Hoosier History Live! airs each Saturday at 11:30 a.m. on WICR-FM.

Listen to Hoosier History Live! at 11:30 a.m. each Saturday on WICR 88.7 FM. The Saturday show airs again at 9:30 a.m. on Indianapolis Marion County Public LibraryWednesday. You also can listen online at the WICR website during the broadcast.


Also, you can join us at the Central Library on Saturday at 11:30 a.m. to listen to the live show.


Nov. 21, 2009 show - Birds of Indiana


We will be talking turkey – wild turkeys, that is – along with a flock of other bird-related topics guaranteed to intrigue anyone with even a fleeting interest in our feathered friends. Nelson will be joined in studio by Don Gorney holds an American Coot, a surviving building-strike bird.Don Gorney, president of the Amos W. Butler Audubon Society, which serves Central Indiana. A volunteer naturalist at Fort Harrison State Park who leads bird hikes throughout the year, Don will share insights about wild turkeys, which once were extirpated from Indiana but have recently rebounded greatly. He also will chat about cardinals (our state bird, of course), which have expanded their range and are more common in northern Indiana.


Do you assume birding is hopeless during Indiana’s cold months? Hummingbirds and other species still can be seen, according to Don. Alas, though, he also will share insights about species  that have become extinct in the Hoosier state, including the Greater Prairie Chicken, the passenger pigeon and the Carolina Parakeet.


Don is leading Lights Out Indy, a crusade to reduce the nighttime deaths of migratory birds because of "building strikes."


"The combination of lights, glass and reflexivity is deadly to birds," he says. "Tens of thousands of birds die each year in the Indianapolis area because of building strikes. ... Most birds migrate at night, and urban lighting interferes with their ability to navigate."


Lights Out Indy encourages the reduction of unnecessary lighting at night to help reduce bird mortalities.


At the other extreme, various species of birds have been “introduced” to Indiana – and, perhaps unfortunately, are becoming better known than our native birds, Don says. Introduced species include rock pigeons, house sparrows and European starlings.


Some other fun facts:

  • Bald eagles are more common in the state than many Hoosiers realize. According to Don, there have been more than 100 nesting pairs in 2009, including two in Marion County. He recommends Parke County as a destination to see bald eagles in winter.
  • Don has worked as a naturalist for the DNR at Chain O’ Lakes State Park and for the butterfly exhibit at the Indiana State Fair. He has the distinction of being one of the few "birders" to have seen more than 300 species in the state during one year.
  • In Indiana, 415 species of birds have been recorded.


History Mystery question


A Girl of the Limberlost, by Gene Stratton Porter, Indiana author. Book cover.Hoosier author and naturalist Gene Stratton-Porter probably is best remembered for her novel A Girl of the Limberlost, published in 1909. But she also was a prolific magazine writer and nature photographer, often taking pictures of - and writing about - birds in the swamps and meadows of northeastern Indiana. In fact, Gene Stratton-Porter wrote a book in 1903 about a bird that is stalked by a hunter. The bird lives near the Limberlost swamp in Geneva, Indiana.


The Polar Express - movie poster.Question: Name the species of bird that’s the focus of her 1903 best-selling novel.


The call-in number is (317) 788-3314*. The prize for the correct answer is a pair of tickets to the Indianapolis Zoo, courtesy of the ICVA. Coming up, Christmas at the Zoo, and the new 4D adventure, The Polar Express.


*Please do not call in to the station until you hear Nelson pose the question on the air.




Chris Gahl of the ICVA will report in with a surprise Roadtripper report.


Sponsorship news - Lucas Oil


Lucas Oil logo.(Nov. 19, 2009) - We thank Charlotte Lucas, executive vice president of Lucas Oil, for her one-year sponsorship commitment to Hoosier History Live! Charlotte is a native of Dubois County in southern Indiana, and she and husband Forrest, CEO of Lucas Oil, believe that Hoosier History Live! "makes the grade" as the nation's only live, call-in radio talk show about history.


