On a hot summer day, I was enjoying a few quiet moments next to a stream in Sullivan County, NY. I saw some ebony jewelwings flutter near the stream in courtship flight, and in the stream, there was the occasional brook trout.
It’s that time of year when we’re busy prepping the garden or doing yard work and we hear it—the unmistakable buzz of an iridescent fairy bird flitting past, zooming and zipping, searching for sustenance from the funny-shaped feeders we’ve come to associate with that most beloved little creature—the hummingbird.
A wildlife rehabilitator wears many hats during the course of rescuing and rehabilitating animals that find themselves sick or injured. A wildlife rehabilitator is part bush-whacker, part EMT, and part caregiver and occupational therapist, among other things.
It’s a rainy warmish night in the Upper Delaware River region, and while most of us are dry and comfortable inside our homes, other species are out and about, risking their lives while scurrying across roads toward their breeding grounds.
When March arrives and there are any trees at all around, many species of birds get an early start on breeding by trying to court a mate by means of calls. Calling birds are very apparent on even a short walk outdoors. If you listen, you can make out the tapping of woodpeckers as well.
It’s a startling sound, the thud that occurs when a bird mistakes a window for clear flight space and strikes glass instead. Your heart sinks to think about the possible outcomes—at worst, the loss of life, at best, a temporarily stunned and disabled bird that could use all the help it can get until it recovers enough to enable flight.
The coming of spring brings to thought a diverse variety of events to different people. For some of us, the first thing to come to mind is the appearance of daffodils popping out of the ground. For others, the song of spring peepers calling in the early evening from wetlands and marshes.
I recently signed up to receive email news bulletins from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). One of the bulletins focuses on the important work done by DEC forest rangers, often with little public awareness of those activities.
Toward the end of February and the first few days of March, we had some mild weather with the temperature approaching 60° in some areas. Ice was completely gone or well on its way to being gone on most waterways, and I did a little hunting with eyes and ears for early frogs and salamanders.
As we enter the third month of 2017, it’s good to keep in mind how quickly time passes and how soon spring will be here. Connecting with the rising energy of spring is a great way to uphold those New Year’s resolutions for better physical and mental health.