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)

  • Superb Lyrebird

    Thu, 18 Sep 14

    Duration:
    2 mins

    Sir David Attenborough presents the superb lyrebird of eastern Australia. Superb lyrebirds are about the size of pheasants. During courtship, as the male struts and poses, he unleashes a remarkable range of sounds. Up to 80% of the lyrebird's display calls are usually of other wild birds. However, if kept in captivity, they can mimic a chainsaw, camera click, gunshot and a whole host of other man made sound. Research recently discovered that the lyrebird co-ordinates his dancing displays to particular sounds. But superb lyrebirds are promiscuous performers and it's quite likely that another male may have played the leading role while he dances and sings away. Writer: Brett Westwood. Producer: Andrew Dawes

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  • Red-headed Woodpecker

    Wed, 17 Sep 14

    Duration:
    2 mins

    Sir David Attenborough presents the red-headed woodpecker found in North America. With Its inky black wings, snow white body and crimson hood, the red-headed woodpecker is one of the most striking members of its family, a real 'flying checker-board'. This striking Woodpecker has an ancient past, fossil records go back 2 million years and the Cherokee Indians used this species as a war symbol. More recently and nestled amongst Longfellow's epic poem The Song of Hiawatha, the grateful Hiawatha gave the red headed woodpecker its red head in thanks for its service to him. Writer: Brett Westwood. Producer: Andrew Dawes

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  • Spix's Macaw

    Tue, 16 Sep 14

    Duration:
    2 mins

    Sir David Attenborough presents the now extinct in the wild, Spix's macaw. The Spix's macaw was declared extinct in 2000 when the last known wild born male disappeared from its final refuge in Brazil. Fortunately this strikingly beautiful member of the parrot family survives in captivity. The Al-Wabra Wildlife Preservation centre in Qatar is providing a reservoir for an organised breeding programme which is now managed by several conservation organisations under the guidance of the Brazilian government. Soon it is hoped the bird that inspired the film Rio, can once more fly free in the wild. Writer: Brett Westwood. Producer: Andrew Dawes.

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  • Guria Cuckoo

    Mon, 15 Sep 14

    Duration:
    2 mins

    Sir David Attenborough presents the guira cuckoo of central South America. Guira cuckoos break all the usual rules of their family. They are very sociable and travel in noisy gangs, feeding and roosting together. But what makes the behaviour of guira cuckoos so different is that several females often lay their eggs in a single nest, sometimes as many as 20 eggs which are tended by the respective mothers . This is known as co-operative breeding. Whether a female recognises her own eggs isn't certain, but it's possible that they can distinguish them by variable markings on the eggshells and single them out for special care. Writer: Brett Westwood. Producer: Andrew Dawes

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  • New Zealand Wrybill

    Fri, 12 Sep 14

    Duration:
    2 mins

    Sir David Attenborough presents the New Zealand wrybill. The wrybill is an inconspicuous wader yet it is unique. It is the only bird in the world whose bill is bent sideways , and as it happens, always to the right. In the shingly, gravelly world it inhabits alongside fast flowing rivers, the wrybill's beak is the perfect shape for finding food. With neat, rapid movements, it sweeps aside small stones to reveal insects beneath. Endemic to New Zealand in winter dense flocks gather and display, their highly co-ordinated aerial movements having been described as a flung scarfe across the sky. Writer: Brett Westwood. Producer: Andrew Dawes.

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  • Dupont's Lark

    Thu, 11 Sep 14

    Duration:
    2 mins

    Sir David Attenborough presents the Dupont's lark of southern Europe and North Africa. The European home for the Duponts lark is the arid grasslands of south-east Spain where Spaghetti Westerns were once filmed. The Dupont's lark is notoriously difficult to find as it skulks between tussocks of dry but at dawn and again at sunset, male Dupont's larks emerge from their hiding places and perform display flights over their grassy territories. As they rise into the sky their song is a melancholy refrain, which once heard is rarely forgotten. Writer: Brett Westwood. Producer: Andrew Dawes.

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  • White-bearded Manakin

    Wed, 10 Sep 14

    Duration:
    2 mins

    Sir David Attenborough presents the White-Bearded manakin of tropical South America. The sound of party-poppers exploding in a forest clearing tells you that white-bearded manakins are displaying at a lek. At a carefully chosen spot each male clears the forest floor of leaves and other debris before his performance begins. The commonest display is the snap-jump. As he jumps forward he strikes the back of his wings together creating a loud snapping sound followed by an excited "pee-you" call. Snap-jumps are often followed by grunt jumps or a manoeuvre known as "slide-down-the-pole". These displays continue throughout the day, but intensify when females visit. Writer: Brett Westwood Producer: Andrew Dawes

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  • Florida Scrub Jay

    Tue, 9 Sep 14

    Duration:
    2 mins

    Sir David Attenborough presents the Florida scrub jay. Less than 6,000 Florida scrub jays exist in the wild, yet these are some of the most intelligent creatures in the world. Long term research has revealed an extraordinary intelligence. If other jays are around, a bird will only hide its food when the other bird is out of sight. It will even choose a quieter medium, and rather than pebbles for example, to further avoid revealing its hidden larder to sharp-eared competitors. Writer: Brett Westwood Producer: Andrew Dawes

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  • Red-winged Blackbird

    Mon, 8 Sep 14

    Duration:
    2 mins

    Sir David Attenborough presents the North American red-winged blackbird. The arrival of spring in the USA is heralded by the unmistakable "conk-ra-lee" call of the red-winged blackbird. The male blackbirds, who are un-related to the European blackbird, flutter their red and yellow wing-patches like regimental badges to announce their territories. The numbers of Red-winged blackbirds has increased spectacularly in the mid 20th century as more land was converted to growing crops on which the birds feed. Today at a winter roost hundreds of thousands, even millions of birds darken the skies over the plantations or marshes in which they will spend the night - a loud and unforgettable spectacle. Writer: Brett Westwood. Producer: Andrew Dawes.

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  • Brown Noddy

    Fri, 5 Sep 14

    Duration:
    2 mins

    Sir David Attenborough presents a seabird with a worldwide distribution, the brown noddy. Expert fliers, the brown noddy is seldom seen near land and is highly pelagic, wandering extensively in warm tropical waters where it searches for small fish and squid which are captured by hover-dipping and contact-dipping. However in the Galapagos Islands, brown noddies have learnt to sit on the heads of brown pelicans hoping to steal fish from their open gular pouches; a behaviour known as kleptoparasitism (literally, parasitism by theft). Writer: Brett Westwood. Producer: Andrew Dawes.

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