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Posted by: atowhee | February 7, 2019

THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UNEXPECTED

We’ve all seen the report that 2018 was the fourth hottest year on record and we’ve lived through recently all the other ten hottest years.  The last half decade are the five hottest years in 139 years of records.

But some good news:  Pt. Reyes has long been known as the place for great birding, especially during migrations.  It is also home of one of California’s largest elk herds.  Now it has other claims for our natural curiosity.  First, the shutdown of the national park system led to the closure of Drake’s Beach…and some natives took over.  The beach has been reclaimed by elephant seals, likely missing from that beach for over 150 years.

A little further inland Pt. Reyes now is home for a very rare variety of coyote…those with blue eyes!

Further south along the California coast work is underway to try to help the monarch butterfly survive in the western U.S.  A new preserve is being created in near Santa Barbara, California.

Around Santa Cruz, monarch helpers are also at work.

Elsewhere in insectworld a new snazzy-looking predator has been found in Brazil.  Unicorn mantis.

You can read here about how honey bees do on a simple math quiz.

Wherever you live, you likely have local possums.  They are your friend.  Not just because they move slowly and are our only marsupial.  They eat ticks. 

Key West, Florida, has banned sunscreens with coral-killing chemicals.

Far out in the Pacific the earth’s newest island presents geologists with some mysteries.

MALHEUR TRIPS THIS YEAR

MALHEUR FIELD STATION 2019 NATURAL HISTORY PROGRAMS:

*BIRDING MALHEUR *  May 22-27 & June 7-12  * 5 Nights * Leader :  Harry Fuller *  $900 / $850 RV *

BIRDING MALHEUR & STEENS MT *  Sept  16-22 * 6 Nights * Leader :  Harry Fuller * $1000 / $940 RV

Cost includes all meals and accommodations at Malheur Field Station on the wildlife refuge.

About Harry Fuller:  Harry has lived in Oregon since 2007.  He has been leading bird trips and teaching bird classes since the 1990s.  He annually leads birding trips in Oregon and Washington for Klamath Bird Observatory, Road Scholar and Golden Gate Audubon.   See more at: http://www.atowhee.blog.
To register contact the Malheur Field Station at 541-493-2629

 

Spring: Trumpeter Swan, Cinnamon Teal, Black-chinned Hummingbird, White Pelicans, Franklin’s Gulls, Black Terns, Wilson’s Phalarope, Wilson’s Snipe, Long-billed Curlew, Sora, Sandhill Crane, Ferruginous Hawk, Swainson’s Hawk, Golden Eagle, Great Horned Owl, Short-eared Owl, Burrowing Owl, Eastern and Western Kingbirds, Say’s Phoebe, Gray Flycatcher,  Loggerhead Shrike, Prairie Falcon, Horned Lark, Sage Thrasher, Yellow-headed Blackbird, Sagebrush Sparrow, Brewer’s Sparrow,

Mammals: pronghorn, mule deer, badger, kit fox, coyote, long-tailed weasel, river otter, Belding’s ground squirrel, Nuttall’s cottontail, black-tailed jackrabbit, yellow-bellied marmot.

Fall: Trumpeter Swan, migrant ducks, migrant shorebirds, Sora, Sandhill Crane,  Golden Eagle, Ferruginous Hawk, Great Horned Owl, White Pelican, Common Nighthawk, Prairie Falcon, migrant woodpeckers (Lewis’s, et al.), Say’s Phoebe, Horned Lark, Sage Thrasher, Brewer’s Sparrow, Western Tanager, Yellow-headed Blackbird, migrant warblers.

Mammals: wild mustangs, pronghorn, mule deer, kit fox, coyote, long-tailed weasel, river otter, Nuttall’s cottontail, black-tailed jackrabbit.

 

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