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Our blog features constant updates on a variety of subjects relating to education, conservation, exhibits, special events, and much more. You can expect to read about art, birds and birding, weather, dragonflies and damselflies, reptiles and amphibians, literature and media, fascinating stories, plants and trees, butterflies and moths, climate change, agriculture, and of course, Roger Tory Peterson.

Yellow-headed Blackbird

Posted by on Apr 30, 2017 in Blog | Comments Off on Yellow-headed Blackbird

Yellow-headed Blackbird

Here is a bird you do not see too often around these parts – the Yellow-headed Blackbird! This immature male, found a few weeks ago by Stefan Martin, should ordinarily not be farther east than Illinois or Wisconsin. However, it took a wrong turn during migration and ended up all the way on the Atlantic Coast with us at Stratford Point, CT. He has been hanging out with Common Grackles, Red-winged Blackbirds, and Brown-headed Cowbirds while feeding on seed we put out plus whatever insects it can find. The bird has started singing, too,...

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A Different Variety

Posted by on Apr 29, 2017 in Blog | Comments Off on A Different Variety

A Different Variety

We have a special species to feature in this week’s Salamander Saturday: the Red-cheeked Salamander (Plethodon jordani)! This salamander is another southern Appalachian species, primarily occurring between southwestern Virginia and extreme northeastern Georgia. It is a fairly common resident in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, otherwise known as the “Salamander Capital of the World.” This salamander typically resides within deep mountain gorges near streams and seeps. It also tends to prefer spruce-fir forests, but...

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Ol’ Three Toes the Bull Frog

Posted by on Apr 28, 2017 in Blog | Comments Off on Ol’ Three Toes the Bull Frog

Ol’ Three Toes the Bull Frog

This piece – carved from a rock known as Utah alabaster by artist Dale Weiler – is currently on view at RTPI. Weiler explains: “This was my very first stone carving, which I created in Maine in 1992 at my first (and only) stone sculpting class. I was smitten the moment my hand touched stone and I knew I was born to be a stone sculptor.” Come in and see all of the pieces by Dale and his late father Milton C. Weiler that comprise “The Weiler’s Evolution: a Father and Son’s Artistic Journey”...

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The Wilderness Next Door

Posted by on Apr 26, 2017 in Blog | Comments Off on The Wilderness Next Door

The Wilderness Next Door

Think you need to take a week off and travel far to access’Wild America’? Think again. This panoramic photo was taken within the limits of the village of Fredonia just a few weeks ago! Amazing discoveries await just outside your door wherever you may be. Take some time to tune in to the wilderness next door to wherever you are! Check out RTPI’s Natural History Atlas to discover the gems that surround those of us fortunate enough to reside in Western New York. Natural History Atlas In the spirit of Roger Tory Peterson, we...

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Sneak Peek: “The Weiler’s Evolution: A Father and Son’s Artistic Journey”

Posted by on Apr 25, 2017 in Blog | Comments Off on Sneak Peek: “The Weiler’s Evolution: A Father and Son’s Artistic Journey”

Sneak Peek: “The Weiler’s Evolution: A Father and Son’s Artistic Journey”

The image shown here depicts a still life painting and a shorebird sculpture, both part of a special series of pieces created by artist Dale Weiler. Dale explains: “I wanted to pay homage to my father for the artistic gift he passed along to me. I chose to recreate two of his still lifes painted for a Winchester Press Publication, “Classic Shorebird Decoys”. For this book, my father painted 24 magnificent watercolors of classic shorebirds carved by the most notable bird carvers of the late 19th and early 20th century.”...

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Fox Sparrow

Posted by on Apr 23, 2017 in Blog | Comments Off on Fox Sparrow

Fox Sparrow

Any time we see snowfall from mid-March on, we might notice an increase in the number and species diversity of birds at our backyard feeders. Those who pay close attention might also have the opportunity to view more elusive birds – those that would otherwise just be passing through or returning to the area relatively unnoticed – that are driven out of their preferred habitats by the extreme conditions in search of food. One such bird that can seem to appear out of nowhere is the Fox Sparrow (Passerella iliaca). These large...

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I Spy

Posted by on Apr 22, 2017 in Blog | Comments Off on I Spy

I Spy

I spy with my little eye, something brown. Not a big enough clue? How about, I spy with my little eye something with big eyes and a big mouth? Can you see it yet? Any idea of what it is? I’ll give you a hint, its a species not found in western New York or Pennsylvania. Give up? It’s a Shovel-nosed Salamander (Desmognathus marmoratus) poking out of a small opening within a damp rock face! This species is a common resident in the streams and seeps of the Appalachian mountains, including the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. I had...

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Amphibians Abound

Posted by on Apr 21, 2017 in Blog | Comments Off on Amphibians Abound

Amphibians Abound

The first wave of amphibian breeding has now passed, and early vernal pool breeders are making room for the next wave of frogs to show up at our local wetlands. American toads, pickerel frogs and leopard frogs have been calling for a week or so now, and green frogs and bullfrogs will join in soon, Of course, the spring peepers just won’t stop calling at all… Did you know that you can easily tell the difference between frog eggs and toad eggs? Frog eggs are always laid in a clump or a floating raft, while our toads produce long, corkscrewing...

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Clean Our Shores

Posted by on Apr 20, 2017 in Blog | Comments Off on Clean Our Shores

Clean Our Shores

As our Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds season enters the nesting period here on the Connecticut coast we ask that when you visit a beach you please keep in mind the same ideals that you do whenever you are immersed elsewhere in nature – leave nothing but footprints, take nothing but memories. We successfully share the shore with the various endangered nesting species, such as this Piping Plover, each year without closing off entire beaches for months as some other states do. Our work, and the health and success of our birds, is...

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RTPI in the Rainforest – Conservation, Education and Inspiration

Posted by on Apr 20, 2017 in Blog | Comments Off on RTPI in the Rainforest – Conservation, Education and Inspiration

RTPI in the Rainforest – Conservation, Education and Inspiration

RTPI provides innovative programs that bring nature back into people’s lives. RTPI researchers work with school and college students to give them a chance to study natural history first-hand, and open their eyes and minds to the workings of the natural world. Whether in our own backyard, or in a remote corner of Costa Rica, RTPI works to increase understanding of the natural connections between species, habitats, and people that are critical to effective conservation. Learn more in this outstanding video created by Nicholas Gunner of...

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