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Adirondack Explorer

Archive for the ‘Natural History’ Category

June, 2017

Alewives Pose Challenge To Champlain Salmon Restoration


For years, biologists have been working to improve conditions for the native fish in Lake Champlain. Among other things, they have removed old dams to help spawning salmon migrate up rivers and have reduced the population of sea lampreys that prey on salmon and lake trout. Now scientists are trying to fully understand how salmon are impacted by alewives, an invasive species that has become a main source of food for salmon, a keystone predator that eats smaller fish. Alewives » Continue Reading. View original post.


June, 2017

Great Adirondack Birding Celebration Opens at Paul Smith’s VIC


Bird watching along with National Trails Day is a perfect combination and the Paul Smith’s VIC Great Adirondack Birding Celebration (GABC) has a schedule to please everyone from the most passionate to the novice birder. The 3-day festival of birds for bird watchers offers full day workshops from as far afield as Champlain Valley to the St. Lawrence Valley. Other events and activities are organized closer to the base camp at Paul Smith’s VIC. According to Paul Smith’s VIC Director Kendra Ormerod, GABC the schedule is geared toward those experienced bird watchers, but with enough flexibility to provide a person » >>More


May, 2017

Tim Rowland: Adirondack Ticks


At some point in the last 20 years, ticks have moved up on the Most Feared Insect ladder, thanks to the spread, and the greater understanding, of lyme disease. Early on, lyme’s vagaries and a lack of medical advancement made for a tricky diagnosis; after standard blood work came up blank, doctors would tell men to suck it up, and women that they were hormonal. Thankfully, we have a better handle on it today, and while the disease is still terribly problematic, we at least know what we’re up against, and someone who contracts it has a far better chance >>More


May, 2017

Spring Visitors: Ladybug Beetles


Among the many groups of insects that exist on our planet, the most abundant, diverse and ecologically successful are the beetles. And while many of these hard-shelled bugs are viewed as ugly and unwanted by humans, the ladybug beetle is considered to be one of the most attractive and environmentally friendly creatures in nature. With a conspicuous dome-shaped, orange shell marked with black spots, the ladybug is difficult to mistake for any other invertebrate. Like all insects, there are numerous species of ladybugs that reside in our region, and the subtle differences in the color and pattern of its markings >>More


May, 2017

Indian Lake Osprey Make Home On Utility Pole


They’re a bit like the guests who overstay their welcome in your home, leaving their sheets rumpled in the bed, eating your food, and inviting more family members to join them. Something like this has been happening to National Grid on one of their power poles across Route 28 from the Chain Lakes Road in the hamlet of Indian Lake. Osprey built a nest a year and a half ago in this desirable location near Lake Abanakee. Osprey like to build their “stick nests” on channel markers, dead trees, and poles like the ones National Grid uses for their power >>More


May, 2017

Do Mice Get Cavities? All About Mammal Teeth


When my daughter was four, she once asked, “Do mice get cavities?” We were coming back from the dentist, so teeth were on her mind and so were mice, since her pet mouse had recently escaped. Later in the day, she asked if ducks had teeth; such is the ranging nature of her intellect. Why all the toothy questions? Because our teeth are interesting. Ask a dentist. And so are the teeth of our wild neighbors. Teeth can tell a lot about a species’ line of work — particularly what they eat and how they catch their dinner. Teeth are >>More


May, 2017

DEC Urges New Yorkers: If You Care, Leave It There


The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has cautioned visitors to natural areas against interacting with newborn fawns and other young wildlife as the peak birthing season starts. Those that see a fawn or other newborn wildlife should enjoy their encounter but keep it brief, maintain some distance, and not attempt to touch the animal. This time of year, it is not unusual to see a young bird crouched in the yard or a young rabbit in the flower garden, both seemingly abandoned. Finding a deer fawn lying by itself is also common. Many people assume that young wildlife >>More


May, 2017

NY State Expands Emerald Ash Borer Quarantine


New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Department of Agriculture and Markets (DAM) have announced that eight existing Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) Restricted Zones have been expanded and merged into a single Restricted Zone in order to strengthen the State’s efforts to slow the spread of this invasive pest. The new EAB Restricted Zone includes part or all of Albany, Allegany, Broome, Cattaraugus, Cayuga, Chautauqua, Chenango, Chemung, Columbia, Cortland, Delaware, Dutchess, Erie, Genesee, Greene, Livingston, Madison, Monroe, Niagara, Oneida, Onondaga, Ontario, Orange, Orleans, Oswego, Otsego, Putnam, Rensselaer, Rockland, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Sullivan, Tioga, Tompkins, Ulster, >>More


May, 2017

Winter Wrens in the Adirondacks


Spending time outdoors in the Adirondacks during spring is a rewarding experience, as the sounds that emanate from our forests, especially in the early morning, are sure to delight. While the musical calls produced by most birds are relatively short and composed of only a handful of notes, there are a few songs that are considerably longer and more complex. The lengthiest and most intricate song that commonly graces our woodlands is one heard in patches of mixed forests where dense clusters of undergrowth or ground debris exist on the forest floor. This fast tempo melody is quite loud, yet >>More


May, 2017

Citizen Science: Project BudBurst


Participating in various Citizen Science projects allows my family to learn about our local landscape while contributing data to long-term science research. We’ve helped with FrogWatch USA, part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, to help familiarize us with our local wetlands through the identification of frog and toad calls. We contribute to Monarch Watch, which is currently focusing on the Spring First-of-Year Sightings. This year we started tracking various plants around our area. Started in 2007, Project BudBurst is a Citizen Science project relying on volunteers across the United States to monitor native plants at various times throughout >>More