Birds en Red-Winged Blackbirds <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Move over robins; r</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">ed-winged blackbirds are the real harbingers of spring.</span></p><p>The male’s scratchy “oak-a-lee” songs are heard when the world is still blanketed with snow and maple sap is just beginning to flow.&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">Males return north well before females, and the early bird does get the worm.&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">In this case the metaphorical worm is prime breeding territory.</span></p><p> Fri, 18 Apr 2014 04:00:00 +0000 Chris Martin 45721 at Red-Winged Blackbirds Manchester Peregrine Finds New Mate <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">On Monday, the </span><strong style="line-height: 1.5;"><a href="" target="_blank">Union Leader</a></strong><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> reported that the peregrine family nesting high above Manchester had found a new papa bird. After her previous mate injured his wing and was taken in for surgery, the female falcon eventually left the nest in search of food. Wed, 09 Apr 2014 19:33:24 +0000 Logan Shannon & Andrew Parrella 46456 at Manchester Peregrine Finds New Mate Saw-Whet Owls <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">There are a lot of unusual sounds out there in the natural world.&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Here’s one from the nighttime forest, often heard this time of year.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">No, it’s not a school bus backing up.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">It’s a tiny owl, the northern saw-whet, and it’s a lot more common than bird surveys suggest. As you might imagine, s</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">mall birds active only at night are not easy to survey.&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Also important to note is that </span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">because</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> they're the favorite meal of the much larger barred owl, their survival depends on keeping a low profile—usually under cover of dense conifers.</span></p><p> Fri, 04 Apr 2014 04:00:00 +0000 Chris Martin 45589 at Saw-Whet Owls Snowy Owls In The Granite State... And Beyond! <p><a href=""><strong>Eric Masterson</strong></a> joined us in studio to talk about the rare influx of snowy owls to The Granite State.</p><p>Interested in tracking snowy owls? Check out this <a href=";env.minX=-138.26975428300784&amp;env.minY=8.643406811898442&amp;env.maxX=-11.707254283007842&amp;env.maxY=59.78816050385405&amp;zh=true&amp;gp=false&amp;ev=Z&amp;mr=on&amp;bmo=11&amp;emo=3&amp;yr=range&amp;byr=2013&amp;eyr=2014">bird tracking tool.</a> The difference in number along the eastern seacoast from 2013-2014 is <a href=";env.minX=-138.26975428300784&amp;env.minY=8.643406811898467&amp;env.maxX=-11.707254283007842&amp;env.maxY=59.78816050385405&amp;zh=true&amp;gp=false&amp;ev=Z&amp;mr=on&amp;bmo=11&amp;emo=3&amp;yr=range&amp;byr=2012&amp;eyr=2013">readily apparent</a>.</p><p></p><p> Thu, 20 Mar 2014 17:06:02 +0000 Word of Mouth 45352 at Snowy Owls In The Granite State... And Beyond! 3.20.14: The Birds, The Bees, & The Birds And The Bees <p></p><p></p><p>While the weather these days might not be an indicator, spring is officially here. Which got us thinking in the <em>Word of Mouth</em> pod...about the birds and the bees. And also birds and bees. On today's show a conversation about the most awkward talk a parent has to have: "<strong><em>the</em></strong> talk." Also, a bird expert tells us about this year's unusual snowy owl migration. We'll also hear about the next great frontier in self tracking apps: fertility apps.&nbsp;</p><p><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15.555556297302246px; line-height: 22px;">Listen to the full show and click&nbsp;</span><strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-size: 15.555556297302246px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; line-height: 22px;">Read More&nbsp;</strong><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15.555556297302246px; line-height: 22px;">for individual segments.</span></p><p></p><p></p><p> Thu, 20 Mar 2014 16:11:53 +0000 Word of Mouth 45295 at 3.20.14: The Birds, The Bees, & The Birds And The Bees The Common Junco And Its Uncommon History <p>A huge question in evolutionary biology is the very basic one: How do species form?&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">It turns out that the Dark-eyed Junco, one of the most common birds at winter </span>feeders<span style="line-height: 1.5;">, is providing a &nbsp;clear picture of that process.