birds

Music
1:39 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

Who Sang It First? Mockingbirds And Musicians Cover Each Other In New Orleans

A short phrase New Orleans musicians use to communicate is identical to a common mockingbird call.
Sven Halling Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 23, 2014 6:47 pm

In certain New Orleans music scenes, there is a special sound — a signal — that lets players know it's time to pick up their instruments and strike up the band.

"It's a bugle call, or a band call, to assemble," trumpeter Leroy Jones says.

"It's like: C'mon, rally," musician Matt Bell adds. "Come to the bandstand and be ready to do it. Let's go."

The four-note phrase, however, doesn't belong to musicians alone. Another common New Orleans species, the mockingbird, also produces the call.

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Animal Life
9:00 am
Thu July 3, 2014

Cat Trap Fever: LA/SPCA Program Seeks To Reduce Feral Cat Population

Heather Rigney from the Louisiana SPCA sets a feral cat trap in a back yard.
Credit Kate Richardson / WWNO

With its warm climate and raised houses, New Orleans is the perfect environment for feral cats. Europeans brought the first domestic cats to North America several centuries ago, and they've been an invasive species ever since.

In order to control the population, the Louisiana SPCA offers a low cost service to trap, neuter and return feral cats to their neighborhoods.

Helen Southard keeps feral cats.

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Arts & Culture
7:02 am
Fri May 30, 2014

Which Came First: The Mockingbird Or The Musician?

Library of Congress

In certain worlds of New Orleans music, there is a special sound — a signal — which lets players know it's time to pick up their instruments and strike up the band. But where did this signal come from? We listened to chirps, whistles and musicians, hunting for this signal's origins and to learn: what is the chicken, and what is the egg?

When New Orleans musicians want to say a certain thing, instead of words, they use a four note phrase.  

“It’s a bugle call or a band call to assemble,” explains Leroy Jones.

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Environment
7:30 am
Wed April 16, 2014

Barataria Bay, 4 Years After The Deepwater Horizon Disaster

Melanie Driscoll, director of bird conservation for Audubon's Louisiana Coastal Initiative, examines the remains of a Forster's Tern found on Cat Island. The island shows scant signs of life four years after the BP oil spill.
Credit Eileen Fleming / WWNO

As Sunday’s four-year anniversary of the BP oil spill approaches, environmental groups headed out into one of the areas most heavily oiled in the disaster. There, they looked at what effects that oil could be having on wetlands, and inspected the latest damage from coastal erosion, ongoing before and after the spill.

It takes about a half-hour on John Stubbs’ 22-foot fishing boat to get from the Myrtle Grove Marina in Plaquemines Parish to Bay Jimmy in Barataria Bay.

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Environment
3:36 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

For The First Time In 70 Years, Wild Whooping Cranes Have Laid Eggs In Louisiana

A pair of wild Whooping Cranes has produced eggs in Louisiana for the first time in seven decades.
Credit Michael Seymour / LDWF

A mated pair of Whooping Cranes has produced eggs in the Louisiana wild for the first time in 70 years, the state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced Tuesday.

The announcement, made by LDWF Secretary Robert Barham at the 13th North American Crane Workshop in Lafayette, is a watershed moment in the reintroduction of the endangered birds to the wild. Once widespread, the Whooping Crane population had plummeted to just 21 total birds by the 1940s, mostly due to hunting and the conversion of wetland habitat into agricultural fields.

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Red River Radio
9:52 am
Thu November 21, 2013

International Paper donates Lake Erling in Arkansas to Shreveport-based conservation group

Managed timberland pine forests surround Lake Erling and its 120 miles of shoreline.

International Paper has donated its Lake Erling property in South Arkansas' Lafayette County to the Shreveport-based AGRED Foundation. It stands for American Gamebird Research Education and Development. Eric Fletcher, AGRED Foundation director, said this donation – 7,600 acres in all – will ensure that Lake Erling is maintained to the high standards set by International Paper for the past 57 years.

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Penguins
1:25 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

Infographic: Audubon Hatches Penguins In Record-Breaking Numbers

Opal, Humpty and Dumpty, the latest African Blackfooted penguin chicks hatched at the Audubon Aquarium.
Credit Audubon Nature Institute

The Audubon Aquarium of the Americas has announced the hatching of three more African Blackfooted penguin chicks — bringing to eleven the number of the endangered birds hatched at the Aquarium in one year.

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Environment
1:11 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Purple Martins And Their Causeway Summer Roost

The last of the purple martins swarming near the Causeway bridge before roosting for the night. Most of the birds have already headed to South America.
frankrelle.com

The end of summer means back to school, back to the grindstone, back from vacation. And for millions of birds, it means time to fly south for the winter.

One particular type of bird — the purple martin — has spent the summer preparing for that journey under the Causeway bridge. Right where the south shore connects to the Causeway, tens of thousands of the birds have maintained a roost, with a second roost further along the bridge. They sleep under it, flying in right at sunset. The last summer stragglers are now getting ready for their flight south.

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Latest News
11:56 am
Sun August 18, 2013

Rescued Chickens Available For Adoption At The LA/SPCA

Chickens available for adoption Monday at the LA/SPCA.
Credit Carolyn Scofield / WVUE

The Louisiana Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is making over 100 hens and female chicks available for adoption on Monday. The birds were part of last week's massive seizure of animals from a property in New Orleans East suspected of being a holding, breeding and training area for fighting roosters.

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Penguins
3:40 pm
Wed June 5, 2013

Three Baby Penguins Hatch At Audubon Aquarium

Skua the baby penguin.
Audubon Nature Institute

Three endangered African Blackfooted penguin chicks are now on display at the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas penguin exhibit, the Aquarium announced today.

The chicks, born in March, are growing quickly, the Aquarium says, and are products of the Audubon Penguin Breeding Program.

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