Monday, August 31, 2009

A little taste of man vs. nature

I wrote a little ditty for the August 19th show, and it goes something like this:

Oh Great Pacific Garbage Patch
Your trash a turtle mouth does catch
And airplanes do get in the way
Of migrating birds on their flyway
Why does man have to make
Our presence appear such a mistake?

So you might guess that we covered some ways in which man and nature collide, including the article that definitively linked the US Airways Flight 1549 crash to an air collision with Canada Geese. We also learned about some current research regarding the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, which is a clump of trash the size of Texas swirling in the Pacific Gyre.

As for the news in nature, we learned about:
We spent some time listening to an awesome record of nocturnal bird vocalizations that I scored at the annual conference for the American Ornithologists' Union in Philadelphia. To carry on the theme, the sound quiz was all about owls like the Great-horned Owl and the Northern Saw-whet Owl... my favorite! You should google images for this owl for some seriousness cuteness.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

And your mouse can sing

La-te-da! For the July 29th show, we heard from animals that you might not typically think of as being big noise makers. For example, did you know that mice can sing? Oh yes... of course you did. Ever wonder why? If you've learned anything from listening to this show, you probably guessed it's sex. Well... you're right!

Another oddball in the noisy animal world is the midshipman, a fish that vibrates its swimbladder to attracts mates. Hear what one sounds like at or watch video here.

We also talked about how to get rid of pesky animals in a friendly way by visiting a webpage for how to get rid of things. I recommended visiting the site Bird-X for gear and tips for getting rid of nuisance birds specifically.

As for the news in nature, we learned how:

For our animal sound quiz, we heard from midshipman, singing mice, a pika, a bonefish, and a back-swimming congo catfish.

Music featured included The Wrens, Bert Jansch, PJ Harvey, Pavement, Paul McGrattan, Joanna Newsom, The United States of America, Modest Mouse, Catfish Haven, and Animal Collective.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Ornithology I

Deviating a bit from the usual show, on July 22nd I featured music provided by my future father-in-law, David Peeples. He called the mix 'Ornithology I' because each of the songs has something to do with birds.

Artists included: Jerry Douglas, The Everly Brothers, Tom Leher, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Leon Russell, and more! Check out the links for samples of the music, or check out the entire show for one big serving of bird.


For the July 8th show, I had a James Van Dyke, a graduate student in the Biological Sciences Department, join me in the studio for a chat about issues concerning invasive reptiles in the United States. We also touched on how pesticides used by your local "bug-man" could harm non-target animals such as lizards.

As for the news in nature, I featured the following articles:
As for the sound quiz, we heard from the likes of alligators, rattlesnakes, frogs, and toads.

Music featured included Matt Pond PA, Jose Gonzalez, Built to Spill, Modest Mouse, and Mirah.