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
In 1854, Samuel H. Hammond, a prominent attorney, newspaper writer and editor, State Senator and sportsman, wrote in Hills, Lakes, and Forest Streams: or A Tramp in the Chateaugay Woods (1854) about a sporting trip with his guide to Tupper Lake in the Adirondacks.
Hammond described a world that was considerably different than today, thanks to logging, blasting, damming, and flooding. He wrote in his diary: [Read more…] about Extinction: Passenger Pigeons Once Darkened The Skies
Plenty of backyard birdwatchers consider blue jays (Cyanocitta cristata) the villains of the avian world. Mark Twain best summarized anti-blue jay sentiment when he compared the bird’s principles to that of an ex-congressman. In Native American lore, blue jays are portrayed as thieves and tricksters. Understandably, this songbird generates antipathy for its nest marauding, birdfeeder bullying, and generally aggressive attitude. Boisterous and colorful, blue jays are seen as unrepentant by their detractors. [Read more…] about The Benevolence of Blue Jays
Whirlwinds of feathered bodies, iridescent beetle-blue on top and snowy below, are touching down all along the eastern seaboard. Flocks move in a loose collection of tumbles and dives, sweeping across fields and swamps. They pepper the sky, often collecting over bodies of water to skim for insects and catch a drink. As the sun sets, the scattered birds pull together, gathering like a slow-building storm. [Read more…] about Swallows’ South Migration
According to a press release issued by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, on August 24th, ECO Davey received a report of an injured Great Egret on Ooms Pond in the town of Chatham. The egret reportedly had a severely broken leg tangled in discarded fishing line. [Read more…] about Great Egret Rescued In Columbia County
As many birds prepare to abandon their summer ranges at this time of year, others are altering their routine to allow them to better survive winter. The regular appearance of numerous, year-round avian residents around homes and camps suggests that the behaviors of these hardy species do not change from one season to another. [Read more…] about Black-Capped Chickadees: Our Year Round Residents
This has always been my perception of bird migration in the fall: the days grow short and cool and then, one day, I notice a v-shaped caravan of Canada geese flying southward. Then another and another. Within a few weeks of that first sighting, I hear their melancholy call one final time for the season. Then they, and all the summer birds, are gone.
It’s a mass exodus for warmer climes, over and done in the blink of an eye and long before the snow flies. [Read more…] about Not All Birds Migrate
This time of year is when the foliage begins to turn and when birds are more regularly seen in flocks, rather than individually, as they perch on a wire, forage in a field or fly across a road.
The territorial nature and belligerent behavior exhibited by adults toward neighbors from early spring through the end of the breeding season now fades like the chlorophyll in leaves during the latter weeks of September. Thus, a more gregarious lifestyle develops among the members of the same species and results in the formation of flocks for resting, foraging, traveling, and roosting at night. [Read more…] about Birds Of A Feather Are Flocking Together
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is advising waterfowl hunters that hours and sign-in procedures have changed at two Region 6 wildlife management areas (WMAs) to minimize the potential spread of COVID-19.
Hunting hours at Perch River WMA (Jefferson County) and Wilson Hill WMA (St Lawrence County) will be from one-half-hour before sunrise until noon. Hunters must leave the restricted areas by 2 pm. [Read more…] about Changes For Opening Day of Northeast Zone Waterfowl Hunting
Autumn heralds its arrival with all manner of colorful cues: Tree leaves explode into brilliance; gray squirrels feverishly hoard food supplies; yellow school buses come out of hibernation, and most remarkably, blackbird flocks practice their aerial gymnastic routines. [Read more…] about Migrating Red-Winged Blackbirds