Nature's a Hoot
By Hawk Conservancy Trust
Nature's a HootMay 01, 2023
Striated Caracara are one of the most interesting and charismatic species of birds of prey in the world. They are also considered some of the smartest birds of prey, often being thought of more like a raven or crow than as a falcon. Striated Caracaras have historically been dubbed ‘flying monkeys’ and ‘flying devils’ thanks to their inquisitive and somewhat heavy handed (or should that be taloned?) approach to life. Join Tom as he chats to Katie Harrington, a research biologist who has worked hard to understand the movements and behaviour of populations of Striated Caracaras on the Falklands – even inventing puzzles for them to solve! We also challenge Sirius, one of the resident Striated Caracaras at the Trust, to solve a puzzle he’s never seen before.
It’s possibly the most bizarre looking bird of prey you’ll ever see and certainly one of the largest. With a great crown of long feathers upon their head, a bright orange face and long legs standing them at almost 4ft tall, it’s seems as if the Secretary Bird would be more at home in Jurassic Park or the artwork of a Dr Seuss book. Find out about their striking (in more ways than one!) adaptations and the research we’ve undertaken to better understand this fascinating species.
Ugly, menacing and unhygienic – Just some of the words you might have heard to describe some of the world’s most efficient scavengers – the vultures. These winged carrion-eaters have long since been synonymous with death and destruction. Our popular culture likens them to our least favoured political figures and even children’s film and television label them as the bad guys. But do vultures really live up to this cruel and cowardly reputation or is there more to it than that?
Nature's a Hoot Trailer
A taste of what to expect from Nature's a Hoot, the podcast from the Hawk Conservancy Trust.
Discover a fascinating world of feathers and talons in our podcast dedicated to birds of prey and their place in the natural world. Join us and uncover hidden secrets of these feathered predators to help us understand how we can conserve some of the most endangered species on our planet today.
In recent years, the Red Kite has made a phenomenal come-back to our British skies. Get to know these beautiful birds of prey a little better and understand how they made it back from the brink of extinction in the UK in this episode featuring Dr Matt Stevens (Conservation Biologist at the Hawk Conservancy Trust).
How to (actually) help our planet with Emma Brisdion
Whether it be by watching the amount of energy we’re using at home, ditching single-use plastics or just letting the grass grow wild in the garden, there seems to be countless ways that we can help our planet in peril. But it’s hard to keep the doom and gloom at bay and does any of it really make a difference anyway? Join Tom as he chats to Emma Brisdion, science communicator and fellow podcaster (For What It’s Earth, The Lodge Cast, Small Screen Science) specialising in sustainability and finding the little things we can all do to make a big difference in the midst of a climate crisis.
Come along on a walk through the grounds of the Hawk Conservancy Trust after hours as Hannah and Tom join Mark Ison (Bird Team member and ecologist) to complete a survey of the on-site wild bat population. Learn more about these intriguing flying mammals and how to identify some of the more common species found in the UK. The Matter of Fact Challenge returns as our hosts each champion a species for the top spot for best camouflage.The podcast bids a reluctant but fond farewell to Hannah.
Diversity in Conservation
Join Hannah and Tom in the next episode of Nature’s a Hoot as they continue their conversation with journalist, marine biologist and wildlife filmmaker, Dawood Qureshi. This time we delve more into representation in nature and Dawood explains why improving inclusion and diversity is so important, drawing on their own experience as a trans, Muslim, person of colour. As a fellow podcaster Dawood also chats about how her journey in storytelling began with podcasting, both as a host and guest, and featuring on a Jurassic Park podcast, and how she connects with nature.
From Bumblebees to Chocolate Chip Starfish with Dawood Qureshi
Join Hannah and Tom as they welcome journalist, marine biologist and wildlife filmmaker, Dawood Qureshi to hear all about their love of wildlife. From Ospreys to Dinosaurs, Bumblebees to Chocolate Chip Starfish, Dawood will share their passion for storytelling as a way to raise awareness for nature and what it’s like working for the BBC Natural History Unit.
Migration and tracking the Egyptian Vulture
Join Hannah and Tom as they travel the globe from behind their microphones to take a closer look at migration! Whether it's popping cross-country for a better chance of a good meal or making an epic journey to meet with the perfect partner, migration is part of life for much of the natural world. Take a closer look at the endangered Egyptian Vulture and how our work at the Hawk Conservancy Trust is helping us learn more about how to protect this incredible species in Asia. Plus our 'Matter of Fact Challenge' returns!
Barn Owls in California
Hannah and Tom are back with a new series of Nature’ a Hoot for 2022. Join them both as they prepare for the new year ahead of them. They’re also joined by Jaime Carlino, a graduate student on the Humbolt State University’s Barn Owl Research Team and the winner of the Trust’s 2021 Marion Paviour award. Jaime discuses how her work studying Barn Owl nest box choices is helping us understand the species’ success when it comes to breeding.
