Chris Martin http://nhpr.org en A Salute To Bobolinks & Henry David Thoreau http://nhpr.org/post/salute-bobolinks-henry-david-thoreau <p>A tumbling jumble of bird song from across the field announces the presence of <a href="http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/bobolink/id" target="_blank">bobolinks</a>. In his journals, <a href="http://www.walden.org/Thoreau" target="_blank">Henry David Thoreau</a> quoted a Cape Cod child who asked:</p><p>"What makes he sing so sweet, Mother? Do he eat flowers?"</p> Fri, 11 Jul 2014 13:00:27 +0000 Chris Martin & Francie Von Mertens 50984 at http://nhpr.org A Salute To Bobolinks & Henry David Thoreau Something Wild: Banding The Peregrine Chick http://nhpr.org/post/something-wild-banding-peregrine-chick <p>Those of you who keep a close eye on the <a href="http://www.spectraaccess.com/falcon2/camera1.html?buffer=2" target="_blank">Peregrine Falcon cam</a> in Manchester, will be well acquainted with the saga these birds have undergone this year. If you're not, NH Audubon's Chris Martin has a quick recap and explains the latest developments, as he bands this year's chick.</p><p></p> Thu, 03 Jul 2014 16:41:31 +0000 Chris Martin & Andrew Parrella 51291 at http://nhpr.org Something Wild: Banding The Peregrine Chick Common Milkweed: Edible, Wild & Free http://nhpr.org/post/common-milkweed-edible-wild-free <p>Deep down I think we all are instinctively foragers; a vestige of our hunter-gatherer ancestors. Ripening now in meadows and along roadsides is a vegetable favored by many wild-food foragers: <a href="http://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=assy" target="_blank"><strong>common milkweed</strong></a><a href="http://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=assy" target="_blank">.</a> From emergent shoots on through to flowers and the formation of young pods, milkweed can be cooked and added to just about any meal.</p> Fri, 27 Jun 2014 04:00:00 +0000 Chris Martin 50682 at http://nhpr.org Common Milkweed: Edible, Wild & Free Something Wild: The Eerie Sounding Veery http://nhpr.org/post/something-wild-eerie-sounding-veery <p>The song of the veery is a haunting, ethereal song. Males sing at dusk, a time when not many other birds sing and daytime winds have calmed. It's also a time when the air turns damp; dense, moist air transfers sound waves better than dry air.</p><p></p> Fri, 13 Jun 2014 04:33:00 +0000 Chris Martin & Andrew Parrella 49771 at http://nhpr.org Something Wild: The Eerie Sounding Veery The 'Dirt' On Soil http://nhpr.org/post/dirt-soil <p>This time of year finds a lot of people working in their gardens.&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">Good gardeners pay attention to their soil.</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Just like above ground, there’s a diverse world of wildlife below ground competing for space, nutrients, and performing roles that support life on Earth.</span></p> Fri, 30 May 2014 04:41:00 +0000 Chris Martin 45737 at http://nhpr.org The 'Dirt' On Soil A Soft Spot For Bluebirds http://nhpr.org/post/soft-spot-bluebirds <p>I've learned that a sighting of a bluebird on a bird watching field trip stops everything.&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">We'll pause a long time as people take turns looking through the spotting scope.&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Involuntary gasps of pleasure, "</span>oohs<span style="line-height: 1.5;">" and "</span>aahs<span style="line-height: 1.5;">" and "</span>ohmygods<span style="line-height: 1.5;">."</span></p><p></p> Fri, 16 May 2014 09:59:00 +0000 Chris Martin 45732 at http://nhpr.org A Soft Spot For Bluebirds Tracking Rusty Blackbirds http://nhpr.org/post/tracking-rusty-blackbirds <p>We went into the field this week to speak with Carol Foss,&nbsp;Member of the International Rusty Blackbird Working Group and NH Coordinator of the <a href="https://www.facebook.com/rustyblackbirdspringblitz" target="_blank">Rusty Blackbird Spring Migration Blitz</a>.&nbsp;</p><p>Rusty Blackbird populations have fallen over the last century: by between 80 and 90-percent. Last fall the working group decided to make careful study of the spring migration, and coordinated hundreds of volunteer scientists along the migration route to track the birds.</p> Fri, 02 May 2014 04:56:00 +0000 Chris Martin & Andrew Parrella 47201 at http://nhpr.org Tracking Rusty Blackbirds Red-Winged Blackbirds http://nhpr.org/post/red-winged-blackbirds <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Move over robins; r</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">ed-winged blackbirds are the real harbingers of spring.</span></p><p>The male’s scratchy “oak-a-lee” songs are heard when the world is still blanketed with snow and maple sap is just beginning to flow.&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">Males return north well before females, and the early bird does get the worm.&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">In this case the metaphorical worm is prime breeding territory.</span></p><p> Fri, 18 Apr 2014 04:00:00 +0000 Chris Martin 45721 at http://nhpr.org Red-Winged Blackbirds Saw-Whet Owls http://nhpr.org/post/saw-whet-owls <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">There are a lot of unusual sounds out there in the natural world.&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Here’s one from the nighttime forest, often heard this time of year.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">No, it’s not a school bus backing up.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">It’s a tiny owl, the northern saw-whet, and it’s a lot more common than bird surveys suggest. As you might imagine, s</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">mall birds active only at night are not easy to survey.