Browsing Category "RINHS"
FEEDER FACTS AND FALLACIES: Part one of two

FEEDER FACTS AND FALLACIES: Part one of two

Science and Nature for a Pie is on Facebook! Click the “Follow” button  for photos, facts, and other goodies. http://facebook.com/scienceandnatureforapie . Local winters can seem like a photo of a parade from a century past: long lines of gray, slightly out of focus, and vaguely depressing. Leaves are long gone, flowers are a memory. Is there any life outdoors in winter? The answer is yes. One of the best ways […]

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Which hawk is that? Ocean State Bird Club workshop says behavior may hold key

Which hawk is that? Ocean State Bird Club workshop says behavior may hold key

At 65 mph, the car is zipping too quickly down route 95 to observe much, and overcast skies obscure most color. The car passes beneath a light pole. At the top, a bird roughly the size and shape of a football perches, eyes fixed on the grass below. There’s a black line, a “belly band”, across its middle. Nearby is an open patch of grass. Is it a pigeon? A […]

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REMOVING DAMS TO RESTORE NATURE

REMOVING DAMS TO RESTORE NATURE

It seemed like the right move at the time. Big factories like textile mills in the 18th and 19th centuries needed power, and when there was no such thing as electricity, there was one major source: water. Use the power at hand to make a factory generate products. Build a factory by a river. Dam the river, turn it, shape it, bend it to the needs and turn that enormous […]

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Hatching a New Group: Ocean State Bird Club

Hatching a New Group: Ocean State Bird Club

It’s dusk. A dirt parking lot (well, more like a clearing of dirt) retains a few cars, and further back there is a small circle of people sporting binoculars. They wear the full palette of the bird watcher’s color wheel: khaki, tattered khaki, dirty khaki, spanking new khaki, and new khaki stressed to look old. (We are nothing if not consistent.) A bearded young man in the circle speaks to […]

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Turtles from the Dust:  Endangered Terrapins in Rhode Island

Turtles from the Dust: Endangered Terrapins in Rhode Island

The sand is fine grained and the sun is hot. Hundred Acre Cove in Barrington is just a few hundred yards away, but at the moment, there isn’t a shred of the cool breezes usually associated with being by the water. There are only scrub pines, weedy grasses, and dust. Lots of dust. Charlotte Sornborger carries a basket containing an empty green and white striped Newport Creamery plastic tub. She […]

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The Mid-Summer Moth Mingle

The Mid-Summer Moth Mingle

Note: “Science and Nature for a Pie” is now on Facebook! Like the page for regular updates on new stories, photos, and other discussions about the wonders of the outdoor world! www.facebook.com/scienceandnatureforapie . If moths and butterflies thought like human children, they would be embroiled in a never-ending case of sibling rivalry. “Why do the butterflies get all the attention?” the moths would moan. “People never even notice us!” The […]

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What is a Gall, after All?

What is a Gall, after All?

Note: “Science and Nature for a Pie” is now on Facebook!  Stop by and “like” the page for ongoing stories, photos, and discussions about the great outdoors! https://www.facebook.com/scienceandnatureforapie “You have some gall saying that to me!” “Man, that guy galls me!” It’s difficult to determine precisely how common these expressions still are, but most will recognize the idea that having “gall” or to “gall” someone is not a good thing. […]

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Life amid the Ghosts: BioBlitz 2014 at Rocky Point

Life amid the Ghosts: BioBlitz 2014 at Rocky Point

  From the mid-19th century until the late 20th, it was a fantasy land of adventure. Rides, games, food, music. Over its 150-year life cycle, it was a world of vaudeville acts and 1970’s metal bands playing in the Windjammer Lounge. Visitors swam in a salt water swimming pool, filled from the rocky waters of Narragansett Bay, whose cool breezes swept the park from only feet away. They arrived by […]

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Masters of Construction: Bird Nests

Masters of Construction: Bird Nests

  Consider this: the average human brain weighs roughly 1300 grams (2.86 pounds). A warbler brain weighs about 513 mg. (.00113 pounds). But while a human must spend untold hours and tens of thousands of dollars in order to learn to build a house, the warbler does so as a natural part of its growth process, and in response Spring’s most basic instinct: the urge to procreate. Granted, the plan […]

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Touch the Sky: Bird Banding with RI Natural History Survey

Touch the Sky: Bird Banding with RI Natural History Survey

  For even the most casual birder, spring is an exciting time. The warm temperatures mean the return of birds not seen during the long dreary months of winter. Even feathers of the goldfinch, who lingers all winter, bear a dreary greenish color during the cold months. But that all changes come April. Suddenly, there are songs and brilliant feathers everywhere. Feeders fill with the newly returned, and many people […]

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