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VPR’s Outdoor Radio Explores The Nature Of Things In Vermont


How do peepers peep, and how does their sound compare to standing next to a jet engine? How many songs can a songbird learn in its lifetime, and which bird can harmonize with itself?

All these questions and more are answered on Outdoor Radio, a new monthly series on Vermont Public Radio, produced in collaboration with the Vermont Center for Ecostudies in Norwich.

The program brings listeners into the Vermont outdoors with rich sound as it delves into the everyday mysteries of nature. It’s hosted by biologists Kent McFarland and Sara Zahendra, who share their knowledge, expertise and enthusiasm for wildlife education and conservation at 8:50 a.m. on the third Thursday of each month. The next episode on bumblebees airs on July 17.

“All week long I waited for your Outdoor Radio program on Peepers. It was so wonderful!” wrote listener Liesl Reichelt of Stowe. “I wait every spring to hear the first peepers, knowing at last the long winter is finally over. I finally know more about these amazing little creatures. Thank you for a wonderful show.” 

“This partnership with the Vermont Center for EcoStudies is a new and exciting way to serve our listeners,” said Franny Bastian, director of programming and production. “Outdoor Radio combines rich sound, a sense of discovery, and information from local experts that help us better appreciate and understand our environment.”

The Vermont Center for Center for EcoStudies seeks to guide conversation through science, inspire ecological responsibility, and foster local and international collaboration to effect change.

Outdoor Radio is made possible by the VPR Journalism Fund.