Wildlife biologists, technicians and volunteers throughout Minnesota have recently been busy once again in what can be truthfully called bona fide “wild goose chases.”
I remember as a boy watching an old Hamm’s beer commercial and enjoying the catchy jingle, “From the land of sky-blue waters ...”
During the summer of 2000, my first summer managing the Wetlands, Pines and Prairie Audubon Sanctuary, now called the Audubon Center of the Red River Valley, southeast of Warren, I experienced an unbearable infestation of mosquitoes of the likes I’d never seen before — or have seen since.
Some of the most fascinating birds of the world belong to a group known simply as “shorebirds.” But here is where simplicity stops.
I’ve often wondered what it would be like to be a bird. Perhaps it was this desire that compelled me to learn how to fly airplanes, which I once did.
I recently watched a masterful fisher in action; as patient as I’ve ever observed, persistent as they come, methodical in its approach . . . precise, careful, watchful and silent. But above all, the fisher was an expert that I felt privileged to see.
Far and wide, birds are singing in the hills, grasslands, forests and wetlands everywhere. They are singing in the treetops, from fence posts, from utility wires and in flight. They sing, they call, they inspire and they delight us. What would a world be like without wild birds to listen to?
I once followed a set of wolf tracks on a sandbar along the Good News River in southwestern Alaska. I wondered if the wolf was on the hunt or if it was a lone male searching for a territory or a mate, or was simply trying to avoid detection by the resident pack. Its great stride suggested all of the above.
If you pick a species, any species, be it floral or faunal, one can easily become a specialist in the organism or organisms of his or her desire. There are entomologists, ichthyologists, paleontologists, mammalogists, primatologists, botanists, limnologists, ecologists and biologists.
The one characteristic that sets birds apart from other critters is their body covering of feathers. Many people might think that laying eggs would be another, but the fact is that many other creatures lay eggs. Insects, amphibians, reptiles, fishes and even some mammals lay eggs.
While meteorological winter has been with us for some time, winter doesn’t officially begin until Dec. 22.
Shush, everyone. You’re wading in the marsh. It’s summertime, the height of the breeding season for all migrant birds. You’re surrounded by tall dense stands of green cattails intermixed with last year’s growth. Tiny floating plants — duckweed — drift lazily about in the brackish water. The boxed-in sensation you feel is surreal. Indeed, the feeling is the wintertime equivalent of a heavy snowfall in a dense forest.
The Colorado Rockies look much different today than the first time I saw the rugged snow-capped peaks, south-facing sagebrush slopes and pine-covered northern aspects six autumns ago. Instead of the vast evergreen mountain ranges that delighted my eyes in 2006, those same mountains are now covered with the gray skeletal ghosts of trees that once were.
Blane Klemek spent three summers in a row working on wildlife research projects within the prairie pothole region of the Great Plains near Woodworth, N.D. This is part three of a series of four articles devoted to selected journal entries from those summers.
Blane Klemek spent three summers in a row working on wildlife research projects within the prairie pothole region of the Great Plains near Woodworth, North Dakota. This is part two of a series of articles devoted to selected journal entries from those summers.
As many of you know, I spent three summers in a row — from 1997 through 1999 — working on wildlife research projects within the prairie pothole region of the Great Plains near Woodworth, N.D.
Though only a population estimate, it is nonetheless difficult to believe that — according to the literature — only 500,000 white-tailed deer occurred in these United States in the early 1900s.
Last fall in the rugged Rocky Mountains of northwestern Colorado while hunting mule deer, a big blow came howling down from the High Country, bringing with it, when it was all said and done, a foot of snow. Our encampment was located at around 8,500 feet, so we assumed that snow was probably deeper at higher elevations. I think we were right.
Last weekend as I sat on my deck looking out at the lake and backyard, a lady beetle landed on my arm.
“Why does a happy boy holla? Why does a lonesome youth sigh? They don’t know any more than Redruff knew why every day now he mounted some dead log and thumped and thundered to the woods; then strutted and admired his gorgeous blazing ruffs as they flashed their jewels in the sunlight, and then thundered out again,” wrote Ernest Thompson Seton in my beloved boyhood book, “Wild Animals I Have Known.”