THANKS EVERYONE FOR A PERFECT YEAR!
Peter Nye who is a Biologist and head of the Endangered Species Unit for the NYS DEC (Department of Environmental Conservation) talked on NPR yesterday regarding his restoration and conservation efforts of the Bald Eagles here in New York State. You can listen to the story | HERE ON NPR|. This was done after yesterday’s announcement from the Interior Department that they are removing the American Bald Eagle from protection under the Endangered Species Act. Personally, I think it is still a little early for the federal government to remove them from this list but I guess this is a good thing that happened! (more…)
Today the Allegany Region opened our newest State Park called; Midway State Park. It has taken over two years to purchase and take over this amazing new State Park. It had first opened 109 years ago and now falls under the operation of New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.
Being a licensed bird bander requires you to not only know your birds but ultimately collected the data in the most scientific way possible. That includes being 100% sure about the species that you are banding or you are required to release the bird without a band on it. This is something as a bander that you would rarely want happening!! A fellow Bird Bander (and Western New Yorker) David Junkin captured this very unique bird that he couldn’t identify. He was stumped after reviewing the many field guides and other resources available to him. He took many measurements, photographs (every angle) and then released the unbanded bird without knowing if he would capture it again.
The Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History has just taken a big step into the blog world. I was lucky to watch the development of this blog over the past few months and proud for the opportunity to announce this to my nature blogging friends!! So be sure to add this site to your blog roll (or RSS feed) or you might miss something essential to the study of nature!
If you’re not familiar with the Roger Tory Peterson Institute (RTPI), they have been named in honor of America’s preeminent naturalist of the twentieth century (Roger Tory Peterson)!! The Institute is based in Jamestown, NY which is also the birthplace of Dr. Peterson (and just around the corner from where I live). To hear more about the many programs, exhibits, special events or even their numerous collections, visit the blog at http://www.rtpi.org .
To all my Flickr and Blogging friends; I Allegany Tom on the 2nd of February 2007 predict that spring will come early this year! Sorry everyone, I had to get that out of me!! BTW: I heard on the morning news that Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow this morning and also predicting an early spring. I have also heard by the weatherman that this summer is expected to be very hot and muggy one. I can only hope that we don’t get as much rain as we did last year (never seemed to end).
You might wonder why Groundhogs Day is so special to so many people! It started from an old German superstition that if a hibernating animal can cast its shadow on February 2nd that winter will last another six weeks. But, if no shadow is seen, the legend says spring will be early that year. You might ask why is this holiday so special to me?? Well, I consider this extraordinary day to be my official first day of spring! This is when we really start to notice more birds singing, displaying and pairs beginning to connecting together. I find this years Groundhogs Day to be extra unique because it falls on a full moon. After I get my taxes done, maybe I can get out doing some night time cross-country skiing this evening! I will do my best to take some pictures for everyone!!
PS: if you missed it, Allegany Toms prediction was accurate after see his shadow last year!
I have found this site to be very user friendly and extremely valuable to anyone who needs to better understand the natural history of any particular species. I did a simple search of my all time favorite Gray Treefrog (Hyla versicolor) with 13 results:
Here is the first Record # 85162 (link no longer works so I broke it) I found in the search! No longer working so here is my own photo and audio link.
I recommend everyone to visit this site and take the time to learn about those special sounds you have always been curious of (like maybe a Rhinocerous or Seal).
Other sites provided by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology include:
Birdflu updates – Location to learn about updates of the Avian Bird flu!
All About Birds – Location to Learn about Birds!
E-bird – Location to Store all your Bird Data!
While listening to NPR radio yesterday, I learned that an Argentina teenager discovered a near complete skull and leg bone of the largest bird in the world. This skull places this newly found species in the phorusrhacid family which scientists are calling the “terror bird”.
It was published in the Journal “Nature” (volume 443, page 929) that this flightless bird was about 3 meters tall with its head about the size of horse. This species had the speed of a grayhound dog. The Terror Bird survived about 60 millions years after the death of the dinosaurs. It was one of the largest predators dominating the grasslands of South of America and survied up to about 2 millions years ago. For more info be sure to check out the following links: