My life is about living with nature – here you can live it with me!

Allegany State Park

My Yellow Warbler review

I have been banding birds for 18 years and I would like to start a series on my recapture birds that I have encountered during my banding carrier. The first bird that I would like to share is the Yellow Warbler.

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Groundhogs Day 2014 in Allegany State Park


To all my blogging friends; I Allegany Tom on the 2nd of February 2014, did not see my shadow when I woke up this morning (actually had snow falling and was a whiteout). I predict that spring will come early this year.

Eastern Mole

Found an Eastern Mole dead in the road today. I forgot how big these guys are. It has been a few years since I can remember seeing one.

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Red Crossbill (LIFER)

Red Crossbills feeding on salt in the road.
3 Red Crossbill’s in the road.

Today while driving along the roads near Quaker Lake (Allegany State Park) . . . . I saw a some larger birds feeding on the salt in the road. I slowed the vehicle down and needed to take a closer look at these guys. I realized they were crossbill’s and quickly grabbed my binoculars (which I luckily had in the truck) to discover they were Red Crossbill’s (CHECK) 45 species for 2013. This wasn’t any ordinary check this was a LIFER CHECK!!!

Bear Tracks in the Snow

Bear Tracks, Allegany State Park (NY) January 2012

By: Pat Coate

While hiking in Allegany State Park in early January we came across some bear tracks. In most winters the black bears of the park would be hibernating in their dens during January. But during warm spells like we had been experiencing, the bears may leave their dens to forage for food.

Hibernation* is pretty amazing – the bears don’t eat, drink or excrete. Their body produces food and water from breaking down fat. They don’t lose muscle mass. Their heart rate drops, often to less than 10 beats per minute, and their body temperature stays high due to their thick fur and high level of body fat. If their body temperature does start to fall, a shiver reflex is triggered which warms them up. Bears don’t hibernate to escape the cold, but as a method to cope with food scarcity.

*Technically bears don’t hibernate, it is more like an extended deep sleep from which they may occasionally awaken as evidenced by these tracks.


We Miss You Bob

bob and bill

I heard the news today that a dear friend Robert G. McKinney passed away yesterday. He will be greatly missed and will forever be remember for all of his bird banding and bird watching accomplishments. I will eternally think of him every time I release a bird on some child’s head.

More Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers in Allegany State Park

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Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (male)

By: Pat Coate

Spent a recent Saturday morning at Allegany State Park and was excited to see several Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers – yes, certain brother, that is their real name. And they really are well named as a major part of their diet is sap (along with fruit and insects) and they do have yellow on their bellies as can be seen in the pictures.

The male, identified by its red throat, in the picture above shared the tree with an aggressive European Starling as shown in the next three photos.