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‹ The Weekly Green

For the Birds

January 19, 2017
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It is a soaring testimony to Mother Nature’s magic that the most massive animals ever to exist on Earth, the dinosaurs, have evolved into the very lightest: the birds.

There are almost ten thousand known species of birds in the world. About 1300 of those, that’s 12%, are now considered threatened. That number is even higher in the US. Shrinking and degraded habitats are the dominant cause, but pesticides and the introduction of exotic species are not far behind. And then there is, of course, climate change.

Bird have a very high metabolism and are, therefore, extremely sensitive to environmental degradation. The dwindling number of bird species is, almost literally, the canary in the coal mine telling us that something is really wrong.

The Sonora is home to some 100 species of birds and we are joined today by a bunch of the most common ones to remind you what they sound like without the sound of cars and airplanes. Please welcome:

cactus_nedharris
The boisterous Cactus Wren…
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…the family-oriented Gambel’s Quail…
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…the Curve-billed thrasher, a great singer who will perform for us at the end of this program…
road_cameronrognan
…and the wily Road Runner.
northern_cardinal_1
The Northern Cardinal sounds like this:
cactus_nedharris
The Dusky-capped flycatcher, a small brownish bird with a yellow chest and a crested head, has this to say:
BTGnatfemale
…while the equally small Black-tailed gnat catcher puts it like this:
BRTITjg
Another tiny but vociferous bird is the Bridled Titmouse:
GildedFlicker
The Gilded Flicker is a large woodpecker, tan, speckled, and with a bright red moustache.

Then there are the birds of prey. Commonly heard are…

american_crow_8
…the crow…
common_raven_4
…and the raven…
zonetailedhawk
…but rarer is the cry of the Zone-tailed Hawk…
ScreechOwl
…and even rarer, a creature of the night: the Western Screech Owl.
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Here too is the majestic Bald Eagle.

And, bringing up the rear, his intended victims:

CGroundDove
…the Common Ground Dove…
white_winged_dove_joangellatly
…the White-winged Dove…
band_tailed_pigeon_heidicarlson
…and the Band-tailed Pigeon.

Thank you all for joining us! Take it away, Bill!

(Broadcast 3:51)

Pictures courtesy of the Audubon Society, AllAboutBirds and Ned Harris.


TAGS
Audubon,   Birds,   Cactus Wren,   Dan Laut,   Environment,   KXCI,   Sonora,   The Weekly Green,   Tucson,  

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