37 episodes

If you're feeling shut in, shut down or shut out, let the birds carry you away. John Burroughs's Wake-Robin with premier bird vocalizations from the Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology delivers something something truly delightful and wholly unexpected. A long-form, serialized audiobook podcast.

Return of the Birds 44from26

    • Science
    • 5.0 • 11 Ratings

If you're feeling shut in, shut down or shut out, let the birds carry you away. John Burroughs's Wake-Robin with premier bird vocalizations from the Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology delivers something something truly delightful and wholly unexpected. A long-form, serialized audiobook podcast.

    Second Edition Trailer

    Second Edition Trailer

    It’s the best time of the year. The parade begins. As Winter retreats Spring leans in. The birds are returning. And so is our show. 

    Return of the birds is the serialized audiobook podcast of the nature study, Wake Robin, by John Burroughs. It’s the best story about birds I’ve ever read out loud.

    The podcast combines Burroughs’s anticipation and delight that the birds bring to the changing seasons with field recordings of the bird songs he so accurately describes woven into the narration.

    First published in 1871, Return of the Birds is a podcast 149 years in the making.

    Come join the gentleman rambler on the shady trails of the Catskills, the Adirondacks and the fields and farms around the nation’s Capitol. 

    Return of the Birds is 18-episodes. You can binge the first edition now or enjoy the weekly episodes of this new, second edition as they’re released. 

    • 3 min
    Introduction: Presenting Live Birds and not just Stuffed and Labeled Specimens

    Introduction: Presenting Live Birds and not just Stuffed and Labeled Specimens

    Click the links below for details about the bird vocalizations used in this episode from the Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology:

    Winter Wren
    Eastern Bluebird
    American Robin

    Intro music: Kai Engel Walking Barefoot on Grass



    Outro music: The United States Army Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps: United States National Anthem (The Star Spangled Banner)



    Download Wake-Robin by John Burroughs in e-reader format at archive.org.

    The Creative Commons and public domain contains a wealth of images, music and more. The images used in these show notes link back to the contributors.
    Winter Wren

    Eastern Bluebird

    American Robin

    • 19 min
    Welcome Back Flycatchers, Woodpeckers & Thrushes

    Welcome Back Flycatchers, Woodpeckers & Thrushes

    Credits & Links:
    Click the links below for details about the bird vocalizations used in this episode from the Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology


    American Robin 

    Bluebird

    Phoebe bird

    Kingbird

    Northern Flicker 1

    Northern Flicker 2

    Tufted Titmouse

    White-breasted Nuthatch

    Eastern Meadowlark

    Northern Bobwhite

    Ruffed Grouse

    Barn Swallow

    Greater Prairie Chicken

    Great Horned Owl

    Barred Owl

    Barn Owl

    Red Rooster

    Chipping Sparrow

    Snow Bunting

    Brown-headed Cowbird

    Downy Woodpecker 1

    Downy Woodpecker 2

    Song Sparrow

    Baltimore Oriole

    Wood Thrush

    Intro music: Kai Engel Walking Barefoot on Grass
    Outro music: The United States Army Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps: United States National Anthem (The Star Spangled Banner)
    Download Wake-Robin by John Burroughs in e-reader format at gutenberg.org or archive.org.
    The Creative Commons and public domain contains a wealth of images, music and more. The images used in these show notes link back to the contributors.
    American Robin

    Eastern Phoebe

    Eastern Kingbird

    Northern Flicker

    Tuffed Titmouse
    a title="Tufted Titmouse" href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/snpphotos/43704028060" data-flickr

    • 21 min
    Yellow-billed and Black-billed Cuckoos, White-eyed Vireos, and a Side-by-Side Comparison of the Hermit Thrush and Wood Thrush Bird Songs

    Yellow-billed and Black-billed Cuckoos, White-eyed Vireos, and a Side-by-Side Comparison of the Hermit Thrush and Wood Thrush Bird Songs

    Naturalist John Burroughs quotes 'To the Cuckoo’ by William Wordsworth. He considers in detail the White-eyed Vireo’s skilled mimicry in her mid-summer song and how it may rival the mockingbird’s own ability. Burroughs shares observations on how elevation might impact and effect the distribution of species in the Town of Highlands, New York.  And concludes with a comparison of the vocal quality and musicianship between the hermit and the wood thrushes.



