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Archive for July 2012
Faster, Higher, Stronger: Who Are The Winners In Nature’s Olympics?
The London Olympics open today and some of the world’s most remarkable athletes will be pursuing Olympic Gold. Nature, on the other hand, doesn’t award medals.  But that doesn’t mean you won’t see some remarkable performances in Nature’s Olympics. Athleticism, speed, strength, power, endurance, which we celebrate in the events…

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Where Did All Those Hummingbirds Come From So Suddenly?
Noticed a sudden increase in the number of hummingbirds at the feeders this month? It’s not your imagination, nor is it an invasion of birds from somewhere else. It’s the new crop of youngsters. The young birds of the year look like their mothers at first, regardless of sex. And…

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Are These Worst Baby Names Ever?
We all know about colts, calves and eaglets—but even experienced naturalists sometimes can’t remember the names for certain species. The various and oftentimes bizarre names used to describe animal offspring are often stumpers to even the best Trivial Pursuit player. For example, a baby toad is called, appropriately enough, a…

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How Can Birds Eat If They Have No Teeth?
Most people, even most kids, know that birds have no teeth. Likewise, it’s common knowledge that quite a few birds consume almost exclusively hard foods such as grains and seeds. So so how do birds digest these tough morsels if they can’t chew them into more edible pieces? The answer…

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Are Yellow Jackets Wasps Or Bees?
It’s summer, and the Yellow jackets are back in force. Should we be alarmed? Well, it helps to know a little about these interesting creatures.  It turns out that Yellow jackets are a type of paper wasp.  Paper wasps get their name because they build structures out of a special…

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Why Do Goldfinches Wait Until July To Nest?
By July, most songbirds are in the final stages of raising their young, but not the American Goldfinches. These appealing, colorful birds are just getting started.  Notoriously late nesters, goldfinches have been waiting for the thistles to bloom. When this happens in July, it signals the goldfinches that they can…

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Despite The News Reports, It’s Safer Than You Might Think Out There!
Every summer, the news is full of reports of folks encountering wildlife in unexpected places. And this summer has been no exception— there have been reports of people unexpectedly encountering bears, sharks, mountain lions and even beavers. Given all that, it’s good to know that it’s a lot safer out…

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