birds

John Weeks takes a walk through the woods and describes the different birds he hears and what their songs mean. He discusses the different pitches of the birds as they interact with each other.

John Weeks talks about different kinds of birds, especially robins, and the fruits they eat. Fruit is important this time of year as a main source for the energy they need to migrate in the Fall. Their behavior changes towards the end of the summer as they prepare for their long flight.

Natural Insect Control

Aug 11, 2014

John Weeks discusses different kinds of birds and their foraging habits that he witnesses in his own yard. He talks about how many trips they make in a day from their nest to the yard and how with each trip, they are acting as a form of insect control. He argues that birds are better to depend on for insect control because insects do not develop an immunity to them.

John Weeks tells a story about a woman who found a Heron in her yard. He talks about the various types of Herons which are often unknown by many people. Each Heron differs in size and color to help it blend in to specific surroundings.

In this archived broadcast from September 11, 1992, John Weeks talks about waking up early one morning and how he wanted to see what difference a shift of 12 degrees in latitude would make. Weeks said that he woke up too early and that the stars were still shining in the sky but eventually the fog and dew were heavy enough to blur the street lights. He talks about the different sounds that he hears from the birds as well as the grasshoppers and the flowers that he sees.

eugene beckes / Flickr

In this archived broadcast from June 18, 1992, John Weeks talks about the sound that birds make and how you can hear them everywhere. He especially talks about a tiny,  energetic bird called a wren. He mentions the kinglet as well. Both these birds are very high pitched. The wren is a retiring bird and they have a long song. Weeks then talks about what he is seeing and what the wren looks like.

Jerine Lay / Flickr

In this archived broadcast from June 4, 1992, John Weeks begins by saying that him and his one friend dedicate one day in May to capture the homeward movement of bird life every year. He talks about how there are all different types of birds and they all move to different locations based on the change in weather. He then compares his daughter moving to a new setting to birds migrating when they have to go find a new home somewhere.

The Sunflowers of Summer

Apr 17, 2014
Doug88888 / Flickr

In this archived broadcast from  August 8, 1990, John Weeks talks about how different types of flowers bloom because of different seasons and that throughout the different seasons things change. He also goes into how the haying and cropping is dangerous for the different birds but once certain flowers gain the land such as sunflowers you do not see as many issues. Towards the end of the broadcast Weeks describes the 10 different tribes that are also some of the different flowers and how they are categorized.

The Sunflowers of Summer

Apr 17, 2014
Doug88888 / Flickr

In this archived broadcast from  August 8, 1990, John Weeks talks about how different types of flowers bloom because of different seasons and that throughout the different seasons things change. He also goes into how the haying and cropping is dangerous for the different birds but once certain flowers gain the land such as sunflowers you do not see as many issues. Towards the end of the broadcast Weeks describes the 10 different tribes that are also some of the different flowers and how they are categorized.

In this archived broadcast from July 22, 1988 John Weeks talks about taking a trip to the flat fields of Ontario Lake Plain. He grew up in this area and he describes what his house used to look like along with the woods that were in his backyard. He mentions the different birds and how things have changed over the years that he has moved.

Christina Rutz / Flickr

This archived broadcast is from June 5, 1987. Weeks starts by saying this is the time of year for young wildlife to appear. He says you see more adults with their young especially in birds. Adult birds and mammals rarely abandon their young. Weeks mentions that birds should be left alone and not bothered when they are still young. Then he talks about mammals and how their survival rates are higher.

Wishing In Spring

Mar 6, 2014

In this archived broadcast, Wishing In Spring, from March 16, 1984, John Weeks talks about what it is like to have spring like weather. He says he is sitting down on a warm day wishing it was spring in late March. He talks about how spring is different in all different states that he's visited and the different almanac's that people can bring. He describes the day outside and how it will be different once spring finally arrives.

This archived broadcast, A Reprise On Roadside Viewing of Wildlife, from John Weeks',  Nature of Things, talks about a trip that he likes to take. Weeks says that he makes weekly trips to the Cayuga Nature Center on the west side of Cayuga lake and north of Ithaca. He talks about how he like's to get up  early and go and eat his breakfast on the way since there are many different things that he notices. Weeks' talks about during mid January the days are lengthened and there are birds everywhere as well as the different waterfall viewing that he notices.

