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Wednesday, 09 April 2014 21:16

Alewife Survey Underway

The 2014 alewife migration on Long Isalnd is underway! Byron Young, a retired DEC biologist, made the first report today. He didn't see a fish, but he did spot the tell-tale sign of shiny scales on the shore. The scales, which could only be from alewives this time of year, are left behind on the shore after an alewife is consumed by a predator - often a raccoon or herring gull. Byron, who has been working on alewife restoration across Long Island for more than a decade, noticed the scales while surveying the pool below the Woodhull Dam on the…
Wednesday, 09 April 2014 21:13

And So it Begins ...

The 2014 alewife migration on Long Isalnd is underway! Byron Young, a retired DEC biologist, made the first report today. He didn't see a fish, but he did spot the tell-tale sign of shiny scales on the shore. The scales, which could only be from alewives this time of year, are left behind on the shore after an alewife is consumed by a predator - often a raccoon or herring gull. Byron, who has been working on alewife restoration across Long Island for more than a decade, noticed the scales while surveying the pool below the Woodhull Dam on the…
Tuesday, 11 February 2014 20:30

My snowy, finally!

After a winter's worth of searching (mostly from the car, I confess), it finally happened today. On my way home from work I stopped in at the West End of Jones Beach and ... saw my first snowy owl! After surveying the dunes on the east side of the bathhouse at Field 4, I hopped in the car to try the west side. And as I drove over, there it was, sitting on the roof of the bathhouse! Just sitting there, like it had been there all winter. Like it was just waiting for me. Even still, I almost missed it. I…
Monday, 10 February 2014 23:40

Ira's Snowies!

Ira Marder, a long-time Seatuck volunteer and an accomplished nature & wildlife photographer, recently passed along a few fantastic photos he took of snowy owls this winter out at Cupsogue Beach County Park in West Hampton. They're such spectacular birds - every one is more beautiful than the next! It prompted to me to re-post (below) a column I recently wrote about what a great year it's been for snowy owls on Long Island, and thoughout the east coast. The column was originally printed in the Great South Bay Magazine. Thanks for the stunning photos, Ira. Keep 'em coming!  -…
Monday, 03 February 2014 21:47

Making it Through Winter

  As a rule, I like winter. I enjoy the brisk air and the stark beauty of the season. And I still get excited about a good snowstorm. But every rule has its exception, and I'll admit, this winter is starting to get old. Even 'm already looking forward to spring. Still, whenever I get the urge to complain as I'm bundling up against single-digit temperatures or digging out from the latest snowstorm, I think about our wildlife neighbors. If they can tough it out, then so can I, right? But how do Long Island wildlife get through deep cold…
Wednesday, 24 July 2013 20:11

Deer Flies!

While ticks and mosquitos are certainly insect-public-enemies #1 and #2 on Long Island (depending on the vector-borne disease news of the day), there is another pesky (but, thankfully, less dangerous) insect that, for those that know it, is the subject of similar ire: the deer fly. Anyone who has visited the Scully Estate during the heart of summer knows them too well. When they're at their peak, the deer flies literally create a swarm around your car by the time you reach the parking lot at the Environental Center. It's an intimidating sight, enough to sometimes keep people in their…
Thursday, 09 May 2013 00:00

First Fox Kits

Out of the den and onto ... the road? I was surprised to find a mother fox with two kits on South Bay Avenue this morning. It was a unexpected treat. At this age (probably 4 or 5 weeks), they're usually more reclusive and keep close to their den. After capturing some video I did my best to scare them away - I hate the thought of them getting comfortable near the road. Also, listen carefully to the video for the unmistakable call of the Eastern Towhee - it's commonly identified as "drink-your-tea!"
Wednesday, 16 May 2012 00:00

Newly Hatched Quail

it's that time of year. All of the animals in the forest are 'twitterpated' and have started raising youngsters. So far, I've seen newborn fawns and a den of six red fox pups. The quail we raised last year, and overwintered in the coop outside, are no different. They have laid over forty eggs and ten have hatched so far! All of the eggs that hatched are from last year's quail and we're still patiently waiting on the other newcomers to break out of their shells. The first egg discovered in the coop on April 10th, was moved to the…
Monday, 30 January 2012 00:00

New Sign and (Hopefully) a Safer Crossing

January 30, 2012 I was pleasantly surprised to see this new sign on the road to the Environmental Center today ... IMG_0471 The road, as anyone who lives in the area knows, is like a race track ... literally.  As I learned during the years I lived at the nature center, it's not uncommon to hear engines screaming under the cover of darkness or to find tire marks littering the road in the morning - evidence of a night of speeding and drag-racing.  And even the general pace of traffic down the mile long stretch to the Islip Town Beach…
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