The Butterfly of Spring: Meet the Mourning Cloak

The Butterfly of Spring: Meet the Mourning Cloak

In some places you can find mourning cloak butterflies throughout the year, but after a long winter, the first sighting of one can be the earliest sign of spring.“You don’t usually have a butterfly that can live for almost an entire year as an adult,” says Blobaum.

Take Down Your Feeders: Salmonella is Killing Songbirds

Take Down Your Feeders: Salmonella is Killing Songbirds

Salmonella is a fatal bacterial infection for birds and it’s hitting siskins hard because they congregate around feeders, but the outbreak isn’t species-specific.Other states are seeing an uptick this spring as the bacteria continues to spread, which is why more state agencies are asking people to remove their bird feeders.

50 Birds: Adventures in Backyard Birding

50 Birds: Adventures in Backyard Birding

The Intermountain Bird Observatory was keeping tabs on them, and was receiving reports of up to 60 spending the winter here each year.And there’s perhaps no better way to discover those birds than by keeping a yard list.

Carolina Wrens Will Nest in Just About Anything

Carolina Wrens Will Nest in Just About Anything

Sometimes, we might even wonder if our efforts to provide nest boxes and brush piles somehow fail to meet the Carolina wren’s creative standards.Along with nest boxes, wrens seem to favor what brush piles have to offer.

Even for Solitary Squirrels, It’s Better to Know the Neighbors

Even for Solitary Squirrels, It’s Better to Know the Neighbors

© Vilseskogen / Flickr Siracusa, then a graduate student at the University of Guelph in southern Ontario, already knew from her previous work that red squirrels with familiar neighbors spent less time angrily defending their middens.

Mistletoe: A Natural and Human History

Mistletoe: A Natural and Human History

© Jan Helebrant / Flickr Though mistletoe might sound like an undesirable plant because it kills trees, some species are important keystone species in their habitats.

Meet the Dipper, the Songbird That Swims

Meet the Dipper, the Songbird That Swims

Lospalluto / Flickr I’m snowshoeing through Colorado’s Rocky Mountains when I see a small, nondescript bird at the far edge of the creek.American dippers are small and chunky — about the side of a robin — with grey-blue plumage, a brownish head, pink legs, a short tail, and a white eyelid.

Google Photos Storage Is Changing. Here Are Your Best Options

Google Photos Storage Is Changing. Here Are Your Best Options

Google Photos has long offered one of the best deals in cloud storage, allowing you to upload unlimited photos for free—as long as you were willing to sacrifice a little image quality.Like Google, iCloud encompasses all your shared cloud storage for Apple services—including photos.

How Cowbirds Raise Their Young, Without Raising Their Young

How Cowbirds Raise Their Young, Without Raising Their Young

The act of brood parasitism allows females to forgo the costs of nest building, incubating eggs, and feeding and protecting vulnerable young.

Black Witch Moths: A Night-Time Trick or Treat

Black Witch Moths: A Night-Time Trick or Treat

© Katja Schulz / Flickr This witch doesn’t fly around on a broomstick, yet an unexpected sighting of a 7-inch black moth in October is likely to catch your attention.With their bat-like flight, black witch moths may bring with them treats of fortune or bad omens.

A Field Guide to Finding Cool Moths

A Field Guide to Finding Cool Moths

According to Brenner, in her first summer enjoying moths she “photographed a moth that was emerald green, another that was pink, one that was half yellow and half black, and one that was as white as fresh snow.” In just a few months she captured images of a couple hundred moth species and “was completely hooked and happily identified myself as a new ‘moth-er.’”.

Campground Critters: A Natural and Personal History

Campground Critters: A Natural and Personal History

Before every scout camp, the older kids would serve up questionable nature facts meant to show their expertise and perhaps instill a bit of fear.I could only roll my eyes when, prepping for a group stay at a cabin, I heard stories regarding porcupines that visited outhouses at night.

The Crocodile Hunter Was My Childhood Hero

The Crocodile Hunter Was My Childhood Hero

And I had Steve Irwin, who loved wildlife with an unabashed enthusiasm that a paralytically self-conscious tween girl could never muster.Irwin taught millions of children like me that wildlife — even the ugly, slimy, and scaly — should be loved.

Meet the Mountain Chickadee

Meet the Mountain Chickadee

“To claim dominance, a mountain chickadee darts or hisses at the other bird, or it’s revealed by those who hang back around a feeder,” says McCallum.

Death and Drama Among the Cicada Killers

Death and Drama Among the Cicada Killers

Holliday, professor emeritus at Pennsylvania’s Lafayette College, who partners with Coelho on cicada killer research, adds, “I’ve only seen female velvet ants digging in known cicada killer nesting areas, so I don’t know what they do when they go down open burrows or dig down into closed ones.”.

The Coolest Kingfishers from Six Continents

The Coolest Kingfishers from Six Continents

Photo © Jeff Bryant / Flickr Green kingfisher is more abundant in Central and South America, but the species can be located in the southwestern reaches of the United States from Arizona to Texas.

Meet the Frogmouth, Australia’s Weirdest Bird

Meet the Frogmouth, Australia’s Weirdest Bird

Photo © Wade Tregaskis / Flickr Each morning, before I put the kettle on or open the news to see what fresh hell awaits our pandemic-blighted world, I check on the frogmouths.

Cool Facts About Common Backyard Wildlife

Cool Facts About Common Backyard Wildlife

At your backyard feeder, you’re likely seeing more hawks and fewer house sparrows, plus a few new bird species.A Pack of One. Fact: You may be hearing more urban coyotes, but it’s likely not as many as you think.

Enjoy the Red-Winged Blackbird Show

Enjoy the Red-Winged Blackbird Show

Back at its display ground, a red-winged blackbird will fend off rivals of its own species at its territory, but like many birds, will also drive away just about anything that gets near.

Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Know About Turkeys

Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Know About Turkeys

Photo © Jim / Flickr We all know that chickens, turkeys, cows, sheep, and the like are all domesticated animals, descended from wild relatives yet altered significantly by deliberate human intervention.

Hellbenders Need You to Stop Messing With Their Bedrooms

Hellbenders Need You to Stop Messing With Their Bedrooms

Like many misunderstood and undervalued creatures in the country’s wilds, the hellbender faces innumerable threats from poisoned water to climate change.Photo © Seánín Óg / Flickr As young, small hellbenders, they live under smaller rocks with gravel allowing an increase in oxygen flow.

The Real Reason You See Earthworms After Rain

The Real Reason You See Earthworms After Rain

It is probably one of the first “nature lessons” we learned at school: earthworms have to come to the surface after rain because they’re drowning. Another common explanation for worm emergence is that rain sounds like predators, so the worms come to the surface to escape.

Where Have All the House Sparrows Gone?

Where Have All the House Sparrows Gone?

House sparrows are often considered one of the most adaptable birds, capable of thriving amongst our farms, suburbs and cities. The house sparrow appears to be a clear winner in the Anthropocene: an adaptable bird capable of thriving equally well on cities and in farms.

Forage Wild Nuts for Your Holiday Feast

Forage Wild Nuts for Your Holiday Feast

Also called American filberts (Corylus americana), wild, native hazelnuts taste like the cultivated kind, but are half the size. They taste good, especially roasted, and they’re plentiful, usually producing an annual crop of nuts.

Three Lizards in a Beer Can

Three Lizards in a Beer Can

There are two species of alligator lizard in Oregon, the northern and southern. Both species of alligator lizard regularly seek out shelter under rocks and logs, and in crevices. The three alligator lizards popping out of the beer can is undoubtedly a funny and surprising find.