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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Every spring, a state Department of Environmental Conservation biologist drives along north country highways at dawn or dusk, stopping every so often to pull over and listen to the nature sounds.
She's listening for the distinctive “peent” of the singing American woodcock, a brown speckled bird a little larger than a songbird with a long, narrow beak for pulling earthworms out of the newly thawed ground.
John Weeks talks about what usually happens during the first week after birth in the season of spring. Some birds tend to leave their young for a short time and some never leave their side. Weeks talks about being careful with baby nestlings and mammals and to leave them alone because their adult protectors could get angry.
John Weeks talks about some of the National Wildlife refugees along the East Coast in Virginia, Maryland and Delaware. Weeks shares his experiences of the sprouting spring life he discovered on his voyage and the different types of birds he viewed in places such as Bombay Hook in Delaware.
John Weeks talks about animal preparations for Spring and how they react to Oswego's different weather daily. He also discusses birds' arrival in spring g from his own experiences, including the Woodcock.
John Weeks tells all about winter birds and the many that are often found on roadsides. Different type of winter birds go unnoticed, Weeks discusses the numerous type of birds spotted all over the country through the cold season.