Naturalist/Nature Watching

This year, think big: When it comes to outdoor-inspired New Year’s resolutions, there are countless possibilities. Here are a few worthy quests and—should you choose to tackle them­—top spots across the Northeast where you might begin your journey.   I. START A NATURE JOURNAL It’s difficult to think back to a good hike or a…

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When Itzamary and Noe Caban attended their first Outdoors Rx event three years ago in Chelsea, Mass., they assumed the AMC program’s primary beneficiary would be their young daughter, Khalani. After all, it was Khalani’s pediatrician who’d referred the family to Outdoors Rx—which organizes free, structured outdoor experiences for families living in several under-resourced Greater…

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A red-tailed hawk with a bullet to its wing. A bobcat hit by a car. A toad with a wounded leg. Patients like these are often admitted in serious pain, according to Dr. Florina Tseng, director of the Tufts Wildlife Clinic at Tufts University’s Cummings Veterinary Medical Center in North Grafton, Mass. Determining pain levels…

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A warming planet is wreaking havoc on bird populations. That’s the assessment of two big reports on North American birds, the latest of which foresees a bleak future for our feathered friends if climate change is not curbed. The National Audubon Society on October 10 published Survival by Degrees: 389 Bird Species on the Brink, which…

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One million animal and plant species are on the verge of extinction, according to a United Nations report released in May, and we humans bear much of the blame. Climate change, overfishing, pollution, and urban expansion are all threatening Earth’s biodiversity, and with it our own food security, health, and quality of life, according to…

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When it comes to toxic mercury levels that can harm wildlife, the Northeast is “the tailpipe of the world,” says David Evers, executive director and chief scientist of the nonprofit Biodiversity Research Institute, in Portland, Maine. Global wind patterns carry mercury pollution from coal-fired power plants across the United States and from as far away…

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Rest easy, because sunny days and beautiful blooms have returned! Whether you’re in the White Mountains or the wetlands of the Mid-Atlantic, you’re bound to catch glimmers of red, yellow, pink, blue, and violet peeping through the trees. Pull up those galoshes, dust off that wildflower field guide, and celebrate the season by heading to…

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If you hike past a Northeastern pond this spring, you might spot one of nature’s great sunbathers: the painted turtle. This species is so fond of basking, its nickname is the “sun turtle.” Painted turtles can spend up to six hours a day in the spring lying in the sun, often perched with other turtles…

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  To hear them describe it, the Pyles family’s backyard was “meh.” Behind their East Boston triple-decker, there was a picnic table, a small vegetable garden, and some spotty grass underneath a canopy of evergreens and a mature cherry tree. Rob, Juliet, and their daughters, Alessandra and Aria (6 and 4), would occasionally eat meals out there, and the girls had room to play. But…

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Oceans, glaciers, rivers, lakes, and streams cover 71 percent of our planet. The 2015 Waters of the U.S. Rule ensures protection of these water sources from pollution and other exploitation. For now. Under the Trump administration, the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of the Army have moved to rescind the rule and return to previous…

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