For the Birds Radio Program
California, Here I Come! (Twice in one year!)
(Dec. 12, 2013)
Laura is heading back to California to end up her big year with a bang.Duration: 4′33″ Related blog post with transcript
- Snowy Owls and Airports (Dec. 10, 2013)
New York’s airports are now planning to get bird banders to trap and relocate Snowy Owls from the runway areas rather than killing them.Duration: 5′40″ Related blog post with transcript
- A Jolly Good Day, Part II (Nov. 25, 2013)
Laura spent a satisfying day in an Arizona canyon thanks to a wonderful bit of bad luck.Duration: 5′47″ Related blog post with transcript
- A Jolly Good Day, Part I (Nov. 22, 2013)
Birding can take the sting out of many disappointments.Duration: 4′26″ Related blog post with transcript
- Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival 2013 (Nov. 12, 2013)
At the Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival, Laura saw some birds with big crowds of people, and some on her own.
- Birthday 2013 (Nov. 11, 2013)
On the eve of her 62nd birthday, Laura thinks about the #62 bird on her lifelist, the Common Nighthawk.
- A Burnt-Out Case, Part II (Oct. 21, 2013)
Laura Erickson has been having a super year, but is wondering about the hectic pace she’s been following for her Big Year.
- A Burnt-Out Case, Part I (Oct. 18, 2013)
Laura Erickson is starting to get exhausted chasing birds so much.
- Ringtones (Oct. 3, 2013)
Bird songs can make wonderful ringtones.
- A Capacity for Astonishment (Oct. 2, 2013)
Even as we grow older, our capacity for astonishment can remain strong, especially when we enjoy birds.Duration: 4′41″ Related blog post with transcript
- DDT and California Condors (Oct. 1, 2013)
Yes, in 2013, condors are still having problems with DDT. How is that possible?
- The Day of the Condors: Part II (Sept. 23, 2013)
Laura expected to see California Condors when she attended a field trip with the Ventana Wildlife Society. She never expected to see them at close range!
- The Day of the Condors: Part I (Sept. 20, 2013)
When the California Condor’s natural history and its history at the hands of humans collided, the species stood at the brink of extinction.
- Debi Shearwater Pelagic Trips: Part II (Sept. 13, 2013)
Many times when we look forward to something for many years, the anticipation exceeds the actual event. This was not the case when Laura finally got to go on two Debi Shearwater adventures.Duration: 5′25″ Related blog post with transcript
- Debi Shearwater Pelagic Trips: Part I (Sept. 12, 2013)
For over 30 years, Laura has been looking forward to going on a pelagic trip–a trip into deepwater ocean–with Debi Shearwater.
- California, Here I Come! (First trip during Big Year) (Sept. 11, 2013)
Laura’s in California for the first time during her Big Year, looking forward to seeing lots of birds!
- Common Nighthawk Migration, Part II (Paul Schanhaar's account) (Sept. 4, 2013)
KAXE listener Paul Schanhaar writes about witnessing an impressive migration of Common Nighthawks.
- Common Nighthawk Migration, Part I (Sept. 3, 2013)
Karl Bardon counted 30,874 Common Nighthawks on a single day this fall.
- Bicknell's Thrush: Rats and Mercury (Aug. 29, 2013)
Why are Bicknell’s Thrushes declining?
- Ken Wood (Aug. 19, 2013)
Laura talks about her birding buddy from when she lived in Madison, Wisconsin.
- Giving Up Beef for Bird Conservation (Aug. 7, 2013)
Seeing degraded habitat first hand during her Conservation Big Year has made Laura give up eating beef.Duration: 5′27″ Related blog post with transcript
- Eurasian Tree Sparrow (Aug. 6, 2013)
Laura stopped in St. Louis to visit a dear friend and see a dear bird.Duration: 4′52″ Related blog post with transcript
- Golden-cheeked Warbler (Aug. 5, 2013)
The only bird that breeds nowhere in the universe except Texas is a golden beauty.
- Big Bend: Part II (Aug. 2, 2013)
Hiking in Big Bend in late July can be uncomfortably hot, but the day Laura did it, the temperature stayed below 72! She didn’t get photos of her two finest sightings of the day, but won’t be forgetting them.Duration: 5′23″ Related blog post with transcript
- Big Bend: Part I (Aug. 1, 2013)
The only way Laura could see every species of warbler that breeds in North America was to go to Big Bend National Park. And she saw plenty of cool birds before she even got there.
- Searching for the Rufous-necked Wood-Rail, Part II (July 23, 2013)
Mission Accomplished, and more.
- Searching for the Rufous-necked Wood-Rail, Part I (July 22, 2013)
A bird turned up in the US for the first time ever, and Laura decided to search for it.
- Every Cog and Wheel (July 9, 2013)
Laura talks about why every species has a fundamental right to exist.
