It’s not just pollinators, nighthawks, garter snakes, and songbirds that have adapted to our communities, it’s other perhaps more surprising, and even troubling species that are drawn to us.
Who you love doesn’t mean you should receive substandard care. It being Pride Month, I was reminded of this idea when listening to this interview with Dr. Fauci. Listen to the whole thing, it’s worth it, but here’s the short version:
Back in the ’80s, Dr. Fauci was working on the AIDS crisis, and activists were pressuring him to release treatments before the government entities had fully vetted them. Rightly so, there was a concern that dying people would not see the day when such medicines would be available to them. After some initial reluctance, he finally heard them out, and agreed with their point of view. It was a life lesson for him, and he readily admits that. Kudos to Dr. Fauci in highlighting mistakes as a way to grow.
The AIDS crisis continues to this day, but if you would like a history of the virus, I would recommend the excellent book, Somebody to Love, and how it culminated in the death of Freddie Mercury and so many others.
Hi, my name is Gretchen, and I like taxidermy. There I said it. That is, as long as the materials are sourced responsibly. If you would like to know what goes into creating those fascinating dioramas, check out this video.
Think the raptors in your corner of the globe are specific to your region? You might be right, but for three species, they are found on nearly every continent. The osprey, pictured above, is one. Check out this link to see the other two, and find out why.
It turns out — like everything else — habitat, and in particular, wetlands, to sate their appetites, because as it turns out, as much as we think there are too many insects out at sunset, it’s not enough for their appetites. That’s why bats matter.
Did you know that opossums eat ticks? Don’t believe me? Check out this video.
I spent a fair amount of time thinking about what it takes to survive a space that can reach 110 or 120 degrees Fahrenheit day after day. Nighthawks do it on a rooftop. What about sudden cold snaps? Turns out nightjars, the bird family to which nighthawks belong, are capable of torpor, a shortened form of hibernation in which their metabolism slows and their body temperature changes to meet its environment. Want to know more about torpor? Check out this handy article.
Vultures often get a bad rap, but check out this video if you would like to see what all they do to protect us.
This fall, Oregon State University Press will be publishing my book, “The Nighthawk’s Evening”. It’s the story of becoming a biologist and the remarkable birds I studied.
Pre-order it here:
Did you know that vultures are facing a crisis? Want to know more? Want to help? Check this site out.