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News stories tagged with "wildlife"

DEC surveys waterbird populations on Little Galloo Island

Every 10 years or so, the Department of Environmental Conservation goes out to Little Galloo Island, which is 20 miles off the coast of Cape Vincent in Lake Ontario, to survey waterbird populations there.

The island, with a few dead trees, some grass and a rocky shoreline, is a haven for colonial waterbirds. It has nests of Caspian terns, herring gulls and tens of thousands of ring-billed gulls, the standard seagull seen throughout the north country.

It's a wildlife management area owned by the DEC. Reporter Joanna Richards accompanied the state biologists out to the island this spring to get a look at this special nesting ground and see how the DEC does its work.  Go to full article
Richard Crossley
Richard Crossley

Preview: Great Adirondack Birding Celebration

Birders of every skill level are gathering at the Paul Smiths College VIC this weekend for the 2012 Great Adirondack Birding Celebration. The annual event includes birding trips, lectures, workshops, an Owl Prowl tonight at dusk, and the Teddy Roosevelt Birding Challenge.

Todd Moe talks with internationally known birder and photographer Richard Crossley, who gives the keynote address Saturday night. Crossley recently published a new bird guide that includes thousands of his photographs of eastern birds in their natural environment. He calls it a new approach to birding.  Go to full article

Song and dance: woodcocks announce spring

Every spring, a Department of Environmental Conservation biologist drives along north country highways at dawn or dusk, stopping every so often to pull over and listen. They're listening for the distinctive "peent" of the singing American woodcock, a brown speckled bird a little larger than a songbird with a long, narrow beak for pulling earthworms out of the ground.

The little game bird is under threat New York state, and the survey each year is meant to get a handle on what population trends are in this region. DEC regional spokesman Stephen Litwhiler is the happy host to several of the birds in his backyard in southern Jefferson County. He says the birds' appearance each year is his personal "harbinger of spring."

For this Heard Up North, reporter Joanna Richards donned camouflage and hid behind the birds' favorite tree in Litwhiler's backyard to get a close-up look - and listen.  Go to full article
Fox bringing home dinner. Photo: Amy Cook, from Photo of the Day archive
Fox bringing home dinner. Photo: Amy Cook, from Photo of the Day archive

Natural Selections: Foxes

Join Dr. Curt Stager and Martha Foley for a discussion about foxes--their homes, their diets and other fox facts.  Go to full article
These bear paws were seized from an Asian market in Brooklyn last year (Source:  NYS DEC)
These bear paws were seized from an Asian market in Brooklyn last year (Source: NYS DEC)

New law regulates North Country trade in black bear parts for Asian markets

When black bear hunters head back into the woods this fall, they'll face new regulations that require them to document any parts of the animal that they plan to sell.

The new law went into effect this year. It's designed to help state and Federal officials crack down on black bear poaching.

It's still legal for hunters in New York to sell bear parts for use in Asian medicine and cooking, but the trade will be much more closely monitored.

Brian Mann has our story.  Go to full article
<em>Turdus migratorius</em>, the American Robin. Photo: Mgiganteus
Turdus migratorius, the American Robin. Photo: Mgiganteus

Natural Selections: American robins

Martha Foley and Dr. Curt Stager discuss the varieties and habits of American robins. There are half a dozen different kinds, including albinos. How do they arrive so early in the spring? Sometimes it's because they never leave.  Go to full article
Black-capped Chickadee.  (photo: Jerry Acton)
Black-capped Chickadee. (photo: Jerry Acton)

Counting birds in a warm, weird winter

Thousands of citizen scientists across the U.S. and Canada will get out their tally sheets for the 15th annual Great Backyard Bird Count this weekend. The survey begins Friday morning and continues through Presidents' Day.

Biologists at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Audubon are anxiously awaiting the data this year because of the warm winter weather across the country.

Todd Moe talks with Cornell's Pat Leonard about this year's count, and Adirondack bird guide Joan Collins for an update on bird sightings and migration trends in our region.  Go to full article
Snowy Owl  (photo: Cornell Lab of Ornithology)
Snowy Owl (photo: Cornell Lab of Ornithology)

A rare, winter visitor from the Arctic

Snowy owls from the arctic tundra are showing up in northern states this winter. More than two dozen sightings of the large, stoic owls have been reported from Lake Champlain to Lake Ontario since October.

Todd Moe talks with Lake Placid birder Larry Master, an expert on owls, about Snowy Owls and other owl visitors from further north this time of year.  Go to full article
White-tailed deer
White-tailed deer

"Oddball" deer illness sparks probe

State officials are investigating the death of a deer in the town of Thurman in Warren County that appears to have been infected with an uncommon bacteria. The animal was spotted in December by hunters, still alive but suffering from obvious distress. Last week, researchers who conducted a necropsy identified what appeared to be a bacteria infection.  Go to full article

Natural Selections: Chipmunk language

Chipmunk, cluckmunk? Chipmunks and many animals have a variety of sounds used to express different things. Martha Foley and Dr. Curt Stager sample the vocabulary used by this common denizen of North Country woods and villages.  Go to full article

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