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Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron Nesting

In this week’s column, Stan Tekiela discusses the nesting habits of the Great Blue Heron. There’s a large and very common bird that people see on a regular basis, but rarely does anyone see it nesting. The bird is the Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias), the largest and...

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Maple syruping

March Chores and Maple Syrup

In this week’s column, Stan Tekiela talks to us about maple syrup, a uniquely American product. I love this time of year. March is a transition month and often heralds the beginning of spring, even here in the frozen north. Many of our backyard birds are singing their...

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Coastal Redwoods

Coastal Redwoods

In this week’s column, Stan Tekiela talks about his visit to the Californian coastal redwoods. California is known for many things—sunny beaches, Hollywood, Disneyland, its designation as the Garlic capital of the world—well, maybe not so much for this last one, but you know what I mean....

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American Goldfinch

About Birds and Plants

Today, Stan Tekiela, author of Backyard Birds: Welcomed Guests at Our Gardens and Feeders, talks to us about the relationship between birds and plants. Often the most complex relationship between birds and nature is right in front of us, but we don’t see it. For example, Blue...

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Burrowing Owl

Burrowing Owls

In today’s NatureSmart column, Stan Tekiela shares with us why Burrowing Owls are different from all other owls. I love the rule breakers in nature. People tend to pigeonhole (sorry for the pun) birds and animals into categories not based on facts but on how we...

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Horned Lark

Horned Lark—A One-of-a-Kind Bird

In this week’s column, Stan Tekiela shares with us about the Horned Lark, an interesting American bird. One particularly unique bird is the Horned Lark (Eremophila alpestris). Several dozen lark species occur in the world, but only one calls America its native home. This small songbird is found throughout...

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Spruce Grouse

The Spruce Grouse—A Most Elusive Bird

In this week’s column, Stan Tekiela takes us deep inside the northwoods of Alaska in search of a hard-to-spot bird, the spruce grouse. Deep in the northwoods of Alaska, and stretching eastward to the dense conifer forests of Maine, lives a bird that superficially looks and acts...

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Children reading books

Animal Books Get Kids into Nature

As I peruse my family bookshelf, I can’t help but notice that it’s filled with animal books. I suppose this isn’t surprising, considering how much kids love animals—especially cute ones. From stuffed teddy bears to household pets to beloved children’s books, animals are a part...

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Skunks

The Skunk — A Remarkable Critter

In this week’s column, Stan Tekiela explains a few things about the skunk. I recently had a lively conversation about skunks with some friends. While explaining a few things about the animal, it occurred to me that skunks are one of those critters that are commonly...

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