- Machias Seal Island, Part III: On the Island! (July 5, 2013)
Laura spent a few hours on Machias Seal Island, up close and personal with puffins.Duration: 5′10″ Related blog post with transcript
- Machias Seal Island, Part II: Today (July 4, 2013)
Laura managed to get the only space on a Bold Coast boat trip still available for July, and headed to Machias Seal Island.
- Machias Seal Island, Part I: Then (July 3, 2013)
Laura visited Machias Seal Island with her family in 1993. What was it like back then?
- Bicknell's Thrush (June 28, 2013)
Laura talks about how people figured out that Bicknell’s Thrush was a different species from the Gray-cheeked Thrush, and how she finally saw one.
- Moseying toward New England (June 26, 2013)
Laura drove to New England for her Conservation Big Year. Her most important goals were the threatened Bicknell’s Thrush in New Hampshire and puffins in Maine, but her drive out there was rich with bird and human encounters.
- Conservation Big Year Kirtland's Warbler (June 25, 2013)
For her Conservation Big Year, Laura spent some time in Grayling, Michigan, with Kirtland’s Warblers.Duration: 5′04″ Related blog post with transcript
- A Walk in Port Wing (June 7, 2013)
Laura and her little dog Photon took a long walk in her favorite place, Port Wing, Wisconsin.
- Keeping Track of Declining Numbers (June 6, 2013)
Some of our best tools for tracking bird numbers aren’t precise enough for declining species.
- The Resurrection Project, Part 2 (June 4, 2013)
When scientists meddle in nature, even with the best of intentions and even as we move forward, there can be unexpected glitches.
- The Resurrection Project, Part I (June 3, 2013)
Are the scientists who are trying to replicate Passenger Pigeons using DNA focused too much on genetics without considering other important factors?
- This Cold Spring (May 29, 2013)
This exceptionally cold spring is taking a huge toll on migrants through Duluth. How is this weather consistent with global warming?
- Wilson's Plover (May 28, 2013)
A Wilson’s Plover turned up in Duluth this spring for the first time in over three decades, and Laura was in Duluth to see it.Duration: 4′44″ Related blog post with transcript
- Marbled Murrelet: A "Retched" Solution for Protecting a Species (May 21, 2013)
When the needs of two species are pitted against each other, conservation biologists sometimes have to be creative. Some especially creative biologists are helping Marbled Murrelets by making Steller’s Jays vomit.Duration: 4′46″ Related blog post with transcript
- Big Year Treasures (May 20, 2013)
Some of the moments Laura is most treasuring during her Big Year have been with birds she’d seen many times before.Duration: 4′24″ Related blog post with transcript
- My Big Year So Far, Part II: The Joys and Frustrations of Birding All Over (May 14, 2013)
Expense is not the only difficulty in doing a Big Year.
- My Big Year So Far, Part I (May 13, 2013)
Laura is doing what she’s calling a Conservation Big Year. How’s it going?Duration: 4′45″ Related blog post with transcript
- The Bird Savorer (May 9, 2013)
What’s the difference between a birdwatcher and a birder?
- April Morning in a Kansas Prairie-Chicken lek (May 7, 2013)
During a devastating drought, when only a single lone prairie-chicken remains on his lek, does he slow down his displays in discouragement?
- Kansas! (May 6, 2013)
By the end of The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy is utterly homesick for Kansas, and seeing her home through new eyes. So why wasn’t the end of the movie filmed in color? Rob Penner took Laura to see some of the beautiful, and colorful, Kansas countryside.
- Mayday! May Snow Storms (May 3, 2013)
Bad weather all over is marking this springDuration: 5′12″ Related blog post with transcript
- A Day in the Wichitas (May 2, 2013)
Laura spent a day in one small area of the Wichita Mountains, doing the kind of birding she loves best.
- Wide Open Country That I Love (April 24, 2013)
Laura spent a week in Colorado savoring the birds that require wide open spaces to survive.Duration: 4′36″ Related blog post with transcript
- Florida Scrub-Jay Trail (April 16, 2013)
Laura visited the Florida Scrub-Jay Trail to see how a handful of people are working tirelessly to encourage private landowners to protect habitat for the Florida Scrub-Jay.
- Helping Endangered Species (April 15, 2013)
Helping a handful of endangered species to recover has been fairly straightforward.
- Window Feeders (April 11, 2013)
The number of feeder birds colliding into our windows drops dramatically when we move the feeders directly onto the windows.
- Snow Goose "Overpopulation" (April 4, 2013)
Are Snow Geese really too abundant right now?Duration: 4′43″ Related blog post with transcript
- Savannah Sparrow (March 28, 2013)
What made Laura fall in love with a mousy brown sparrow of drab fields? What are scientists learning about the Savannah Sparrow that makes it even more fascinating to her? And how can early mowing for hay change the genetic health of Savannah Sparrows?
