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Scott Shalaway Results

Fall webworms aren’t really cause for alarm

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Roger Patterson of southwestern Pennsylvania, writes, “Late this summer I have noticed what appear to be tent caterpillar tents in my lilac bushes. I’m fairly certain these are not the tent caterpillars we normally get in the spring. “These late summer munchers are white and hairy. Their tents are similar, and they seem to kill […]

Solving the mystery of what causes bald cardinals

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Nancy Kincaid of Charleston, W.Va. writes, “My husband and I feed birds and squirrels in our backyard, and we have a special male cardinal we have fed for the last two years. He and his mate have raised many young during this time, and we have enjoyed watching them grow and visit our feeders. “This […]

Navigating the maze of conservation agencies

Thursday, August 12, 2010

One of the frustrations of wildlife conservation is determining who’s in charge. At the state level, state agencies are responsible for managing most wildlife and fish populations. They set seasons and bag limits for species that are hunted and fished. They’re also responsible for the welfare of nongame species. In Pennsylvania, for example, the Game […]

Warbler numbers grow with habitat management

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Among birders, Kirtland’s warblers are a top priority. They are rare because they have very specific habitat requirements — young jack pine forests five to 20 feet tall and six to 22 years old. Such stands are found in northern Michigan and parts of Wisconsin and Canada. They nest on the ground; presumably trees these […]

A hayfield stroll displays midsummer blooms

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Most summer evenings, shortly before dark, my wife and I take a walk through the hay field on the highest point on our property. It’s not really a hay field, it’s just an old field being encroached upon by the adjacent woods. I try to keep the invasive autumn olive at bay, but it’s a […]

A conversation with ornithologist and author

Thursday, July 22, 2010

I met Bridget Stutchbury in the early 1980s at the University of Oklahoma Biological Station. I was teaching ornithology, and she was a visiting graduate student from Yale looking for a place to study the social behavior of purple martins. We had dozens of pairs of martins in six apartment houses right on campus, so […]

Nature’s fireworks: Fireflies’ bioluminescence

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The first firefly of the year appeared in my yard a month ago. As fireworks commemorate Independence Day, I’m reminded of the natural fireworks that go on all summer long. Fireflies or lightning bugs First, though, a few words of clarification. Fireflies, or lightning bugs as my dad called them, are neither flies, nor bugs. […]

An unexpected Indigo treat is found

Thursday, July 1, 2010

One of the unexpected treats of collecting the first blackberries of the season is stumbling upon an active bird nest. Bramble thickets are prime nest sites for species such as cardinals, catbirds, song sparrows, yellow-breasted chats, and indigo buntings. Males Male indigos are easy to find and even easier to recognize. They sing a complicated […]

It’s been a strange year for ruby-throated hummingbirds

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Some observers report more birds than ever. Other ask why none have returned. My experience has been equally confounding. I saw my first hummer this spring April 11, a full 11 days sooner than my previous first date, so I expected lots of birds this year. And the map of returning hummers at www.hummingbirds.net offered […]

A nature lover’s guide to a summer reading list

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Whether your summer leisure time is spent on the beach, in the mountains, or on the back porch, a good book is a great companion. Recommendations Here are a few recent titles that I recommend. The only work of fiction on the list, Anthill: A Novel by E.O. Wilson, (2010, W.W. Norton & Co., $24.95) […]

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