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Wildlife Habitats

Beauty in nature abounds, it is always present no manner how quickly we think the world is spinning. 

 

COVID’s Pendulum

By Trevor Smith

Goodbye 2020 and good riddance!!! Though we are not out of the woods yet, I couldn’t help but feel a weight lifted as the ball fell at the stroke of midnight. 2020 started like any other year, with hope and possibility. The anticipation of a new season combined with knowing how crazy things would be in spring felt like I was on a rollercoaster about to hit that big drop. All I could do was hold on as the world rushed past. Little did we know that drop would be less like a rollercoaster and more akin to Niagara Falls. 

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The variegated fritillary (Euptoieta claudia) may be found throughout the United States (except for the Pacific Northwest) and in a variety of open sunny habitats, including meadows, prairies, and roadsides. It can have as many as four generations in a year. (Photograph © Bryan E. Reynolds.)
 

Mitigating the Effects of Climate Change On Grassland Butterflies

By Angela Laws

Declining biodiversity has been making its way into the news more and more as researchers continue to record losses in plant and animal populations. Insects are no exception, and several recent studies that use long-term data sets show a marked reduction in insect abundance. A variety of factors contribute to these insect declines, including the loss of habitat, pesticides, invasive species, and, increasingly, climate change.

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Monarch Butterfly on rattlesnake master (Eryngium yuccifolium) Photo by Nick Novick 

North American Prairie Species of New England

By Neil Diboll

Many flowers and grasses commonly associated with Midwestern prairies also occur in the meadows of New England. Some species are widely distributed throughout the region, while others are only occasional or rare. Most are more common in the prairie region, but some are abundant in the Northeast.

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Book Review: The Pollinator Victory Garden

Written by Kim Eierman, Published by Quarry Books, (2020)
Reviewed by Georgia Harris

I first heard about Kim Eierman’s book The Pollinator Victory Garden at the beginning of the COVID-19 lockdown. While Eierman could not have predicted that the release of her book would coincide with a pandemic, the timing is particularly appropriate as more people are finding time to work in and enjoy their yards and gardens.  

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CSummers Carolina silverbell 

Why Aren’t These Plants in Every Garden? Three Great Plants to Know and Grow

by Carolyn Summers

Throughout her career working with people, plants, and landscapes, author/designer and gardener extraordinaire Carolyn Summers has often been puzzled by the lack of interest in certain plants that she finds exceptionally useful.  These plants bridge the gap that sometimes exists between what humans want and what wildlife needs. Carolyn introduces us to three underused plants that are a must-have for native gardeners. 

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Narango Chickadee juvenile banded.cropped 

A Chickadee’s Guide to Gardening: How to Create Habitat for Birds in Urban Settings

Conference Session Review by Melanie Kenney

As humans continue to shape and dominate the landscape, conservationists, land managers, homeowners, landscape professionals, and researchers need information about how wildlife interact with and make use of resources available in urban, suburban, and agricultural green spaces. Dr. Desirée Narango, Postdoctoral Researcher at the City University of New York, Visiting Researcher at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and Research Associate with the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center, presented an exciting new set of research findings focusing on how songbirds navigate, feed, and reproduce in urban and suburban green spaces, using the Carolina chickadee (Poecile carolinensis) as a model insect-eater.

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The Birds and the Trees: Managing the Urban Forest for Wildlife

by Dr. Susannah Lerman 

Trees and shrubs provide ecosystem services and societal benefits in urban and suburban environments. They also provide vital habitat for birds, pollinators, and other wildlife. A new tool correlates habitat requirements for songbirds, evaluates the bird habitat potential at ecoregion scales, and can guide habitat improvement plans.

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