New England cottontail needs intervention to avoid extinction - Litchfield - Foothills Media Group
Here is an article about the New England Cottontail Habitat Management Project at Apple Hill.
Thursday, April 4, 2013
Saturday, March 2, 2013
Vernal Pool Workshop will be held on Saturday 6 April, 2013 from 9:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. in the A. B. Ceder Classroom. Bring a lunch, water, and either shoes that you can get wet or knee-high rubber boots. Dress for the weather!
Once again, our Vernal Pool monitors will be gathering to learn about the plants and animals that inhabit vernal pools. Vernal Pools are ephemeral water bodies that fill with water in the spring and serve as predator-free habitats that several important species use for breeding. White Memorial has at least 120 vernal pools on the property, all of which must be visited at least twice per season. The collected data includes egg mass identification and counts, as well as identification of all the species that you find living in a vernal pool. We need your help, so join in on the fun this season.
|Blue-spotted x Jefferson Salamander Hybrid is one species that we monitor when visiting vernal pools.|
Friday, March 1, 2013
|Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus varius) with deformed beak.|
We observed a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker at the Museum feeders for several weeks in January. Unfortunately, we have not seen it for some time. This individual spent most of its time feeding at the suet feeder and it stayed close by whenever the other bird were disturbed. It rained one morning and this bird perched onto the wooden post under the predator guard, which served as umbrella, rather than seeking cover in the vegetation. We noticed that his feathers were becoming matted which was probably due to the bird not being able to preen as well. Beak deformity is a condition that can be caused by several factors including: malnutrition, genetics, and disease/parasites. We reported the observation to a national database serviced by the USGS Alaska Science Center. There you can review the various species that have been recorded with beak deformities. A great deal of research has been performed with several populations of Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapilla) in Alaska and Northwestern Crow (Corvus caurinus). The problem is referred to as "avian keratin disorder" and effects other bird body parts that have keratin such as claws, feet, and legs. Keratin is a protein layer, very similar to our fingernails, that covers and protects the bony areas of bird bodies, such as bird beaks.