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

Science

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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The CROSSLEY ID GUIDE [Book Review]

I was surprised this week with a copy of the new “The Crossley ID Guide: Eastern Birds” sitting at my door step. I remember when Sibley came out with his new guide and everyone thought “it’s too big and it could never replace the Peterson’s guide”!! Instantly we find ourselves buying not one but multiple copies (one for the house, car, office, banding bag . . . etc.). Could the same thing happen with this guide?? My first impression of the Crossley ID Guide is WOW and I know for sure it will be used in my library but I have doubt it will replace Sibley or any of my iPhone apps. It is a “BIG” guide and probably why they are not calling it a Field Guide!! To the right birder, it is possible The Crossley ID Guide will be grabbed for help before the more traditional “painted” guides but it is defiantly a picture reference guide more than our traditional “Field Guides”.

Crossley ID Guide

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Dead Birds Falling From the Sky

I have been looking for more info on the birds that seem to be falling from the sky. If you have not heard about it yet . . . New Year’s Eve a few thousand birds were found dead in central Arkansas. It has been believed that around 4-5 thousand Red-winged Blackbirds had fallen from the sky and died from some kind of trauma. First reports seemed to state it was caused by hail or fireworks. Now another 500 birds have also been found dead along roads in the state of Louisiana only 300 miles south of the Arkansas area. Scientists are now stumped as to what the cause of these birds’ deaths and not even sure if these two instances are related or not. (more…)


Banded Junco in the Administration Building

Slate Colored Junco
Dark-eyed Junco

You never know when something unexpected will happen. I got a phone call this morning saying “A bird is in the building”!! Down the steps I go . . . . . hmm it’s Junco!! Took about 10 minutes and we got the bird in the corner!! I realized holding it that it had a band on its leg . . . . 2400 series!! I think to myself “I did have bands in that series”. Sure enough it was a bird that I banded back on 11th of December 2005. I never would have expected five years and five days later this bird would end up in my hand again. Guess that is why bird banders band birds . . . . get recaptures that tell us that this girl loves the winter in Allegany State Park!
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The Nature Conservancy

Spotted Salamander
Spotted Salamander

Exciting News: The Nature Conservancy has recently published an article on Critical Linkages: Resolving the Conflict Between Roads and Wildlife. With permission TNC used video footage of the Spotted Salamanders that I have filmed here in Allegany State Park. They also used the above photo in the cover of the Massachusetts Nature Conservancy Newsletter.
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Salamander Movement Tonight

Spotted Salamander
Spotted Salamander Smile

Allegany State Park has had some outstanding temperatures recently and I have been anticipating this night for the past few weeks! The migration of the Spotted Salamander starts each spring when these yellow spotted creatures emerge from the ground and slowly work their way towards their breeding pools.
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Peterson Field Guide to the Birds [book review]

peterson field guide

This month Houghton Mifflin revised the Peterson Field Guide to the Birds of Western North America (4th edition) after not being updated in nearly 20 years. The Peterson Field Guide to the Birds of Eastern and Central North America (6th edition) was also revised and was released on March 14th 2010. Both books include the many name changes and taxonomic splits and lumps, along with its typical Peterson style maps and arrows. These revisions include updated text and 40 new paintings for two series of books. New to these revisions include over 3 hours of downloadable Video Podcasts from many different categories.
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