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Adirondack Explorer

Archive for the ‘Natural History’ Category

January, 2016

Adirondack Journal of Environmental Studies Published


The Adirondack Research Consortium and Union College have partnered to publish Volume 20 of the Adirondack Journal of Environmental Studies (AJES). The avian-themed edition features Teddy Roosevelt’s summer bird list and Larry Master’s Christmas bird count. Leading scientists have contributed research to the journal including, “Songbird Research from Sphagnum Bog to Alpine Summit” by Amy Sauer and David Evers, and “State of the Birds in Exurbia” by Michale Glennon and Heidi Kretser. In all, this edition features 11 articles, one organizational profile of Northern New York Audubon, and color photos contributed by Larry Master. You can receive a free copy of Volume 20 >>More


January, 2016

DEC Collects 16.8 Million Eggs For NYS Fish Hatcheries


The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and partner agencies collected 16.8 million eggs for the state’s fish hatcheries, the agency has announced.  Each year, DEC staff collect eggs from wild and captive adult fish to rear at DEC fish hatcheries. After the eggs are taken they are incubated at DEC’s state hatcheries.  After hatching, they are fed and cared for by DEC hatchery staff until they reach target stocking sizes.  Fish from New York hatcheries are stocked in lakes, ponds, streams, and rivers throughout the state, supporting the state’s recreational sport fishery. Chinook and coho salmon eggs >>More


January, 2016

Support Sought For Adirondack Loon Center


The Biodiversity Research Institute’s Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation is raising funds for an Adirondack Loon Center in the Tri-Lakes Area.  Dr. Nina Schoch, Coordinator of BRI’s Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation, believes a physical Loon Center will strengthen and expand her organization’s capacity to conduct its scientific research, education, and outreach. Schoch expects the Adirondack Loon Center will be a year-round educational and economic presence. Plans for the Center include office space for staff; an education and outreach area for visitors, with interactive displays about loon natural history, behavior, and conservation; a conference room for educational and » Continue >>More


January, 2016

Yellow Jackets Beat the Cold — Without Jackets


A naked, living critter fully exposed to below-zero temperatures for 24 hours – with a pleasant, stiff breeze tossed in for good measure – should by most reckoning be dead. We know there’s science behind surviving such conditions, and that some creatures manufacture their own anti-freeze, which lowers the freezing point of their body fluids and allows them to survive. Still, seeing it happen firsthand is sort of like watching a good magician: the eyes and mind are saying, “I see it, but I don’t believe it,” even though we know there’s a rational explanation behind it all. The recent >>More


January, 2016

DEC Announces New “Management Strategy” For Fishers


The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced the release of a fisher “management strategy” that reduces the trapping season in the northern part of the state by 16 days and establishes a new six-day season in the central and western parts of the state. The fisher plan is expected to guide the agency’s approach to the species for the next 10 years. The plan attempts to advance two of DEC’s stated goals: to maintain or grow fisher populations where suitable habitat exists and to provide trapping opportunities. Fishers, a member of the weasel family, can weigh up to about >>More


January, 2016

How A Warm Winter Impacts Local Wildlife


During a mild winter in our northern forests, there are those of us who cheer our lower heating bills and those who scan the forecast, hoping for cold and snow. In a classic El Niño year like this one, when we often get unseasonably mild weather well into February, there are winners and losers in the natural world, too. El Niño refers to a natural warming of Pacific waters. This phenomenon occurs every three to seven years, when prevailing trade winds, which drive the direction and force of ocean currents, slow down. As a result, cold water from the depths >>More


January, 2016

Understanding The Language Of Crows


“Caw! Caw!” Every spring we hear it. And my wife says, “that’s My Crow.” It’s apparently the bird’s name. She capitalizes it in her tone. I think she hasn’t bestowed a more formal name because she doesn’t know whether it’s a male or female. My Crow is likely part of an extended family of crows that lives in our area. We think they nest in the tall pines on our south neighbor’s woodlot, but they forage over our woods and fields as well. “How do you know it’s your crow?” I ask. “I can tell by the sound of its >>More


January, 2016

The Golden-Crowned Kinglet In Winter


It’s simple physics. In a cold environment, small objects lose heat at a faster rate than large objects. This is why most warm-blooded animals that reside in a northern climate tend to be large in size. Yet, for every rule, there is always an exception and when considering birds, the golden-crowned kinglet is a perplexing anomaly. The golden-crowned kinglet is the smallest perching bird to inhabit the Adirondacks, as this delicate, olive colored creature is not much larger than a hummingbird, (which is classified in a group that is related to the swifts rather than the perching birds.) However, unlike >>More


December, 2015

Adirondack Wildlife In Winter: Big Brown Bats


Despite remarkable similarities in appearance, flying styles and behaviors, not all bats are created equal. In the Adirondacks, there are approximately nine species of these dark, winged mammals during the summer months, yet all possess their own unique physical characteristics and habits. The manner in which bats deal with the total lack of flying insects that occurs with the onset of winter is one feature that illustrates how bats are different. Even though more than half the species that populate our region migrate to and then enter caves or mines that extend deep underground, all have definite preferences for below >>More


December, 2015

Recalling The Warm Winter Of 1932


“Is our climate changing? This is a question heard often these days. Some are inclined to believe it is, but others are inclined to believe it is just one of those unusual open winters. The weather has been so mild that pussy willows are showing buds, woodchucks are out, and caterpillars were found crawling on the ground.” Those aren’t my words. They’re from the Norwood News, January 20, 1932. While reading about years past, it struck me how this mild winter parallels those of 1932 and 1933. In both instances, ice fishing was drastically curtailed by the open waters of >>More




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