For the Birds Radio Program
2011: Year in Review
(Dec. 30, 2011)
Laura sums up the wonderful birds that she encountered this year.
- Wildlife in Social Media (Dec. 22, 2011)
The artificial settings and unnatural behaviors people show in social media videos of birds is very troubling.Duration: 5′55″ Related blog post with transcript
- Archimedes: Respecting His Wild Nature While Showing Him in Public (Dec. 21, 2011)
Laura uses an Eastern Screech-Owl as a licensed education bird, but is growing increasingly frustrated when people want him to perform like owls they see in YouTube videos.
- Water Conservation Trial in Texas and Whooping Cranes (Dec. 14, 2011)
Why is the fate of the Whooping Crane inextricably woven into water conservation?
- Empathy (Dec. 9, 2011)
Laura talks about a study out of the University of Chicago showing that rats feel empathy
- Book Review: Field Guides I Do Not Recommend (Dec. 7, 2011)
There are just a couple of field guides Laura recommends against getting: Stan Tekiela’s Birds of Minnesota (or any other state) and Richard Crossley’s ID Guide. She explains.Duration: 5′20″ Related blog post with transcript
- Book Review: Field Guides I Use (Dec. 6, 2011)
The best field guide is the one that works best for you. Laura talks about her favorites, including the newest edition of the National Geographic Field Guide, the Kaufman guide, and her trusty old Golden Guide.
- Junco Taxonomy (Dec. 5, 2011)
The little snow-bird is abundant, familiar, and taxonomically confusing.
- Thanksgiving Gratitude (Nov. 24, 2011)
Laura talks about some of the things that make her grateful this Thanksgiving.
- Grand Canyon Bottled Water Battle (Nov. 23, 2011)
The Coca Cola Corporation is fighting efforts of the National Park Service and Grand Canyon National Park to prohibit sales of bottled water within the park.
- Continuing Condor Problems (Nov. 22, 2011)
When Laura was in the Grand Canyon, she learned about some of the problems condors still face
- California Condors of the Grand Canyon (Nov. 21, 2011)
Laura was so excited about her trip to the Grand Canyon, with such high hopes about seeing condors. Did the anticipation exceed the actual event?
- Wild Birds Speaking English (Nov. 14, 2011)
Laura talks about birds that learn human words in captivity and then teach those words to wild birds.
- Conservation Big Year Target List (Nov. 11, 2011)
Now that Laura is making plans to do a “Conservation Big Year” in 2013, what species is she hoping to see?Duration: 4′16″ Related blog post with transcript
- Plans for 11/11/11, When I Turn Sixty (Nov. 10, 2011)
Laura is heading to the Grand Canyon in search of California Condors to celebrate her 11/11/11 birthday.
- Focus on Diversity in Birding (Nov. 9, 2011)
“Diversity equals stability” is true, whether we’re talking about animal populations or human ones.
- Owl Controversy Part II (Nov. 8, 2011)
People in favor of posting locations of owls and of baiting owls for closer views may have some legitimate points, too.
- Owl Controversy Part I (Nov. 7, 2011)
Birders have been engaged in a heated debate about the ethics involved in owl-watching.
- Compassion for All Animals (Nov. 4, 2011)
Laura wonders why we feel more compassion for feral cats than we do for their victims.
- Feral Cat Colonies (Nov. 3, 2011)
What is the most humane way of dealing with feral cats?Duration: 5′05″ Related blog post with transcript
- Clarence the Feral Cat (Nov. 2, 2011)
It’s easier to talk about the problem with feral cats in general than deal with one individual feral cat.
- News for Hunters (Nov. 1, 2011)
Marge Gibson badly needs the hearts from game animals for feeding Bald Eagles and other healing raptors at the Raptor Education Group Inc. And in other hunting news, the winner of the Duck Stamp artist contest was just announced.
- Major Bird Kill at West Virginia Wind Farm (Oct. 28, 2011)
A huge bird kill, involving hundreds of small birds, including many Blackpoll Warblers, happened on October 27, 2011, at a wind farm, apparently due to gross negligence.
- Conservation Big Year: 2013? (Oct. 27, 2011)
Laura is starting to think about doing a Big Year.
- Buying Economical Binoculars (Oct. 26, 2011)
Laura gives some hints for economizing on binoculars when you can’t afford the very best.
- The Big Year: Second Viewing (Oct. 25, 2011)
Laura and her husband Russ re-read the book The Big Year and then saw the movie again. They enjoyed it just as much on a second viewing.
- New Research on White-throated Sparrows and Dark-eyed Juncos (Oct. 19, 2011)
New research is giving some fascinating insights into the genetics behind the behavioral and physical differences between white-striped and tan-striped White-throated Sparrows, and into singing behaviors of Dark-eyed Juncos.
