by Charles B. van Rees
Have you got some long drives ahead for spring birding trips? Consider adding the Nature Guys podcast to your on-the-road listening. Podcasts, which can easily be streamed or downloaded on your mobile phone or via an internet browser are like radio shows you can listen to anytime, anywhere. Mobile Apps like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and Stitcher put dozens of great nature- and bird-themed podcasts at your fingertips, and they are a great way to brush up on nature trivia or gain new insights into the outdoor world in your spare time. I recently had the privilege of joining the team of a popular nature podcast and am excited to share some great episodes with my fellow Flathead Audubon members.
Likened to NPR’s Car Talk (with Tappert brothers Click and Clack) the Nature Guys podcast was started by Bob Staggenborg, a long time nature lover, and his friend Bill Creasey, a professional naturalist with decades of experience, in Cincinnati Ohio in 2016. The two frequently led wildflower hikes with the Cincinnati Nature Center, and their clever banter and hilarious rapport prompted attendees to urge them to do a radio show. Since then, Nature Guys has delivered in-depth nature knowledge on North American birds, plants, insects, and diverse other natural history topics through their growing list of over 200 episodes. Nature Guys is family-friendly but delves to scientific depths on topics of common interest for outdoor explorers and common questions from nature lovers of all levels and age groups. Shows on birds are among their most popular with listeners, and the podcast has covered Common loon, Eastern & Western screech owl, Barred owl, Great horned owl, Hummingbirds, Black-capped chickadee, Acorn, Pileated, and Downy woodpeckers, Red-shouldered and Red-tailed hawks, Bald eagles, and many more. They also cover loads of other curiosities and questions about the great outdoors from how seeds get moved around to travel tips for nature-based tourism abroad.
Sadly, Bill passed away in August 2020 after a years-long battle with cancer, and urged Bob to continue and keep building the podcast after his passing. Since then, Nature Guys has grown to include a new team of co-hosts including a lead naturalist for Cincinnati Parks, a professional horticulturist and the executive director of a local nature education non-profit. I was recruited as the team’s bird expert and wetland nerd. I am currently a research associate at Flathead Lake Biological Station and scientist at the River Basin Center at the University of Georgia. Some of Nature Guys’ latest episodes have focused on why water is important for ecosystems and biodiversity, keystone species like alligators and beavers, and exciting facts about the beloved Hooded Merganser.
If you’d like to learn more about Nature Guys, you can check them out on the web at natureguys.org. I will also be giving the FAS General Meeting presentation for May on my own bird research and can answer questions about the podcast then as well. Until then, as we say on Nature Guys, remember to step outside and stay awhile!