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. 


Thursday, May 19, 2022

Call the Dogs off the Lions

Why do we hate lions? For reasons that are beyond any logic I can see, we have been convinced that dandelions are posies non grata in our landscapes. Yet they are a critical food source for native pollinators, vitamin-packed culinary delights, and multi-purpose herbal remedies. I’d say that’s not bad for a “weed.”

In fact, dandelion is so well-respected that it bears the Latin name Taraxicum officinale, roughly meaning “the official remedy for all disorders.” It has many reported health benefits, including as a liver support, for alleviating kidney and bladder stones, and as a poultice for boils. I don’t pretend to know every past and present medicinal use of the plant, and I recommend consulting an herbalist, as well as your doctor, before trying to treat yourself.

That said, the University of Maryland Medical School website says this about dandelions: “Preliminary animal studies suggest that dandelion may help normalize blood sugar levels and lower total cholesterol and triglycerides while raising HDL (good) cholesterol in diabetic mice. Researchers need to see if dandelion will work in people. A few animal studies also suggest that dandelion might help fight inflammation.”

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Thursday, May 19, 2022

Tracking Timberdoodles

woodcockThe American woodcock, or Timberdoodle, is a migratory upland bird, whose numbers have been declining for several decades. Since 2018, DEC has been a partner in the Eastern Woodcock Migration Research Cooperative, led by the University of Maine. The goal of the larger collaborative is to understand the woodcock’s migration ecology. During this study, 40 woodcock have been marked in New York and over 500 for the project overall. This year, DEC is expanding its efforts by partnering with SUNY Brockport and the University of Maine to better understand woodcock’s habitat usage during the spring breeding and summer brood rearing seasons. As part of the expanded effort, DEC biologists and technicians will be out trying to capture woodcock in early May. The information from this study will help guide habitat management on state and private lands in New York to benefit woodcock and other species that rely on early successional forest habitats. Check out a video about this interesting research.

Photo by M. Noome


Sunday, May 15, 2022

Ausable River Association announces Spring series of free guided watershed tours

The Ausable River Association (AsRA) has announced the schedule for their free, guided interpretive outdoor programs in the northern Adirondacks this spring.
“We are excited to grow our popular guided watershed tours this year,” said Kelley Tucker, AsRA’s Executive Director. “We’re offering guided tours in all seasons this year, and our spring tours will focus on native wildflowers, birds, bats, and other Adirondack species.”
“This year’s programs include 15 guided trips to locations in the Ausable, Boquet, and Saranac River watersheds,” said Tyler Merriam, Donor Outreach Manager.
Three spring programs kick off the season. The first is a birding walk in a private preserve along the West Branch Ausable River. Dr. Larry Master, conservation biologist/zoologist and past Ausable River Association board chair, and Derek Rogers, ace birder and Stewardship Director with the Adirondack Land Trust, will lead this tour.

Saturday, May 14, 2022

Banding birds at the Crown Point Banding Station in Essex County

I’m writing this from the Ticonderoga Public Library as I’m at the Crown Point Banding Station for two weeks banding birds. We’ve had nets up for four days and banded several birds but very few warblers, including two species of Warbler Palm and Yellow Warbler. Some Yellow Rumped Warblers have been seen in the area, but we have caught none.
Normally we catch more of these than any other bird, but not in the last couple years. Typically, it is a competition between them and American Goldfinch. We have caught several Goldfinch, but Blue Jays are ahead on the leaderboard by far and it doesn’t look like they will be beaten. Still another week and a half to go. These next few hot, sunny days aren’t very good days for catching birds as they fly right over the banding station heading north without stopping.

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Saturday, May 14, 2022

Give crossing turtles a brake

turtleEach May and June, Motorists Should be on the Alert for Turtles Crossing the Road  

Our native turtles are on the move in May and June seeking sandy areas or loose soil to lay their eggs. In New York, thousands of turtles are killed each year when they are struck by vehicles as they migrate to their nesting areas.

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Thursday, May 12, 2022

Spring Beauties of the Forest Floor

trout lillies in springHave you spotted some of the first wildflowers in the forest? Late April into early May is when the famously fleeting flowers we call the spring ephemerals bloom – but only for a brief period of time! Known for bringing the first signs of the season to the forest floor, this group of perennials has only a short window of time to grow, flower, be pollinated, and produce seeds before the towering trees above them leaf out and steal their access to sunlight.

Beyond being beautiful, spring ephemerals are a source of nectar and pollen for many pollinators in a time when food is scarce. In return, pollinators help the plants reproduce and some (like ants) also spread their seeds, inadvertently helping to plant the next generation.

Just a few of the species you may spot include bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis), trout lily (Erythronium americanum), red trillium (Trillium erectum), and spring beauty (Claytonia virginica). Many of these flowers are protected species, meaning it is illegal to pick or trample them. If you notice any in your yard, enjoy their brief beauty with only your eyes and camera.

Pictured: A mixed patch of spring ephemerals including trout lily (yellow flower) and spring beauty (pink flower).


Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Clean Water, Safe Roads Partnership” Launched to Reduce Road Salt Contamination in the Lake Champlain Basin

hold the salt car magnetNew York communities within the Lake Champlain Basin are invited to join a new Clean Water, Safe Roads Partnership to reduce road salt use by adopting improved winter road maintenance techniques. The Clean Water, Safe Roads Partnership will address the threat to aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, water quality, and the safety of drinking water caused by the excessive use of road salt, while maintaining safe winter roads. The partnership is funded by a $50,000 grant from the Lake Champlain Basin Program and the New England Interstate Pollution Control Commission and is part of AdkAction’s decade-long effort to reduce road salt use in the Adirondacks.

 

This project builds on AdkAction’s Pledge to Reduce Road Salt, developed in 2017 for municipal partners, which demonstrates a community’s commitment to work  to reduce the levels of road salt application. The Partnership will implement a comprehensive, personalized outreach and education program for communities which have already signed on to the Pledge to Reduce Road Salt, and add additional municipalities.

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