A word in your ear…

A word in your ear…

Our recommended podcasts for summer listening...

While summer promises plenty of relaxing times, it often means long periods of travel too – which can be anything but relaxing. To make such trips more interesting we’ve put together a list of podcasts with nature as a central theme.

Weird, wonderful, funny and educational, these podcasts will have you sitting in the car well after you’ve reached your destination, eager to hear the end of the story and grinning from ear to ear.

1. Our Changing World, Radio New Zealand

This long-running radio series gets listeners out in the field and the lab to tell New Zealand stories about science, nature and the environment. The short episodes are available as podcasts and are easy to download or save for later on the RNZ app. Check out Winners and Losers – native birds in a pest-free sanctuary to find out the surprising results of 25 years of bird counts in Wellington; or learn about what an expedition into deepest, darkest Fiordland revealed in Turnaround in takahē’s fortunes.

2. Root Simple

This podcast from the United States covers a range of conservation, DIY and gardening topics – and much more. Guest experts and advocates are invited to share their knowledge on everything from beekeeping supplies to re-wilding to solar power. For an introductory listen perhaps try Trees of Power or Garden Fundamentals. Have a look at their website by clicking here.

3. Out There With The Birds

The folks from Bird Watcher’s Digest are behind this light-hearted exploration of the weird and wonderful world of bird watching. It’s a travel podcast as much as anything, and contains anecdotes and the latest news about wild birds and the bird watchers who enjoy them. Have a listen here.

4. Business is Boring, The Spinoff

It turns out that business is actually pretty interesting, especially New Zealand start ups like Humble Bee, which is finding natural solutions to man-made problems. This episode profiles The amazing bees who make plastic, and the Kiwi making them into a business.

5. In Defence of Plants

There are now close to 300 episodes of this interesting series about anything and everything botanical. Need to take a ‘deep dive’ into the cashew family? Want to know more about the black market trade in Dudleya farinose? Curious about how dogs can help us protect plants? We’ve got just the podcast ready to go…

6. BBC: Costing the Earth

While not focusing solely on birds, BBC’s Costing The Earth podcast looks at some of the bigger issues that have arisen from humanity using the world’s resources in an ever-increasing manner. At once horrifying, refreshing and uplifting, this podcast provides an accessible view on some complex issues.

7. Birdchick

Hailing from the U.S, Birdchick is certainly ‘not safe for work’ content with some swearing and occasional gratuitous asides about the various breeding habits of some species. In saying that, it can be very, very funny as the husband and wife team debate topics like whether swans are actually horrible. Unfortunately Birdchick is no longer recording. However you can still go to listen and download them here.

8. Poultry Slam

With the calming, dulcet tones typical of the popular This American Life series these podcasts delve into some truly bizarre and interesting poultry-based stories. Wild turkey attacks, foie gras alternatives, death row cases with court appearances by chickens – it’s got it all.