Saturday, June 4, 2022

Yellow Lady Slippers Sighting, Banding Hummingbirds at Stillwater

Maybe the black flies have taken it in the shorts with all the hot days we’ve had. I put in the garden over the weekend and not once did they take the hoe out of my hand. I did have a few deer flies that wanted to help me and some mosquitoes and no-see-ums that were trying to help.

This is the third year that deer flies have come out before the first of June. Normally, they never boomed me until the beginning of July. When they come out, it usually means the end of black flies. Hopefully all 36 varieties hatched out together on those hot days that warmed up the streams that they hatch out of. Some of the intermittent streams that had eggs may not have even been flowing, which did them in; one can only hope.

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Friday, June 3, 2022

Trees for a Changing Climate

My ex-wife gave me a shirt that reads “Change is Good. You Go First” when our divorce was finalised, a much-appreciated bit of humour in the midst of a challenging time. It’s hard to find the mirth in some changes, especially when we don’t have a say in them. Climate change is a good example.

Global temperatures are rising at an ever-increasing rate. Extreme weather events are becoming more frequent and severe with time, and no amount of denial will make it go away. We have to learn to roll with this one. We can’t stop climate change tomorrow, but we can “trick” it by updating the kinds of trees we consider for home and community planting. A warmer world affects trees in a myriad ways: Record wet seasons like in 2013, 2017, and 2019 allow normally weak foliar pathogens to spread and flourish, becoming primary agents of mortality.

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Thursday, June 2, 2022

Five forest birds that make their way back in spring

As we enter spring and welcome the warm weather, we are seeing more birds come back from their wintering grounds. Many forest birds migrate long distances to their breeding locations in the spring. It is crucial that these birds have quality habitat so they can nest, feed, and raise their young to ensure the next generation of the species.

Most neotropical migrants leave the northeast in September and return in April and May. Each bird species has different habitat requirements, so it is key to have a healthy and diverse forest to fulfill all their needs. A healthy forest is composed of multiple age classes and species of trees, provides ecosystem services, and supports forest birds and other wildlife.

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Thursday, June 2, 2022

New Visitor Interpretive Center Opens in Lake George Battlefield Park

On Wednesday, May 25, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced the opening of the new Lake George Visitor Interpretive Center (VIC) at 75 Fort George Road in Lake George. The new facility will enhance the visitor experience at DEC’s Lake George Battlefield Park and also serve as the new headquarters for the Lake George Park Commission.

“DEC and our partners at the Lake George Battlefield Park Alliance are dedicated to preserving the beauty and history of Lake George through interpretive work and public education,” DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said. “The VIC will provide park visitors with a welcoming and inclusive space that guides them on a historical journey through artifacts and interpretive displays. Bringing DEC, the Lake George Battlefield Park Alliance, and the Lake George Park Commission under one roof demonstrates the close partnerships working together to improve visitor education, recreation, and conservation in this environmentally unique and historic region of New York.”

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Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Adirondack Council’s Conservationist of the Year Award Goes to Jen Kretser and The Wild Center’s Youth Climate Program

The Adirondack Council will present its Conservationist of the Year Award to climate change educator and activist Jen Kretser and The Wild Center’s Youth Climate Program during the Council’s Forever Wild Day celebration on July 9 at Paul Smith’s College, near Saranac Lake.

“Jen Kretser, the Youth Climate Program and The Wild Center are doing a fantastic job of educating our youth about the dangers of global climate change and what they can do to curb its impacts and prepare for the changes we can no longer prevent,” said Adirondack Council Executive Director William C. Janeway.  “As Director of Climate Initiatives for The Wild Center in Tupper Lake, Jen manages the center’s climate change engagement programs, including the now-famous global Youth Climate Summits and broader Youth Climate Program.”

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Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Great Adirondack Birding Celebration Returns to the VIC June 3-5

The Great Adirondack Birding Celebration will return to the Paul Smith’s College VIC from Friday, June 3-Sunday, June 5. The event will introduce birders of all ages and skill levels to the unique boreal birds and habitats of the Adirondack Park.

Skilled birders will lead full- and half-day field trips to places including Whiteface Mountain, Madawaska Flow and Spring Pond Bog, the second-largest open expanse of peatland in New York. You can even get on the water with a paddling trip led by the Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation (canoe rentals available). Depending where you visit, you might see Bicknell’s Thrush, Boreal Chickadees, hawks, Bald Eagles, and many more species.

