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Posts Tagged "Meet Your Neighbours"

Eastern Milk Snake

Posted by on Aug 28, 2017

Eastern Milk Snake

Here we have an Eastern Milk Snake (Lampropeltis triangulum). These snakes are harmless, beneficial constrictors that help control rodent populations in your backyard. In spite of their considerable size (reaching almost 3 ft) and beautiful coloration, they are rarely seen. When cornered, a milk snake may hiss, vibrate its tail tip (imitating a rattlesnake), and even strike at you. However, its bite is harmless. Give them some space and any snake will slither away – likely never to be seen again. The common name ‘Milk Snake’ comes from an old, mistaken belief that the snakes drink milk from...

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Laurel Sphinx Moth Caterpillar

Posted by on Aug 7, 2017

Laurel Sphinx Moth Caterpillar

This Laurel Sphinx Moth (sphinx kalmiae) caterpillar – photographed by Twan Leenders in Jamestown, NY – definitely deserves to be in the limelight – it actually appears to emanate lime light! Roger Tory Peterson’s fascination with backyard nature began with the moths and birds that he discovered in what is now our own backyard! What amazing creatures await your...

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Bejeweled Journeyer

Posted by on Jul 24, 2017

Bejeweled Journeyer

If you look closely, you will notice a metal band on the leg of this young Ruby-throated Hummingbird. It serves to identify unique individuals of these tiny birds and allows biologists to track their migration path. Ruby-throated Hummingbirds breed in the eastern USA during the summer, but they spend the winter in lower Central America. This bird was banded on an RTPI project in western Costa Rica and returned to the same site a year later, after it had made another successful trip to North America – a journey of at least 4,000 miles. Impressive for a bird that weighs not much more than a...

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Beautiful Wood Nymph

Posted by on Jul 21, 2017

Beautiful Wood Nymph

Roger Tory Peterson was fascinated by the moths he found in Jamestown as a young boy. In fact, he even approached the police department to ask for special permission to stay out past the city curfew to catch them! This bizarre and lovely moth was perched on the front door at RTPI yesterday morning. Using a Peterson Field Guide to Moths, it was identified as a Beautiful Wood Nymph (Eudryas grata). When was the last time you embarked on an exploration of the hidden lives of the moths that live in your own backyard? Summertime is the perfect time to follow in Peterson’s footsteps! Learn...

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American Redstart Changing into Fall Plumage

Posted by on Jul 17, 2017

American Redstart Changing into Fall Plumage

Many of our migratory birds are on their second or third brood for the season already and slowly are starting to prepare for their journey south. Most flashy warblers molt out of their brightly colored breeding plumage in the next few weeks and will start migration once all flight feathers are grown in to the point that they can safely sustain their long journey. Although we have not quite reached Roger Tory Peterson’s notorious “Confusing Fall Warblers” level of alternate plumage yet, the first signs are here. Even though this male American Redstart still displays its characteristic black...

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