- Movie Review: The Big Year (part 2) (Oct. 18, 2011)
Laura thoroughly enjoyed the movie The Big Year.Duration: 5′00″ Related blog post with transcript
- Movie Review: The Big Year (part 1) (Oct. 17, 2011)
Laura starts her review of the movie The Big Year by explaining what birding “big years” with some of their history.Duration: 5′04″ Related blog post with transcript
- Robin Spectacle (Oct. 12, 2011)
Even as some birds are faring poorly, some, like robins, are doing great. There was quite a migration of them in Duluth this week.Duration: 4′35″ Related blog post with transcript
- Where are the birds? Part II (Oct. 11, 2011)
The ways people track bird population changes have strengths and weaknesses, but many bird declines are far worse than people realize.Duration: 5′03″ Related blog post with transcript
- Where are the birds? Part I (Oct. 10, 2011)
Laura predicts that Wild Turkeys will one day be as great of an ecological hazard as White-tailed Deer and Canada Geese are now. But other birds are declining dangerously.
- Better Angels (Oct. 4, 2011)
What distinguishes humans from other animals? Some people think it’s that humans have a conscience. Laura Erickson believes it’s that humans are the only animals that choose to violate our conscience.
- AT&T appeals BWCA tower case (Oct. 3, 2011)
Laura Erickson served as expert witness for the Friends of the Boundary Waters in their lawsuit against AT&T’ to stop construction of a guyed, lighted tower on the edge of the Boundary Waters. The judge found, on every issue, on behalf of the plaintiffs. Now AT&T is appealing.
- Bertel Bruun (Sept. 29, 2011)
The world lost a quiet, unassuming giant in the world of field guides, Bertel Bruun,
- Eurasian Tree Sparrow vs. St. Louis Cardinals (Sept. 28, 2011)
When Laura visited St. Louis, she found a little brown bird more interesting than the baseball-playing species.Duration: 4′30″ Related blog post with transcript
- Alphabet Soup (Sept. 21, 2011)
Laura Erickson does not approve of “banding codes”–the four-letter abbreviations some birders use in place of bird names.Duration: 4′48″ Related blog post with transcript
- Blue Jays: The Super Rich (Sept. 20, 2011)
What does it really mean to be rich?Duration: 5′24″ Related blog post with transcript
- Fall Warblers (Sept. 19, 2011)
Laura talks about identifying and enjoying fall warblers.
- Cure for Nature Deficit Disorder (Sept. 15, 2011)
When Laura Erickson was a college student, she was abysmally ignorant of nature. How did she change this? Birding was the cure.Duration: 4′49″ Related blog post with transcript
- Hawk Migration at Hawk Ridge (Sept. 14, 2011)
Laura brings us up to date on the 2011 Hawk Ridge migration.Duration: 3′55″ Related blog post with transcript
- Merlins (Sept. 13, 2011)
Laura talks about one of the fiercest birds in the world.
- Nicholas Kristof Editorial: The Value of Wilderness (Sept. 12, 2011)
After Nicholas Kristof returned from a restorative hike along the Pacific Crest Trail, he put the value of wilderness into perspective.
- Chestnut-sided Warblers in Autumn (Sept. 9, 2011)
Lots of basic information about this lovely species
- Laura Learns Bird Banding (Sept. 8, 2011)
Laura spent a little time at Hawk Ridge learning how to band songbirds.Duration: 4′37″ Related blog post with transcript
- Evening Grosbeak Update (Sept. 7, 2011)
The Evening Grosbeaks visiting Laura Erickson’s yard since August 2011 are still here!Duration: 3′56″ Related blog post with transcript
- Photographing Birds (Sept. 1, 2011)
Laura describes her ways of photographing birdsDuration: 4′31″ Related blog post with transcript
- Bad Bear! Problems with Summer Bird Feeding (Aug. 31, 2011)
There are many problems associated with summer bird feeding. How can you make the experience better for everyone, including the birds?
- Translating Owl Sounds (Aug. 30, 2011)
Some people, including writers, are more fanciful than others when trying to explain owl calls.
- Roadrunners, Part II (Aug. 29, 2011)
Even more about roadrunnersDuration: 5′30″ Related blog post with transcript
- Roadrunners, Part I (Aug. 26, 2011)
Lots of information about Greater RoadrunnersDuration: 5′15″ Related blog post with transcript
- Gazing in Wonder at Nighthawks (Aug. 24, 2011)
Laura talks about some of the most ethereal moments in her life, gazing at nighthawks.
- Red-breasted Nuthatches (Aug. 19, 2011)
Lots of information about Red-breasted Nuthatches
- August Birding (Aug. 18, 2011)
August is a quiet month, but if you pay attention, there are plenty of birds to observe.
