Blog Archives

Enormous Stick Insect, Thought Extinct, is Rediscovered

This story is both amazing and inspiring – an enormous stick-insect, considered extinct since the 1960s, has a fascinating story of re-discovery and hope for the future.

Read the story by NPR writer Robert Krulwich HERE or click on the image of the INSANELY GIGANTOR insects to read!!

patrick

Image via Rod Morris/www.rodmorris.co.nz

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[Video Links] It’s Nest Cam Season! Yippeee!

It’s that time of year again, when baby birds and their outstanding parents are caught on camera streaming live to we nerds! Here’s a selection of some very awesome ones (please excuse the strange commercials asserting that BP did its job in cleaning up the oil.):

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology has a nestcam focused on a some barn owls in a nesting box. I love watching these birds do housework in prep for the (hopefully) forthcoming family. (Clicking on the “select a camera” drop down will allow you to also view the nests of bluebirds, a titmouse, and a Great Horned Owl.)

The Phoebe Allens camera is watching a hummingbird nest containing (so far) a single, jellybean-sized egg. (Scroll down to see the camera.) The ads and the random chat line in the sidebar were weird and distracting, but this little hummie is totally worth it. I just found this awesome article on how predatory our little buzzing friends are too, check it out! Seems like hummies need as much or more insect protein than nectar!

The Santa Cruz Predatory Bird Research Group is watching a momma Peregrine Falcon sitting on her fluffy gray chicks.

Bald Eagles may be the most popular for raptor cams, so here’s three for you: Turtle Bay Exploration Park in California, the Eagles of Hornby Island, and this one from the Raptor Resource Project. Ahh! I’m watching the Raptor Resource one right now and dad just brought mom a big juicy fish and is chatting her up! (And for those of you who don’t know already, Bald Eagles don’t make that majestic scream they play in all the movies – that’s a Red-Tailed Hawk. In real life they sound like giant seagulls.) Watch the video below to see an eaglet bursting forth from its egg! (Ok, there’s no ‘bursting’ and it doesn’t actually get interesting until four minutes in and even then its siblings are walking all over it, but still! It’s BIRTH! New eagle LIFE!)

Now remember, if you get all attached to the babies (or the parents), you may in for some heartbreak as raptors often lose chicks before they’re grown. Besides that, please take a look at any or all of these cameras; what an incredible opportunity we have to see these animals in their natural habitat, performing natural wild behaviors with modern technology! It’s way better than watching the news. By a LOT.

Ahhh. I love nesting season. Happy Spring everyone!

Roses: One of Mankind’s Favorite Obsessions

Many people don’t realize that there are wild, native rose species, and that some have a scent that rivals any fancy-pants rose bred by a hybridizer. The catch, it seems, is that hybridized roses have intricate and extravagant blooms. David Austin, an English-born hybridizer, helped to revolutionize the rose world by breeding the flowers to have both gorgeous blooms and intoxicating scent.

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