Feb 162017
 
Winter migration of monarch butterflies to Mexico drops after one-year recovery

The number of monarch butterflies wintering in Mexico dropped by 27% this year, reversing last year’s recovery from historically low numbers, according to a study by government and independent experts released Thursday. The experts say the decline could be due to late winter storms last year that blew down more than 100 acres (40 hectares) […]

Jan 242016
 
POLL: Should the US FWS be sued for failing to protect the Monarch butterfly?

Over the past two decades, populations of America’s iconic orange and black monarch butterflies have declined by more than 80 percent. Now, two environmental groups — the The Center for Biological Diversity and Center for Food Safety — have filed a notice of intent to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for failing to […]

Mar 242015
 
Flower Hill Farm Butterflies of 2014

Here are some Flower Hill Farm butterflies of 2014 sighted in our gardens. I have listed all of the butterflies in this collage by families on my garden blog to help readers learn more about these species — http://caroldukeflowers.com/butterflies-in-the-gardens/ There were more Monarch Butterflies in 2014 than sighted in 2013 in our Western Massachusetts gardens. […]

Oct 142014
 
Melanistic Montagu's Harrier and other Raptors

Here are some of the raptor photos we managed to see with my Swiss group from Arcatour last week. The wind direction swung around to give us moderate to strong Levante (easterlies) for five days and only died down on our last two days. Still, knowing what the migrating raptors do and where they will […]

Sep 282014
 
'Canary in the cornfield': Monarch butterfly may get threatened species status

Monarch butterflies were once a common sight throughout the North American heartland. In Mexico, where they overwinter, single trees would often be covered in thousands. But declines in milkweed – their caterpillars’ only source of food – have led to a 90 percent decline in monarch numbers. Now, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) […]

Jul 062014
 
Migrating Monarch Butterflies Use Magnetic Compass to Cut Through Clouds

When monarch butterflies wing their way south to central Mexico each fall, they use the sun to ensure that they stay on course. But how they head in the right direction on cloudy days has been a mystery—until now. It turns out they use Earth’s magnetic field as a kind of backup navigational system. It’s […]

Mar 142014
 
Migrating Monarch Butterflies in “Grave Danger,” Hit New Low

Migrating monarch butterflies are in “grave danger,” according to a report that shows their colonies in Mexico now occupy the smallest area since records began in 1993. The report is based on a survey of Mexico’s Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve done in December 2013. The butterflies, which spend the winter hibernating in the reserve’s forest, […]

Nov 072013
 
Mead Gardens, 10/26/2013

Mead Gardens has been exceptionally slow all fall with very few warblers stopping by. But I still like to visit from time to time, especially during the Orange Adubon Society Birdwalks. So yesterday morning I joined the group that was there and had a great time. The biggest highlight was seeing a couple Red-headed Woodpeckers. […]

Jul 182013
 
Losing our monarchs: iconic monarch butterfly down to lowest numbers in 20 years

In the next few months, the beating of fragile fiery orange and black wings will transport the monarch butterfly south. But the number of monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) reaching their final destination has steadily declined, dropping to its lowest level in two decades last winter, according to a recent survey. The insect’s journey begins in […]

Jun 022013
 
Frogs and other critters of Smiths lake

After being M.I.A. from the Frogs and Tadpoles Study-group (FATS) for precisely 10 years I rejoined the ranks of amphibian aficionados for a 4-day weekend trip to Smiths Lake on the north coast. 10 years ago I visited the lake during a torrential downpour in an attempt to find the elusive Green-eyed tree fog (Litoria […]

Oct 282012
 
All along The Strait

Yesterday the weather started to change, as a low-pressure system came up from the south-west. Rain came in the night which is a pity as it’s our daughter Amelia’s birthday today! There were some insects around as I explored the coastline from Tarifa to Pelayo with father and son, Terry and Gary from the UK […]

Oct 212012
 
Monarch Butterfly Metamorphosis: Part Three ~ Emergence

This is the crowning moment of the Monarch Butterfly Metamorphosis. Seeing the butterfly pushing open its sheer chrysalis casing door and flipping out into the world whole and perfect is a joyous observation and one that causes one to pause and ponder at the marvels of our natural world. While we pause, the Monarch butterfly’sover […]