This archived broadcast, A Reprise On Roadside Viewing of Wildlife, from John Weeks',  Nature of Things, talks about a trip that he likes to take. Weeks says that he makes weekly trips to the Cayuga Nature Center on the west side of Cayuga lake and north of Ithaca. He talks about how he like's to get up  early and go and eat his breakfast on the way since there are many different things that he notices. Weeks' talks about during mid January the days are lengthened and there are birds everywhere as well as the different waterfall viewing that he notices.

The Horned Lark

Feb 27, 2014
Kenneth Cole Schneider / Flickr

In this archived broadcast, The Horned Lark, John Weeks talks about roadside bird watchers but focuses on one bird in particular. The horned lark is a brown and white bird that has dark horns, yellow throat, white face and white margins on its dark tail. He talks about how exciting these birds are to watch and how you can even find them especially during the winter. He talks about the different populations of them throughout the four seasons and tells all about the different nests that they have.

This archived broadcast, Phantoms of the Marsh, is from October 4, 1990 by John Weeks. In this broadcast Weeks talks about when he was at Cornell he would make frequent trips to a marsh south of Ithaca. He would go during all different seasons and he described the marsh as a dark, mysterious jungle. In this broadcast he talks about the different animals that he see's especially during May and June when there are plenty of birds around.

Winter crows invade Watertown

Nov 11, 2013
Joanna Richards

Every winter, Alfred Hitchcock's classic horror movie, “The Birds” gets a replay in Watertown. But not on the silver screen. Thousands of crows fly in from the countryside to roost overnight. The city's trying to evict them. 

The Legend & Audubon

Oct 29, 2013

John Weeks discusses his reaction to an article in The National Inquirer about Audubon. The article talks about pioneer Audubon killing thousands of birds for sport. Many were shocked by this startling revelation but because Weeks has read portions of Audubon’s diaries in the past he was not surprised at all. It is hard to put ourselves in the lives of a pioneer during hunting season in the 1780s. Living in an era where hunting skill was vital to successful living Audubon’s actions were typical of his day though.


Four years after their first interview, John Weeks sits down with Douglas Whitman again to discuss the research and purpose behind Bird Banding.

John Weeks talks with his guest Douglas Whitman about the process of banding birds.

John Weeks goes on a spring time journey. He takes us on a tour to the country side and examines wildlife in his favorite areas.

Evening Pond Watch

Oct 19, 2012

Weeks recounts a walk along Rice Pond and the interlacing of the sounds coming from various species of waterfowl. He also provides information regarding the colorful ensembles sported by different types of birds that were seen on the hike.

Outside Influences

Oct 12, 2012

John Weeks discusses the influence of the moon on bird migration and reproduction. He explains how day length have been demonstrated to trigger reproductive cycles and stimulate hormone production.

John Weeks talks about the parallel between the operation of a wild thing and the function of a computer chip. Weeks makes the point that in both cases, a lot of what happens may be the result of stored messages or directives, as in the case of bird migration.

Weeks discusses watching wetland wildlife as a younger man and his growing interest in waterfowl. He talks in depth about the mallard and the interbreeding between the mallard and the black duck.

From birds using celestial navigation, to salmon using chemical sensors to "smell" their way home, John Weeks discusses the migration phenomenon of various species. Weeks notes that many migration patterns hold mysteries that are still unexplained.

John Weeks recounts the delicate choral movements that can be heard when listening to, what he calls, a "symphony" of bird sounds. He urges us to seek out the dawn and dusk choruses while they still ring out, before they fade away forever.

John Weeks discusses the appearance of young Screech Owls. Normally hatching in early June, by Independence Day these fuzzy small owls begin venturing out of the nest. Weeks explains the interesting (and often aggressive) life style of the Screech Owl and how to get a better view of these monogamous creatures.

Originally aired July 10, 1987.

John Weeks reflects on how hayfields have changed since his youth on the family farm. While the technology of haying has evolved dramatically, hayfields still serve as a home for a wide variety of wildlife.

Originally aired on June 17, 1988.

Powerline Bird Watching

Jun 20, 2012

John Weeks explains that keeping an eye out for birds while driving can be both relaxing and informative. The power lines bordering highways provide an abundance of opportunities to sight beautiful birds. Bird watching in the car can be a good way to observe local nature without trekking through rough terrain.

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