birds

Grant Blankenship / GPB

Imagine a man going from 170 to 255 pounds before your next big trip. Ruby-throated hummingbirds fight for the chance to do just that near the end of every summer. What does that sound like? Listen here to find out. 

Sam Whitehead / GPB News

On a recent Sunday morning just after dawn in a lush backyard in Atlanta, Clay Graham stood silent, all eyes and ears.

“Ok, so that’s a Carolina wren calling about ten meters out,” he said. “A cardinal just chipped maybe 20 to 30 meters away.”

In the soft light, he scribbled down the names and positions of the birds he observed. If he could see or hear them, he could catch them.

cuatrok77 / Foter

A new study from the University of Georgia shows birds, like White Ibises, have a high risk of contracting and spreading Salmonella in congested areas like urban parks. The study furthermore suggests feeding of these birds corrupts their ecosystem, and hopes to dissuade pedestrians and city planners from creating this mutually harmful environment.

We speak with researcher Dr. Sonia Hernandez. She’s an Associate Professor at the School of Forestry and Natural Resources and College of Veterinary Medicine at UGA. 

Every year, thousands of birds make their way to Georgia’s coastline during their migration. One vital resting place for these birds is the estuary found at the mouth of the Altamaha River, where they eat and recover en route to their final destination. One species called the red knot heavily depends on Georgia’s coast to help complete its 19,000 mile journey.

Deborah Cramer

Every year, thousands of birds make their way to Georgia’s coastline during their migration. One vital resting place for these birds is the estuary found at the mouth of the Altamaha River, where they eat and recover en route to their final destination. One species called the red knot heavily depends on Georgia’s coast to help complete its 19,000 mile journey. The industrious bird is the subject of Deborah Cramer’s most recent book, "The Narrow Edge,"  where she follows the red knots’ arduous migration path.   

Sean Powers / On Second Thought

Bird songs play a big part in this week's Atlanta Science Festival.  The rhythmic sounds of birds have also inspired modern music compositions. On Second Thought producer Sean Powers joined some bird watchers at the Fernbank Museum in Atlanta to learn about the variety of chirps, tweets and calls in the state.