5.4.15: Spring Bird Season, #WorstBirdPics, & Farming The Roof Of Fenway Park

May 4, 2015

It was a long hard winter – but temperatures are finally climbing and bird song is erupting across New Hampshire. Today is Bird Day and we’ll talk about the sounds of spring migration – and hear how you can keep traveling birds from flying into your windows. Plus, an amateur photographer and creator of the #WorstBirdPic Meme comes to terms with the fact that 99% of his bird photos are blurry.

And two spring traditions come together in a new project that’s just sprouted at Fenway Park: an organic rooftop garden. 

Listen to the full show:

Prosecutions For Female Teachers Charged With Sexual Assault on the Rise

Despite the persistent narrative that young men are not preyed upon in the same way as young women, an increasing number of female teachers are being arrested for sexual assault in the US, and Barbara Goldberg, a national correspondent with Reuters covering the Northeast, joins us to talk about the crackdown.

Read the article: "U.S. Cracks Down On Female Teachers Who Sexually Abuse Students"

The Home of the Green Monster Gets a Green Roof

Boston’s own Fenway Park will soon be home to the largest rooftop gardens in the major leagues.  Jessie Banhazl is CEO of Green City Growers, the company maintaining the 5000 square foot garden, dubbed “Fenway Farms”.

Related from Modern Farmer: Fenway gets Greener

Learning to Garden at School

A few years ago, the Salt Lake City school district had greenhouses installed at a dozen elementary and junior high schools in an effort to introduce a new garden-based curriculum. But as Ross Chambless reports, many of the schools aren’t quite sure what to do with them.

A little postscript to the story, the gardening program at Escalante Elementary School is still flourishing. Students, teachers, and parents just celebrated its spring opening last week.

You can listen to this story again at PRX.org.

Spring Means Rain Showers, Flowers, and Bird Watching

Each season Eric Masterson joins us to talk about New Hampshire’s changing avian ecology – he’s Land Protection Specialist with The Harris Center for Conservation Education, and author of Birdwatching In New Hampshire.

Find out more about bird watching events in New Hampshire at this link: Warm Weather Heralds Prime Bird Watching

Birdman of Pondicherry

At sunrise on May 9th birders from around the granite state will converge on the Pondicherry National Wildlife Refuge in Jefferson, New Hampshire for International Migratory Bird Day. Local naturalist and bird expert David Govatski will be on hand to help identify the nearly 100 species of birds arriving at the refuge, considered one of the top birding spots in the state. NHPR's Sean Hurley recently toured the area with Govatski and sends us this report. 

See photos from Sean's tour with Govatski: Birdman of Pondicherry

Bad Bird Photos

When it comes to photography, there are few subjects more beautiful, and more challenging than birds. But for every majestic image of a raptor catching prey midair, or delicate hummingbird hovering near a flower, there are at least a hundred bad photos that didn’t make the cut. Karl Mechem (@TheIneptBirder) is a freelance writer and the unintentional creator of the twitter meme: #worstbirdpic. Producer Taylor Quimby discovers the origin story.

Related: "The 99 Percent (of Bird Photography)"

The Elusive Roadrunner

Our next story is about a swift bird that can be tough to capture on film: the road runner.  Alex Chadwick of BirdNote brings us this tale from Big Bend National Park in Southwest Texas. 

You can listen to this story again at PRX.org.