Friday, December 2, 2016

National Audubon Society Christmas Bird Count 2016-2017

The 2016-2017 annual National Audubon Society Christmas Bird Count is coming soon.

Between December 14th and January 5th, tens of thousands of bird-loving volunteers will participate in counts across the Western Hemisphere.


The Christmas Bird Count is the longest-running wildlife census in the world. Each individual count takes place in a 15-mile-wide circle and is led by a compiler responsible for organizing volunteers and submitting observations to Audubon. Within each circle, participants tally all birds seen or heard that day.

The Audubon Christmas Bird Count is a citizen science project organized by the National Audubon Society.

There is no fee to participate and the quarterly report, American Birds, is available online. Counts are open to birders of all skill levels.

For more information, visit www.christmasbirdcount.org.

source: National Audubon Society

Friday, November 18, 2016

Beaver Creek Public Access (Maryland)

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) recently acquired 6.5 acres along Beaver Creek in Washington County.

“This acquisition will provide anglers enhanced and improved access to Beaver Creek, a unique spring-fed creek environment that supports an excellent fishery for wild brown trout,” said Fishing and Boating Services Director David Blazer. “The limestone stream provides an excellent year-round fishery for residents and visitors alike.”

Located downstream from the Albert M. Powell State Fish Hatchery in Hagerstown, the new area will provide public access to Beaver Creek for catch and release fly-fishing.

The Program Open Space acquisition provides increased public access to nearly half of the current one-mile special trout management area, which was previously private land.


Beaver Creek is a tributary to Antietam Creek.

source: Maryland Department of Natural Resources

Monday, October 31, 2016

Nature Pattern Leggings

Nature pattern leggings are popular throughout North America. Legging designs include floral prints, animal patterns, and other artwork. Nature prints are available as all-over designs, random patterns, repeating patterns, and other styles.

Classic animal prints are generally offered in all over styles. Popular animal prints include zebra, tiger, leopard, cheetah, jaguar, giraffe, and other designs that mimic natural animal patterns. Animal prints are popular in black and white, natural, and bright colors.

Patterns consisting of nature themed icons are also popular. Common designs features mammals, birds, fish, herps, and other creatures found in the wild.

Floral and plant foliage patterns are often found on leggings. Countless floral designs can be found on leggings, ranging from lifelike photo patterns to classic illustrations.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Oaxaca Cave Sleeper

Researchers from the U.S. Geological Survey and Louisiana State University have identified a new genus and species of cavefish from Mexico, the Oaxaca cave sleeper (Caecieleotris morrisi).

The species is the first cave-adapted sleeper goby to be found in the Western Hemisphere. The fish, identified from museum specimens, has not been seen alive in more than two decades and lives in a cave system threatened by damming.

The Oaxaca Cave Sleeper occurs in a single cave system beneath Presa Miguel Alem├ín reservoir, which is formed by a dam on the Tonto River, a tributary of Mexico’s second largest river.

There are only 13 known individuals, all collected at the same time. Thomas L. Morris, a renowned cave diver and cave biologist who works to protect caves and their inhabitants, collected the fish in 1995.

Morris gave the specimens to the Florida Museum of Natural History where Stephen Walsh, now a researcher with the USGS, recognized the distinctiveness of the new species while in the process of conducting taxonomic research and digitizing the museum’s fish collection.

Walsh and colleague Prosanta Chakrabarty of Louisiana State University compared the specimens to other sleepers, and determined that they represent a new genus and species.

The researchers gave the Oaxaca Cave Sleeper the scientific name Caecieleotris morrisi to honor Morris for his discovery and his dedication to conservation.

Discovery of the new species afforded an opportunity for the USGS to partner with the natural history museum community in designating a scientific name for this unique cavefish.

The paper, A new genus and species of blind sleeper (Teleostei: Eleotridae) from Oaxaca, Mexico: first obligate cave gobiiform in the western hemisphere, was recently published in the journal Copeia, a widely-cited journal that publishes original research on fishes, amphibians and reptiles.

source: U.S. Geological Survey

Friday, November 27, 2015

2015-16 Kentucky Waterfowl Forecasts

Kentucky duck numbers are expected to be strong during the 2015-16 winter season, according to Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources.

“This year, we’ve had the highest counts of ducks as a whole by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Canadian Wildlife Service,” said John Brunjes, migratory bird coordinator for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. “It is the highest counts ever with 49,522,000 ducks as well as 11,643,000 mallards, also a new record.”

Green-winged teal populations are at their all-time high with just over 4 million birds and numbers of gadwall numbers are also exceptionally high with 3,834,000 birds.

Cold weather could push northern duck populations into Kentucky. “The migration maps show many ducks in the upper Plains and upper Midwest,” Brunjes explained.

Popular areas for viewing waterfowl in Kentucky include Clarks River National Wildlife Refuge, numerous state parks, and private refuges.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Wildlife Themed Gift Ideas

Featured in this post are a variety of wildlife and nature themed products which are suitable as holiday gifts.

Calendars are popular for winter holiday gifts:



This collection of calendars includes gift ideas for birdwatchers, beachgoers, and other nature enthusiasts

Another idea is wildlife themed wrapping paper:



Wildlife and nature themed wrapping paper in this collection are suitable for Christmas, birthdays, and other occasions.

A extensive collection of fully customizable wildlife collectibles can be found at north_america.

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Monday, March 16, 2015

Chesapeake Bay Waterfowl

Many of North America's best known waterfowl can be found on the Chesapeake Bay. Located along the Atlantic Flyway, the estuary is an important stopover and wintering area for waterfowl.

During spring, mallards, black ducks, green-wing teal, and Canada geese nest in saltwater marshes of Chesapeake Bay. Farther up the watershed, wood ducks raise their young.

In summer, some waterfowl become secretive and move into backwater hideaways where abundant vegetation conceals their presence. In contrast, mallards and Canada geese often remain in areas where human activity occurs. 

As days shorten and nights become cooler, flocks of migratory Canada geese appear in the skies over the watershed. By late fall, surf scoters and long-tailed ducks appear on the open waters of the Chesapeake Bay.

By mid winter, waterfowl populations increase as residents and early season migrants are joined by Atlantic brant, snow geese, and tundra swans. Despite cold temperatures, many of the watershed's creeks and rivers become feeding areas for common mergansers, red-breasted mergansers, and hooded mergansers.