- Evening Grosbeaks!! (Aug. 10, 2011)
Laura hasn’t had Evening Grosbeaks in her backyard in years, until just a few days ago.
- BWCA Tower Ruling (Aug. 8, 2011)
Laura Erickson testified on behalf of Friends of the Boundary Waters in their lawsuit asking ATT to scale back their proposed guyed, lighted tower on the edge of the Boundary Waters. Here’s what the judge ruled.Duration: 6′00″ Related blog post with transcript
- Book Review: Kaufman Field Guide to Advanced Birding (July 29, 2011)
Laura highly recommends Kenn Kaufman’s newest guide.
- Mystical Connections, Part III (July 27, 2011)
Laura explains why she hopes that when she dies, her soul won’t be flitting around in tiny birds who have plenty enough on their plate as it is without having to drag human spirits everywhere they go
- Mystical Connections, Part II (July 26, 2011)
Laura recounts some experiences she’s had with birds near the time of a family member’s death.Duration: 4′21″ Related blog post with transcript
- Mystical Connections, Part I (July 25, 2011)
Many people share stories about birds seen following the death of a beloved person.Duration: 3′41″ Related blog post with transcript
- Summer Chickadees (July 8, 2011)
Chickadees are particularly interesting in summer.
- Veery (July 7, 2011)
What do Veeries and Turkey Vultures have in common? The answer may surprise you.
- Golden-winged Warbler Petition (July 5, 2011)
A Penn State student made a formal recommendation to list the Golden-winged Warbler as endangered.
- Peregrine Falcon Independence Day (July 4, 2011)
When Peregrine Falcons first leave their nest box, they can get into a bit of trouble.Duration: 5′10″ Related blog post with transcript
- Rodent vs. Bird (July 1, 2011)
Chipmunks and mice are harder on birds than you might suspect. But Veeries and Ovenbirds have strategies for protecting their nests.
- Le Conte's Sparrow (June 29, 2011)
Laura took a walk along her mother-in-law’s driveway in Port Wing, Wisconsin, searching for an elusive Le Conte’s Sparrow.
- Loon Battles (June 28, 2011)
Laura and a group of birders at the Hunt Hill Audubon Sanctuary’s summer birding camp witnessed a thrilling battle among loons at Crex Meadows.
- Hearing Loss (June 27, 2011)
Laura’s noticing that she’s lost some high-pitched bird songs.Duration: 4′09″ Related blog post with transcript
- Birding for the Soul: Attachment, Love, Community, and Chickadees (June 17, 2011)
Thomas Moore’s thoughts about the soul inspired Laura to consider how her backyard chickadees feed her soul.
- Whimbrel Lingering in Duluth (June 15, 2011)
This weird spring migration has led to some unusual sightings, including a funky shorebird in Duluth.Duration: 4′01″ Related blog post with transcript
- Duluth's Peregrine Falcons: Update (June 14, 2011)
Sad news on the Peregrine front this year.Duration: 4′43″ Related blog post with transcript
- Ovenbird Photo Op! (June 13, 2011)
Laura had a close encounter of the bird kind when an unusually cooperative Ovenbird gave her a photo-op.
- BP Oil Spill: One Year Later (June 9, 2011)
“When I show people the photos and videos I took in the Gulf and talk about recent findings, they all seem dismayed, yet people no longer get angry enough to want to do anything about it. When it comes to cleaning our air and water, we seem crippled by a sense of hopelessness. And that hopelessness is, to me, more frightening and sad than the damaged Gulf and dead wildlife. Without hope, we’re not going to be able to prevent similar and worse disasters in the future.”
- Kirtland's Warbler (June 1, 2011)
Laura spent several hours with Kirtland’s Warbler, and recounts her first encounter with this splendid but endangered bird.
- Golden-winged Warbler (May 26, 2011)
One of the most rapidly disappearing of north country warblers gets little help from the Endangered Species Act.
- Spring Arrivals! (May 12, 2011)
Migration is earlier now than when Laura started her radio program.
- Anniversaries (May 11, 2011)
Laura is celebrating the 36th anniversary of seeing her first warbler and the 25th anniversary of doing her first For the Birds program. “Sometimes people have asked me why I do something that takes so much time and energy for no pay. All I need to do is remember that magical day when I saw my first warblers and the answer glows in my heart. I do it For the Birds.”
- Purple Finch (May 10, 2011)
Romance is in the air when Purple FInches are singing.
- BWCA AT&T Tower Case, Part II (May 5, 2011)
“Expert” witnesses can change facts depending on what big corporation they’re being paid to testify for.
