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Gray Four-eyed Opossum

Posted by on Mar 23, 2017

Gray Four-eyed Opossum

This is a young Gray Four-eyed Opossum (Philander opossum) caught in one of our mammal traps, as we were surveying for an unusual jungle rodent called Watson’s Climbing Rat (Tylomys watsoni) in Rara Avis Nature Reserve, Costa Rica. Believe it or not, the rat would have been bigger than this opossum (and particularly fond of chocolate and soap). Like it’s cousin, the Virginia Opossum, these guys show a remarkable resistance to venoms and poisons, including snake venom, and are relatively immune to dangerous snake bites. In North America, opossums have been credited with being a biological...

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Spring Peepers

Posted by on Mar 20, 2017

Spring Peepers

Spring Peepers are a type of small tree frog. Truthful to their name, they emerge from hibernation in early spring. Soon after, the males – often hundreds at a time – will take over wetlands and call on warm and rainy nights to stake out a territory and attract a mate. Their surprisingly loud “peep” calls are usually produced from a safe location hidden in dense vegetation, and it can be difficult to spot them. An inflatable vocal sac on their throat serves as an amplifier, which allows them to call very loudly. The sound produced by a chorus of these inch-long frogs can be truly deafening...

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AAfCW 2017 Scheduling, Dates & General News

Posted by on Mar 17, 2017

AAfCW 2017 Scheduling, Dates & General News

Good afternoon all! This is a general update for all of our devoted volunteer shorebird monitors and caring conservationists everywhere. Our first Piping Plovers arrived back in Connecticut at Milford Point on Monday. However, the blizzard and now potentially more snow this weekend will keep others to the south, and any birds that have already arrived will be strictly foraging. It should be some time before we see any nesting activity, and we can continue to prepare until we officially begin monitoring in April. Please submit your monitoring schedules to us at ctwaterbirds@gmail.com so we...

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RTP in Another Place in Another Time

Posted by on Mar 16, 2017

RTP in Another Place in Another Time

Although his work required extensive travel, it seemed that Roger Tory Peterson needed the world as much as it needed him. His wife, Barbara, wrote to her mother that no matter where Roger was, he always wanted to be somewhere else. He made seven safari trips to Africa during his lifetime, shooting footage for his documentary “Wild Africa”, which contains more rare and exotic birds than any film of its time. His conservation message is powerful, and it pervades the film: “A bird like the whooping crane is more divine than the most inspired work of art. Why? Because it is creation itself;...

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Artist’s Workshop with Robin Brickman on March 18th

Posted by on Mar 14, 2017

Artist’s Workshop with Robin Brickman on March 18th

The Roger Tory Peterson Institute (RTPI) is pleased to present a workshop with illustrator Robin Brickman on Saturday, March 18, from 10:00am – 12:00pm.  This talented artist will deliver a visual presentation sharing her process for illustrating the book Leaflets Three, Let it Be!, which features her work entitled Baby Opossum and Insects in the Fall, currently on view in Focus on Nature XIV at RTPI. Following Brickman’s presentation, participants will enjoy creating a small, three-dimensional paper sculpture of their own using Robin’s cut and sculpted paper techniques.  This hands-on...

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Downy Woodpecker

Posted by on Mar 13, 2017

Downy Woodpecker

The Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens) is an industrious little bird that frequents parks and woodlots throughout much of North America. While often spotted at backyard feeders with similarly sized chickadees and nuthatches, this black-and-white woodpecker is also at home on tiny branches where it can be seen acrobatically foraging for insect larvae. Roger Tory Peterson described this bird’s call as “a rapid whinny of notes, descending in pitch.” Keep an eye and an ear out for this charismatic little bird; its striking plumage, shrill song and tree-trunk tapping should...

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