of the date on which they saw the first bird on their life list, but that doesn’t matter.Duration: 5′10″ Related blog post with transcript Permalink
- Together and Apart (Feb. 24, 2023)
Family vacations can be fun for everyone, as long as we remember that every one of us enjoys different things.
- Earning Trust in the Age of Climate Change (Feb. 20, 2023)
Birds and grandchildren learn to trust us to do the right thing.Duration: 5′42″ Related blog post with transcript Permalink
- Birding Basics: Binoculars (Feb. 16, 2023)
Laura talks about things to consider when buying new binoculars
- Superb Owl Sunday 2023 (Feb. 14, 2023)
Laura went out with her husband Russ Sunday in hopes of seeing an owl on Superb Owl Sunday.Duration: 4′59″ Related blog post with transcript Permalink
- Birds Specializing on Conifers (Feb. 10, 2023)
Some birds depend on conifers for very specific reasons.
- 100 Plants to Feed the Birds: Conifers (Feb. 8, 2023)
Today Laura talks about the importance of conifers—both trees and shrubs—in backyard habitat, for providing food and shelter both.Duration: 5′39″ Related blog post with transcript Permalink
- Slow Birding (Feb. 2, 2023)
A birder named Bridget Butler has been teaching wonderful workshops and online classes about “Slow Birding”—connecting with the birds we see rather than rushing and listing. She did not write the new book titled Slow Birding, a new book by Joan E. Strassmann, which would better have been titled Detailed Descriptions of Some Ornithological Research Projects on Some Familiar Birds.
Many of the tagged species are not mentioned in the podcast but are discussed in the blogpost.
- Dawn Comes to Peabody Street (Jan. 31, 2023)
As night transitions into morning, Laura likes watching the birds show up in her yard, one by one.Duration: 5′32″ Related blog post with transcript Permalink
- What to do BEFORE improving backyard habitat: Windows (Jan. 27, 2023)
Cats and glass windows each kill about a BILLION birds every year in the United States. Before inviting birds to your yard, consider making your windows bird safe.
- What to do BEFORE improving backyard habitat: Cats (Jan. 25, 2023)
As important as quality backyard habitat is, we must first make sure we’re not luring birds to their deaths. Cats and windows each kill about a BILLION birds in the United States every year. Laura talks about outdoor cats today.Duration: 5′01″ Related blog post with transcript Permalink
- Mourning Doves! (Jan. 24, 2023)
Most Mourning Doves leave northern Minnesota in winter, but listener Kelli Alseth wrote to Laura about one visiting her Proctor feeder this winter. Doves are very vulnerable to cold, but a few stick it out up here. Kelli is doing everything right to ensure that her bird has as good a chance of surviving as possibleDuration: 5′18″ Related blog post with transcript Permalink
- A Million Ways to Bird (Jan. 20, 2023)
After growing irritated with the birdwatchers who smugly criticize the way other birdwatchers watch birds, Laura talks about the many ways people can enjoy birds, hoping every individual can find their own individual path.Duration: 4′49″ Related blog post with transcript Permalink
- Two More Ways to Eat a Sunflower Seed (Jan. 13, 2023)
Blue Jays and chickadees have two different ways to eat a sunflower seed.Duration: 4′23″ Related blog post with transcript Permalink
- How to Eat a Sunflower Seed If You're a Dove or a Finch (Jan. 12, 2023)
There are at least four ways that birds eat sunflower seeds. Today Laura explains two of them.
- Stranger in a Strange Land: Adapting to a Novel Environment (Jan. 10, 2023)
Seeing videos of a rescued baby beaver building a dam out of plush toys and Christmas decorations last week reminded Laura of when she was a rehabber, and how wild birds adapted to an unnatural environment.
Virtually all of the transcripts of “For the Birds” programs are available on my blog, usually with photos. I didn’t take a lot of pictures back when I was rehabbing in the 80s and 90s–film and getting it developed were expensive! But for this program I did post photos of my little daughter holding this particular Sora. Listeners may enjoy seeing them.Duration: 5′31″ Related blog post with transcript Permalink
- First Pileated of 2023 (Jan. 6, 2023)
For the first time ever, Laura didn’t wonder what her first bird of the new year would be–she was thinking about which individual Pileated Woodpecker she’d see first in 2023.
- American Birding Association's Bird of the Year for 2023: Belted Kingfisher! (Jan. 4, 2023)
The Belted Kingfisher has been selected as the 2023 Bird of the Year by the American Birding Association, stirring up lots of memories for Laura.
- Circular Firing Squad: Windows v. Habitat Part II (May 30, 2023)