Music? Talk Radio? Nothing?
What if you could turn those wasted moments into a chance to learn about birds?
That is how I utilize the best bird watching podcasts.
It’s one of my favorite ways to consume information and news.
A podcast is an audio program that that is downloaded from the Internet. It’s like radio for the 21st century, except you get to listen to EXACTLY what you want and when you want (with much fewer commercials).
Seriously, once you start listening to the BEST birding podcasts listed below, it will be hard to ever listen to the radio again.
Each of my favorite bird podcasts has its own unique style and personality. Some are short (~2 minutes) and some are as long as an hour.
How to listen to these podcasts about birds:
First, you can download each episode to your computer or media player and then listen to the podcast.
For me, this is a bit cumbersome.
My favorite way to listen to bird podcasts:
On my iPhone, there is a Podcast app. In this app you can subscribe to your favorite shows and programs, then they will stream and play directly from your phone.
- Don’t use iTunes? Many people utilize Stitcher to listen to bird podcasts.
- BONUS Tip: Speed up your podcast to maximize your time. I prefer the 1 ½ speed. Once you get used to listening at this pace, it’s hard ever to go back. Everyone seems like they are talking… so… slow.
I primarily listen to bird podcasts in my car.
Almost every car that is newer than 2012 has Bluetooth functionality, so I just stream the birding podcasts directly through my car audio system. It’s wonderful!
- Don’t have Bluetooth functionality in your car? Try this transmitter for under $25! View Transmitter It plugs directly into your car and streams audio from your phone through the radio.
Ok, let’s get to this list!
The 6 Best Bird Podcasts
(in random order)
Birdnote serves as my daily informational podcast about birds. A new episode is published EVERY DAY, and they are short in length (each one under 2 minutes).
Most episodes focus on an individual species or family of birds and will highlight their unique features. It’s a daily reminder of how impressive and inspiring birds are!
The short episodes are both entertaining and educational. I look forward to starting every day with this birding podcast.
Birdnote is perfect for ANYONE interested in birds.
Find out more information on Birdnote.org: View latest shows, download online, etc.
Hosted by Ray Brown (who has an incredible radio voice)
This bird podcast is produced as a radio show and then made available as a podcast. Expect a 30-minute episode per week that is packed full of information about birds and very entertaining.
The episodes are very structured and thought out, complete with lots of musical accompaniment. Each show normally has a bit of birding news at the beginning, then a guest that Ray interviews, ending with the reveal of the mystery bird of the week.
Talkin’ Birds is a great podcast for anyone that likes birds, whether you just enjoy feeding them in your backyard or are planning your “Big Year” adventure.
Hosted by Nate Swick.
The American Birding Association (ABA) produces a weekly birding podcast usually around 30 minutes in length.
A section is always dedicated to the rare birds seen around the United States then Nate usually has a guest that he interviews regarding their research, new book, etc.
This podcast is not for the casual backyard bird watcher. Just like the ABA, it is for people who are into birding, keeping lists and the finer points of bird identification.
Hosted by Bill Thompson III and brought to us by Bird Watcher’s Digest
I’m pretty sure this is the longest running bird podcast around. Episodes began way back in 2007 when no one even knew what a podcast was yet.
The style of this podcast is long form, which means that Bill takes his time with each guest and each episode is generally at least 45 minutes in length.
With attention spans dwindling, most podcasts try to keep their shows as short as possible. Personally, I love the fact that it is longer and each topic is explored in more detail.
Guests range from artists to authors to scientists. Other times it is just Bill’s experience at a particular bird festival.
New episodes are not produced often (typically just one per month), but I always make sure to listen when they do arrive.
Hosted by Ben Lizdas and Bill Thompson III from Bird Watcher’s Digest
Out There With the Birds is one of my favorite bird watching podcasts available right now. It’s very conversational and a light-hearted show about wild birds and birding.
Bill and Ben get together about once every two weeks to discuss the latest trends and news regarding birds.
They have a good relationship and give and take. I appreciate their opinions and views since they have so much birding experience between the two of them.
These two always seem to be traveling, and many of the podcasts are recorded in some exotic location, from Portugal to Maine to a pub in England.
Sharon Stiteler aka “The Birdchick” and her husband “Non-Birding” Bill talk about the latest news and trends in birding.
This podcast about birds is entertaining but different from any other show on this list.
Sharon and Bill are very laid back (most episodes involve a bit of alcohol) and not scripted. An array of birding topics are brought up in each episode, and the two of them discuss issues from their original viewpoints.
Don’t use iTunes? Listen to the latest Podcasts on Birdchick.com
Subscribe to Each Podcast About Birds!
My recommendation is to subscribe to all the best bird watching podcasts on this list and give them each a try. Each one has their unique style and appeals to different people and personalities.
I guarantee you will learn a lot about birds and birding!
I am always on the lookout for more fun and educational podcasts about birds and birding.
What are your favorite birding podcasts?
Do you have any recommendations? If so, please comment below, and I would love to check them out.