Bald Eagles Are Back In A Big Way — And The Talons Are Out

Decimated by hunters, insecticides and other human pressures in the 1960s and 1970s, America’s emblematic bird is once again flying high. Roughly 10,000 mated pairs now nest in the continental U.S., up from about 500 in the 1970s. But more birds also means fierce competition for territory and mates.

Wise Old Whooping Cranes Keep Captive-Bred Fledglings On Track

A decade ago, cranes that had never before migrated followed the lead of an ultralight plane to learn the route south. Several generations later, old cranes are teaching young birds to navigate that same route. It’s a clue that migration is a combination of nature and nurture, researchers say.

On A Rocky Maine Island, Puffins Making A Tenuous Comeback

The windswept island about 6 miles off the coast was a haven for a hugely diverse bird population until fishermen decimated the birds’ ranks. Puffins have been successfully reintroduced to Eastern Egg Rock, but warming ocean waters may be threatening their ability to survive. (This piece initially aired August 21, 2013 on All Things Considered.)

On A Rocky Maine Island, Puffins Are Making A Tenuous Comeback

The windswept island about 6 miles off the coast was a haven for a hugely diverse bird population until fishermen decimated the birds’ ranks. Puffins have been successfully reintroduced to Eastern Egg Rock, but warming ocean waters may be threatening their ability to survive.

The ‘Uncool’ Passion of Jonathan Franzen

Best-selling novelist Jonathan Franzen has fallen in love…with birds. Writing for the July issue of National Geographic magazine, Franzen describes how migrating songbirds are being hunted in high numbers in Egypt, Albania, and other places along the Mediterranean. Franzen tells SciFri about the songbirds’ plight and how his passion for birds has evolved.