Stories by Scott Shalaway

Attention birders: Fall migration is beginning

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The fall bird migration actually begins in July. Along East Coast beaches, shorebirds that nested in the Arctic begin showing up along coastlines in mid-July. August arctic snowstorms happen, so arctic migrants fledge their young as quickly as possible to get an early start south. Closer to home, male ruby-throated hummingbirds begin heading south in […]

Outdoor wildlife recreation is worth big bucks

Thursday, September 6, 2012

According to the results of the recently released 2011 National survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation, more people than ever (16 and older) participated in wildlife recreation. Hunter numbers (13.7 million) grew 9 percent from 2006 to 2011. The number of anglers (33.1 million) increased 11 percent during the same time period. And the number […]

Gray tree frogs can be noisy masters of disguise

Thursday, August 30, 2012

July was too hot and dry for man or beast. One of the consequences is that evenings were quiet. I don’t think I heard a frog or toad the entire month. The gray tree frog Then the rains came, and the temperature dipped. Toads began to trill each evening, and the nightly chorus of crickets […]

2012 waterfowl survey results look good

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The results of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s 2012 Waterfowl Breeding Population and Habitat Survey are in, and the news should please duck hunters. Based on aerial surveys over more than two million square miles, the estimate of total ducks in North America was 48.6 million, up from last year’s of 45.6 million and […]

Wildlife netting can do far more harm than good

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Three years ago my wife found an opossum in one of our sheds with a plastic six-pack ring around its neck. I immobilized the ‘possum with a towel, and we cut off the ring. The critter toddled off without even playing ‘possum. No harm, no foul, just a reminder of the harm that such plastics […]

The bane of every summer — stings and bites

Thursday, July 26, 2012

A few weeks ago my wife called from upstairs. There was an unusual urgency in her voice. When I found her, I understood. She had been stung by a bald-faced hornet. It got her right by her eye, and her face swelled up immediately. Within minutes, hives covered much of her body. Linda has been […]

Bald eagles are coming back in a strong way

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Thirty years ago the sight of a bald eagle got people excited. In Pennsylvania, for example, only three nesting pairs were known in 1982. In the lower 48 states, there were probably fewer than 500 nesting pairs. Today bald eagles are back. It’s no longer unusual to see a bald eagle. In fact, if you […]

Pollinators wildly interesting this time of year

Thursday, June 28, 2012

A few days ago my eyes began to itch. Grass and tree pollen trigger allergies that will continue until the first frost. But pollen is a necessary evil. It is essential for the reproduction of flowering plants. Pollen originates in the stamens of flowers. It is essentially the sperm that must reach another flower’s pistols […]

Search for a ‘holy rail’ reveals a mockingbird

Thursday, June 21, 2012

A report of a rare bird captures the attention of birders within a few hours drive of the observation. So in late May, when a black rail was reported just north of Capon Bridge in Hampshire County, West Virginia, birders flocked to the site. Few saw it. Some heard it. Several even reported hearing the […]

Thank a hunter for 75 years of conservation

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Later this year, the conservation community will celebrate the 75th anniversary of federal legislation that keeps state wildlife agencies afloat. On Sept. 2, 1937, President Franklin Roosevelt signed the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act. More commonly known as the Pittman-Robertson (P-R) Act, it honors its chief sponsors, Sen. Key Pittman of Nevada and Rep. […]

eNewsletter

Get our Top Stories in Your Inbox

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.