Podcasts are great entertainment while you are driving, exercising, or doing chores inside or outside your home. They are easily downloaded to your smartphone or tablet and cover every topic from current events to children’s stories. I, personally, have about twelve podcasts that I subscribe to, and of course several involve nature and birding. Listed below are my favorites. As an amateur birdwatcher, I enjoy interesting and fun facts and amusing anecdotes. If you are looking for something more in depth or are an ornithologist🦉, you probably want to look for different podcasts.
Out There With The Birds is a podcast with three contributors from Birdwatchers Digest. This is a light-hearted podcast where bird enthusiasts discuss the latest news and trends related to bird watching and, interestingly, throw in music recommendations. Bill Thomas,III, Ben Lizdas, and Alvaro Jaramillo personally travel the U.S.A. and outside the country in search of birds to add to their extensive bird lists, but this is a podcast that the average backyard birder can enjoy. Perhaps listening will even inspire you to go outside of your comfort zone.
Bird Notes is a very short podcast from WRHO Public Radio that always begins with a bird song. Podcaster, Dwight Davis, has a melodic public radio type voice. In three to five minutes he will touch on a single aspect involving wild birds and leave you feeling like you have just finished story time. Anyone with with even the slightest interest in birds should give this podcast a try.
BirdNote The similar name to the prior podcast makes this slightly confusing, but you can’t go wrong with either podcast. This is a daily one to two minute podcast that also airs on public radio. If you subscribe to the podcast, BirdNote will greet you each morning when you wake up with a new episode. These short stories are written by birders and told by various storytellers who bring the stories to life along with the rich sounds of recorded bird songs from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the acclaimed theme music. This is a wonderful way to start your day.
Talkin’ Birds, featuring Ray Brown, is actually an interactive weekly radio show that started broadcasting from WATD, a local radio station in Massachusetts 716 episodes ago and is now carried by many other stations. The radio broadcast is later offered as a podcast. This folksy show has features like “Birds in the News”, “Bird Word of the Week” or, my personal favorite, the “Mystery Bird Contest.” Segments are separated by quirky short musical interludes that add to the fun. The show also spotlights the “Conservation Salute of the Week” and is often promoting environmental protection initiatives.
Nature Guys is a weekly podcast not strictly about wild birds. As the title suggests, these two “Guys” talk about nature in general, but many of the episodes are about birds. Bill, retired after 40 years as Chief Naturalist from the Cincinnati Nature Center, and Bob, who volunteered at the same center, pair up weekly broadcasting from one of their homes (complete with backyard nature sounds in the background) to discuss a bird, a bug, a plant, an animal, or even a snowflake. Bill obviously researches the topics to challenge Bob’s knowledge with new facts that he’s found, but Bob rarely can be stumped. The charm is that the broadcast sounds like off-the-cuff banter between friends. Truth be told, my birding companions often have to endure me rehashing one of Nature Guys’ recent episodes.
These podcasts have been airing for quite a while, but all the past episodes are available to listen to or download.
The links in this blog are for the podcasts’ web pages where you can download and listen to any of the most recent or past shows, but you can also go directly to your podcast app, Apple iTunes or Google Play, to subscribe.
-submitted by Joleen Ardaiolo