Podcast

Grebes Like Their Meals with a Side of Feathers—Here's Why

— Eating (and spitting up) their own plumes helps these diving birds to safely digest brine shrimp exoskeletons and other rigid foods.
Red-winged Blackbird. Greg Lavaty

Blackbirds Are Built For a Distinctive Feeding Style Known as ‘Gaping’

— Powerful gapers have stronger muscles for opening the bill than for closing it—perfect for prying objects open to reveal the morsels inside.

Hear the Persistent, Buzzy Song of the Savannah Sparrow

— To ID this understated brown bird, look for a yellow eyebrow stripe and listen for its subtle trilling.
Northern Cardinal. Douglas Chewning/Audubon Photography Awards

For Male Cardinals, the Redder the Better

— Feather brightness may indicate superior genes in species that sport crimson feathers.
Scarlet Tanager. Johann Schumacher/Alamy

The Gorgeous Scarlet Tanager Is a Delightful Summer Treat

— Hiding high up in the canopy of eastern forests, these dazzling birds can be surprisingly tough to spot.

The American Robin Hasn't Always Gotten the Worm

— Long ago, glaciers wiped out earthworms across the northern U.S.—until new ones arrived with European travelers.

Ospreys, Like Skateboarders, Favor One Foot Over the Other

— The way these fish-eating raptors carry their prey suggests their brains have evolved to divvy up complex tasks.

Immerse Yourself In These Peaceful, Nature-Rich Sound Recordings

— Created by an acoustic ecologist, the place-based soundscapes transport listeners across the globe.

Webbed Feet Are an Evolutionary Hit

— From geese and gulls to penguins and puffins, these birds have perfectly adapted to life on the water.

When Does a Crossbill's Beak Get Twisted?

— Many birds with unusual beaks aren't born with them.