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Whatever you call it, Ground Hog Day is harmless fun

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Even states where ground hogs don’t occur have come up with ways to get in on the action.

Project SNOWstorm for the snowy owls

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Back in December, I described an invasion of snowy owls from the arctic to temperate latitudes. Hundreds of these impressive white birds have been reported from the east coast to Minnesota. I suspect that never have so many birders seen a rare life bird in such a short time span. Similar habitats Because snowy owls […]

Let the nesting season begin, in spite of the cold

Thursday, January 23, 2014

With the polar vortex still fresh on our minds, it almost seems silly to discuss nesting birds. But the nesting season begins in January for bald eagles and great horned owls. An egg was laid in an eagle nest on the campus of Berry College in Georgia, Jan. 14. And in Pittsburgh a pair of […]

Readers wonder, ‘Where are my birds this winter?’

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Every winter I get letters and emails from readers asking why they are seeing fewer birds at their feeders. For example, Sheryll Jameson, from Parkersburg, W.Va. writes, “I enjoy reading your column and wondered if you could answer a question for me. I have been feeding birds for several years and am disappointed by the […]

It’s cold outside, so do some nature reading

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Ask any wildlife biologist to name an important professional influence, and most will say Aldo Leopold (1887-1948). His textbook, Game Management (1933), essentially created the profession of wildlife management. Aldo Leopold. Leopold, however, is better known to the general public for his book, A Sand County Almanac and Sketches Here and There. It is nature […]

Project FeederWatch returns in full swing

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

It’s time for another season of Project FeederWatch, Cornell University’s premier citizen science opportunity sponsored by the Lab of Ornithology.

Christmas tradition: The Morning of Christmas

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Every December I get requests to reprint my take-off of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, first published in 1988. Read it aloud to the kids after opening presents. Merry Christmas! The Morning of Christmas (with apologies to Clement C. Moore) ‘Twas the morning of Christmas, And all ‘round the house, The feeders were empty, Not […]

Birders take note: Snowy owl invasion is underway

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Nothing gets birders more excited than widespread reports of unusual birds. They jump in their cars, drive hundreds of miles, and hope to spot a “life bird.” Sometimes they are successful; sometimes they are not. It’s all part of the thrill of birding. Reports of snowy owls Right now much of the northern U.S. is […]

Deer have more than gun hunters to fear

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Many predators seek deer — not just humans.

Are deer as smart as they sometimes seem?

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Every fall I hear about a big buck someone has been tracking and watching for weeks. But when the gun season arrives, that big buck vanishes, only to reappear a few weeks later. Are deer really that smart? Deer intelligence Keen senses of smell, vision, and hearing have a lot to do with deer “intelligence.” […]

Turkeys and deer prepare for winter’s worst

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Turkeys and deer must prepare for winter before it gets here.

Mink a key species in marsh management

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Sometimes wildlife seems as curious about people as we are about them. I often spot deer watching me from the edge of the woods. When I see a fox, it’s usually watching me from a thicket of dense vegetation. Once I was fishing and, between catching fish and watching a belted kingfisher patrol up and […]

Dark-eyed juncos — a sure sign of winter

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Call them juncos or snowbirds, their return means temperatures are dropping and snow will soon fly.

Trail cams give you an around-the-clock view

Thursday, October 24, 2013

If you’ve ever suspected there was a big buck roaming your favorite hunting grounds, you probably wished you could monitor the area 24/7. But that’s virtually impossible unless you use a trail cam. Trail cams are motion-activated, weather-proof cameras that can be strapped to trees or posts to monitor wildlife activity. Many uses Hunters, birders […]

Falling temperatures sends signal to fill the feeders

Thursday, October 17, 2013

When morning low temperatures dip into the 30s, I know it’s time to get serious about filling my bird feeders. Here’s a guide matching desirable birds to specific foods and feeders. The single food that attracts the greatest variety of feeder birds is sunflower seed in tube or hopper feeders. Black-oil sunflower is appealing because […]

Now’s a good time to plant shrubs, trees, vines

Thursday, October 10, 2013

If your backyard plans include adding new plants for next year, get a head start this fall. Just be sure to get started before the ground freezes.

Pheasants are a fading symbol of autumn

Thursday, October 3, 2013

The year I turned 12 I got my first hunting license. It was my first chance to hunt ring-necked pheasants. My father brought birds home every fall, and I wanted to join the hunt. My dad taught me to shoot with a used, single shot, 12-gauge shotgun. It was a lot of gun for a […]

‘M&M’ season for the birds, without the chocolate

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Fall is also migration and molt season, for birds.

Black squirrels can create identification problem

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Love ‘em or hate ‘em, everyone knows squirrels. “Squirrels,” however, is a generic term. I use it here to refer to game species — gray, fox and red squirrels. These are the three species of tree squirrels that most eastern state wildlife agencies recognize as game species. To confuse the issue just a bit, some […]

Tennessee approves first sandhill crane hunt

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Recently Tennessee’s Fish & Wildlife Commission approved the state’s first modern day sandhill crane hunt. It will run from Nov. 28 through Jan. 1. A drawing for 400 permits will be held Oct. 19. Sandhill cranes are a large (4 feet tall and 6- to 7-foot wingspan, 7 to 10 pounds), charismatic species that birders […]

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