Sharon Stiteler is known affectionately as the Birdchick. The National Park Service naturalist is devoted to all things avian. And few birders anywhere can match her enthusiasm. So we like to check in with her each season as our birds migrate. Scary fact number one: Fall migration is already underway in Minnesota!

Our most recent visit with Sharon focused on why cardinals and some other birds look bald by this time in the year. We also touched on other issues including the time-honored question of whether baby birds ever need help from humans or whether we should all leave them alone to figure things out on their own. For the most part, Sharon says we should leave baby birds alone since their parents are likely nearby.

During her visit, Sharon talked about Least Bitterns and Least Sandpipers, two birds you can see in Minnesota this time of year.

While Sharon was concerned about West Nile virus in the Minnesota loon population, she said she was more intrigued by how the black fly infestation this spring might have hurt the loon nesting season.


Environmental stories on Almanac are sponsored by the Minnesota State Lottery.



In a previous Almanac interview, David Gillette asked the Birdchick to liken the show’s personalities to their avian counterparts. She shares her on-point “snap judgments.”

If you think of drones as robotic birds, then this roundup of tips on how to use them to effectively and safely use them to fulfill your video storytelling ambitions is for you.

Sticking with the theme of animal discoveries, recent developments in GPS tracking and video technologies have helped biologists to better understand the mysterious behavior of wolves. For example, wolves know how to fish. Read all about it.