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Posts Tagged "weather"

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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Winter’s Not Over Yet

Posted by on Mar 11, 2017

Winter’s Not Over Yet

The fresh blanket of snow across the Western New York landscape is a good reminder that winter isn’t over just yet. However, some of our resident amphibians have been receiving crossed signals due to recent increases in daylight hours and above average temperatures; we have actually gotten reports of salamanders and frogs moving to nearby ponds and vernal pools to lay their eggs. With this weekend’s dropping temperatures, local pools have started to ice over indicating freezing temperatures near the surface. The eggs of some amphibian species are able to cope with fluctuating spring...

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Will the Big Night be Coming Soon?

Posted by on Mar 4, 2017

Will the Big Night be Coming Soon?

Have you seen any signs of spring yet? We certainly have! Robins are actively feeding, red-winged blackbirds are beginning to sing, and it won’t be long before our resident salamanders come out from their winter refuges. Conditions have to be just right to entice them out from under their chosen cover objects; a warm 40° night with rain sets the stage for spotted salamanders to begin their migration. Will we soon see the required circumstances to set this charismatic species on the move? Keep an eye on the weather and another on nearby pools and ponds so as not to miss the big...

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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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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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