The Field Guides show

The Field Guides

Summary: Nature nerds rejoice! The Field Guides is a monthly podcast that will bring you out on the trail, focusing on the science of our North American wildlife.

Podcasts:

 Ep. 56 - Let's Get Nuts! | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 01:19:00

Black Walnut (Juglans nigra) is a tree well-known for its ability to negatively affect other plants growing nearby, a phenomenon known as allelopathy. But is Black Walnut really as allelopathic as the Internet would have you believe? In this episode, the guys go nuts: delving into this question and many other facets of the fascinating (and tasty?) Black Walnut, including an on-air tasting of Black Walnut Syrup. Enjoy!

 Ep. 55 - Bill and Steve Go to Hell(benders) | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 01:08:00

What’s dark and slimy and over two feet long? It’s an Eastern Hellbender! This aquatic giant salamander, endemic to the eastern and central US, is the largest amphibian in North America, often weighing in at over 4 lbs.! The hellbender (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis) is, not unlike Steve, secretive and slimy but also fascinating. Join the guys for one hell of an episode learning about this rare and disappearing denizen of fast-moving streams.

 Ep. 54 - Can't Touch This: A Deep Dive Into Touch-me-not | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 01:09:00

Jewelweed. Spotted touch-me-not. Orange Balsam. It’s a plant known by many names, and, even if you don’t recognize any of them, you’ve probably popped one of its exploding seed pods. A favorite of hummingbirds and nature-lovers young and old, it’s a species with many stories to share. Listen in as the guys dive deep into the jewelweed patch, eating some seeds, trying to find the source of the “jewel” in jewelweed’s name, and getting to the bottom of the age-old claim that jewelweed is a cure for poison ivy.

 Ep. 53 - The American Chestnut & the Western NY Land Conservancy @ the Allegany Wildlands (Part 2) | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 01:03:00

In part 2 of this month’s episode, the guys share how past and present research come together to create a realistic plan for bringing the American chestnut back, and Erik shares more about how the Allegany Wildlands fit into the Conservancy’s ambitious effort to create the Western NY Wildway, a network of connected protected lands stretching from Pennsylvania to the Great Lakes and beyond. The episode was recorded on August 14, 2021 at the Allegany Wildlands. Episode Notes During the episode, Bill mentioned the corn geneticist Charles Burnham and wondered if he was one of the founders of The American Chestnut Foundation (TACF). He was! From the TACF’s Wikipedia page: “TACF was founded in 1983 by a group of prominent plant scientists, including Nobel Prize-winning plant breeder Norman Borlaug; Peter Raven, Director of the Missouri Botanical Garden; independent chestnut researcher Philip Rutter; and the late Charles Burnham, a Minnesota corn geneticist. Links to the Western NY Land Conservancy Visit the website of the Western New York Land Conservancy to find out more about their vital conservation efforts. Find out more about the Allegany Wildlands, including the efforts to preserve it. Explore the WNY Land Conservancy’s Western New York Wildway, their ambitious new initiative to create an extensive series of protected lands that connect the vast forests of northern Pennsylvania to the Great Lakes, central NY, the Adirondacks, and beyond. Other Episode-related Links The American Chestnut Foundation (TACF) – sign up for their newsletter or consider joining the organization. Check out TACF’s page on their 3BUR approach to reintroducing the American chestnut. For up-to-date info on the Darling 58 tree and related efforts to restore the American chestnut, visit the chestnut site at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. For more info on the Darling 58 chestnut tree, check out the video: Bringing Back an American Icon Sponsors and Ways to Support Us Gumleaf Boots, USA (free shipping for patrons) Thank you to Always Wandering Art (Website and Etsy Shop) for providing the artwork for many of our episodes! Support us on Patreon! Check out the Field Guides merch at our Teespring store. It’s really a great deal: you get to pay us to turn your body into a billboard for the podcast! Works Cited Aucott, M. and Parker, R.A., 2021. Medical biotechnology as a paradigm for forest restoration and introduction of the transgenic American chestnut. Conservation Biology, 35(1), pp.190-196. Candeias, M. (2017) In Defense of Plants: Ep. 107 - Chestnut Blight: Causes and Solutions [Podcast]. May 7, 2017. Available at: https://www.indefenseofplants.com/podcast/2017/5/7/ep-107-chestnut-blight-causes-and-solutions (Accessed 7 August, 2021). Candeias, M. (2017) In Defense of Plants: Ep. 272 - Restoring the American Chestnut [Podcast]. July 5, 2020. Available at: https://www.indefenseofplants.com/podcast/2020/7/5/ep-272-restoring-the-american-chestnut?fbclid=IwAR08lmeHJwDK-vkbDuyC7YBx22mKtNEoApwibbpGG-U1Plf_ciXZDXjhiNE (Accessed 7 August, 2021).

