For the Birds Radio Program
(May 17, 2022)
There’s something uniquely special about individual wild birds that we recognize personally. Sometimes the bonds we forge with these can last a long time.
- St. Louis County Eurasian Tree Sparrow (May 16, 2022)
This week Laura saw a bird that belongs in an entirely different St. Louis County.Duration: 5′24″ Related blog post with transcript
- Homemade Books and Picture Cards for Small Children (May 13, 2022)
Laura is making picture cards to teach her little grandson about birds and other animals.
- Catching the Start of the Dawn Chorus (May 11, 2022)
How early do you have to get up to hear the very beginning of the dawn chorus? Earlier than you might think.
- Recognizing Sparrows, Part 2: Unstreaked Sparrows (May 9, 2022)
Laura, back from her close encounter with Covid, finishes her sparrow identification series.
- Recognizing Sparrows, Part 1: Juncos and Sparrows with Streaked Breasts (April 29, 2022)
The end of April and beginning of May are when sparrows descend upon the Northland in big numbers. Identifying these little brown jobs isn’t as daunting as it might seem.Duration: 4′55″ Related blog post with transcript
- Joy in the Backyard (April 27, 2022)
When Laura photographed a male and female Pileated Woodpecker feeding together in her suet feeder, she realized just how happy she is.Duration: 5′15″ Related blog post with transcript
- Bird Flu and Other Feeder Issues (April 22, 2022)
Laura brings us up to date on the conflicting recommendations from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Cornell Cooperative Extension with regard to bird flu and keeping bird feeders going. She also talks about some birds dying at feeders not from diseases but from the bird feeder itself.
- Spring Symphony (April 19, 2022)
What spring birdsong is Laura happiest to hear?Duration: 4′29″ Related blog post with transcript
- Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (April 18, 2022)
Laura’s researched as much as she can about this year’s outbreak of a dangerous variant of bird flu. She wrote a lot about it on her blog at blog.lauraerickson.com
- Conversation with Scott Weidensaul about A Warbler's Journey, Part 2 (April 15, 2022)
Laura asked Scott Weidensaul about the people he features in his new children’s picture book, A Warbler’s Journey, and also more about Yellow Warblers and their treacherous migration.Duration: 5′52″ Related blog post with transcript
- Conversation with Scott Weidensaul about A Warbler's Journey, Part I (April 14, 2022)
Laura had a long conversation with Scott Weidensaul earlier this month. Here is Part 1 of their conversation about Scott’s new book, A Warbler’s Journey.Duration: 5′13″ Related blog post with transcript
- Book Review: A Warbler's Journey by Scott Weidensaul, illustrated by Nancy Lane (April 13, 2022)
One of Laura’s favorite writers, Scott Weidensaul, has written a children’s picture book that Laura loves.
- Children's Bird Book Week, Part 2 (April 12, 2022)
Laura talks about some more old and more recent children’s picture books about birds—both favorites and some not.
Note: Laura pronounces the name of the main character in The Trumpet of the Swan, Louis, as loo’ iss. E.B. White pronounced it loo’ ey, but he said he named the character for Louis Armstrong. Although many people called Armstrong “Louie,” he was very clear that he wanted people to pronounce his name “Louis.” He even emphasized that whenever he sang “Hello, Dolly!” E.B. White was a wonderful writer whom Laura admires greatly, but on this she’s deferring to Satchmo.Duration: 5′23″ Related blog post with transcript
- Children's Bird Book Week (April 11, 2022)
This week I’ll be talking about some old and some new picture books about birds, for small children, starting with some old classics.Duration: 4′53″ Related blog post with transcript
- Our Far-Flung Correspondents: Patricia on Australian Magpies (April 5, 2022)
My friend Patricia sent me some fun information about the magpies she grew up with in Australia.
- Sounds of Early Spring (April 4, 2022)
Lots of birds are making their presence known now. Except the chickadees heard near the end, all the sounds heard in this program were recorded out Laura’s home office window.
- Bluolingo: The first Blue Jay translation app (April 1, 2022)
Laura interviews Jim Baker from Baker’s Blue Jay Barn about his newest product, Bluolingo, which translates both of the two different sounds coming from a Blue Jay’s voice box.Duration: 7′34″ Related blog post with transcript
- Australian Magpies: Outsmarting Researchers (March 31, 2022)
One of the smartest birds on the planet is making it very difficult for scientists to research its movements.
- Transition from Winter to Spring (March 29, 2022)
This in-between period where winter slowly melts into spring is Laura’s favorite time of year. At least, right now.
- Fifty Years! (March 24, 2022)
Laura just marked her 50th wedding anniversary,. Sticking it out this long involves luck more than anything..
- Alaska Trip Preparation, Part III: Anticipation! (March 16, 2022)
The best thing about preparing for any trip is anticipating all the possibilities.
