It may be deepest winter, but there is still lots of bird activity on the Turkey Hill Brook Farm. Generally (except for nectar feeders for the hummingbirds) we don’t keep many birdfeeders here. Most of the year, there are plenty of natural food sources for them (seeds, berries, insects, worms, etc). But in winter, we always hang a few feeders just outside our windows so we can watch the bird action from our hibernation state indoors! And judging by the number of visitors, the birds really do appreciate an easy snack at a time when insect populations are at their lowest and many seed plants are deep under snow.
Chickadees are probably our most common visitors, and we love watching them develop “superhighway” flight paths to and from the feeders. Those visiting the feeder always fly the low route, while those returning to nearby tree perches always take the high road out. Amazing how well organized they are, and we never see collisions…
We always keep a winter feeder filled with Thistle seed. Tiny seed-eating birds such as American Goldfinches, Chickadees and Tufted Titmice all feed from it, and the small holes of the feeder prevent squirrels from ravaging the seed supply…View full post
New England is famous for its historic inns, luxurious resorts, and intimate bed and breakfasts. But during the winter it’s also popular for its downhill and cross country skiing, luxurious spa and fitness resorts, horse-drawn sleigh rides, and skating on the local ponds.
Currier and Ives ingrained the scenes on our brains with their prints but isn’t it time to see it for real? Take a winter getaway in New England and explore the region when the slopes and tree tops are glistening white and you can experience dog sledding, trek along trails in snow shoes, and settle down next to a roasting fire after your gourmet dinner.
Here are four destinations for winter getaways in New England that always bring a smile to my face.
Hiking on the hillside along the eastern leg of the main trail at the Mills Crooked Spring Reservation in Chelmsford, we found the showy flowers of the Pink Lady’s Slipper.
Pink lady’s slipper is a wildflower in the orchid family. It grows 6 – 15″ tall with two large basal leaves at the base of the plant. It is easily identifiable because of its bulbous flower hanging at the top of a tall leafless stalk. It generally flowers between May and July, is pink to whitish-pink, and sometimes all white. Another common name for this plant is moccasin flower.
Like most orchids, the lady’s slipper is symbiotic as it has a mutually beneficial relationship with a fungus. The pink lady’s slipper uses a fungus in the soil to break open their seeds and to draw food and nutrients to its seed. When the lady’s slipper plant is older, the fungus draws nutrients from the orchid’s roots. Pink lady’s slippers also require bees for pollination, luring them into the flower pouch through the front opening.
Pink lady’s slipper takes many years to mature, living twenty or more years. Pink lady’s slipper usually grows on a wet, acidic forest floor with mixed shade on the eastern United States. The plants should not be removed from the wild because of their rarity and the near impossibility of successfully transplanting and maintaining the plant. New plants are difficult to start because of the need for the symbiotic fungi and their particular growing conditions.View full post
Backyard birding or watching birds around the home is the most common form of bird-watching. Eighty-eight percent (42 million) of birders are backyard birders. The more active form of birding, taking trips away from home is less common with 42 percent (20 million) of birders partaking.View full post
If you’re a bird watcher and nature lover then few places in New England can compare with Cape Cod. A rich habitat for wildlife it attracts seasonal residents and migratory birds of all types.
Here are five of my favorite destinations for bird-watching on Cape Cod along with what to see and expect.
Sandy Neck, Sandwich:
Sandy Neck is a barrier beach system formed in the last few thousand years. The parking and entrance area is at the end of Sandy Neck Road in Sandwich.View full post
Naturalist David Mizejewski discusses how to certify your backyard or garden with the National Wildlife Federation as a Certified Wildlife Habitat. Visit NWF’s Wildlife Certification website for more information. Seventh of seven videos from the National Wildlife Federation about establishing a Certified Wildlife Habitat at your home or school.View full post
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The rule implements federal protections provided by the ESA for the Cantabrian capercaillie, Marquesan imperial pigeon, Eiao Marquesas reed-warbler, greater adjutant, Jerdon’s courser, and slender-billed curlew.
If the pair’s breeding effort is successful at Midway Atoll Refuge, it would mark the first confirmed hatching of a short-tailed albatross outside of Japan in modern history.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has completed a report recommending closing human access to caves and mines where bats with white-nose syndrome are hibernating in an area more than 250 miles from other WNS-affected caves and mines.
The oldest known U.S. wild bird – a coyly conservative 60 — is a new mother. The bird, a Laysan albatross named Wisdom, was …
Damage to bat wings from the fungus associated with white-nose syndrome (WNS) may cause catastrophic imbalance in life-support processes, according to newly published research. …
Researchers found that deforestation in the New England area at that time produced significant soil erosion, increasing sediment delivery rates — the natural flow of sand and soil in water systems. The large amounts of sediment traveling in rivers and streams to the coastline spurred a significant period of wetland growth, leading to marshes lining the coast of New England that today are abnormally large.