Job Swap with Hannah and Tom
Can you believe it's been a full year since we launched our wildlife podcast, Nature's a Hoot? To close our second season, in this month's episode, Tom and Hannah spend a day in one another's shoes. Hannah joins the Bird Team while Tom tries his hand at Conservation and Research - what could possibly go wrong? Listen in as Tom shares some big news in light of a recent eco-anxiety article (written by previous guest - Sophie Pavelle) and we reveal the winner of last month's Matter of Fact Challenge.
Raptor Senses with Simon Potier
How does a bird of prey see, hear, smell and taste the world? Is being told you have 'eyes like a hawk' a compliment? How do we measure all these factors? Find out in this month's episode as Hannah and Tom discover the mysteries of raptor senses. Our Matter of Fact Challenge returns with this month's challenge - best animal teamwork.
Writing for Nature with Megan McCubbin
Catch up with Hannah and Tom as they delve into more wildlife topics and chat to Megan McCubbin about what it was like to write a book alongside Chris Packham and then publish it during a global pandemic. The Matter of Fact Challenge returns for another month - this time Hannah and Tom pick the most impressive plant.
The life of a Springwatch presenter with Megan McCubbin
Hannah and Tom are joined by naturalist, wildlife author and Springwatch presenter, Megan McCubbin, as she discusses her work with animals and what it's like to talk about wildlife live on the BBC - even when it doesn't show up on time. Listen out for this month's Top Tip and our regular feature - the Matter of Fact Challenge. This month it's 'Most beautiful insect.'
British Falcons featuring Dr Georgia Jones
On this month’s Nature’s a Hoot, Tom and Hannah delve into the world of British Falcons, from Peregrine Falcons to Hobbies, we explore these epic predators, the many threats they face, and how wonderfully adaptable and diverse they are. We have a brilliant chat with our Marion Paviour award winner from 2020, Conservation Ecologist Dr Georgia Jones, about her fascinating research into Kestrel diets, and of course, we present our entries for Bravest Animal in the Matter of Fact Challenge, who will be your winner?
Weird, sexy, hilarious nature with Sophie Pavelle
We're joined by zoologist and science communicator, Sophie Pavelle, for a chat about, long walks, beavers, water boatmen and how laughter can help to inspire us into loving the natural world. Our new feature, the Matter of Fact Challenge, returns as Hannah and Tom go head-to-head to decide on the animal kingdom's best parent.
Getting nerdy about nature with Lucy Lapwing
We introduce a new feature to Nature's a Hoot - the Matter of Fact Challenge and we're joined by Lucy Hodson AKA Lucy Lapwing to talk about her love of wildlife and finding ways to communicate the tricky science in the most accessible way possible - including her new Youtube series of birdsong lessons!
Special Episode - What's your favourite thing about nature?
With another national lockdown in place, we realise again how vital nature is to making us feel better and so in this special episode we ask the question 'What is your favourite thing about nature?'. Listeners send in their best bits about wildlife and we get inspired by all the answers!
Conservation and communities with Kevin Cumming
Episode 6 of Nature’s a Hoot is all about involving local communities in conservation initiative. Hannah interviews our special guest, Kevin Cumming, from the Langholm Initiative, about the successful community buyout of 5200 acres of the Buccleuch Estate in Scotland. Hannah and Tom chat about why involving the local community is important in conservation, both in developing and developed countries.
Rewilding with Tabitha Rose
Join Hannah and Tom as they discuss the research and dedication that goes into rewilding projects and the benefits they can have on habitats and the ecosystems that rely on them. Tom heads to the Cotswolds to meet Tabitha Rose – a landowner who has decided to turn her 70 acres of farmland and woodland into a haven for wildlife.
Wildlife and well-being with Dr Kayleigh Wyles
It’s easy to feel a bit down in winter as the nights draw in, with shorter days and less time to get outdoors. We discuss the importance of spending time in nature, even in the winter! Hannah also chats to our guest, Dr Kayleigh Wyles, an environmental psychologist from Surrey University, about her work with citizen science and nature connection, and an exciting study we’ve been working on together at the Trust exploring the impact wildlife can have on our well-being.
The future of nature with Indy Greene
We give our reaction to the recently televised Extinction: The Facts programme, pondering the state of our natural world, and talk to up-and-coming conservationist and broadcaster, Indy Greene about his experiences as a young wildlife enthusiast.
Join Hannah and Tom as they talk all about some of the most elusive creatures to call our British fields and woodlands home - the owls. Plus find out more about the work the Hawk Conservancy Trust does to support them in the wild. We’ll also be chatting about the successful reintroduction of a mammal to the River Otter in Devon which hasn’t be resident in England for 400 years!
Inspired by the Wild
Meet the hosts of Nature's a Hoot, Hannah and Tom, in this - the very first episode! Join us as we talk about what inspires us, how Covid-19 might have impacted wildlife across the world and our very first top tip for helping nature to thrive where you live.