Bright red, soft, and velvety … no, I’m not describing a Valentine’s Day decoration, but a red velvet mite. Built like eight-legged, scarlet Beanie Babies, red velvet mites are hard to miss, even though most of them are no bigger than an eighth of an inch long. They are arachnids in the family Tombidiidae, so their relatives include spiders and ticks. [Read more…] about Red Velvet Mites in Winter
On January 11, 2024 NYS Environmental Conservation Officer (ECO) Dickson received a report of a dolphin on Cedar Beach in Babylon, Suffolk County, Long Island. [Read more…] about Deceased Dolphin Found Washed Ashore on Long Island
I watched the 1993 film Groundhog Day featuring Bill Murray at least a dozen times. Or maybe it just felt that way. Just as February 2 was on a nonstop loop in the film, this year’s iteration of Groundhog Day is likely to feel roughly the same as all the previous ones.
I think it’s a good metaphor for this time of year, as we stumble out each morning in the semi-dark to defrost the car, not even sure what day of the week it is. We probably don’t have the energy for an exciting holiday right now. [Read more…] about Groundhog Day, Again: A Woodcuck & Whistle-Pig Primer
On January 13, 2024 NYS Environmental Conservation Officers (ECOs) assisted in charging a Putnam County man for a series of squirrel painting incidents in the town of Patterson. [Read more…] about Squirrel Painter Caught Red Handed in Putnam County
In 1936 Emil and Marguarite Kegly Neuenfeldt bought five acres of marshland near the Whiteside Dam in Perry’s Mills on the Chazy River, just west of the Village of Champlain. It would be the home of Emil’s second, and apparently Clinton County’s first – and only – frog farm. The area was chosen because it was near water and near sources of frogs. But why frogs? [Read more…] about ‘Frog Legs Is Our Business’: The Champlain Frog Farm
On January 14, 2024 New York State Environmental Conservation Officer ECO Dustin Osborne responded to a report about an injured baby owl in the town of Deposit, Delaware County, NY. A local family traveling along State Route 8 discovered the owl in the roadway with what appeared to be a broken wing. [Read more…] about Northern Saw-Whet Owl Rescued in Delaware County
On December 14, 2023, two hunters pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges for illegally taking two large antlered deer in an area closed to deer hunting in the town of Tonawanda, in Erie County, NY. [Read more…] about Duo Guilty of Elaborate Social Media Inspired Poaching Scheme
My yard is full of eastern white pine trees, and every three years or so, it is full of pine cones. This is one of those years. Pine cones have fallen all over the yard, the sidewalk, the driveway.
The neighborhood wildlife seem pleased by this bounty. A resident gray squirrel has made a fallen log in my yard its snack site. Pine cone fragments are neatly arranged in a circle around the squirrel’s perch. [Read more…] about Pine Cones: The Complicated Lives of Conifer Seeds
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is seeking public comments on the draft 2024-2033 Bobcat Management Plan.
DEC says it has improved data collection and understanding of bobcat populations by conducting an age-at-death hunting and trapping analysis of bobcats in Central/Western NY, collecting hunter and trapper effort data, and collecting bobcat observations from the public. [Read more…] about State’s Bobcat Management Plan Comments Sought
Alan Rabinowitz (1953-2018) endured a difficult childhood. Born in Brooklyn to Jewish immigrant parents from Eastern Europe, he grew up in Far Rockaway, Queens. By the age of five he had developed such a debilitating stutter that his whole body shook when he tried to speak.
Even though he was a straight A student in school, considered disruptive, he was put in classes with developmentally disabled children and bullied relentlessly. [Read more…] about Alan Rabinowitz: Brooklyn Zoologist & A Voice for Jaguars