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">First, a quick review of what defines a species:</span></p> Fri, 07 Mar 2014 05:00:00 +0000 Chris Martin & Francie Von Mertens 43873 at The Common Junco And Its Uncommon History A Snowy Invasion <p>This year is being referred to as an "<a href="" target="_blank">invasion year</a>" for snowy owls, and it might be one for the <a href="" target="_blank">record books</a>. &nbsp;</p><p>Most of the snowy owl sightings have been along the coast where a flat, open landscape resembles their native tundra. Reports from New Hampshire birders include sightings of up to nine in a single day. On Nantucket, the annual <a href="" target="_blank">Christmas Bird Count</a> found 33, far surpassing the previous count record of four.</p><p> Fri, 24 Jan 2014 05:00:01 +0000 Chris Martin & Francie Von Mertens 42310 at A Snowy Invasion Fewer Exotic Birds in NH This Winter <p>Fall migration has wrapped up for all but a few bird species. This semi-annual rite of passage typically follows predictable timetables and geographic routes. Exceptions to the rule, "irruptive" species, are northerners that head this way certain winters, driven out of their home territories by food scarcity.</p><p></p> Fri, 15 Nov 2013 05:54:00 +0000 Chris Martin, Francie Von Mertens & Andrew Parrella 38474 at Fewer Exotic Birds in NH This Winter Beauty In The November Grays <p>Robert Frost ended a short poem on life and nature with the line, "<a href="" target="_blank">Nothing gold can stay</a>." October has ended after delivering golden fall days that make us regret the indoor tendencies of our lives. Stark November is at the doorstep now. We reacquaint ourselves with ridge-lines visible through bare trees and with stone walls along fields cleared and worked in a time when days were spent more outdoors than in.&nbsp;</p> Thu, 31 Oct 2013 04:00:00 +0000 Chris Martin & Francie Von Mertens 37647 at Beauty In The November Grays The Turkey Vulture <p>October 18 is the Full Hunter&#39;s Moon, and heading south now are hunters of a different sort: turkey vultures, scavengers that feed on carrion.</p><p></p> Fri, 18 Oct 2013 04:00:00 +0000 Chris Martin & Francie Von Mertens 36923 at The Turkey Vulture Marking The Seasons With Hawks...And Apples <p>At Carter Hill Orchard in Concord, the changing varieties of ripe apples measure out the transition of summer into autumn. Early Paula Reds, which ripen in August, give way to tart McIntoshes, juicy Macouns, and sweet Cortlands, as September wears on.&nbsp; By early October, yellowed leaves and frosty mornings signal late-season apples with appropriate names: Gibson Golden and Honey Crisp.&nbsp;</p><p></p> Fri, 04 Oct 2013 04:00:00 +0000 Chris Martin 36135 at Marking The Seasons With Hawks...And Apples The Company Of Cuckoos <p>Elusive, secretive birds often are the most satisfying to discover, and for me the black-billed cuckoo ranks near the top.&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">Hearing a bird is usually the best way to find it, but attentive ears are needed to detect this cuckoo's song: a subtle, slow and hollow-sounding "</span>cucucu<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> – </span>cucucucu<span style="line-height: 1.5;">."&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The song in no way resembles the bold double notes of a cuckoo clock that mimic the song of the common cuckoo, a species that nests across Europe an Fri, 26 Jul 2013 04:00:00 +0000 Francie Von Mertens & Chris Martin 30171 at The Company Of Cuckoos Cats And Bird Populations <p><strong>EarthTalk®<br>E - The Environmental Magazine</strong></p><p></p><p><strong><u>Dear EarthTalk</u></strong><strong>: I understand that pet cats prey on lots of birds and other "neighborhood" wildlife, but isn't it cruel to force felines to live indoors only? And isn’t human encroachment the real issue for bird populations, not a few opportunistic cats?&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </strong><em>-- Jason Braunstein, Laos, NM</em></p><p> Sun, 23 Jun 2013 04:00:00 +0000 30338 at Cats And Bird Populations Ladies First: Role Reversals Of Spotted Sandpipers <p>From shores of wild waterways to not-so-wild urban ponds, a small bird startles up and flies low over the water with quick, stiff wingbeats.<br>&nbsp;</p><p>It's a spotted sandpiper, a small shorebird often encountered along freshwater shorelines.</p><p>Shorebirds come in all sizes, and spotted sandpipers are in the short, stocky category. Despite coloring that blends well with sand and rocks, there's a movement that often gives spotted sandpipers away: they bob up and down as though seized by intense hiccups. When stalking prey, however, their teetering stops.</p><p></p> Fri, 14 Jun 2013 04:00:00 +0000 Chris Martin & Francie Von Mertens 27391 at Ladies First: Role Reversals Of Spotted Sandpipers Small Bird, Big Song <p>As spring moves into summer, birdsong is in full voice. The winter wren, weighing only one third of an ounce, is tiny in stature but boasts an energetic song made up of over 100 individual notes.</p><p>Why such a big song from such a small bird? The winter wren makes its home among root tangles and boulders, and unlike birds of open spaces, birds particular to dense, enclosed spaces need a strong song to have it carry far.</p> Fri, 31 May 2013 04:00:00 +0000 Chris Martin & Francie Von Mertens 27390 at Small Bird, Big Song