Tweet of the Day

Tweet of the Day

Discover birds through their songs and calls. Each Tweet of the Day begins with a different call or song, followed by a story of fascinating ornithology inspired by the sound. Tweet of the Day is narrated by a host of wildlife presenters including Sir David Attenborough and Michael Palin.

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Recent episodes (10)

  • Greater Honeyguide

    Thu, 30 Oct 14

    Duration:
    2 mins

    Miranda Krestovnikoff presents the greater honeyguide of sub-Saharan Africa. A loud repetitive "it's - here" – "it's -here" is a sound the greater honeyguide only makes to humans in an extraordinary co-operative act between humans and bird. Relatives of woodpeckers they are one of the few birds which can digest wax and also feed on the eggs, grubs and pupae of bees. A greater honeyguide knows the location of the bee colonies in its territory and is able to lead honey-hunters to them. So reliable are honeyguides that the Boran people of East Africa save up to two thirds of their honey-searching time by using the bird's services and use a special loud whistle (called a fuulido) to summon their guide before a hunt. Script by Brett Westwood. Produced by Andrew Dawes.

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  • Resplendent Quetzal

    Wed, 29 Oct 14

    Duration:
    2 mins

    anda Krestovnikoff presents the resplendent quetzal of Guatamala. The image of resplendent quetzals are everywhere in Guatemala, but the source of their national emblem is now confined to the cloud forests of Central America. The male quetzal has a shimmering emerald-green above and scarlet below. His outstanding features are the upper tail feathers which, longer than his entire body, extend into a train almost a metre in length, twisting like metallic ribbons as he flies through the tree canopy. Historically resplendent quetzals were considered sacred to the Mayans and Aztecs for their brilliant plumage, with the lavish crown of the Aztec ruler Moctezuma the Second, containing hundreds of individual quetzal tail - plumes. Script by Brett Westwood. Produced by Andrew Dawes.

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  • Snow Goose (Oct 2014)

    Tue, 28 Oct 14

    Duration:
    2 mins

    Miranda Krestovnikoff presents the snow goose found breeding across Canada and Alaska. Although most snow geese are all-white with black wing-tips, some known as blue geese are blue-ish grey with white heads. Snow geese breed in the tundra region with goslings hatching at a time to make the most of rich supply of insect larvae and berries in the short Arctic summer. As autumn approaches though, the geese depart and head south before temperatures plummet, and the tundra becomes sealed by snow and ice. As they head for areas rich in grain and nutritious roots hundreds of thousands of snow geese fill the sky with their urgent clamour providing one of the greatest wildfowl spectacles in the world. Script by Brett Westwood. Produced by Andrew Dawes.

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  • Blue-footed Booby

    Mon, 27 Oct 14

    Duration:
    2 mins

    Miranda Krestovnikoff presents the Galapagos Islands blue-footed booby. Far off the Ecuador coastline the Galapagos Archipelago is home to a strange courtship dance and display of the male blue-footed booby and his large bright blue webbed feet. The intensity of the male's blue feet is viewed by the female as a sign of fitness and so he holds them up for inspection as he struts in front of her. She joins in, shadowing his actions. As the pair raise and lower their feet with exaggerated slow movements, they point their bills sky-wards while spreading their wings, raising their tails and calling. Script by Brett Westwood. Produced by Andrew Dawes.

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  • King Eider

    Fri, 24 Oct 14

    Duration:
    2 mins

    Miranda Krestovnikoff presents the Arctic specialist the king eider duck. Relatives of the larger common eider found around the British coast, king eiders breed around the Arctic and sub-Arctic coasts of the northern hemisphere. As true marine ducks they can dive to depths of 25 metres on occasion, to feed on molluscs and marine crustaceans. The drake King Eider has colourful markings; having a black and white body with a reddish bill, surmounted by an orange-yellow shield. His cheeks are pale mint-green and his crown and nape are lavender-grey. He uses his bill pattern and head colours in a highly ritualised display to woo his mate, fluffing up his chest and issuing an amorous coo-ing call. Script by Brett Westwood. Produced by Andrew Dawes.

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  • House Crow

    Thu, 23 Oct 14

    Duration:
    2 mins

    Miranda Krestovnikoff presents the house crow, native of southern Asia. Leggier and longer-billed than the slightly larger European carrion crow and having a charcoal grey bib and collar and raucous call, these are common birds in towns and villages from Iran through India to Thailand. As scavengers they eat almost anything, which is how they've come to live alongside us. Although they don't fly long distances, the crows often hop aboard ships and arrive in foreign ports. Ship-assisted house crows have the potential to spread around the globe, a beautiful example of avian exploitation of human activity. Script by Brett Westwood. Produced by Andrew Dawes.

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  • Red-billed Quelea

    Wed, 22 Oct 14

    Duration:
    2 mins

    Miranda Krestovnikoff presents the World's most numerous bird; red billed quelea. Red-billed queleas are the most numerous birds in the world and as part of the weaverbird family sound and look like small neat sparrows. Their ability to adapt to local conditions and travel for food allows large populations of fast-breeding queleas to build up. The statistics are mind-boggling. Some flocks of red-billed quelea can comprise millions of birds which may take hours to fly past. There are probably between one and a half and ten billion birds in Africa. They breed in vast colonies; one colony in Nigeria covered one hundred and ten hectares and contained thirty one million nests. Script by Brett Westwood. Produced by Andrew Dawes

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  • Satin Bowerbird

    Tue, 21 Oct 14

    Duration:
    2 mins

    Miranda Krestovnikoff presents Australia's satin bowerbird. Then male is a blackish looking bird with bright purple eyes, whose plumage diffracts the light to produce an indigo sheen with a metallic lustre. He builds a U-shaped bower of sticks on the forest floor into which he hopes to lure a female. But brown twigs on a brown woodland floor aren't very eye-catching, so he jazzes up the scene with an array of objects from berries and bottle-tops to clothes-pegs and even ballpoint pens. All have one thing in common: they are blue. The male dances around his bower to attract the greenish females: often holding something blue to impress her. As he poses, he calls enticingly to advertise his prowess. Once she's made her choice, she will leave to build her nest and rear her young alone. Script by Brett Westwood Produced by Andrew Dawes

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  • Montezuma Oropendola

    Mon, 20 Oct 14

    Duration:
    2 mins

    Miranda Krestovnikoff presents the Panamanian Montezuma oropendola. In a clearing in the humid rainforest in Panama a tall tree appears to be draped in hanging baskets. These are the nests of a New World blackbird, Montezuma oropendola. The male produces an ecstatic bubbling liquid call as he displays to females, reaching a crescendo whilst bowing downwards from his perch, spreading his wings and raising his tail. They weave long tubular basket-like nests from plant fibres, which they suspend in clusters from tall trees. Colonies can contain up to one hundred and seventy nests, but more usually number about thirty. Script by Brett Westwood Produced by Andrew Dawes

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  • Echo Parakeet

    Fri, 17 Oct 14

    Duration:
    2 mins

    Miranda Krestovnikoff presents the echo parakeet found only in Mauritius, a bird which has brushed extinction by its wingtips. This once familiar bird of the island of Mauritius will only nest in large trees with suitable holes, few of which remain after widespread deforestation on the island. A close relative of the more adaptable ring necked parakeet found now across southern Britain where it's been introduced, by the 1980's the wild population of echo parakeets numbered around ten birds. Threatened with extinction in the wild, captive breeding and successful releases into the wild have stabilised the population to about three hundred birds. Script by Brett Westwood. Produced by Andrew Dawes.

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