The Nightjaring Facebook group logo
Lest we forget that there are other nightjars in the world facing the same issues of habitat loss, declines in arthropods, and migration challenges, there is a Facebook group dedicated to those who study nightjars that breed in Europe.
Endangered animals of the prairie
Last week, I wrote on what has happened to our insects, and now there’s more on the horizon in terms of threats to insects — climate change. Can anyone describe a food web that doesn’t have an arthropod somewhere?
Life at ground level
For those of us who have been living under a rock and hadn’t heard about the arthropod apocalypse, the worldwide decline of insects, a critical element of any habitat, here’s this handy article explaining how we got here. Actually, those who live under an actual rock probably are only too aware.
The four nightjars of Nebraska
Ever notice how rarely nightjars appear in outdoor art? No? Maybe it’s just me. Waterfowl art is so ubiquitous that my high school boyfriend in art class decided to spoof duck art by depicting a duck on a frozen planet acidic’s lake. He liked sci fi art, you see.
Ahem, well, I certainly appreciated this street mural of a whip-poor-will.
eBird reports for common nighthawks in January. Source: Cornell Lab of Ornithology
Right now, nighthawks are living the high life in the southern hemisphere while we shiver in our bunks through the long winter. But, if you are missing the nighthawks here is a couple posts here and here and here about their migration this fall.
Rachel Carson. Photo Credit: Alfred Eisenstaedt/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images
Anyone tired of me talking about this topic yet? I talked about pesticides here, here, here, here, here, here and here .
But now there’s this story and this video about pesticides, in particular the neonicotinoids, and their effect on birds and our own food. The story just doesn’t go away. Rachel Carson wrote at length about pesticides and their impact on the health of ourselves and our wild neighbors in Silent Spring, published in the 1960s, and we banned DDT as a result. Then we invented more.
[Side note: I highly recommend The Gentle Subversive, a short biography of Rachel Carson by Mark Hamilton Lytle.]
It was a wet year in the Badlands. Beautiful, yes, but what does that mean for the organisms unused to so much moisture?
This summer in Wisconsin’s Driftless Area was a wet one. Many communities experienced flood as higher than average rainfall overfilled our waterways. We can expect more of this to come, according to climate scientists. In other areas, increased rainfall caused wet conditions that impacts habitat for animals not used to the moisture in their environment. But, remember, when we live near water, eventually it will come for you.
Water does not resist. Water flows,
When you plunge your hand into it,
all you feel is a caress. Water is not
a solid wall, it will not stop you. But
water always goes where it wants to
go, and nothing in the end can stand
against it. Water is patient. Dripping
water wears away a stone. Remember
that, my child. Remember you are
half water. If you cant go through an
obstacle, go around it. Water does.
The hidden nocturnal world is my balliwick
I’ve often talked about the hidden world of wildlife on land and in the air, but I have paid very little attention to the majority of this planet, our oceans. Chalk it up to ignorance and my own bias, I have been remiss. And while the majority of our planet’s surface is covered by water, still more lurks in the depths. This infographic was particularly startling.
Wisconsin’s Driftless Area in the Winter, with hibernating mussels, catfish, and beaver. Not pictured: The microbiome overwintering in the soil.
It’s a little late in the season to talk about leaf removal, but if you’ve been lazy like me, or as I prefer to think of it, consciously lackadaisical, and left your leaves on the lawn, congratulations! You have created overwintering habitat and food for the critters that live in our soil. Many of them fertilize and pollinate our lawns and gardens. Check out this story for more information.