One of the big challenges whenever we find tracks outside is knowing just how long ago that animal was here. If your goal is to eventually find the animal, it really helps to know whether a trail was freshly made or if you’re still quite far behind. Luckily there is a bit of a science behind aging tracks. If you know what to look for you can gain a practical accuracy at knowing which tracks … [Read more...] about How To Tell If Animal Tracks Are Fresh (in sand, mud & snow)
One year during the spring nesting season, I noticed a sparrow making soft alarm calls and following a squirrel around the forest. Of course, I became instantly fascinated as to why this was happening, and it got me wondering whether squirrels ever steal and eat bird eggs. As it turns out, squirrels do eat bird eggs when they have the opportunity. If a squirrel locates an active nest, they … [Read more...] about Do Squirrels Eat Bird Eggs? (Squirrels As Predators)
The spring equinox is fast approaching! This is that special time of year when the sun makes it’s yearly transition north of the equator, marking the start of spring in the northern hemisphere (or fall in the southern hemisphere). This celestial event has been celebrated by humans for thousands of years because it marks the return of longer days, fertility & the warm growing … [Read more...] about How To Celebrate The Spring Equinox
One spring morning I was sitting outside watching robins eat worms on the lawn when suddenly the birds all started fighting like an angry mob. After a brief burst of flapping wings and loud chirping sounds, they suddenly calmed back down and everything returned to normal. If you’ve ever seen birds fighting like this, you might wonder why they get so crazy and aggressive. What does … [Read more...] about Why Do Birds Fight?
Forests are awe inspiring habitats, don’t you think? Stepping into a forest is like stepping into an entire world of unique plants, trees & animals all co-existing together in sensitive ecological relationships. For this reason, forests make major contributions to our earth’s overall species, and it’s fascinating to understand why forests have such high biodiversity. Biodiversity is … [Read more...] about Why Do Forests Have High Biodiversity?
Why is that sparrow chirping so much? It’s not uncommon for sparrows to have frequent outbursts of chirping that make people stop and wonder what’s going on. Luckily, the language of sparrows is actually quite simple to understand once you know how it works. There are five main reasons why sparrows chirp, and the cause of this behavior can be identified by paying attention to the speed … [Read more...] about Why Do Sparrows Chirp? (five sparrow calls & what they mean)
Everyone knows that plants play an important role for the survival of wild animals by providing essential food and shelter. What’s less obvious is that animals also help plants in crucial ways that form a sensitive and beautiful symbiotic relationship. Animals help plants pollinate their flowers and spread seeds. Their droppings fertilize the soil, while grazing & browsing animals help … [Read more...] about How Do Animals Help Plants? (4 symbiotic interactions)
As a passionate naturalist, wildlife tracker and ecologist, one of the most foundational skills I ever learned was how to observe the difference between coniferous and deciduous forests. Most people already know how to identify coniferous and deciduous trees by comparing the major differences in leaf structures. Coniferous trees like fir, spruce and pine trees have needle-like leaves that … [Read more...] about What’s The Difference Between Coniferous And Deciduous Forests? (with photos and analysis)
Have you ever had a chickadee land on you while walking in the woods? Well, you wouldn’t be alone! Chickadees have gained a reputation among songbirds for being some of the most friendly creatures in the forest. But have you ever wondered why? Chickadees who have regular contact with humans in parks and on hiking trails become less fearful of our presence and sometimes even … [Read more...] about Why Are Chickadees So Friendly? (4 simple reasons…)
A key factor in every animal’s survival is finding enough water to keep their bodies strong & healthy. For this reason, animals have many different strategies for finding & using water from the environment, and it’s a great way to gain insight into their behavior. Most modern humans would have no clue where to find enough clean water in a survival situation… so how do animals do … [Read more...] about How Do Animals Find Water? (includes mammals, birds, reptiles & differences in the desert)