Similar to Scott Shalaway

All Categories

  • Hey, birders: It’s time for Project Feeder Watch

  • The basic science of Harmful Algal Blooms

  • Old feathered friends can be found at the beach

Scott Shalaway Results

Rabbits or rodents? Meet the lagomorphs

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Thanks to cartoon characters such as Bugs Bunny, the rabbits we see in our backyards, eastern cottontails are familiar to almost everyone. And yet I suspect most people think they are rodents. They are not. Rabbits and hares are lagomorphs, members of the mammalian order Lagomorpha. The confusion is understandable. Both groups are herbivores, and […]

How can we get more interested in fishing?

Thursday, March 21, 2013

According to statistics from the National Surveys of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation, which are published every five years, the number of anglers in the U.S. is in a steady decline. Over the last 20 years the number of anglers has dropped from 35.6 million in 1991 to 33.1 million in 2011. Fishing trends Though […]

Sky dance: The woodcock’s courtship routine

Thursday, March 7, 2013

In his classic, A Sand County Almanac (1949), wildlife biologist Aldo Leopold described the male American woodcock’s courtship display as a “sky dance.” I call it my favorite harbinger of spring. A few nights ago, as I watched the February full moon rise in the east, a familiar sound caught my ear. “Peent!” A few […]

It’s time to hang spring nest boxes, and here’s how

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Last week, a day after the morning low temperature plunged to nine degrees, the sky cleared and the thermometer rebounded to 45 degrees. That balmy afternoon, bluebirds, chickadees, titmice and Carolina wrens sang with spring-like enthusiasm. It reminded me to get my nest boxes ready because all four species use boxes within 100 yards of […]

It’s mating season for mammals in North America

Thursday, February 21, 2013

It’s common knowledge that wildlife breeds in the spring. When it comes to medium and large mammals, however, common knowledge is often wrong. Mating season peaks in mid winter for many mammals, and some species actually mate a year in advance of giving birth. Baby fisher The fisher, for example, is a large member of […]

The fox is definitely an intriguing predator

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Last week I described the wary nature of the wily coyote. I hear coyotes often, but very seldom see them. The same can be said of red and gray foxes, though they are even more elusive. I never hear them, and only occasionally do I see a red fox trotting along the edge of the […]

It truly is ‘survival of the fittest’ when it comes to coyotes

Thursday, February 7, 2013

It truly is ‘survival of the fittest’ when it comes to coyote populations. A few nights ago at 9 p.m., the thermometer on the back porch read a spring-like 60 degrees as I stepped out to listen for a few minutes.No owls on this night, but soon I heard a “yip.” And then another The […]

How chimney swifts’ diet affects population size

Thursday, January 24, 2013

In April, chimney swifts will return, but every year there seems to be fewer. One reason chimney swift numbers are down is we cap chimneys to keep them out. No one wants a chimney full of birds, nests and droppings. And no one wants live birds flying around the living room. A recent study in […]

January has produced a winter wonderland

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Over the last two weeks, we have had 13 inches of snow, and winter has just begun. I consider this good news. I love snow. A fresh snowfall makes the world pristine and quiet. It brings serenity to my busy life. Favorite spot A few days ago, with 5 inches of snow already on the […]

Grand Vue Park’s white deer attract attention

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Earlier this year two white fawns stole the show at Grand Vue Park (www.grandvuepark.com) near Moundsville, W.Va. They were hard to miss, and soon became favorites of park visitors. Park general manager Craig White told me people began driving through the park just to see the white deer. Photographers hoped for that special shot. Rock […]

Memories of a Christmas Eve walk in the woods

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Everyone has special Christmas memories. This is one of mine. It first appeared in 2008. It was the night before Christmas about 20 years ago. Nora was barely 10 years old, and Emma was still dreaming of kindergarten. We had just arrived home from a Christmas Eve church service. About two inches of snow had […]

Hummingbirds in December? It’s no joke

Thursday, December 20, 2012

A week ago, Vonda Poole of New Wilmington, Pa. emailed me and worried about “a female hummingbird that has not gone south for the winter. It’s now December 9th,” she wrote, “and it’s still here. Was I wrong to leave a feeder up? What will happen when freezing weather hits?” I explained that keeping the […]

Yes, even sparrows are fun birds to watch in winter

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The diversity of backyard birds fuels their appeal. Cardinals and blue jays are spectacularly beautiful. Chickadees, titmice, and nuthatches sparkle with personality. Woodpeckers entertain. But some, the nondescript native sparrows we call “LBBs” (little brown birds), avoid the spotlight by simply feeding on the ground. Ground feeders are nice to have around because they help […]

Christmas Bird Count and Project FeederWatch

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Cold winter weather means it’s time for two important citizen science projects — the annual Christmas Bird Count and Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Project FeederWatch. This year the 113th CBC runs from Dec. 14 through Jan. 5. Volunteers will devote one entire day to counting all the wild birds they can find. Local leaders determine […]

‘A book is a gift you can open again and again’

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Books always make great holiday gifts, especially for those who have everything. Here are a few recent titles that I recommend.

Winter’s fury is no match for Kinglets

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

As days get shorter, and nights grow longer, the cast of characters on my bird feeders changes. A mixed flock of pine siskins, purple finches, juncos and a few red-breasted nuthatches has joined the usual crowd of chickadees, titmice, nuthatches, cardinals, song sparrows, and goldfinches. But it is a tiny winter bird that captures my […]

Wildlife is resilient in a storm, even during Hurricane Sandy

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

As I write this, Hurricane Sandy has claimed more than 70 American lives and done an estimated $50 billion in damage, and those numbers are likely to increase. Another unspoken toll thus far is that taken on wildlife. How can wildlife possibly survive a super storm? That’s certainly been the topic of many emails I […]

Snakes, bats and spiders could use image makeover

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Halloween can be a terrifying holiday for small children. Boogie men and scary creatures strike terror in their hearts. I’m hoping we can dial back the fear factor associated with real creatures that often show up in Halloween decorations. Spiders, snakes, and bats are three groups that strike fear in the hearts of many, even […]

It’s deer season and it’s a jungle out there

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Anyone who lives in deer country knows fall is the most dangerous time of year. It’s when deer-vehicle collisions peak. In many areas, it’s not if you hit a deer, it’s when you hit one. Over the last 20 years I’ve hit six deer. One totaled my car, and another did $3,000 in damage. Fortunately […]

Birds quickly find new feeders; there is proof

Thursday, October 18, 2012

“When can I expect birds show up at my new feeder?” That’s the most common question I get from readers who begin feeding birds for the first time. My answer is that it depends on several factors, including habitat and time of year, but usually, birds discover and use new feeders in just a few […]

eNewsletter

Get our Top Stories in Your Inbox