There’s a new, to me at least, podcast about birds called Bird Banter. Dr. Ed Pullen, retired family physician of Tacoma, Washington, interviews birders from around the country. I have to admit that I didn’t know about his podcast or that there were so many other podcasts about birds. Like: American Birding Podcast, Out There with the Birds, The Casual Birder podcast, Talkin’ Birds, Bird Podcast, BirdCallsRadio, Birdpod, Bird Call Review, Hannah and Erik Go Birding, BirdNote, and Banter- Fowl Mouths Podcast. I have listened to BirdNote on occasion and I just downloaded all of Bird Banter’s podcasts to listen to as I weed my garden, but I haven’t listened to the others as yet.
I am a podcast listener and I have some favorites like A Way with Words, Grammar Girl, Criminal, and Skeptoid. I add a favorite or two every year and drop one or two. I find, unfortunately, with many, there’s too much gab and not enough content. Seems like especially if there are two or more hosts, they start the show by comparing recipes or discussing what they did the night before.
My biggest problem with podcasts is twofold and strictly personal, so take this with a grain of salt. First, I have a hearing problem and some podcasters have voices that I have difficulty hearing, mostly women. (This is not a sexist comment – higher pitched voices are harder for me to hear.) The other is that my mind tends to wander. If I’m walking, painting, tending the garden, or preparing dinner with my earbuds in, it’s easy for me to switch my focus from my earbuds to sautéing the evening’s chicken or scoping out some interesting bird. For the most part, that’s OK because I can miss parts of many podcasts and still get the gist. So I listen to podcasts that allow me to skip chunks of them. If I really want to stay focused on every word and idea, I’ll read a book. I just finished Erik Larson’s The Splendid and the Vile, about Winston Churchill’s first year as Prime Minister. I can’t imagine listening to that book as a podcast or audible book. But that’s me.
I’m going to start to listen to samples of all these bird podcasts and perhaps put a few of them on my regular podcast list. But if they begin by trading recipes, comparing cars, or discussing their doctor’s cure for eczema, I’m moving on.
I’d be interested in what you, the reader of my blog, has to say about podcasts in general and bird podcasts specifically. Lead me to some good ones, please.
Audubon does a nice job of reviewing what it considers the Ten of the Best Podcasts About Birds. Feedspot lists the Top 15 Bird Podcasts You Must Follow in 2020. Bird Watching HQ lists its favorite podcasts as well as does Podchaser. That ought to give you enough to get started.
I’ve listened to a few Bird Banter podcasts and I like the way Dr. Pullen gets down to bird business right away. By the way, I am on podcast #67 on Bird Banter if you care to listen.