Weekly Bird Report

The Weekly Bird Report can be heard every Wednesday morning at 8:45am and afternoon at 5:45pm.


Mark Faherty

For my first edition of the Bird Report that's exclusively about birds, I figured I needed a slam dunk. A topic no one could argue with. So that's why I've gone with that species that defines “majestic”: the Bald Eagle.


 By far the biggest news in the bird world this week is the passing of Vern Laux. While Vern was “our” Cape and Islands bird guy, the news reverberated around the globe, as his many friends accumulated over a lifetime of birding, learned the sad news.

WCAI's Vern Laux: He Helped Us Understand the Birds

Jan 21, 2016

The birds lost a friend in Vern Laux early Thursday morning, when Laux died from complications related to esophageal cancer.

Since he was 12 years old, Laux had studied birds, spending any time he could outside, admiring their flight and daydreaming about what it would be like to soar with them above the earth. He advocated for birds. He protected them. And he even saved them, when he could.

Kit Noble / Nantucket Magazine

With a sadness that we know listeners will share, we report that birding expert and longtime WCAI contributor Vernon Laux died early on January 21, at Nantucket Cottage Hospital. He was 60. Vern traveled the world looking for rare and common birds alike, but always maintained that some of the best birding in the world was right here on the Cape and Islands.

The Peacocks of Falmouth: A Remembrance

Jan 20, 2016
Michael Semensohn / flickr / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Visitors and employees at a strip mall in East Falmouth may have been wondering what happened to the peacocks that made a daily visit to the local hair salon, tire shop, dry cleaner's, and Dunkin' Donuts. 

Feeding the Birds Every Morning

Jan 13, 2016
John Flannery / flickr / CC BY-ND 2.0

Phil Kyle is formerly the Senior Naturalist at the Thornton Burgess Greenbriar Nature Center in Sandwich, MA. He feeds the birds behind the Nature Center every morning before work and explains who they are, what they eat — and what they're telling us.

Jeff Bryant / flickr / CC BY-NC 2.0

Rain, wind, fog. Fog, wind, rain. Repeat. This describes the weather on December 27, the day of the Nantucket Christmas Bird Count. This island-wide count began in 1956 and was conducted as part of the effort first started in the United States in 1900 to survey overwintering birds.

Keith Williams / flickr / CC BY-NC 2.0

Cold and windy. Not the forecast you would want to hear when getting ready to spend the next 24 hours out in the elements counting birds, but that’s just what the participants of the Buzzards Bay and Outer Cape Christmas Bird Counts experienced on December 19 and 20th. Coming on the heels of almost a month of above normal temperatures, the cold felt colder and the gusty winds only added to the overall experience for the birders.

Conrad Kuiper / flickr / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

The Great Horned Owl, bubo virginianus, is currently engaged in courtship and nest building. This largest of North American owls is the earliest nesting species in North America. While other birds are trying to survive the winter, Great Horned Owls are courting and getting ready to lay eggs.

Vern Laux Keeps His Eyes to the Sky

Dec 4, 2015

Listeners of this station may have noticed that Vern Laux, while still writing many of our Weekly Bird Report features, hasn't been voicing the reports themselves. N Magazine recently published a great feature on Vern by Jason Graziadei, detailing Vern's battle with cancer and his lifelong passion for birding. It's a great read.