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Monday, May 30, 2022

The Remarkable Migration and Solitary Lifestyle of the Ruby-Throated Hummingbird

The Ruby-Throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris) is the only hummingbird species commonly seen in northern New York. Like all hummingbirds, they belong to the avian family Trochilidae. They’re our region’s smallest breeding bird, only growing to about 3 inches long, with a wingspan of around 3 to 4 inches and a body weight of just 2 to 6 grams (roughly the weight of a teaspoon of sugar).
Ruby-Throated Hummingbird Migration 
    The Ruby-Throated Hummingbird is migratory. They return to the North Country every year starting in May. The first to arrive are usually males.
    When adequate flower sources and supplemental feeding are available, a small number of Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds will spend the winter months in Florida, in areas along the southern extremes of the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts. But most of them will overwinter in Central America, between southern Mexico and western Panama. In both the spring and the fall, many of them travel a migration route that includes a difficult, sometimes punishing, non-stop flight of more than 500 miles across the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico. By most accounts, the flyover takes 18 to 20 hours, under favorable conditions.

Saturday, May 28, 2022

Final days at the Crown Point Banding Station: 424 birds of 54 species banded

Back in Inlet again where the leaves have popped out and I missed many of my daffodils as they bloomed during the warm spell while I was away. My little Yellow Lady’s Slippers are even starting to
bloom. Of course the blackflies are out, which is one thing I didn’t have to fight at the Crown Point Banding Station. There are no running water streams near the station so no blackflies, but we did have a few mosquitoes some evenings. We did see a few bats, which may have fed on these.

Another bug that gets into our nets while they are put up overnight is the June bug. They are not fun to pick out at daylight while putting up the nets, but we only had a few of these this year. The conclusion of our 47th year ended Saturday, May 21 with three new bird species that day. First was a Great Crested Flycatcher which had been singing since day one in the area. Number two was a Yellow-Bellied Flycatcher that was heading north to a bog of choice, and the third was a Black- and- White Warbler which had been seen the day before and nearly the last bird caught on Saturday before we closed the nets.

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Friday, May 27, 2022

Adirondack Experience to kick off 2022 season today, May 27, with new exhibits, programs

Starting today, May 27, the Adirondack Experience (ADKX) will open for its 2022 season, inviting visitors to once again engage with the culture, history, and natural beauty of the Adirondacks. Situated on a 121-acre campus, ADKX offers a wide range of indoor and outdoor activities, from interactive gallery installations that capture the experiences of the different peoples of the region to opportunities for boating, hiking, and enjoying the magnificent landscapes.

 

In addition to its ongoing daily offerings, ADKX will host a spectrum of both in-person and virtual programs this season, including workshops and talks with local artists and artisans and explorations of nature with experts and enthusiasts. Its most popular festivals will also return this season, including the Plein Air Festival, Adirondack Artisan Festival, Mohawk and Abenaki Art Market, Rustic Furniture Fair, and FallFest. ADKX will be open every day, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., through October 10, 2022. Information about season highlights follows below, with additional details updating and available on the ADKX website at www.theadkx.org.

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Thursday, May 26, 2022

Bird Migration FAQs

tree swallow

Below, we’ve compiled some of the most frequently asked questions having to do with bird migration, their journeys, and ways we can welcome them back.

(At left, a tree swallow, illustration by David Allen Sibley, courtesy of Audubon New York)

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Thursday, May 26, 2022

Statewide boat inspections to start Memorial Day Weekend

Boat stewards serve on the frontlines to prevent the spread of invasive species in Adirondack waterways. Photo provided by Adirondack Watershed Institute.New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today reminded everyone to clean, drain, and dry boats and trailers, and disinfect fishing gear before recreating in New York’s waters to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS). Starting Friday, May 27, watercraft inspection stewards, AKA boat stewards, will be stationed at more than 225 boat launches throughout the state to educate and assist the public in cleaning their equipment. Identified by their blue vests, boat stewards can provide a refresher on how to inspect boats and gear and offer information about AIS in New York.

“New York’s abundant lakes, ponds, and streams are vital to the state’s ecology and economy, which is why DEC and our partners are helping protect against the impacts of aquatic invasive species,” said Commissioner Seggos. “Recreating responsibly in New York waters is a critical component for preventing the spread of invasive pests and our dedicated boat stewards will be working hard to protect New York’s waters for the benefit and enjoyment of all. I’m asking New Yorkers to follow their useful instructions to help prevent aquatic invaders.”

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Sunday, May 22, 2022

Found an injured bird? Here’s how to help

baby bird

Few things are more heartbreaking than encountering an injured, sick, or orphaned bird (adult or chick) or other wild animal. It is in our human nature to want to help, but how do we make sure we do more good than harm? Follow these important guidelines.

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Sunday, May 22, 2022

Save the Date: Great Camp Sagamore’s Annual Gala & Benefit for Historic Preservation on Aug. 6

Great Camp Sagamore staff are excited to welcome the community back, in-person, on August 6, 2022 for their Annual Gala & Benefit for Historic Preservation. Join the festivities for an evening of great food, exciting live & silent auctions, and even better company in the heart of Forever Wild.

This year staff are celebrating the many dedicated members of the community – visitors, volunteers, donors, artisans, musicians, and local business owners and residents – who keep Great Camp Sagamore the treasured place it has been for 125 years.

