web analytics

Posts Tagged "winter"

Black-capped Chickadee

Posted by on Mar 5, 2017

Black-capped Chickadee

This may be the last look at a seasonal Sunday bird with snow this winter as it is now meteorological spring! Now that we have crossed into March, cavity-nesting birds like this Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus) will be looking for nesting sites. If you enjoy hosting wild birds by providing nest boxes, now is the time to get them ready. Have you ever put out dog fur for birds to use as nesting material? Chickadees, and other small songbirds that use nest boxes and cavities like the Tufted Titmouse, will take fur that you put out in say, an empty suet cage, and use it to line...

Read More

White-throated Sparrow

Posted by on Feb 26, 2017

White-throated Sparrow

Here is a photo of a White-throated Sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis) toughing it out in a recent snowstorm. Despite the fact that we were in the middle of February, this bird was already sporting its spring courting plumage; evidenced by its bright white throat and vibrant yellow lores. This is one of the first species you can expect to hear singing at the end of winter; their “oh-sweet-Canada” or “poor-Sam-Peabody” tune resonates from the brush. In some cases you might see White-throated Sparrows year-round – some birds will overwinter in the Northeast and head...

Read More

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...

Read More

Why Are Eastern Hemlock Trees Irreplaceable?

Posted by on Feb 23, 2017

Perspective from RTPI’s conservation intern, Heather Zimba I think many people would agree that spending time walking in a forest can be therapeutic, being completely enveloped by the landscape’s vegetation and wildlife. I’ll bet that – if you like the outdoors – you can close your eyes right now and visualize the areas you most like to visit. One of my favorite places is a small gorge that contains a stream with beautiful natural waterfalls. The steep banks of the gorge are lined with deep green evergreen trees that overhang and provide shade along the meandering creek....

Read More

Winter Blues

Posted by on Feb 13, 2017

Winter Blues

Blue Jays (Cyanocitta cristata) can look so vibrantly blue on sunny days, but blue coloration in animals is very rarely created by blue pigment. Instead, their stunning hues are created by refractive colors of light, breaking on microscopic structure of the feathers. Minute barbs on their feathers are specially modified to scatter light in a way that makes them appear blue, rather than showing the brown melanin that their feathers are colored with. Yes, Blue Jays are not actually...

Read More