Picture a robin, out in the morning and hopping around the park. It finds breakfast in the form of a worm, but out of the nearby trees swoops a bigger bird. The bigger bird acts threatening, and the robin surrenders its worm like a kid giving up their lunch money to the school bully. It’s a common scenario between many kinds of animals – and a classic example of kleptoparasitism. [Read more…] about Kleptoparasitism: Wildlife Thieves
Help Sought to Solve Eagle Shooting Case
On April 3rd, NYS Environmental Conservation Officer’s (ECO) received a complaint about an unknown individual shooting a duck or goose. ECO McCormick responded, and upon investigation, determined the shot bird was a bald eagle. [Read more…] about Help Sought to Solve Eagle Shooting Case
Threats to the Long-Lived Bald Eagle
Bald eagles are long-lived birds, with a lifespan in the wild of more than 30 years. Mating for life, they return to nest in the general area (within 250 miles) from which they fledged.
Once a pair selects a nesting territory, they use it for the rest of their lives. However, bald eagles face threats to their long lifespan and nesting territories due to a wide range of human impacts including habitat loss and plastic pollution. [Read more…] about Threats to the Long-Lived Bald Eagle
Bald Eagle Numbers On The Rise
In March, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced the latest population estimate for Bald Eagles. Some 316,000 eagles now cruise the skies in the Lower 48 — more than four times the previous estimate, from 2009. [Read more…] about Bald Eagle Numbers On The Rise
The Northern Harrier: One Unusual Hawk
Erie was perched on a sunny branch when I met her on a cold day in March. She turned her head this way and that to survey her surroundings at the Vermont Institute of Natural Sciences (VINS).
She is a slender hawk, brown above, with a dark-streaked, buff breast and a long, barred tail. A ring of light-colored feathers surrounds her face, giving her a facial disc similar to that of an owl. [Read more…] about The Northern Harrier: One Unusual Hawk
Eagle Banded 26 Years Ago Spotted In Lewis County
It is an outstanding opportunity to see three American bald eagles devouring their lunch, but even more fantastic of an opportunity to be able to learn there’s more to the story. [Read more…] about Eagle Banded 26 Years Ago Spotted In Lewis County
Injured Hawk Gets a Helping Hand in Putnam County
Environmental Conservation Officer Crisafulli reported that an injured hawk was spotted off the Putnam County Bike Path in Brewster, Putnam County, NY. [Read more…] about Injured Hawk Gets a Helping Hand in Putnam County
Eastern White Pine: The Northeast’s Tallest Conifer
Last summer I regularly passed a stand of towering white pine trees at Camp Plymouth State Park in Ludlow, Vermont, where I live and work.
Most days I saw at least one hairy woodpecker, a few blue jays, chickadees, a pair of broad-winged hawks, and a multitude of red squirrels around the trees.
One day I looked up to their crowns and wondered, “Why are there so many pinecones at the top, and what other animals use these trees?” [Read more…] about Eastern White Pine: The Northeast’s Tallest Conifer
Barred Owls: Common and Fascinating Forest Residents
On frigid winter evenings, the hooting of a barred owl (Strix varia) serves as a reminder that the darkened forests of the Northeast are still very much alive with activity. Their nocturnal calling emanates from favorite forest haunts, including along lakeshores, swamps, and rivers. But the sound of an owl late at night also conveys a certain eeriness. Or perhaps we are simply conditioned to feel that way. Owls have generated feelings of awe, fascination, and fear for millennia, and their lives and sounds feature heavily in our collective imagination. [Read more…] about Barred Owls: Common and Fascinating Forest Residents
Bald Eagle Viewing in Winter
Winter is a great time to view bald eagles in New York State. Viewing from a safe distance and at planned observation sites can offer an exhilarating and memorable experience. Wintering eagles began arriving in December and concentrations peak in January and February. Most are heading back to their nests by mid-March. [Read more…] about Bald Eagle Viewing in Winter