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Thursday, 18 August 2016 00:51

Joining the Clam Survey

Seatuck intern Julie Bozzo helped out with the Town of Brookhaven's annual clam survey this summer. She filed the following report on her experience on the clam survey barge:   The Town of Brookhaven has been conducting shellfish surveys, particularly for hard shell clams, for the last 31years, beginning in 1985. These surveys contain data on clam population demographics in a variety of geographic points in the Great South Bay. Unfortunately, due to poor water quality and overharvesting, the clam population sizes have severely decreased over the course of this survey. The hope is that clam numbers will rebound by…
Monday, 19 October 2015 19:28

Blue Jays & Acorns

"A blue jay with an acorn in its mouth, flying to locate a spot to store it for future consumption. Notice the distended throat, an indication the bird has stored a few more acorns in its gular sac, a special pouch in its throat used to store food". Come the cooler weather many wildlife species begin to harvest and store as a strategy to prepare them for the oncoming winter, when food supplies are much reduced. Observing the interesting behaviors of animals as they undertake this critically important task can be a fun part of your autumn outdoor experience. The…
Thursday, 03 September 2015 15:55

Juvenile Alewives @ Massapequa Creek!

Seatuck has documented juvenile alewife in Massapequa Creek. It is the first time young-of-the-year fish have been found in the creek. Their presence is clear evidence that alewives are successfully spawning in the freshwater portion of the tributary, likely for the first time since the creek was impounded more than 175 years ago!
Tuesday, 18 August 2015 15:28

Progress on Horseshoe Crabs

  Seatuck is pleased to report that Governor Cuomo signed into law two new horseshoe crab protection measures on August 17, 2015. The laws extend the DEC's authority to regulate the horseshoe crab fishery (for two years) while requiring the agency to consider additional strategies to more effectively protect their long-term conservation. Under the new law, DEC will consider the mandatory use of bait bags in the eel and conch fisheries (which limit horseshoe crab consumption), as well as restrictions that will limit the harvest of 1) female horseshoe crabs, 2) all crabs during peak mating season, and 3) all…
Friday, 08 May 2015 00:00

Plasterer Bees @ Scully

The grounds of the Environmental Center have been covered with little mounds of dirt this spring: the sign of a healthy ground bee population. There are many species of ground-nesting bees (in fact, most of the world's bees nest in the ground), but the bees in the video below are plasterer bees (aka polyester bees). Each mound holds a single female bee. The mound is the entrance to a deep tunnel where she will lay an egg, deposit a supply of liquid food, and then seal it off with a "plastic" lid. The egg will hatch next spring, feed on…
Monday, 06 April 2015 00:00

Sounds at Sunset

We met at sunset in anticipation. It was an early spring sunset, cold, still and glorious with a thin crescent moon. A deepening golden sky silhouetted the filigree of branches on bare trees. But we came to observe a spectacle that is first detected by ear. We heard twitters, clucks and chips as birds settled down for the night. Our puffy coats swished as we walked along paths crisp and crunchy with old snow. Dogs were barking in the distance as if communicating with each other in the gloaming. A flash of white tail betrayed a deer crashing through the…
Tuesday, 24 March 2015 00:00

Baffling! - Part II

Scully Nest Box Work Continues With the success of the pilot predator guard installation, Seatuck decided to outfit the remainder of the nest boxes at the Scully marsh with new baffles. Seatuck board member Mike Jaklitsh endured further cold and ice (and snow) to continue the installation process. This time, however, he had some good help! Jim & Brendan Belrose and Colby Rogers (pictured above) got up early this past Saturday to venture out on the marsh with Mike. They were a tremendous team as, despite the harsh conditions, they manged to protect another 6 or 7 boxes. Still a…
Saturday, 21 March 2015 00:00

Cold Tough on Some Birds

The cold, snow and ice that's lingered into Spring has many of us fed-up and annoyed, but it can be much worse for other species. Seatuck Board member Mike Jaklitsh, who has been working on readying the next boxes at Scully, found this dead tree swallow today. It was frozen inside one of the boxes he was working on. The wintry conditions are diffucult for migratory species expecting to find warmer weather (the timing of their migration is governed more by photoperiod and less by weather conditions). It's especially tough on some of the earliest-arriving migratory bird species, which have, in…
Wednesday, 04 March 2015 19:00

Questions from the Belly of the Beast

The above photos from the DEC's Peter Malaty were passed along to me this week. The top photo shows Peter (I think) with a brown trout he recently caught ice fishing in Wildwood Lake in Riverhead (or maybe actually Northampton). The second photo shows a juvenile alewife that came out of the trout's stomach. The story raises a few interesting questions. First, since Woodhull Dam (which forms Wildwood Lake) is an 10-foot high wall of concrete that presents an absolute barrier to alewife migration (tens of thousands of alewife bump their noses up against the dam each spring), how is…
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