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“Survivors” – The Eastern Wild Turkey

The Eastern Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) is a survivor. Pretty much the only thing it can’t survive is extensive habitat loss, as witnessed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when the eastern deciduous forest was essentially gone from near total deforestation. When farming in marginal areas was abandoned and allowed to revert to forest, populations of wild turkeys rebounded. With help [...]

By |2021-03-19T16:29:05-04:00March 19th, 2021|

The Good, the Bad and the Coyote

Warning: Some of the images below may be a bit graphic and contain visuals of animal carcasses.  Earlier this Fall, a friend of mine arrowed a nice doe with his bow on my property in upstate New York with about 10 minutes of daylight left. He tracked it for about a hundred yards before he lost the trail in the darkness. We went [...]

By |2020-12-01T13:05:41-04:00December 1st, 2020|

The White-Tailed Deer Rut has Begun!

White-tailed deer are entering their breeding cycle, aka ‘the rut.’  Like all life, key aspects of their life cycles are triggered by changing day length. Known as the photoperiod, it is the major factor that determines things such as when antlers begin growing in the spring, or when testosterone levels ready the bucks for breeding in the fall. If you think about it, [...]

By |2020-10-19T16:12:57-04:00October 19th, 2020|

Wildlife Tracking Systems: A Look into MOTUS

Biologists and naturalists have always been fascinated by bird and other animal migration. In the past, bands or tags have been placed on birds or animals. In order to collect data about that creature, someone must find, harvest or re-capture the animal. Unfortunately, that only gives the scientist a few data points: when and where the animal is tagged, and when and where it is [...]

By |2020-09-24T10:45:33-04:00September 24th, 2020|

A Look into Artificial Nesting Structures

As a professional Wildlife Biologist and former NYSDEC Regional Wildlife Manager, I was always a bit reluctant to utilize artificial nesting structures, preferring to create or restore essential habitat. For many of the bird species of concern on state and federally managed lands, natural grasslands are the ticket. Mallards, Black Ducks and nearly all the rest of the puddle (dabbling) ducks nest in [...]

By |2020-03-31T20:01:22-04:00March 31st, 2020|

Freshwater Wetland Restoration: Part 2 – The Drawdown

Aerial shot of a marsh following drawdown Natural wetlands regularly undergo changes in response to weather patterns. Dry spring or summer weather for an extended period results in lower water levels. This normally brings about rather drastic (and beneficial) changes in the wetland’s water chemistry and also the vegetation. After long periods of time without a dry period, wetlands can become [...]

By |2020-01-31T18:27:19-04:00January 31st, 2020|

Trumpeter Swans: An Inside Look

While walking my property in southeastern Wayne Co., New York, I frequently see and hear Trumpeter Swans (Cygnus buccinator). A few days ago, I was sitting in some cover by the river with my dog. I was texting to someone when the dog began to bark. A family of four swans had silently paddled within about 25 feet of us! When the dog [...]

By |2019-11-15T15:06:47-04:00November 15th, 2019|

Professor Duck Sits Down with Legendary NY Duck Decoy Carver Bill Moore

Professor Duck had the opportunity to sit down with an award-winning carver from Central New York State. Bill Moore has been a waterfowl hunter and decoy carver for many decades. His favorite duck to carve is the Wigeon (Professor Duck’s favorite!) and he enjoys hunting diving ducks. In this video, he shares his knowledge on carving techniques and materials, as well as reflections [...]

By |2019-11-06T14:52:45-04:00November 6th, 2019|

An Introduction to Freshwater Wetland Restoration

A wetland has three key identifying characteristics: water (hydrology), soil and vegetation. Wetlands are flooded or have water near or at the surface for at least part of the year. Over the years, this wet condition produces what is known as ‘hydric soil,’ which is often dark colored. These water and soil conditions give certain plants a competitive advantage over the typical plants you [...]

By |2019-10-11T15:31:56-04:00October 11th, 2019|

Early September Teal Season is Here!

Many of you are planning to venture out for early September teal season in states that have one. Those of you who are new to hunting or bird watching will wear out your eyes looking at flocks of Green-winged , Blue-winged, or Cinnamon Teal for the beautiful drakes portrayed in the guide books. In the late summer and early fall, adult teal are still [...]

By |2019-10-11T15:28:53-04:00September 12th, 2019|
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