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Adirondack Explorer

Monday, November 11, 2019

Study Finds Gender Bias in Bird Conservation Plans

After pairing up and raising chicks, males and females of some bird species spend their winter break apart. At the end of their journey to Central or South America, you might find mostly males in one habitat, and females in another. Yet conservation strategies have typically overlooked the habitats needed by females, putting already-declining species in even more peril, according to a new study in the journal Biological Conservation. “Among the small songbird species that have been studied, the general rule seems to be that females occupy lower elevation, shrubbier, drier sites,” says lead author Ruth » Continue Reading. View >>More

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Woolly Bear Caterpillar Hibernation

Woolly bear caterpillars seem to be everywhere these days – creeping across the lawn, along the road when I’m walking the dog, hidden in the wilted cut-back of the perennial garden. Last week I found a woolly bear curled up in a shoe I’d left on the front porch. These fuzzy, black-and- brown-banded caterpillars seem intent these days to get somewhere. Where that is – and how they know – is a mystery. “The purpose for their wanderings is not clear,” said Jack Layne, a biology professor and woolly bear researcher at Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania. “It starts well >>More

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Conservation Minute: Wildlife Friendly Yard Clean-up Tips

Your yard is part of the natural landscape and can offer food and cover for insects, mammals, and birds. Leaving the leaves where they fall adds nutrients back to the soil and provides great cover for insects seeking shelter from the cold and snow. The leaf litter also provides an extra layer of insulation and protection for native, ground and cavity nesting bees and wasps. Some native butterflies and moths have even adapted their chrysalis to mimic the look of dead leaves and seeds. They will overwinter in the leaf litter and hatch in early spring, providing pollination services for >>More

Monday, November 4, 2019

Project FeedWatch: A Simple Way to Help Birds

In light of recent news about the net loss of nearly three billion birds in the U.S. and Canada since 1970, advocates say it’s more vital than ever that citizen scientists monitor their own backyard birds. Participants in Project FeederWatch at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology have been doing this for decades. Reports from participants are building the kind of long-term database needed to detect shifts in the number and distribution of birds facing challenges from climate change, habitat loss, and disease. FeederWatch participants make two-day counts each week from November through early April. They » Continue Reading. View original >>More

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Climate Change Impacting Adirondack Boreal Birds

Two new scientific studies recently released by Paul Smith’s College Adirondack Watershed Institute (PSC AWI) and Shingle Shanty Preserve and Research Station (SSPRS) have detected continuing patterns of decline in boreal birds in the Adirondacks. The authors examined avian community changes in lowland boreal habitats and the impacts that temperature and precipitation have on long-term occupancy patterns of boreal birds. Both peer-reviewed papers were recently published in the scientific journal PLoS One. The studies build on more than a decade of monitoring boreal bird populations in lowland boreal habitat. Lowland boreal habitats are characterized by conifer swamps, open peatlands, and >>More

Saturday, November 2, 2019

A Macabre Menagerie

Last year, I showed up to work on October 31 in one of my old park ranger’s uniforms, torn to fake-bloody shreds in an imaginary bear attack. One year earlier, I drank smoothies for breakfast, lunch, and dinner because, ironically, my prosthetic vampire fangs were too fragile to sink into solid food. As a twentysomething undertaking a year of national service, I once asked my supervisor if I couldn’t make a few small modifications to my uniform and come to work on the last day of October as an “AmeriCorpse.” (He said no.) In other words, I am a lifelong >>More

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Poetry: Self-Portrait as an Eagle

Self-Portrait as an Eagle Hatched 30 minutes earlier than the day before, I am placed between a hot-water pad and a towel to dry. Pecking an air hole in my shell and beginning the ordeal, as the warm air feels like Tegaderm on my beak. Eight hours after hatching, I eat my first meal-bits of lean quail raised on my uncle’s farm. Feeding from a puppet as to avoid being mistaken by humans; in a week or so I will see what it means to be wild again. Read More Poems From The Adirondack Almanack HERE. » Continue Reading. View >>More

Friday, November 1, 2019

Historic Flooding In The Adirondacks

Heavy rain overnight has led to historic flooding in parts of the Adirondacks Friday. There has been widespread flooding and numerous roads have been closed across Hamilton, Herkimer, Warren and Essex counties, including the western slopes of the Champlain and Lake George Valleys. Several major state highways have been closed in places, including Routes 30, 8, and 9N.  The Adirondack Daily Enterprise is reporting that Essex County 911 trunk lines are down, DEC has deployed its airboat, and there are power outages. A High Wind Warning remains in effect for most of the Adirondacks. Winds are forecast to gust to >>More

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Help Protect Adirondack Bats: A Primer

Human disturbance is especially harmful to the state’s bat populations since the arrival of the disease known as white-nose syndrome, a fungus that has killed more than 90 percent of bats at hibernation sites in New York due to how closely bats congregate in caves during winter months. Even a single, seemingly quiet visit to a cave can cause bats to temporarily increase their metabolism and expend significantly more energy than normal. Know Your Protected Adirondack Bat Species The Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis), which is sparsely distributed across New York, is a state and federally endangered (since 1967) species listed >>More

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Invasive Ash Borer Closing In On Adirondack Park

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced that emerald ash borer (EAB) has been confirmed in two locations in Jefferson County. A sample collected from a tree in the city of Watertown on South Massey Street was positively identified by the Cornell University Insect Diagnostic Lab. The sample was taken in cooperation with the City of Watertown Planning Department and Department of Public Works. A second location was confirmed in the village of Clayton. Ash trees are a component of some Adirondack’s forest ecosystems and ash trees have often been used as a shade tree in >>More


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