Friday, September 30, 2016

Global Worming

The Unexpected Threat to Northern Forests

Well friends, here we go again. There's a long list of threats to our forests that have come about as a result of our human activities. Now there's another serious invasive pest, one that we have welcomed, and thought was completely beneficial; one that has insidious behavior, yet seems so benign and desirable to have around. It's advancing into our northeastern forests, altering their composition, even destroying them. And there's nothing we can do to stop it. What hideous critter is this?

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Mt Tom's Peregrine Falcons: 2016 Season

Peregrine Falcons on Mt Tom

A previous blog article (here) chronicled the 2015 nesting of two peregrine falcons on the Mount Tom Range of Western Massachusetts, and provided a link to a video (here) on our companion New England Forests youtube channel. That video documents the lives of the two female peregrine chicks raised last year.

Because the video has been well received, and continues to attract a steady stream of viewers, fellow photographer Rich D'Amato and I decided to produce a short video this year to update interested viewers with the results of the 2016 nesting.

Adult Male Peregrine Falcon Nesting on Mt Tom
Mt Tom Adult Peregrine Falcon (RJ D'Amato)
The same two adult falcons that nested on Mt Tom last year (2015) mated once again in 2016. They chose the exact same nest site as last year. The female, in her third year of life, originated in New York state; last year was the first time she raised young. The male, now in his thirteenth year, was originally banded in Vermont, and had nested on Mt Tom with other females prior to his current mate.

Rich and I did not spend as many long days watching the birds this year as last year, although Rich put in much more time on the cliffs than did I. But we've assembled a short video summarizing the falcons' 2016 nesting season, a season with good results, and some unexpected, sad news.

You can view the new 2016 video on the New England Forests Youtube channel (here), or in the player window below (may not be visible in email feeds).