DEC staff, in partnership with researchers from SUNY ESF, are conducting a study to better understand fisher population dynamics and survival across the agency’s Northern Zone in Northern New York. [Read more…] about Update on Northern New York Fisher Population Study
The barred owls I hear hoo-hoo-hoo-hooing, maybe, or the chittering red squirrels. And, chances are, there are raccoons in some of those hollows, high above the ground. [Read more…] about New York’s Raccoons in Spring
As leaves erupt from their buds on hardwood trees, which will cloak all of New York terrain again in green, red fox pups venture from their dens and begin to experience our vast, lush spring landscape. [Read more…] about Red Foxes Are Denning
When I was growing up, my family rented a vacation home on a mountain in southern Vermont. One night we were awakened by our dogs barking. Soon we heard a persistent gnawing on the outside of the house. My Dad went to investigate. His flashlight beam revealed a large porcupine with black, beady eyes. My father scared it away, but it returned other nights. [Read more…] about A Porcupine’s Salt Cravings
One summer we had an ongoing battle with a woodchuck. Unbeknownst to us, it had dug a burrow in an ideal location — in the center of our dense raspberry patch, about 10 feet from our vegetable garden. The woodchuck then dug a hole under the garden fence and feasted on beans, peas, and other tender vegetables.
We filled the hole and placed a large rock over it. The next day the rock had been moved and the hole re-dug. We tried more rocks, then sheets of metal roofing, but every day these barriers were removed. Finally we put a Havahart trap near our garden — and caught a young skunk (which was released, very carefully)! [Read more…] about Appreciating New York’s Woodchucks
Winter is the time when wildlife activity ebbs. Many residents of our fields and forests have retreated to shelters beneath the surface of the soil in an attempt to escape this season of low temperatures, snow and ice, and little if any food.
The woodland jumping mouse (Napaeozapus insignis) is one member of our wildlife community that retires to the seclusion of a cushiony nest underground and lapses into a profound state of dormancy, known as true hibernation, for roughly six months beginning sometime in mid-October. [Read more…] about Our Hibernating Jumping Mice
Early March is the time of the year when the snow pack in Northern New York typically reaches its greatest depth. Yet, this period produces some of the most favorable conditions for the varying hare, also known as the snowshoe rabbit, a common denizen of our dense conifer forests. [Read more…] about The Snowshoe Hare in Early March
With plenty of snow on the ground and a full moon on Saturday, this weekend promises to be one of those occasions when enough natural light will exist to venture outside and explore the nocturnal side of nature.
Taking a night time stroll can be quite exciting, especially during the latter part of February, as this is the time of year when the yelps and howls of the coyote, that signals the onset of its mating season, can often be heard. Likewise, both the red and gray fox will soon be entering their breeding periods, and their vocalizations may also break the stillness of the night.
I watched the 1993 film Groundhog Day featuring Bill Murray quite a few times. Or at least it felt that way. Just as February 2nd was on a nonstop loop in the movie, Groundhog Day 2021 felt pretty much the same as previous ones. Really, it’s a perfect holiday for early February as we struggle to resist the urge to hibernate. At this time of year, each morning holds the same ritual: we stumble out, semi-conscious, in the morning to defrost the car, shivering under an unchanging gray sky, wondering what day of the week it is. We probably couldn’t handle an exciting holiday this early in the year. [Read more…] about Groundhogs, Again
It must be hard to foster a decent public image if your family was responsible for spreading the plagues across Europe, Asia and North Africa that killed between 75 and 200 million people. If rats were able to launch a rebranding campaign, it would never work. I imagine that even NetReputation.com would throw up their hands and give a refund. [Read more…] about Rats! The Frenemy Among Us