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News stories tagged with "nature"

Saving bats with food, water and warmth

As we've reported, thousands of bats in New York and parts of New England are dying of a mysterious illness that causes a pale fungus to grow around their snouts. It's called white nose syndrome. Researchers across the country have been scrambling, but they still don't know what's causing it. Some new information is emerging; wildlife rehabilitators working with New York biologists are saving some bats with just food, water and warmth. Biologist Chris Ray tells Jonathan Brown white nose syndrome kills bats in at least two ways.  Go to full article

Natural Selections: Pinecones

How many pinecones does a squirrel eat in the winter? It depends on the pinecone, but a single squirrel can eat thousands of pinecones in the winter. Learn more about squirrels and their pinecones with Martha Foley and Dr. Curt Stager.  Go to full article
Grosbeaks near a backyard feeder in Bloomingdale
Grosbeaks near a backyard feeder in Bloomingdale

Counting birds in the backyard

Bird watchers are out in force this weekend for the annual Great Backyard Bird Count. This year's event calls on birders to "Count for Fun, Count for the Future." Backyard reports this weekend will help biologists spotlight changes in bird populations and distribution from year to year. Todd Moe spoke with avid birder John Thaxton, in Keene. He and his wife became serious bird watchers after a bike trip and a stop at a bed of wild roses, 25 years ago.  Go to full article
Perhaps the most unusual bird on the count was a leucistic black-capped Chickadee at a Bloomingdale feeder (photo: Larry Master)
Perhaps the most unusual bird on the count was a leucistic black-capped Chickadee at a Bloomingdale feeder (photo: Larry Master)

Volunteers flock to annual bird count

For the 108th year, volunteer birders fanned out across the country for the annual birding census earlier this winter. The all-volunteer effort takes a snapshot of bird populations to monitor their status and distribution across the Western Hemisphere. The Audubon Society started the Christmas Bird Count in 1900 as an alternative to a Victorian-era holiday hunting tradition of shooting the greatest number of birds. Today, data collected during the Christmas Bird Count helps researchers monitor bird behavior and bird conservation. You could call it bird watching with a benefit. Todd Moe tagged along with some Adirondack bird enthusiasts who began their avian adventure at first light.  Go to full article

Natural Selections: Adirondack snakes

A class asked Martha Foley and Curt Stager about the snakes of the region. There are about 10 indigenous species, only one poisonous. The most elusive is the worm snake, which looks like--and feeds on--its namesake.  Go to full article

New magazine connects kids and nature

The state Department of Conservation is launching a new nature magazine for kids, filled with photos, articles and tips on activities designed to encourage children to reconnect with the outdoors and the natural world. DEC Commissioner Pete Grannis says Conservationist for Kids will be published three times a year. He told Todd Moe that the new magazine is part of a plan to connect more New Yorkers to nature.  Go to full article
A male Common Redpoll (photo: Larry Master, Lake Placid)<br /><br />
A male Common Redpoll (photo: Larry Master, Lake Placid)

Counting birds in the winter

The 108th annual Christmas Bird Count is underway across North America. Todd Moe talks with Adirondack birder and naturalist Larry Master. He's been participating in the annual Saranac Lake area census for 35 years. Master says the Bird Count began in 1900 as a protest against an annual holiday bird hunt.  Go to full article

Natural Selections: Bird Feathers

What can we learn from a single feather about a bird or about the purpose of that feather? Martha Foley and Dr. Curt Stager talk about these unique and remarkable natural structures.  Go to full article

Natural Selections: Seeing Evolution

Evolution as a theory has more going for it than sheer speculation. Darwin's ideas about how new species arise are supported, for example, by the recent development of a distinct species of marsh grass. Martha Foley and Dr. Curt Stager look at the scientific evidence supporting evolution.  Go to full article

Watertown tries to shoo crows out of the city

Crows are garrulous, clubby birds. Good fliers, fun to watch. But they have their place. Flocks (proper name "murders") can provide human-like entertainment in the countryside. But in cities...not so much. Some cities like Watertown bring in professionals to get rid of crows, particularly at this time of year. Mary Corriveau is city manager of Watertown. She tells Jonathan Brown the birds are starting to flock downtown where asphalt and heated buildings help keep them warm through the winter.  Go to full article

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