Stories by Scott Shalaway

‘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 […]

How do birds survive cold winter nights?

Thursday, November 15, 2012

My bird feeders have been busy this week, and as I watch the nonstop feeding frenzy, I marvel at how birds as tiny as goldfinches and chickadees can survive winter weather. The long, cold nights that lay ahead make day to day survival a challenge for all wild birds. Smaller birds face the greatest problem […]

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 […]

Why do leaves change colors before they fall?

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The science behind fall’s beauty: Why do leaves turn colors? Why do they fall from trees, anyway?

When choosing seed, match bird food to feeders

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The bird-feeding season is upon us, and invariably questions about which foods and feeders are best fill my mailbox. Here’s a pre-emptive effort to answer some of those questions. Basics If you are new to feeding birds or you just want to keep it simple, offer black-oil sunflower seed in a high-quality tube feeder made […]

Some clean four-letter words for fall

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The phrase “four-letter word” has a bad reputation, for obvious reasons. But there are good four-letter words, too. Here are a few four-letter verbs for outdoor lovers to keep in mind as fall begins. Hunt — Shorter, cooler days mean a variety of hunting seasons are about to open. Waterfowl, small game, and white-tailed deer […]

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About Scott

Scott Shalaway, who holds a Ph.D. in wildlife ecology from Michigan State University, writes from his home in rural West Virginia. A former faculty member at Oklahoma State University and the University of Oklahoma Biological Station, he has been writing a weekly nature column for newspapers and freelancing for magazines since 1986. Send questions and comments to scottshalaway@gmail.com. You can also visit his Web site, http://scottshalaway.googlepages.com.