Naturalist/Nature Watching

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…

Read More....

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…

Read More....

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…

Read More....

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…

Read More....

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…

Read More....

  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…

Read More....

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…

Read More....

Getting the kids outdoors might be as easy as heading into the backyard or down the block to the neighborhood park. But once you’re outside, keeping kids engaged for an hour or two can be challenging. For a list of cheap and simple outdoor activities kids can do anywhere, we turned to Angel Santos Burres,…

Read More....

You probably know squirrels bury nuts to eat another day. But did you realize other animals store food to help them through lean times? “It blows people away how many animals cache food,” says Kent McFarland, a conservation biologist and cofounder of the Vermont Center for Ecostudies. “It’s another strategy to make it through the…

Read More....

Evelyn Hatem is a past participant of AMC’s Outdoor Citizen Skills Expedition. I was in fifth grade when I first learned about climate change: typical pictures of polar bears huddling, icebergs melting, habitats deteriorating. I was pretty upset by the whole thing, and I didn’t understand why no one else in my class was fazed….

Read More....