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Yellow-headed Blackbird

Posted by on Apr 30, 2017

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, perching on various trees, snags, wires, and shrubs...

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A Different Variety

Posted by on Apr 29, 2017

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 is sometimes found in mixed hardwood forests as...

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Ol’ Three Toes the Bull Frog

Posted by on Apr 28, 2017

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

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 dare you to Learn It, Love It, and Protect...

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

Posted by on Apr 25, 2017

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.” These, along with many more of Dale’s...

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Fox Sparrow

Posted by on Apr 23, 2017

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 sparrows really enjoy scratching at the ground with both...

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