- BWCA AT&T Tower Case, Part I (May 4, 2011)
A huge body of evidence establishes that communications towers kill millions of birds every year. Lights and guy wires are the two factors that are associated with the kills. But AT&T intends to build a lighted, guyed tower on the edge of the Boundary Waters, right where an abundance of the birds most vulnerable to towers live. Laura is serving as an expert witness for the Friends of the Boundary Waters in trying to prevent this.
- A Wrinkle in Time (May 3, 2011)
Laura spent a lovely spring morning in Chicago, but went backward in time, to a wintry day, on her journey back to Duluth.Duration: 4′06″ Related blog post with transcript
- Bald Eagle Tragedy (April 28, 2011)
This program is about this news story: (http://pilotonline.com/news/norfolk-garden-s-female-bald-eagle-killed-by-airplane/article_082d42fb-209d-5ff7-ad66-33e2591f45b6.html)
- Sharp-tailed Grouse Blind, 2011 (April 27, 2011)
Laura spent time in a Sharp-tailed Grouse blind, taking more photos than ever while enjoying the exuberant dancing and calling of these splendid birds.
- Fox Sparrow (April 21, 2011)
When Fox Sparrows turn up in people’s yards, they notice. These oversized sparrows have a beautiful song, too.Duration: 4′44″ Related blog post with transcript
- Bohemian Waxwings! (April 11, 2011)
When a big flock of Bohemian Waxwings turned up in Laura’s yard, she was ready!
- Minnesota DNR's betrayal of nongame birds (April 7, 2011)
The DNR continues to use the Sandhill Crane as the poster bird for the Nongame Wildlife program in the northwest district, exactly where they are now allowing Sandhill Crane hunting.
- Factoids (April 6, 2011)
Laura answers some listener questions
- Angry Birds (March 30, 2011)
Are real birds as angry as the ones in the popular game?
- Wildlife Photography Ethics (March 29, 2011)
Should people be “baiting” owls by using pet store rodents to lure them closer for photography?
- Winter's Last Stand (March 28, 2011)
A field trip to the Sax-Zim Bog gave a few glimpses of spring even as winter is hanging in there.
- Fukushima, Japan (March 21, 2011)
“The affected nuclear reactors were built by General Electric, the American company that constructed 23 identical reactors here in the United States, including in Monticello, Minnesota. The Japanese reactors were ostensibly built to survive an 8-hour power shortage. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, 11 of the 104 reactors in the United States were built to withstand an 8-hour power shortage. The remaining 93 reactors were designed to withstand a 4-hour power shortage.”
- Oldest Wild Bird: Wisdom the Albatross 2011 (March 17, 2011)
A wild Laysan Albatross nesting on Midway Island is at least 60 years old.
- Spring along Interstate 65 (March 15, 2011)
Laura drove down to Kentucky seeing signs of spring, but when she left, it was snowing down there and she was driving back into winter.
- Redpoll (March 7, 2011)
A tiny yet exceptionally hardy finch can survive in a chamber at -65 degrees F. for three hours.
- Whooping Cranes in the News (Feb. 25, 2011)
The Whooping Crane natural flock in Aransas Texas is at an all-time high. But people continue to shoot Whooping Cranes, and don’t get serious penalties.
- Rats, revised (Feb. 15, 2011)
This may be a shortened version of last week’s program about rats.
- Whooping Cranes at 28 Degrees F! (Feb. 14, 2011)
Laura and Russ took the MV Skimmer out to see Whooping Cranes in a fierce wind and freezing temperatures. Was it worth it?
- Rats (Feb. 7, 2011)
Laura talks about the ecological problems posed by rats.
- Drama in a Wetland (Feb. 1, 2011)
Laura talks about some of the dramatic scenes she witnessed at the Viera Wetlands in Florida.
- Birding in Florida: Viera Wetlands (Jan. 31, 2011)
Laura led a field trip to the Viera Wetlands in Florida as part of the Space Coast Birding and Nature Festival.
- Bird Deaths (Jan. 14, 2011)
Laura talks about the tragedy of birds killed in automobile collisions and other human causes.Duration: 5′41″ Related blog post with transcript
- Archimedes (Jan. 13, 2011)
Laura tells the story of how she came to live with an Eastern Screech-Owl.
- Birds falling from the sky: sign of the Apocalypse? (Jan. 12, 2011)
Recent news reports tell of a few times when several birds have fallen dead from the skies.Duration: 5′26″ Related blog post with transcript
- Woodstock (Jan. 11, 2011)
Laura did some digging to find out more about Charles Schulz’s Woodstock.
- New Year's Day predictions based on your first bird of the year, Part II (Jan. 4, 2011)
More predictions based on first birds seen in the New Year.
- Wildlife in Social Media (Dec. 22, 2011)