- Alaska Trip Preparation, Part II: Getting into Shape for a Grueling Hike (March 15, 2022)
When they head to Nome, Alaska, this June, Russ and Laura will be taking a grueling hike to see the Bristle-thighed Curlew. How is Laura preparing for that?Duration: 4′45″ Related blog post with transcript
- Alaska Trip Preparation, Part I: Reducing and Mitigating My Carbon Footprint (March 14, 2022)
In preparing for a trip to Alaska in June, Laura’s been doing some research to make sure she’s mitigating the energy involved in her travel. (The bird song in the background is the Varied Thrush, a song Laura should hear in Alaska.)
- Hand-Feeding, Part II (March 11, 2022)
Mark Roser created a system called “Interactive Bird Feeding” that Laura wholeheartedly endorses. But as winter comes to an end, she adds one concern that we need to be aware of.Duration: 6′11″ Related blog post with transcript
- Hand-Feeding, Part I (March 9, 2022)
Hand-feeding birds, and just having them close enough to make eye contact, sparks love for them, which comes with responsibility.
- Chickadee Day 2022: The Best of Times (March 8, 2022)
Chickadee Day 2022 started out poorly for Laura, but things suddenly improved.
- Chickadee Day 2022: The Worst of Times (March 7, 2022)
Laura always celebrates March 2, the anniversary of seeing her first chickadee. This year was a little rockier than usual.
- Little Walter the Chickadee (Feb. 23, 2022)
All chickadees may be cute, but one in particular reminds Laura of her baby grandson.
- Redpolls, Part 2 (Feb. 22, 2022)
Backyard redpolls are wonderful to see this winter in the Northland. Nicole Ottjes sent Laura an amazing video of redpolls crowding into her hand for seeds.
- Redpolls, Part 1 (Feb. 21, 2022)
Laura talks about the little birds visiting northland feeders in big numbers this winter.
- Winter Bird Song, Part II (Feb. 17, 2022)
Studies of northern European birds singing on their sub-Saharan wintering grounds suggest that the reason for singing so far from mate and territory is simple—they’re practicing.Duration: 5′02″ Related blog post with transcript
- Winter Bird Song, Part I (Feb. 16, 2022)
Even on frigid mornings, chickadees and cardinals are singing away right now. They won’t make spring come any faster, but are still warming our hearts.
- Auggie's Bogwalk (Feb. 8, 2022)
A beautiful little boardwalk in the Sax-Zim Bog was created as a memorial to Augustus James Feth, with little owl carvings, gifts for anyone who walks the trail to the end, carved by Auggie’s great grandfather.Duration: 3′38″ Related blog post with transcript
- It's All Good (Feb. 7, 2022)
Even when you don’t see the one bird you set as your goal, a day spent birding is all good.
- February Bluebird!! (Feb. 4, 2022)
On Groundhog Day, Laura got a brief but satisfying look at an Eastern Bluebird visiting a Duluth feeder.
- February! (Feb. 2, 2022)
Dawn is noticeably earlier each day now, as Laura is noticing while feeder watching in the morning twilight.Duration: 5′26″ Related blog post with transcript
- Feeding Birds, Part V: Water (Jan. 28, 2022)
Water is the stuff of life, even in winter.
- Feeding Birds, Part IV: Mealworms (Jan. 27, 2022)
This time Laura looks at the value of feeding mealworms to birds and things to consider in deciding whether to buy live or dried mealworms, or both, as Laura does.Duration: 5′10″ Related blog post with transcript
- Feeding Birds, Part III: Peanuts and Peanut Butter (Jan. 26, 2022)
Laura talks about the benefits of feeding birds peanuts and peanut butter, and also important considerations to make this safe for the birds.Duration: 5′16″ Related blog post with transcript
- Bird Feeding, Part II: Suet (Jan. 25, 2022)
Besides bird seed, the thing most people give birds at feeding stations is suet.
- Bird Feeding, Part I: Bird Seed (Jan. 24, 2022)
All week Laura will be talking about the best choices for what we offer at our bird feeding stations.
- White-breasted Nuthatch (Jan. 21, 2022)
Listeners wrote in asking about White-breasted Nuthatches.Duration: 5′03″ Related blog post with transcript
- Boreal Chickadee (Jan. 20, 2022)
The Black-capped Chickadee may be Laura’s favorite bird, but the Boreal Chickadee isn’t too far behind.
- Red-bellied Woodpecker (Jan. 18, 2022)
Every day, a female Red-bellied Woodpecker is visiting Peabody Street. Seeing one in Duluth used to be a rare event. Laura is just as thrilled now that it’s much more commonplace.Duration: 4′56″ Related blog post with transcript
- Ivory Gull in Duluth: 2022 (Jan. 17, 2022)
An Ivory Gull turned up in Duluth on January 3. Laura tried, but didn’t succeed, in finding it.
- Our Far-Flung Correspondents: Listener Questions (Jan. 12, 2022)
Laura answers questions about Canada Jays (also called Gray Jays) and Pine Grosbeaks, and about how birds get water in winter.Duration: 5′14″ Related blog post with transcript
- Pine Grosbeak (Jan. 10, 2022)
2022 appears to be a good year for seeing Pine Grosbeaks, reminding Laura of why she loves this beautiful bird.
- St. Louis County Eurasian Tree Sparrow (May 16, 2022)