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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.

Piping Plover Hatchling

Posted by on Jun 4, 2017 in Blog | Comments Off on Piping Plover Hatchling

Piping Plover Hatchling

This is a Piping Plover hatchling – only a few days old – foraging on the beach with its parents and siblings.The NBA has a campaign called, “This Is Why We Play”. This photo exemplifies why WE advocate, educate, and conserve species and their habitats in collaboration with the Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds. It is often difficult work in a challenging field for our staff and our volunteers. While we can sometimes lose sight of the bigger picture, this photo of a little bird reminds us that our efforts are all...

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Spider Silk – the Next Sustainable Resource?

Posted by on Jun 3, 2017 in Blog | Comments Off on Spider Silk – the Next Sustainable Resource?

Spider Silk – the Next Sustainable Resource?

Spider silk is the world’s strongest natural fiber known – it is incredibly durable but also extremely lightweight and flexible. One strand of spider silk is one-tenth the thickness of a human hair, and its flexibility resembles that of thread. These qualities are unmatched by other fibers, such as cotton or nylon, giving it a wide variety of industrial applications. The value of spider silk is increased by the fact that it can be a renewable resource. RTPI conservation staff works with the Forman School during research expeditions in...

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Glass Frogs

Posted by on Jun 2, 2017 in Blog | Comments Off on Glass Frogs

Glass Frogs

Researchers from the Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History (RTPI) have been monitoring Glass frogs and other amphibian species in Central America for more than two decades – not only to keep these frogs from extinction, but also to learn how some populations have been able to survive catastrophic declines due to the parasitic Chytrid fungus. Hopefully this information will help us as we try to find ways to help other endangered species as well. Glass frogs owe their common name to their transparent undersides which, in some...

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What in the Whorled?

Posted by on May 31, 2017 in Blog | Comments Off on What in the Whorled?

What in the Whorled?

On a recent visit to coastal Florida, a personal friend encountered what she though to be a vacant seashell, but soon discovered that it was in fact occupied by a feisty resident. Knowing my profession (and my affinity for what I affectionately refer to as “goobies”; the world’s slimy, obscure, and often over-looked and under-appreciated critters), she shared the photos she had taken in hopes that I could assist in identifying her find. Somewhat serendipitously, it turned out to be the very creature that I studied...

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Bay-breasted Warblers

Posted by on May 29, 2017 in Blog | Comments Off on Bay-breasted Warblers

Bay-breasted Warblers

We are getting to the end of the spring migration season, and as hard as that is to believe our later arriving species are trickling through as many of the species that arrived earlier are getting down to nesting. One of my favorite passing migrants is the Bay-breasted Warbler (Setophaga castanea), a large and gorgeous species that I believe seems more rare than it is. Bay-breasted Warblers start passing through the region as most of the other spring birds are peaking. These birds remain mostly high in the canopy – above eye-level and...

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WildLife Guards Crew Leader Positions – Three 2017 Job Openings

Posted by on May 28, 2017 in Blog | Comments Off on WildLife Guards Crew Leader Positions – Three 2017 Job Openings

WildLife Guards Crew Leader Positions – Three 2017 Job Openings

Related to RTPI’s work with Audubon Connecticut in the Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds is our partnership on the Bridgeport WildLife Guards project: http://rtpi.org/education/wildlife-guards/ RTPI is once again teaming up with Audubon Connecticut to run the 2017 WildLife Guards program, which trains, mentors, and employs 12 local high schools students and three crew leaders who monitor nesting birds and engage visitors, families, and friends about two of Connecticut’s most important beaches and their wildlife. The WildLife...

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Green Heron

Posted by on May 21, 2017 in Blog | Comments Off on Green Heron

Green Heron

Spring is filled with so many wonderful sights and sounds as a multitude of colorful songbirds return and fill our landscape with life. However, there are many other bird families returning to us as well. This Green Heron (Butorides virescens) was an unexpected and gratifying capture a couple of weekends ago while I was targeting warblers. It really provided a wonderful pose and superb bokeh for me for a few seconds during our chance encounter. Green Herons are special in that they are one of a handful of bird species in the world that use...

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White-eyed Vireo

Posted by on May 14, 2017 in Blog | Comments Off on White-eyed Vireo

White-eyed Vireo

The White-eyed Vireo (Vireo griseus) was high on the list of spring targets for me this year, as I have not had a good look at the species in quite some time and I certainly did not have any decent photographs of one. That sentence was past tense because I recently accomplished this mission. I certainly feel as though I can do better, but considering its behavior, the weather conditions, location, and time of day, I was happy with what I got. Can you tell why they are called White-eyed Vireos? This uncommon (at least in our region) species is...

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Unique Fly Fishing Conference for Educators to be Held at RTPI – June 9 registration deadline

Posted by on May 12, 2017 in Blog | Comments Off on Unique Fly Fishing Conference for Educators to be Held at RTPI – June 9 registration deadline

Unique Fly Fishing Conference for Educators to be Held at RTPI – June 9 registration deadline

In the summer of 2012, we held the first and what remains as the only national interdisciplinary fly fishing conference. The Children in the Stream’s intensive three-day conference continues to be a huge success as it trains adults who are interested in integrating fly fishing into the curriculum in their community, school, organization or company. These comprehensive workshops use fly fishing as the foundation for investigating science, math, English language arts, visual arts and community outreach. This truly unique interdisciplinary...

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Celebrations Set In Stone

Posted by on May 11, 2017 in Blog | Comments Off on Celebrations Set In Stone

Celebrations Set In Stone

If you pay a visit to RTPI this spring, you will find that our flower beds are bedecked with new garden stones. The garden in the circular drive received a stone in honor of, and donated by, the Green Thumb Garden Club, who has tended this garden for many years. A Ralph Waldo Emerson quote, “The earth laughs in flowers” adorns this stone, along with the iconic Snowy Owl image as painted by Roger Tory Peterson. The garden at the side of the building boasts a stone honoring the Jamestown Garden Club. This group tends the garden which is called...

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