Spring is an ideal time to observe bird migrations. New York is conveniently located along the Atlantic Flyway, one of the main migration routes. This offers a great opportunity to observe birds flying to their summer breeding grounds. [Read more…] about Watch the Skies for Spring Bird Migrations
One late winter day, I heard our dog barking fiercely from the yard. I went outside to find him standing about 6 feet away from a hawk that was on the ground beside our house. I grabbed the dog’s collar, brought him in, and observed the hawk through a window.
It was an immature sharp-shinned hawk, about a foot long, with a dark brown back, vertical streaks on its white breast, and piercing yellow eyes. The hawk had likely crashed into the house while trying to catch a bird at our feeder. I thought perhaps it was stunned and would recover in a little while. [Read more…] about Sharp-Shinned Hawks: A Terror to Smaller Birds
DEC has announced the grand opening of the Long Island segment of the New York State Birding Trail. The Long Island segment includes 20 locations throughout Nassau and Suffolk counties, providing a variety of quality birding experiences for New Yorkers and visitors to enjoy. [Read more…] about Long Island Section of NYS Birding Trail Goes Live
Located on the banks of the Lower Niagara River, the Joseph Davis State Park’s diverse habitats enable visitors to enjoy the natural world. Wetlands, successional shrublands, fields, meadows, forest, and open waters attract an abundance of wildlife species. The park has a nature trail, as well as cross-country skiing/snowshoeing and snowmobiling trails. [Read more…] about Joseph Davis State Park’s Watchable Wildlife
A few weeks ago, I noticed a dark, football-shaped shadow skulking quietly among the stems of honeysuckle and lilac by our driveway. I was throwing seeds to the blue jays that wait for it in the morning, and I tossed a handful into the border for the stranger in the shadows. Out popped the head and neck of a ruffed grouse. She took a few steps towards me, stopped, and began filling her crop, an expandable pouch near her throat useful for storing food the bird will digest later. This took a few minutes and then it was back under cover for our unusual visitor. [Read more…] about A Ruffed Grouse Visitor
During winter, I catch glimpses of crows as they fly swiftly over our valley, cawing, or gather in small groups to feed on roadkill along the highway. Sometimes I find their wandering tracks leading to holes in the snow where a crow probed for food. These sightings have made me curious about how these large birds survive the winter. [Read more…] about Crows in Winter
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced the grand opening of the Greater Niagara segment of the New York State Birding Trail. The route highlights the State’s world-class and wide-ranging birding opportunities.
The Greater Niagara segment includes 36 locations throughout Erie, Genesee, Niagara, Orleans, and Wyoming counties, providing a variety of quality birding experiences. [Read more…] about Greater Niagara Birding Trail Opens To Public
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced plans to reclassify certain neonicotinoid (neonic) pesticide products as “Restricted Use” effective January 1st, 2023. [Read more…] about DEC’s Intent to Restrict Certain Neonicotinoid Pesticide Products
Scientists from multiple universities now find there’s more than one level of torpor: shallow and deep, plus the transition stage between levels of torpor and the normal sleep state. Their findings have been published in the Journal of Experimental Biology. [Read more…] about Hummingbirds Exert Fine Control Over Body Temperature
Were it not for compelling evidence to the contrary, I’d believe I descended from birds – migratory birds in particular. So familiar to me are the urges and behaviors of migratory birds, I’m pretty sure I blushed, or at least looked around sheepishly, when learning of them in my undergraduate ornithology class. Take hyperphagia (excessive eating), if you will.
Every fall, like a songbird building fat reserves for its epic flight, I ransack my environment for calorie-dense foods. As the temperature drops, my hunger grows. By November, I’m buttering Fig Newtons. [Read more…] about How Birds Weather New York Winters