Science

I’ve written before about doing bird survey work in the midst of some of Detroit’s most decaying neighborhoods. Early Sunday morning, husband and I set out to once again see what breeding birds we could find by driving routes through…

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There was an excellent article in the New York Times Magazine (no registration required) on the ramifications of Wal-Mart so aggressively entering the organic food market. They plan on offering a full line of organic foods at only 10% above…

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I know you are not supposed to click your own Google AdSense ads, but recently there were two ads for purveyors of bird’s nest soup, and I had to go see what that was all about. I knew that bird’s…

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I’m discouraged at the number of House Sparrows I see nesting in bird boxes in my neighborhood. Some of our neighbors have allowed us to put hole restrictors on their boxes to keep the House Sparrows out and allow smaller…

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With the arrival of spring, I am again working on documenting breeding birds for our state breeding bird atlas. In my highly urban county, it seems reasonable that House Sparrow, European Starling, and Rock Pigeon are nesting in every quarter-township…

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A favorite native plant in my wildflower garden is twinleaf, Jeffersonia diphylla. The flowers are similar to that of bloodroot, Sanguinaria canadensis, which I also have spreading all over nearby. But you can see where twinleaf gets both its common…

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Today is the 20th anniversary of the nuclear disaster in Chernobyl. National Geographic had a nice overview article in their April issue, and has a multimedia presentation on their web site. Human impacts have been documented, but what about the…

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I’ve written before about Dark-eyed Juncos (Junco hyemalis), a common little sparrow throughout much of North America. This species generally breeds at high latitudes (e.g., across Canada), or further south at higher altitudes (usually over 1500 feet/460 m). There it…

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This week I’ve been trying to finish up some especially obnoxious paperwork on a project before my field season begins in earnest. Since I’m annoyed, I thought I’d take a little break and write about an annoying creature: the earwig….

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A nice article in this morning’s New York Times, “A Weed, a Fly, a Mouse, and a Chain of Unintended Consequences,” gives another lesson of one of the hazards of using biological control — unanticipated ecological chain reactions. The most…

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