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Posts Tagged "spring"

Not All Salamanders Are Newts…

Posted by on Feb 11, 2017

Not All Salamanders Are Newts…

If you’re an amphibian enthusiast, you’ve probably heard this phrase at some point: “All newts are salamanders but not all salamanders are newts.” Does trying to make sense of this cause smoke to come out of your ears? You’re not alone. To shed some light on this conundrum, let’s first consider a bit of taxonomy. Within the Class Amphibia there are three Orders: Caudata, Anura, and Gymnophiona. Caudata refers to the salamanders; species that retain their tails as adults and have four legs. These differ from the Anurans (frogs) which lose their tails as...

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Frog Friday

Posted by on Feb 10, 2017

Frog Friday

Last Wednesday was an unusually warm day in the northeast. Temperatures reached 60 degrees in some places, and several of our friends in Connecticut reported hearing Spring Peeper calls emanating from the woods. Of course, a mere 24 hours later the area was buried by more than a foot of snow, reminding us that winter is still in full swing. You might think that frogs are not quite as adept at predicting winter weather as, say, groundhogs, but that is not really true. Our days are getting noticeably longer and the increased day length is making animals respond in kind – insects now appear...

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Sun Height

Posted by on Jan 22, 2017

Sun Height

Have you noticed the days getting longer, and that sun rising in the sky? Between that and the weather it feels like spring is just around the corner! Not quite but hey, in three months the migratory bird machine will be running full throttle. Are you excited...

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Yellow-crowned Night-Heron

Posted by on Oct 28, 2016

Yellow-crowned Night-Heron

The Yellow-crowned Night-Heron (Nyctanassa violacea) is an odd-looking creature, especially when you watch one creeping slowly through the salt marsh or perched high up in a tree. I do not want to add the demonic or monstrous label to them because they are lovable in their own way, but it feels like an appropriately strange species to highlight as we near Halloween. They can be found active throughout the day, but their somewhat secretive crepuscular and nocturnal feeding habits add to that feeling. I took these photos of a bird at a nest site earlier this spring. It was still working on...

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Injured Rusty Blackbird

Posted by on Oct 24, 2016

Injured Rusty Blackbird

I am a huge fan of the Rusty Blackbird (Euphagus carolinus), something you may have learned by reading my posts over the last few years here at RTPI. Beyond fandom I am also a member of the International Rusty Blackbird Working Group and help to coordinate spring migration blitzes to record the species with birders and the public to learn more about vital aspects of their biology in an attempt to save one of the fastest declining birds on the continent. October is a great time to spot them heading south for the winter in wooded wetlands, marshes, ponds and agricultural areas. They may be...

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