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Posts Tagged "snow"

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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Scaup Surge

Posted by on Mar 12, 2017

Scaup Surge

Thanks to recent warm temperatures and favorable winds, Greater Scaup (Aythya marila) like those shown here are now on the move back to the north, and during the past couple of weeks their numbers have been growing across the region. While you can find some throughout the winter in open areas on large bodies of water such as Lake Erie, most members of this species migrate south to evade the cold. We have been able to enjoy several thousand – probably 5,000 or 6,000 and maybe more – in the waters of Long Island Sound off Stratford Point. Most stay rather far offshore and away from...

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Frost Free Frogs?

Posted by on Feb 24, 2017

Frost Free Frogs?

“The animal kingdom relies on staggering evolutionary innovations to survive winter.” Bernd Heinrich renowned biologist and author – made this statement in his bestselling book entitled “Winter World”. The Wood Frog (Rana sylvatica) is a true embodiment of this statement; these tiny amphibians can survive for weeks with an incredible two-thirds of their body water completely frozen—to the point where they are essentially solid frogsicles! The adaptation that enables this remarkable feat is known as a cryoprotectant – a substance that prevents damage to cells and tissues during...

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Male House Finch

Posted by on Feb 19, 2017

Male House Finch

Here is a recent photo of a male House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus) on a snowy afternoon. The beautiful red shades of this guy really stand out against the drab surroundings, and their cheery songs can already be heard here in February on some of the warmer, sunnier days. It is one of the first signs of “spring” as the days began to grow longer. The Purple Finch (Haemorhous purpureus) is a similar species and often confused with the House Finch, especially because both enjoy coming to backyard bird feeders. Roger Tory Peterson described the Purple Finch as having been...

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Brown Thrasher Visit

Posted by on Feb 12, 2017

Brown Thrasher Visit

This Brown Thrasher came to my feeders today! Talk about a welcome visitor…it ended up spending the day eating with various feathered friends, using that long bill to dig seed out of the snow. It was a delightful surprise for one of the more quiet times of the year. Scott Kruitbosch Conservation & Outreach...

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