    Intro music: Kai Engel Walking Barefoot on Grass

    Outro music: The United States Army Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps: United States National Anthem (The Star Spangled Banner)

    Download Wake-Robin by John Burroughs in e-reader format at gutenberg.org or archive.org.

    • 33 min
    John Burroughs Shares His Admiration for the Aristocratic Wood Thrush, Praise for the Soulful Veery, Some Criticism for the Catbird, and an Encounter with a Black Snake

    John Burroughs Shares His Admiration for the Aristocratic Wood Thrush, Praise for the Soulful Veery, Some Criticism for the Catbird, and an Encounter with a Black Snake

    Naturalist and gentleman rambler John Burroughs was born 183 years ago on April 3, 1837. We’re grateful to carry on his work. Continuing where we left off in episode 3, we pick up in the first chapter of his book Wake-Robin. John Burroughs focuses on the thrushes. He details the grace and ease of the Wood Thrush. The Veery’s simple, descending flute-like tone adds to the twilight symphony. But Burroughs has some terse criticism for the Catbird and its song. But he turns to empathy for a Catbird family, when its nest is terrorized by a black snake and loses a fledgling to its grasp. In the end, Burroughs avenges the Catbird family.


    Credits & Links:


    Click the links below for details about the bird vocalizations used in this episode from the Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology:

    Wood Thrush

    Veery

    Vesper Sparrow

    Gray Catbird

    Intro music: Kai Engel Walking Barefoot on Grass



    Outro music: The United States Army Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps: United States National Anthem (The Star Spangled Banner)



    Download Wake-Robin by John Burroughs in e-reader format at archive.org.

    The Creative Commons and public domain contains a wealth of images, music and more. The images used in these show notes link back to the contributors.

    • 14 min
    The Scarlet Tanager and the Dog Days of August, and, Finally, the Silent End of the Season

    The Scarlet Tanager and the Dog Days of August, and, Finally, the Silent End of the Season

    Reaching the end of Chapter 1 in John Burroughs's classic nature study, Wake-Robin, the gentleman rambler describes the birds of July, the Scarlet Tanager, compares the Peewee’s hunting prowess and efficiency on the wing to the Chipping Sparrow's, or Socialis's, fumbling pursuit of a month. The marvel and spectacle when the pigeon hawk, now known as a Merlin, unflinchingly chases a goldfinch. Concluding with the late season silence and August’s departures.

    The Creative Commons and public domain contains a wealth of images, music and more. The images used in these show notes link back to the contributors.





    Credits & Links:


    Click the links below for details about the bird vocalizations used in this episode from the Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology:


    Scarlet Tanager
    Field Sparrow
    Great Crested Flycatcher
    Barn Swallow
    Chipping Sparrow
    Vesper Swallow
    American Robin
    Yellow-billed Cuckoo
    White-eyed Vireo
    Bobolink
    Hermit Thrush

    Intro music: Kai Engel Walking Barefoot on Grass



    Outro music: The United States Army Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps: United States National Anthem (The Star Spangled Banner)



    Download Wake-Robin by John Burroughs in e-reader format at archive.org.

    • 13 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
11 Ratings

11 Ratings

TeejusHere ,

Sweet

Thankful to have found this delightful podcast.

LeaThompson78 ,

The perfect podcast to unwind with after a long day.

I often listen to more business related podcasts and so Return of the Birds has been a breath of fresh air when I want to just relax and find a reprieve from all the busyness. I don’t even particularly care about birds and have found this story to be quite captivating. Peter is a natural storyteller and is a joy to listen to. I especially love how he’s weaved authentic bird calls into the audio while reading to reflect the story.