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Aspen Public Radio is proud to present select lectures, discussions, and conversations from area events and festivals, thanks to a remarkable collection of community partners. Click here to view the full archive. Events are recorded at no cost to the partner and archived here online; select recordings are broadcast on Aspen Public Radio Sunday nights at 7 p.m.

Naturalist Nights: The Language of Birds with Nathan Pieplow

This event was recorded on February 22, 2024 at Hallam Lake Nature Center, as part of the 2024 Winter Naturalist Nights Series, in partnership with Aspen Public Radio.

About the Presentation

All around us, all the time, the birds are telling us who they are and what they are doing. In this talk, Nathan Pieplow unlocks the secrets of their language. You’ll listen in on the pillow talk of a pair of Red-winged Blackbirds, and learn the secret signals that Cliff Swallows use when they have found food. You’ll learn how one bird sound can have many meanings, and how one meaning can have many sounds – and how, sometimes, the meaning isn’t in the sounds at all.

About the Speaker

Nathan Pieplow grew up in South Dakota, where he got started identifying bird songs by studying the classic “Birding By Ear” field guides in the Peterson series. He is now a sound recordist and ethologist (a student of animal behavior). Pieplow lives in Boulder, Colorado, where he teaches writing and rhetoric at the University of Colorado. He is a former editor of the quarterly journal, Colorado Birds and one of the developers of the Colorado County Birding Website and the Colorado Birding Trail.