Forrest and his three younger sisters were guests on a June 2008 edition of Hoosier History Live!, talking about their childhood in Elkinsville, a hamlet in southern Brown County. In the 1960s, the Lucases, Charlotte and Forrest Lucas, with rings.and in fact all of the residents of Elkinsville, were forced to move in order to make way for the construction of Monroe Reservoir.


Fun fact: Forrest's sister Carol, who lives in Columbus, Indiana, is married to Larry Cummins, who is the nephew of the creator of the Cummins engine, Clessie Cummins.


Read more in Clessie's book My Days with the Diesel. This is quite an automotive family.


Thanks to Monomedia


Monomedia logo.Speaking of sponsors, our new "look" on our website and in our e-newsletter is courtesy of Richard Sullivan of Monomedia.


Technical upgrades will lead to wider audience


Remember that we will be expanding the program on the Internet as podcasts, and on prx.org, so that our program will have a wider audience. If you are planning your marketing budget for '10, now is the time to make a year commitment. Contact Molly Head at (317) 927-9101 for information.


Your friends in Hoosierdom,

Nelson Price, host and creative director

Molly Armstrong Head, producer, (317) 927-9101

Garry Chilluffo, online editor

Dan Ripley's Antique HelperSkip Sauvain, Realtor

Lucas OilStory InnSlippery Noodle Inn logo.Logo for Daina's Petite Pies

Please tell our sponsors that you appreciate their support:
Antique Helper, Skip Sauvain of Sycamore Group Realtors, Lucas Oil, Story Inn, Daina's Petite Pies and Slippery Noodle Inn.


Acknowledgments to Print Resources, Indianapolis Marion County Public Library, Monomedia Inc., Indiana Humanities Council, Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association, WICR-FM, Fraizer Designs, Drew Pastorek, and many other individuals and organizations. We are an independently produced program and are self-supporting through sponsorships and through individual tax-deductible contributions through the Indiana Humanities Council. Visit our website to learn more.


Upcoming show

Nov. 28 - Greensburg town history


Greensburg, Indiana courthouse with tree.What other burg in Indiana – or town anywhere – has a tree growing out of its courthouse? The tree atop the Decatur County Courthouse may be the biggest claim to fame of Greensburg, but there’s plenty of other colorful folklore and fodder to explore as well. For a show in our rotating series about town histories that already has featured two other "Greens" in the Hoosier state – Greenfield and Greencastle – Nelson will be joined in studio by a proud native son of Greensburg. His guest will be John Pratt, a history teacher at North Decatur High School who is reviving Chautauqua-style events in his hometown. (According to John, Chautauqua guests in Greensburg decades ago included Helen Keller, John Phillips Sousa, hypnotists and comedians.)


John’s father once owned the Taylor Hotel, considered one of the premier Midwestern hotels. Of course, Greensburg has made recent headlines with the opening of a Honda assembly plant for Civics, so we will explore the impact on the town of the $550 million facility. During the Civil War, a woman from Greensburg (who was determined to fight for the Union cause alongside her husband) cross-dressed as a soldier and served in the military for a year until her secret was discovered. John will share the intriguing details, as well as insights about the boyhood home of Indianapolis 500 founder Carl Fisher (the house still stands, just a stone’s throw from the county courthouse), the fun fact that in 1890 Greensburg was the center of the U.S. population, and much more.  According to John, the current tree in the courthouse is its 13th; the first was noticed in 1870. No wonder the town is nicknamed "Tree City."


Upcoming show

Dec. 5 - Live from the Holiday Author Fair


Tune in Dec. 5 at 11:30 a.m. for the 2009 version of Hoosier History Live! direct from the Holiday Author Fair!


Visit our website!


Our newly revamped website is chock-full of Hoosier history, including details of past and upcoming Hoosier History Live! shows. Visit us at www.hoosierhistorylive.info to see what's up.


Hoosier History Live • 2615 N. Delaware St. • Indianapolis, IN 46205
(317) 927-9101