As leaves erupt from their buds on hardwood trees, which will cloak all of New York terrain again in green, red fox pups venture from their dens and begin to experience our vast, lush spring landscape. [Read more…] about Red Foxes Are Denning
Among these impatient migrants to New York State each spring are pairs of Canada Geese that have overwintered in the windswept corn fields of Southern New York, and across the Pennsylvania and New Jersey countryside where they have found an adequate source of food. [Read more…] about Nesting Time for Canada Geese
The woodcock is a plump, mottled tannish-brown bird that is seldom seen during the day because of its extremely effective protective coloration, and its preference for remaining inactive when the sun is above the horizon.
It is during the fading twilight of evening, and as the sky begins to brighten before dawn that this odd-looking bird ventures from a sheltered spot on the forest floor and begins to forage. [Read more…] about The Woodcock’s Spring Serenade
Winter is the time when wildlife activity ebbs. Many residents of our fields and forests have retreated to shelters beneath the surface of the soil in an attempt to escape this season of low temperatures, snow and ice, and little if any food.
The woodland jumping mouse (Napaeozapus insignis) is one member of our wildlife community that retires to the seclusion of a cushiony nest underground and lapses into a profound state of dormancy, known as true hibernation, for roughly six months beginning sometime in mid-October. [Read more…] about Our Hibernating Jumping Mice
A warm southerly breeze in mid-March brings with it loose, granular conditions on the ski slopes, a layer of mud on dirt roads, and the return of the first seasonal avian residents – among these are the red-winged blackbirds. [Read more…] about The Return of the Red-Winged Blackbird
Most New Yorkers agree that one of the best aspects of winter is the total absence of pesky, flying bugs outside. Freezing temperatures and an extraordinarily dry atmosphere that would desiccate any fragile-bodied organism combine to prevent such smaller forms of life from becoming active during this harsh season in our northern climate.
Occasionally, a spider, housefly, or lady bug may be noticed throughout the winter, especially in a kitchen or a room with a large window that faces the early afternoon sun. Much to the surprise of most individuals, another bug that may be encountered while in a warm, indoor location this season is the female anopheles mosquito. [Read more…] about Mosquitos in Winter?
Early March is the time of the year when the snow pack in Northern New York typically reaches its greatest depth. Yet, this period produces some of the most favorable conditions for the varying hare, also known as the snowshoe rabbit, a common denizen of our dense conifer forests. [Read more…] about The Snowshoe Hare in Early March
During winter, the possibility exists that a transient flock of birds may suddenly appear at a feeder and dominate the local seed supply for several weeks before exiting the area. The presence of a mob of gluttonous evening grosbeaks, redpolls or purple finches can quickly decimate a mass of sunflower seeds, leaving little for the regulars like chickadees, nuthatches, and an occasional blue jay or cardinal. [Read more…] about The Pine Siskin in Winter
While most natural winter sounds tend to carry only short distances, there is one that is loud enough to travel well over a hundred yards.
Even when the limbs and boughs are coated with an audio-absorbing layer of snow, the voice of the pileated woodpecker periodically breaks the silence and resounds through our mature woodlands. [Read more…] about Pileated Woodpeckers: Denizens Of Our Old Forests
Most of the invertebrates that populate this climatic zone are well suited to deal with sudden thaws in winter by experiencing a type of dormancy known as diapause.
In summer, when temperatures are ideal and there is an abundance of food, the countless species of bugs continually eat and then reproduce. But as environmental conditions begin to change, most species prepare for that time when food eventually vanishes and when temperatures cause the transition of water into ice. [Read more…] about Diapause: How Insects Survive A Winter Thaw