While it may be March, it’s still very much wintertime. If you’ve been cursing the snow and ice and desperately longing for spring, you’re not alone. But let’s look at the bright side - all that frozen water offers certain opportunities that just aren’t available in the spring. And I’m not talking about expensive and time consuming snow-sports, I’m talking about wildlife tracking. To give you an introduction to tracking, We headed for the woods of Barrington, New Hampshire with Dan Gardoqui, one of the founders and directors of White Pine Programs, a nature connection non-profit in Southern Maine.
Got snow? That's probably a sore subject for many in New England this time of year, but in the woods, snow is not an enemy--a scourge to be shoveled, scraped and plowed out of the way. In nature, snow is a trusted ally to plants and wildlife. Snow acts as a blanket, a source of camouflage, a form of concealment, and even a sponge.
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 Christmas Bird Count found 33, far surpassing the previous count record of four.
In the frozen fastness of a winter forest, devoid of green plants and insects, winter tree bark provides important winter insect habitat and a food pantry for forest birds and small mammals hunting for tiny insects or seeds.
Ospreys, also called sea hawk or fish eagle, are found all over the world including here in New Hampshire, But wherever they live, when the temperature drops the birds head for the tropics. For juveniles that first migration is a crucible that only 25 to 40 percent survive.
A project in New Hampshire is tracking Granite State birds and learning about the many misadventures they have between their departure in the fall and return in the spring.
The United States Department of Agriculture is distributing vanilla flavored rabies vaccine packets from airplanes over New Hampshire. The packets will show up in Coos and Grafton counties as part of 5-state pilot study of a new rabies vaccine.
The vaccines are thrown from 500 feet from a small aircraft over rural areas and distributed by hand in towns. They’re vanilla flavored, which trials have shown to be a favorite flavor for critters.
During the late summer and fall, coyotes really "yip it up." Despite what you can learn on Youtube, their yips and howls are family communications that have nothing to do with bloodthirsty predators circling for the kill.
The eastern coyote pack is small: an adult pair and their young. The youngsters are venturing out on their own now and adults howl to round them up. When on the prowl for food, silence is the code—which makes sense—but reuniting often inspires prolonged vocal celebrations.
On her commute from Laconia to Pittsfield six days a week, Tobi Gray Chassie often stops at scenic spot in Gilmanton called Frisky Hill. When Chassie saw a sign telling of plans to develop the land, she felt that it was her duty to support the Gilmanton Land Trust in their protection of the land which meant so much to her.
Elusive, secretive birds often are the most satisfying to discover, and for me the black-billed cuckoo ranks near the top. Hearing a bird is usually the best way to find it, but attentive ears are needed to detect this cuckoo's song: a subtle, slow and hollow-sounding "cucucu – cucucucu." The song in no way resembles the bold double notes of a cuckoo clock that mimic the song of the common cuckoo, a species that nests across Europe and Asia.
The twinkling fireflies of a summer night bring a little magic. If we think beyond the twinkling, we probably realize it is courtship in progress: the signals of males and females.
There are a couple dozen firefly species in New England, each with a unique series of flashes, from males in flight to females perched below. Beyond the magic, very few people have knowledge of the medical benefits as well: the use of a firefly's light-producing chemicals in bioluminescent imaging.
Seeing a moose in New Hampshire isn’t supposed to be news – unless the moose is in a more developed area, like the south end of Concord… and the person seeing it is a public radio host.
That’s right. On Saturday morning All Things Considered host Brady Carlson found a moose in his yard. Twice. The moose even sat down for a rest at one point, though, thankfully, he avoided the Carlsons' vegetable garden.
Dear EarthTalk: I understand that pet cats prey on lots of birds and other "neighborhood" wildlife, but isn't it cruel to force felines to live indoors only? And isn’t human encroachment the real issue for bird populations, not a few opportunistic cats? -- Jason Braunstein, Laos, NM
Two separate black bear sightings in Portsmouth earlier this week startled residents and raised new questions about bears in urban areas.
Early this week, two Portsmouth residents reported black bear sightings to police. Officers responding to the calls said they believed the bears were cubs, but were unsure if a larger bear was with them. Bear sightings are rare instances in the Seacoast, but N.H. Fish and Game’s Wildlife Damage Specialist Rob Calvert says that this behavior isn’t entirely out of character.