RUE Episode 73 Smart Birds

Welcome to this Episode of Ramping Up your English featuring Smart Birds and other content to improve your English skills.

Smart Birds
A cormorant dries its wings near the Columbia River. Cormorant photo by Cal Holman. Visit

Watching Episode 73

You can watch Episode 73 of Ramping Up your English without ads by clicking here. This episode contains multiple photos by Cal Holman – including those breath-taking cormorant photos – used by permission. Visit to see more of his work.

Watching in segments

You can watch Episode 73 in short segments. Click here to watch Segment One.

Watch Segment 2

Segment 3

Episode 73 Summary

This episode is more about content than about overt language skills. It’s a good episode in which to assess you comprehension skills. The context is clear – it’s about birds. We look at the intelligence of birds, both from a “human intelligence” approach to the ways a sea gull finds and eats food in Monterrey Bay, California.

We explore the sounds made by birds, and we briefly revisit the function of describing a bird. Doing an informal assessment simply means that you watch the episode and the videos that are embedded there, and then write down your estimate of the amount of the content you understood in the form of a percentage. Understanding all the input clearly would result in 100%. Understanding none of it would result in 0%. You’ll most likely be somewhere between these extremes.

Higher-level English is modeled in this episode – including in the video clips. The brain of the English Learner is taking in these patterns all the time – just like it did with the native language. So while there’s no direct instruction in this episode, the value to English language acquisition is fully present. You’ll also learn a few things about birds.

Language Objectives

Listening Comprehension: Identify the topic and at least 3 sub-themes of a television program including 3 videos within that program. Recall common sayings in English that invoke erroneous beliefs about birds.

Academic Content Objectives

Science: List examples of tasks performed by animals that indicate a measure of intelligence. Describe the activities of sea gulls in finding and consuming food. List food sources that comprize the diet of sea gulls.

Links to Video clips Used in Episode 73

Our first video clip was about Parrots. Click here to watch the video.

You can watch the same video ad-free on Click here to see or download.

We also featured a video clip about Sea Gulls. Click here to watch that video.

This video is also on for viewing and download. Click here to watch.

A video about birds is also available on Click here to watch birds.

For the inserted video clip about birds, click here.

Next Episode

I hope you enjoyed this episode about smart birds. Episode 74 has some great content as well as language instruction. Click here to visit the Episode 74 page.