March of the Painted Ladies!


Painted Lady nectaring on coneflower. /© Bryan Pfeiffer Painted Lady butterflies are flitting about fields, gardens, roadsides and meadows throughout eastern North America and beyond. Like Monarch butterflies, with which they are sometimes confused, Painted Ladies are now migrating southward. Each fall, they vacate Canada and most of the U.S. and during winter are active…

via Help Us Record Painted Lady Butterflies on the Move — Vermont Center for Ecostudies

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Multi-State Species Distribution Models: What to do When Species Need Multiple Habitats


Source: Multi-State Species Distribution Models: What to do When Species Need Multiple Habitats

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Don’t Eat the Death Camas…or ‘Death’ Anything


In a bid to learn more about “death camass”, Google led me to this wonderful blog!

Nature's Poisons

Plant poisonings are a funny thing. Most people aren’t actively seeking out poisonous plants in which to eat, that would be dumb. Rather they mistake them for something else through an honest mistake, willful ignorance, or just plain foraging hubris. I hate foraging hubris. But I digress.

Take the “Death Camas.” I’d like to believe that no sane person would willfully eat something with the name “death” in it, but accidents happen. The Death Camas, of many varieties, used to belong solely to the Zigadenus genus, with about twenty different species. But botanists being botanists decided that wasn’t good enough, and blew the genus up. Now, the Death Camas’ are spread among the Anticlea, Stenanthium, and Toxicoscordion genus, with just one species, Zigadenus glaberrimus, left in the original I find this all so confusing, which is probably the number one reason why I’m not a botanist. But it…

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Join the Global Shorebird Counting Loyalty Program


Source: Join the Global Shorebird Counting Loyalty Program

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The bittersweet end of a field project


After five years, 65 nests and more a thousand point counts, I had my last day in the field yesterday with nighthawks. It’s been a wonderful experience. I know that wherever I end up next, it will never be like this. To see a video of a nighthawk and her chick, click here.

via Five years of nighthawks — A Feathered Reptile

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Prairie-Chicken Nests Appear Unaffected by Wind Energy Facility


Source: Prairie-Chicken Nests Appear Unaffected by Wind Energy Facility

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10 August 2017 – no casualties


Both hummingbird carcasses still in evidence. The whole bird from the southeastern alcove has been decapitated, presumably by the ants.

The tail from the southwestern alcove made things a bit more interesting by being gone.  I wasn’t too surprised by that because we had storms roll through overnight that I assumed would have blown that little bit of feathers away.  So I started looking around just to see if I could figure out in which crack in the bricks it ended up.  I couldn’t find it, but my more intensive searching did turn up these tidbits:

Screen Shot 2017-08-10 at 8.51.25 AM  Screen Shot 2017-08-10 at 8.51.50 AM

Aha!  So it looks like yesterday’s tail was not necessarily from a hummingbird that had been scavenged.  It looks more like a lawnmower got it. It also seems to have been a HY male, Ruby-throated Hummingbird.

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