Stay the Weekend:

Enjoy more time at camp! Join in from August 5-7, 2022 for Gala weekend programming. Weekend packages will include lodging and meals for Friday & Saturday. Gather with friends and enjoy special activities on Friday night, including music and gourmet s’mores around the campfire, a picnic lunch on Saturday, and many other activities before the Gala & Benefit.

Weekend packages do not include Gala & Benefit Dinner tickets for Saturday night. Lodging availability is limited and reserved on a first-come-basis. Booking information will be available on the Great Camp Sagamore webpage soon.
Consider Becoming an Event Sponsor:
Sponsorships allow  Great Camp Sagamore staff to continue providing quality, diverse programming that serves and uplifts a wide range of people, while maintaining reasonable prices and increasing scholarships amid rising costs. Deciding to sponsor this annual celebration also provides you with tangible benefits, which can be found through this link.
Great Camp Sagamore opens to the public on Memorial Day Weekend, May 27.
Find more information about Great Camp Sagamore here: https://www.sagamore.org/
Photo at top: A previous Great Camp Sagamore Annual Gala & Benefit for Historic Preservation. Photo courtesy of Great Camp Sagamore.

Saturday, May 21, 2022

Crown Point Banding Station record: Banding a Yellow-Breasted Chat and Hairy Woodpecker for the first time

Another week gone by at the Crown Point Banding Station, and we survived the big storms that rolled through yesterday afternoon (May 16.) We pulled the nets, and took the canopies off their structures (as possible 60 MPH winds were predicted, and these sun shelters are only rated for no more than 15 MPH.) We sat in our vehicles as the storms passed mostly to the north and south, but there were a couple that went right overhead and dumped rain on us. To the north we heard that quarter-inch hail had accumulated to an inch on the ground.
We had several exciting events during the week up in the sky, including the blood moon on Sunday night (May 15)… that was neat. I had photographed this a couple times before over Limekiln Lake. We had rain showers during the afternoon that day, but I got to see the full moon rise only to have it go under a big black cloud for about an hour during which I napped in a chair outside. When I woke up, the moon was just popping out again about one third covered already. I took photos as it gradually covered turning a bright orange and completely covered about 11:30. I went to bed then as more clouds were moving in and covered it again. After the storms yesterday it was cloudy most of the night. This morning, May 17, just before we put the nets up I photographed the nearly full moon in some neat clouds.

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Friday, May 20, 2022

DEC Urges New Yorkers to Leave Fawns and Other Young Wildlife in the Wild

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos is reminding New Yorkers to appreciate wildlife from a distance and resist the urge to pick up newborn fawns and other young wildlife.

“When young wildlife venture into the world, they may have a brief inability to walk or fly on their own, making some people believe they might need help,” Commissioner Seggos said. “However, young wildlife belongs in the wild and in nearly all cases, interaction with people does more harm than good to the animals.”

If You Care, Leave it There

When people encounter young wildlife, they are likely not lost or abandoned, but purposely left there by their parents to keep them hidden from predators while the adult animal is nearby collecting food for the newborn.

White-tailed deer fawns are a good example of how human interaction with young wildlife can be problematic. Fawns are born during late May and early June, and although they can walk shortly after birth, they spend most of their first several days lying still in tall grass, leaf litter, or sometimes relatively unconcealed. During this period, a fawn is usually left alone by the adult female (doe), except when nursing.

Human Interactions Do More Harm than Good to Wild Animals

People occasionally find a lone fawn and mistakenly assume it has been abandoned, which is rare. A fawn’s best chance to survive is to be raised by the adult doe. If human presence is detected by the doe, the doe may delay its next visit to nurse.

Fawns should never be picked up. A fawn’s protective coloration and ability to remain motionless help it to avoid detection by predators and people. By the end of a fawn’s second week of life, it begins to move about, spend more time with the doe, and eat on its own. At about 10 weeks of age, fawns are no longer dependent on milk, although they continue to nurse occasionally into the fall.

The more serious cases of animals being abandoned are due to injury. Anyone that encounters a young wild animal that is obviously injured or orphaned may wish to call a wildlife rehabilitator. Wildlife rehabilitators are trained volunteers licensed by DEC. They are the only people legally allowed to receive and treat distressed wildlife because they have the experience, expertise, and facilities to successfully treat and release wild animals once rehabilitated.

Additionally, DEC reminds the public that young wildlife are not pets. Keeping wildlife in captivity is illegal and harmful to the animal. Wild animals are not well-suited to life in captivity and may carry diseases that can be harmful to humans. DEC also advises New Yorkers to keep pets indoors when young wild animals are present. Many fledgling birds cannot fly when they first leave the nest and are easy prey for a domestic cat.

Anyone who observes wildlife that appears to be sick or behaving abnormally should contact their DEC regional wildlife office.

For more information and answers to frequently asked questions about young wildlife, visit DEC’s website.

Photo at top: A resting fawn. DEC photo. 



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