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Archive for July 2015
Don’t Miss This Friday’s Blue Moon
Be sure to look up and take in the “Blue Moon” on Friday night. While the moon actually won’t be colored blue, it is an unusual sight—but more for reasons of timing than appearance. Blue moons occur when there’s a second full moon in the same calendar month.  While they’re…

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Why Are Many Folks Suddenly Seeing Lots Of Hummingbirds?
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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Can An Armadillos Swim—Or Does All That Armor Keep Them From Floating?
Armadillos have been in the news recently.  Unfortunately the coverage has focused on the very small number of these remarkable creatures the may be disease vectors.  It’s a real story, but risks painting the armadillo in negative way when in fact they are an appealing and harmless part of the…

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Why Do Birds Enjoy “Dust Baths” So Much?
Have you ever seen a bird rolling around on the ground as if it were having a spasm? Chances are the bird is either dusting, anting, or sunning, all in the interest of keeping its feathers and body healthy. A Dust Bath To Stay Healthy Care of feathers is a…

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Here’s How To Avoid Poison Ivy and Poison Oak— And Treat Them If Disaster Strikes
Knowing how to avoid poison ivy is a good skill—but you should also know what to do if you happen to encounter it. As we move into the summer season, people across the country will celebrate and enjoy it by taking weekend hikes through places scenic and undisturbed. Most of…

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With All That Banging How Do Woodpeckers Avoid Brain Damage—Or Worse?
There’s a reason construction workers don’t operate jackhammers with their foreheads. Well, there are several reasons, but one is to avoid concussions. But what protects the woodpecker from similar injuries? For starters, the woodpecker maintains a perfectly straight strike as it bores into a tree — like a machine almost…

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Adding A Little Water Will Make Your Yard Irresistible To Birds
Because many birds do not eat seeds, suet or sugar water, there is another way to draw them in from the natural cover for close-up viewing. Water. In various forms, water will attract the insect- and worm-eating birds that would not otherwise be drawn to your yard. You Can Keep…

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Are Fireflies Seeking A Mate When They Flash At Night?
While walking along the Potomac River one evening this week we saw a large number of fireflies in the foliage along the river bank.  It had been a great walk with lots of ospreys fishing, barn swallows enjoying insects overhead, leaping bass making huge splashes, and even an encounter with…

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They’re Not The Same—Can You Tell Difference Between A Crocodile And An Alligator?
A Florida couple recently had a late night encounter with what they thought was an American Crocodile while taking a moon-light kayak trip. From the pictures in the media afterwards, they’re fortunate to be around to tell the story. While the jury is still out on whether what they met…

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