&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Also important to note is that </span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">because</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> they're the favorite meal of the much larger barred owl, their survival depends on keeping a low profile—usually under cover of dense conifers.</span></p><p> Fri, 04 Apr 2014 04:00:00 +0000 Chris Martin 45589 at http://nhpr.org Saw-Whet Owls Vernal Equinox Means Equal Night http://nhpr.org/post/vernal-equinox-means-equal-night <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/z_iv4k0a844" width="420"></iframe></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The Vernal Equinox has arrived!&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">For one brief moment, everywhere on planet Earth, day and night are equal: 12 hours from sunrise to sunset and sunset to sunrise.</span></p><p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The length of daylight compared to dark, is known as </span>photoperiod<span style="line-height: 1.5;">. </span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Seasonal changes in </span>photoperiod<span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp; trigger a lot of changes in plants and animals.&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Many plants are known as short-day species; they flower after the summer solstice when days are getting shorter.&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Plants that bloom in spring are known as long-day species.</span></p><p></p><p> Fri, 21 Mar 2014 04:00:00 +0000 Chris Martin & Francie Von Mertens 44935 at http://nhpr.org Vernal Equinox Means Equal Night The Common Junco And Its Uncommon History http://nhpr.org/post/common-junco-and-its-uncommon-history <p>A huge question in evolutionary biology is the very basic one: How do species form?&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">It turns out that the Dark-eyed Junco, one of the most common birds at winter </span>feeders<span style="line-height: 1.5;">, is providing a &nbsp;clear picture of that process.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">First, a quick review of what defines a species:</span></p> Fri, 07 Mar 2014 05:00:00 +0000 Chris Martin & Francie Von Mertens 43873 at http://nhpr.org The Common Junco And Its Uncommon History The Truth About Coy-Dogs http://nhpr.org/post/truth-about-coy-dogs <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">It's the height of eastern coyote courtship, and </span><a href="http://nhpr.org/post/howl-wild" style="line-height: 1.5;" target="_blank">a pair can really yip it up</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">.&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Coyote sightings, as well as the sounds of coyotes often sparks talk of <a href="http://www.coyoterescue.org/wild-coyotes/coyote-hybrids/" target="_blank">coy-dogs</a>.&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Is there such a thing?</span></p><p>Yes. And no.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Yes, domestic dog and coyote hybrids are biologically possible and have occurred;&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">but no genetic sampling of coyotes has found evidence of domestic dog.&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Coy-dogs don't survive, and here's why.</span></p><p> Fri, 21 Feb 2014 05:00:00 +0000 Chris Martin & Francie Von Mertens 42706 at http://nhpr.org The Truth About Coy-Dogs Creatures In The Night http://nhpr.org/post/creatures-night <p>Wildlife tracks in the snow indicate of a lot of coming and going in the nighttime world.&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">Why are so many animals active, given their limited ability to see in the dark?</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">There's the obvious reason: division of resources helps avoid competition.&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">A red-tailed hawk hunts the same fields by day that a great horned owl hunts by night.&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Night also offers some animals protection from their main predators.&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Mice lie low by day, but in the wild—and in my house—they come out at night.</span></p><p></p><p> Fri, 07 Feb 2014 05:07:00 +0000 Chris Martin & Francie Von Mertens 42697 at http://nhpr.org Creatures In The Night A Snowy Invasion http://nhpr.org/post/snowy-invasion <p>This year is being referred to as an "<a href="http://ebird.org/content/ebird/news/gotsnowies2013/" target="_blank">invasion year</a>" for snowy owls, and it might be one for the <a href="http://stokesbirdingblog.blogspot.com/2013/12/snowy-owls-historic-irruption-underway.html" target="_blank">record books</a>. &nbsp;</p><p>Most of the snowy owl sightings have been along the coast where a flat, open landscape resembles their native tundra. Reports from New Hampshire birders include sightings of up to nine in a single day. On Nantucket, the annual <a href="http://www.nhaudubon.org/birding/christmas-bird-count" target="_blank">Christmas Bird Count</a> found 33, far surpassing the previous count record of four.</p><p> Fri, 24 Jan 2014 05:00:01 +0000 Chris Martin & Francie Von Mertens 42310 at http://nhpr.org A Snowy Invasion NH Has Got Stones! http://nhpr.org/post/nh-has-got-stones <p>Winter's transparent landscape offers a great opportunity for boulder appreciation. And&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">New Hampshire has a lot of big ones, d</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">eposited by glacier action over 10,000 years ago. As the ice sheet advanced south, at it's glacial pace, it fractured and plucked many large boulders rights off mountain tops.&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">When the glacier eventually receded, it left behind billions of these "glacial boulders."&nbsp;</span></p><p></p> Fri, 10 Jan 2014 05:26:00 +0000 Chris Martin, Francie Von Mertens & Andrew Parrella 41478 at http://nhpr.org NH Has Got Stones!