Longtime Canton, NY resident and regular contributor to New York Almanack Paul Hetzler has published his third volume of humorous nature essays, Birds of Happiness Aren’t Blue and 85 Other Very Funny and Somewhat Educational Nature Essays (2023). [Read more…] about Paul Hetzler Publishes Third Book of Nature Essays
On Sept. 26, while on patrol, ECOs Ableson and Goonan received reports of a large snake in Macombs Dam Park next to Yankee Stadium in the Bronx. [Read more…] about Bambino Boa: Big Snake Recovered Near Yankee Stadium
City life favors species that are adaptable and not too fussy about what they eat, among other characteristics. A worldwide consortium of scientists calls the resulting collection of traits an “Urban Trait Syndrome.” Their study includes data from 379 cities on 6 continents, with the largest data set coming from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s eBird program. The work is published in Nature Communications. [Read more…] about City-Dwelling Wildlife Demonstrate Urban Trait Syndrome
Until 65 million years ago, huge reptiles dominated our planet – and every summer I think they might be making a comeback. The sight of a snapping turtle hauling herself onto a sunny log or lifting her incredible bulk on mud-colored legs always fills me with prehistoric daydreams.
In 1880, the first eight Game Protectors began serving to protect the natural resources of New York State. In 2022, Environmental Conservation Police Officers (ECOs) and Investigators across the state responded to more than 25,600 calls. What follows are recently reported incidents involving wildlife rescues: [Read more…] about Recent Wildlife Rescues & Encounters: Rattler, Owl, Eagle, Turtle & Rabid Fox
On July 13th, New York State Environmental Conservation Officer (ECO) Lieutenant Unger and ECO Kochanowski responded to a Nassau County, Long Island residence after receiving a report that the homeowner wanted to turn in a 14-foot Burmese python. [Read more…] about New York Snake Stories: Burmese Python Seized; ‘Rattled’ Service Workers
Named for their polka-dot-like markings, spotted turtles have declined throughout most of their range, which stretches from Maine south along the Atlantic coastal plain to northern Florida, and in New York, throughout the Hudson Valley, on Long Island, and in the lake plains of western and central New York into the eastern Great Lakes states. [Read more…] about Spotted Turtles: Rare and Reclusive
During the spring and summer months, many species of snakes move from overwintering sites in search of open areas where they can do essential activities, like eating and digesting food, shedding, basking, and reproducing. Many sites happen to be on land that people inhabit. Often, snakes are found in un-mowed lawns, gardens, rock walls, landscape features, woodpiles, construction debris or scrap piles, old buildings, and docks, as well as in more natural areas like rock ledges, fallen trees, and various wetland types. [Read more…] about What Kind of Snake is That?
The Blanding’s turtle inhabits a variety of wetlands including marshes, swamps, and flood plains. However, individual turtles will travel over land considerable distances to reach sandy or gravelly areas to lay eggs, and vernal pools where they will feast on amphibian egg masses, larval amphibians, crustaceans, plants, and other organisms throughout the spring. [Read more…] about Blanding’s Turtle
Rattlers Working Northward
The late Cub Schaefer swore he once
dodged a rattlesnake on the trail up
Crane Mountain from the Putnam Farm.
But Cub had a reputation for the magical,
plus a smile broad as the Hudson River
—to put the utmost polite spin on it.
Years later, eastern rattlesnake expert
Martin Martin told me rattlers live no
farther north in the Adirondack Region
than Lake George, far south of here,
not to mention Crane’s elevation.
Global climate change does urge rattlers
on now, pushing their range northward.
Still, it’s a far cry south to Lake George,
and summer nights can be cold here.