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Posts Tagged "urban wildlife"

Observations

Rare Photos of a Baby Pigeon in Brooklyn

For the first time in my 16-plus years of New York City living, I saw a baby pigeon on the street. It was sitting — and cheeping loudly — near an adult pigeon on the sidewalk, just outside a popular pizzeria in my neighborhood. Susan Elbin, director of conservation and science at NYC Audubon, said [...]

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The Thoughtful Animal

Urban Wildlife in San Francisco Bay [PHOTOS]

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I think that hanging out in a heavily touristed area of San Francisco’s Embarcadero means that these California sea lions – one mature individual and one pup – qualify as urban wildlife. For good measure, here’s a western scrub jay and a pigeon.

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The Thoughtful Animal

Camera Trap Tuesday: Islands in Los Angeles

debs bobcat4

“Is Griffith Park an island?” That’s the question that Miguel Ordeñana, a wildlife biologist at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles who also does field work in Nicaragua, wanted to know. Griffith Park isn’t surrounded by water. It’s not found offshore, like Catalina Island, and it isn’t encircled by a moat. What Griffith Park, [...]

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The Thoughtful Animal

The Birds in my Backyard

western scrub jay

I’m an animal behavior expert and I’ve lived in Los Angeles all my life. Why don’t I know the birds in my backyard? In my latest piece, at Zocalo Public Square, I argue that I should know who my wildlife neighbors are, and that understanding our natural world can create a better human community, too.

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The Thoughtful Animal

Photoblogging: Airborne Pelicans

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It’s interesting what a small change in wing position does to a photo of a single bird. In this first photo of a Brown Pelican, Pelecanus occidentalis, the forward bend in the wings gives the bird a magnificent, almost regal quality. But the illusion of a slight backwards fold in the wings – really due [...]

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The Thoughtful Animal

Photoblogging: More California Gulls

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Following on last week’s California gull photo, here are a few more from that day. It’s a lesson in composition: the top photo tells a story. It places the bird in context. You can clearly see the next jetty across the channel, the Santa Monica Bay parasailer in the distance, and then the Santa Monica [...]

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The Thoughtful Animal

Photoblogging: Seagull in Flight

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Most people in Los Angeles interact with seagulls – that is, the California gull, Larus californicus – mainly by shooing them away from our picnics at the beach. The birds are so habituated to the presence of humans that they’re not easily scared away. In an impressive display of cognitive sophistication, it seems as if [...]

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The Thoughtful Animal

Photoblogging: Blue-Footed Booby

blue footed booby marked

Blue-footed boobies – those birds made famous by their mating dance – are being spotted all over the Los Angeles area and as far north as Marin County. It’s rare, but not unheard of, for boobies to find their way to the California coast. Still, the sightings had birders, myself included, out in search of [...]

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The Urban Scientist

Urban Science Adventure: Catching and Watching Fireflies

firefly lightening bug

What do you see when you go into your backyard in the evening time?  Most people don’t even think about being outside at that time until the warm rays of summer touch their skins.  Summer nights mean warm nights where you can be outside until dusk and beyond and see the wonders that Mother Nature [...]

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The Urban Scientist

Sports and Sharks – James Jones and South Florida youth go deep for science outreach

Sharktagging RJ Dunlap Lab

NBA Player James Jones, formerly with the Miami Heat, is spending time with the youth he serves through his foundation tagging sharks. Yes! TAGGING. SHARKS! DOING SCIENCE! And having a ball. They spent the day on a research boat with the RJ Dunlap Marine Conservation Program affiliated with the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of [...]

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The Urban Scientist

Urban Science Adventure: Appreciating Bees

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Now is the time to get outdoors and experience what the world has to offer. One thing that you can keep in mind is that there are insects everywhere, including our back yards! A simple past time that you can enjoy alone, with a group, or with your family is taking a step outdoors and [...]

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The Urban Scientist

What’s this in my backyard? A Camel Cricket

camel cricket

Mid-day yesterday I got a text message from a friend’s daughter — off at school, living in an off-campus house — asking me about a little invader. Her: Do you know what this is? Me: Yes. A camel cricket. Her: it’s terrifying Me: Drama Her: There where a ton of them. Lol I voted to [...]

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The Urban Scientist

Wordless Wednesday: Happy Thanksgiving

turkey toms face off

Originally posted at Urban Science Adventures! © I took these photos at Litszinger Road Ecology Center (an Urban Nature Reserve) spring 2006. Two Tom Turkeys (males) facing off. Two Tom Turkeys trying to impress a Hen Turkey (female). Can you see her? She’s much smaller and to the right of the males. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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The Urban Scientist

Will Giant Mutant Rats overrun NYC in Sandy’s wake

African Giant Pouched rat Gambian rat Cricetomys gambianus

In all of the excitement and concern in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, many people’s attentions have turned to rats? So What Happened to All of the Subway Rats? The Ratpocalypse Has Been Canceled Did NYC rats survive hurricane Sandy? And one that hits a little closer to home: It spurred some comments, mostly tongue-in-cheek [...]

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The Urban Scientist

What’s this in my Backyard? A skink

skink found in Missouri home

I get this question a lot? Whenever friends some across a plant, animal, a footprint, or even a pile a poop, it’s not uncommon for me to get a text message, a phone call or even a tag on Facebook asking me to identity (or come get) this thing.  I even joked about it in [...]

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The Urban Scientist

Wordless Wednesday: I’m a mammalogist

This book was a graduation present when I got my PhD in biology. I was very happy to receive it. It is a great gift. Perhaps when at the end of my postdoc I’ll get a Smithsonian Book on African Mammals. I the meantime I’ll leave you this video of me doing mammalogists do, getting [...]

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The Urban Scientist

Urban Science Adventure: Pollination Observations

Dandelion being pollinated

In celebration of Pollination Week, June 18-24, I wanted to give everyone a few ideas for a great Urban Science Adventure Activity you can do this weekend.  Today, June 21st is also Summer Learning Day. Join communities across the country in celebrating the importance of summer learning. Summer Learning Day is widely supported by educators, [...]

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The Urban Scientist

Wordless Wednesday: My Favorite Pollinators

Carpenter bee

June 18-24, 2012 is Pollinator Week. Join me is raising awareness of the importance of pollinators our ecosystems.   How well do you know your bees? Take this quick and see: Bee Identification.    

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