- Book Review: The Private Lives of Birds (March 27, 2013)
Laura thoroughly enjoyed Bridget Stutchbury’s book, The Private Lives of Birds: A Scientist Reveals the Intricacies of Avian Social Life.Duration: 5′11″ Related blog post with transcript
- Rushing an Important EPA Process? Just Say No. (March 26, 2013)
When he was running for Senate in 1982, Mark Dayton wrote in a letter to Laura, “We need senators and congressmen representing this state who will commit themselves to strong enforcement efforts by the EPA.” How does this reconcile with his efforts to put Minnesota mining projects on the fast track today?Duration: 5′39″ Related blog post with transcript
- Book Review: The Unfeathered Bird (March 11, 2013)
Laura consideres Katrina van Grauw’s book, The Unfeathered Bird, one of the best books of the year.Duration: 5′06″ Related blog post with transcript
- Setting Free the Evening Grosbeak (March 8, 2013)
Happy ending for one Evening Grosbeak.Duration: 4′40″ Related blog post with transcript
- Boreal Owl Update (March 6, 2013)
In February, birders were seeing lots of Boreal Owls between Duluth and Two Harbors, and at the Sax-Zim Bog. Is this still happening?Duration: 4′38″ Related blog post with transcript
- Chickadee Day (March 5, 2013)
Laura marks the anniversary of seeing her first chickadee.Duration: 5′30″ Related blog post with transcript
- Texas Drought (Feb. 28, 2013)
How bad is the drought in Texas? Laura saw first hand.
- Birding Alone vs. Birding in Groups (Feb. 26, 2013)
Laura’s having opportunities to bird on her own or with one or two friends, and getting out with groups. Both approaches have their advantages.
- Why I Love Living Here in Duluth (Feb. 15, 2013)
What brought Laura to Duluth in the first place, and what holds her here?Duration: 4′56″ Related blog post with transcript
- Enjoying Boreal Owls (Feb. 14, 2013)
Birders can enjoy Boreal Owls without bothering them or putting them at risk.Duration: 4′42″ Related blog post with transcript
- No, Birds Do Not Give Birth, and More about Wisdom the Albatross (Feb. 13, 2013)
News reports about Wisdom the oldest known wild bird have missed some important details.Duration: 5′00″ Related blog post with transcript
- Oldest Wild Bird: Wisdom the Albatross Update 2013 (Feb. 11, 2013)
How can a 62-year-old albatross look so good?
- Loggerhead Shrike (Feb. 7, 2013)
Butcherbirds are songbirds that prey on meat, with innovative ways of killing and storing it.Duration: 4′12″ Related blog post with transcript
- Superb Owl Sunday (Feb. 4, 2013)
Some Americans spend part of today watching a pigskin fly; Laura prefers owls.Duration: 5′15″ Related blog post with transcript
- Atlantic Pelagic Trip! (Jan. 29, 2013)
Laura badly wanted to see Northern Gannets on a pelagic trip off Florida. She wasn’t disappointed!Duration: 3′54″ Related blog post with transcript
- Birding at Ding Darling (Jan. 22, 2013)
Laura spent time some quality time birding on Sanibel IslandDuration: 4′22″ Related blog post with transcript
- Morton Arboretum Canada Geese (Jan. 18, 2013)
One place Laura wanted to visit during her Conservation Big Year was the Morton Arboretum, where she saw her very first Canada Geese ever, in 1975.Duration: 4′29″ Related blog post with transcript
- Birding in Madison, Wisconsin (Jan. 17, 2013)
On her way to Florida, Laura made a stop in Madison, Wisconsin and spent a few hours birding with a buddy.Duration: 4′28″ Related blog post with transcript
- Barrow's Goldeneye (Jan. 16, 2013)
Laura searched several times before she finally saw her Barrow’s Goldeneye for the year.Duration: 4′21″ Related blog post with transcript
- Looking for Ryan Brady's Special Shrike (Jan. 15, 2013)
Laura and Ryan Brady went birding together. Laura’s main goal was to see Ryan’s famous Northern Shrike–the oldest one on record.
- Canal Park Gulls (Jan. 10, 2013)
More about the gulls of Canal Park and tips about learning how to identify them.
- So Much Violence (Jan. 8, 2013)
Laura’s been reading too much bad news about birds.
- Fun with Gulls (Jan. 7, 2013)
Gathering with other people to enjoy gulls is an annual tradition in DuluthDuration: 4′50″ Related blog post with transcript
- Ironic Experiment on White-throated Sparrows (Jan. 4, 2013)
An experiment designed to prove that female birds feel pleasure when hearing the songs of males, and that males respond to the songs of other males as humans do when hearing unpleasant music required the researchers to decapitate their subjects.
- Snowy Owls and Airports (Dec. 10, 2013)