I can’t seem to pass a hollow tree without stopping to snoop. If there is a cavity within reach, an investigation is in order. Wear and tear around a hole, evidence of food items on the ground, or simply sounds from within tell of the tenants inside. One of my favorite tricks is to power up my camera, flash on, and poke it inside a tree cavity for a quick snap. My most memorable and rewarding discovery came while lying on my stomach at the hollow base of a huge, dead maple. [Read more…] about The Hidden Life in Hollow Trees
Although it’s captivating to watch a big prehistoric-looking woodpecker chisel away at a rotten snag in the forest, the same performance loses its charm when it jack-hammers a hole in your perfectly sound tree. The thing is, no matter how healthy that tree may appear, it is definitely not sound, and may in fact be quite dangerous. Your “vandal” is alerting you to this fact by installing windows in the tree trunk. [Read more…] about Pileated Woodpeckers: Miscreants or Messengers?
Through clever observation and experiments, biologists have found that food caching (from the French cacher, “to hide”) has developed to a high art in some birds. [Read more…] about Resident Birds Preparing For Winter
The Cornell Lab of Ornithology has announced Winter Bird Feeding 101, a free webinar set for this Thursday, November 19th. [Read more…] about Winter Bird Feeding 101: A Free Webinar
A large V of Canada geese flying noisily over my head – and traveling north, rather than south – got me wondering about the ins and outs of fall migration. Shouldn’t these big birds be flying to warmer climes this time of year?
Why do they travel in that V-formation, anyway? [Read more…] about Migrants and Residents: Canada Geese
Cavity-nesters, like tree swallows, house wrens, blackcapped chickadees, Eastern bluebirds, wood ducks, and American kestrels, all use nest boxes. The type of birds you might attract depends on the size of box and the nearby habitat; some birds prefer open fields while others prefer forests or wetlands. [Read more…] about Consider Bird Nest Boxes
It is typically in November when ice forms on the many ponds and lakes across the Adirondacks. This inevitable transition from a watery world into an icy plain causes the loon to abandon its summer home in remote wilderness locations and seek out an environment in which it can survive until the spring. [Read more…] about Loons Are Migrating
The study’s authors say it’s the first of its kind to cover the Western Hemisphere during the year-long life cycle of North American migratory birds that feed on vegetation, seeds, nectar, insects, or meat. The findings were published in the Journal of Animal Ecology. [Read more…] about Study: Most Migratory Birds Rely On a Greening World
Just in time for fall migration, all five Motus receiver stations on the Perch River, Upper and Lower Lakes, Three Rivers, Rome, and Lake Shore Marshes Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) are up and running.
In August and September, the Northeast Motus Collaboration worked with DEC to install the stations, which join a growing network of Motus receiver stations that will help researchers better understand bird, bat, and insect movements and migration by remotely tracking tagged individuals as they move across the landscape. [Read more…] about Motus Wildlife Tracking Stations Installed in Wildlife Management Areas
As far as I can tell, icebreaker exercises are meant to help those awkward obligatory group events like staff development days or office team retreats feel even less comfortable. I recall one workplace training where we had to inform the group what animal best represented our personality. I was going to say “squirrel” but got distracted looking at something out the window, and forgot. In retrospect I should have chosen the yellow-bellied sapsucker (Sphyrapicus varius), since I spent much of that same event straightening business cards and brochures at the conference center. This will make sense (I hope) in a moment. [Read more…] about Sapsuckers and Other Insults