Science

I’ve long intended on writing something about mountaintop removal mining, ever since reading Erik Reece’s article in Harper’s in 2005 (Ted Williams also wrote a great article in Audubon). This coal-extraction method is unbelievably environmentally devastating in many ways. The…

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deer browsing and songbirds

December 12, 2007

in Science

The latest issue of the Ibis, the journal of the British Ornithologists’ Union, had several excellent papers. One was an overview of the impacts that deer browse has on habitat quality and subsequently bird life. I’d like to highlight some…

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Our newest yard bird (#133) was a very sleepy Northern Saw-whet Owl, roosting in one of our cedar trees, right outside our kitchen window. Although it wasn’t deeply concealed, we never would have noticed it if my husband hadn’t seen…

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Real or fake? Every year, folks try to decide whether to get a live Christmas tree, or put up an artificial tree. This topic has been fairly well covered on several green blogs, so I will offer an overview and…

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The overpopulation of certain species, whether native or not, can cause problems. When these species are appealing to the public, their control becomes an even bigger challenge. Previously, I discussed these issues in regards to White-tailed Deer and Mute Swans….

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In August, I described my summer “project,” to learn more about the flies, bees, and wasps in my yard. I posted a series of some of the photos I took of the cool Diptera (flies) I was able to identify….

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dog walking and birds

September 26, 2007

in Science

Four-legged friend or foe? Dog walking displaces native birds from natural areas. P. B. Banks and J. V. Bryant. 2007. Biology Letters. Early online, DOI:10.1098/rsbl.2007.0374. This paper has received a lot of press as it is on a perennially hot-button…

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I’ve been sort of lazy about posting lately. For the last week, I’ve been on semi-“vacation” which means catching up on writing projects and things around the house between wrapping up my summer field work and preparing to begin fall…

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Eastern cicada killers (Sphecius speciosus) are big wasps. The “dainty” males are about 3 cm long, and the females up to 4 cm. Adding to the intimidation factor is the behavior of the males, which gather in “leks” of up…

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One place I’ve been meaning to get to — not only to survey for birds but just from my interest in Detroit history — is the neighborhood in midtown called Brush Park. Brush Park was once one of Detroit’s most…

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