web analytics

Posts Tagged "yard"

Spring Blooms in Wild America

Posted by on May 10, 2017

Spring Blooms in Wild America

In the spring of 1953, Roger Tory Peterson and his British friend James Fisher embarked on a thrilling 100 day, trip to explore and document the Wilds of North America. Their excursion took them from Newfoundland to Florida, the heart of Mexico to the dry Southwest, the Pacific Northwest to the Pribilof Islands of Alaska, and the numerous memories of the splendors they encountered were later documented in a book titled Wild America, first published in 1955. Among the many things that Peterson and Fisher recorded along their journey were blossoming spring flowers, and this pen and ink drawing...

Read More

Downy Woodpecker

Posted by on Mar 13, 2017

Downy Woodpecker

The Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens) is an industrious little bird that frequents parks and woodlots throughout much of North America. While often spotted at backyard feeders with similarly sized chickadees and nuthatches, this black-and-white woodpecker is also at home on tiny branches where it can be seen acrobatically foraging for insect larvae. Roger Tory Peterson described this bird’s call as “a rapid whinny of notes, descending in pitch.” Keep an eye and an ear out for this charismatic little bird; its striking plumage, shrill song and tree-trunk tapping should...

Read More

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

Roly-poly-pede

Posted by on Feb 27, 2017

Roly-poly-pede

This Giant Millipede (Narceus americanus) doesn’t really have 1,000 legs. However, like all millipedes, it has two pairs of extremities on each of its body segments (centipedes always have only a single pair per body segment). Unlike their centipede ‘cousins’, millipedes lack the modified jaw-like first pair of legs that predatory centipedes use to catch and sometimes envenomate their prey. Instead, millipedes defend themselves by rolling into a tight spiral and/or using chemical defenses that can include cyanide! Worst case scenario, handling one of these beautiful ‘roly-poly-pedes’...

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