 Ep. 53 - The American Chestnut & the Western NY Land Conservancy @ the Allegany Wildlands (Part 1) | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 01:03:00

This month, Bill and Steve look into the fall and (potential) rise of the American chestnut (Castanea dentata), and they’re joined by Erik Danielson, Stewardship Coordinator of the Western NY Land Conservancy. The Conservancy recently embarked on an effort to acquire the Allegany Wildlands, a unique piece of property that harbors, among its many abundant ecological treasures, remnant American chestnuts. Erik guides Bill and Steve through the property, and, in part 1 of this episode, they discuss the history of the chestnut and the blight that caused its downfall. In part 2, they share how past and present research come together to create a realistic plan for bringing the American chestnut back. Throughout both parts, Erik shares how the Allegany Wildlands fit into the Conservancy’s ambitious effort to create the Western NY Wildway, a network of connected protected lands stretching from Pennsylvania to the Great Lakes and beyond. The episode was recorded on August 14, 2021 at the Allegany Wildlands. Episode Notes During the episode, Bill mentioned the corn geneticist Charles Burnham and wondered if he was one of the founders of The American Chestnut Foundation (TACF). He was! From the TACF’s Wikipedia page: “TACF was founded in 1983 by a group of prominent plant scientists, including Nobel Prize-winning plant breeder Norman Borlaug; Peter Raven, Director of the Missouri Botanical Garden; independent chestnut researcher Philip Rutter; and the late Charles Burnham, a Minnesota corn geneticist. Links to the Western NY Land Conservancy Visit the website of the Western New York Land Conservancy to find out more about their vital conservation efforts. Find out more about the Allegany Wildlands, including the efforts to preserve it. Explore the WNY Land Conservancy’s Western New York Wildway, their ambitious new initiative to create an extensive series of protected lands that connect the vast forests of northern Pennsylvania to the Great Lakes, central NY, the Adirondacks, and beyond. Other Episode-related Links The American Chestnut Foundation (TACF) – sign up for their newsletter or consider joining the organization. Check out TACF’s page on their 3BUR approach to reintroducing the American chestnut. For up-to-date info on the Darling 58 tree and related efforts to restore the American chestnut, visit the chestnut site at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. For more info on the Darling 58 chestnut tree, check out the video: Bringing Back an American Icon Sponsors and Ways to Support Us Gumleaf Boots, USA (free shipping for patrons) Thank you to Always Wandering Art (Website and Etsy Shop) for providing the artwork for many of our episodes! Support us on Patreon! Check out the Field Guides merch at our Teespring store. It’s really a great deal: you get to pay us to turn your body into a billboard for the podcast! Works Cited Aucott, M. and Parker, R.A., 2021. Medical biotechnology as a paradigm for forest restoration and introduction of the transgenic American chestnut. Conservation Biology, 35(1), pp.190-196. Candeias, M. (2017) In Defense of Plants: Ep. 107 - Chestnut Blight: Causes and Solutions [Podcast]. May 7, 2017. Available at: https://www.indefenseofplants.com/podcast/2017/5/7/ep-107-chestnut-blight-causes-and-solutions (Accessed 7 August, 2021). Candeias, M. (2017) In Defense of Plants: Ep. 272 - Restoring the American Chestnut [Podcast]. July 5, 2020. Available at: https://www.indefenseofplants.com/podcast/2020/7/5/ep-272-restoring-the-american-chestnut?fbclid=IwAR08lmeHJwDK-vkbDuyC7YBx22mKtNEoApwibbpGG-U1Plf_ciXZDXjhiNE (Accessed 7 August, 2021).

 Ep. 52 - Who's Your Daddy (Longlegs)? | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 01:00:11

This month, the guys set out to discover if daddy longlegs really are the most poisonous spider in the world, but, along the way, they uncover a fascinating array of arachnids and adaptations in the group known collectively as harvestmen. Join them for some mythbusting and a deep dive into the little-known order of arachnids called Opiliones.

 Ep. 51 - Flickers Foolin' Around: Sex Roles in a North American Woodpecker | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 01:08:00

The northern flicker (Colaptes auratus) is a common bird that has some exceptionally uncommon behaviors. Unlike most bird species, male flickers take an equal share of egg incubation and feeding, and, in up to five percent of females, a lady flicker will take up with two mates - an older male and a younger male - raising young in two different nests at the same time. In addition, flickers will sometimes lay their eggs in the nests of other flickers, a behavior called intraspecific brood parasitism, another habit rarely seen in birds. Join the guys as they delve into studies exploring the wild and swinging world of northern flicker reproduction.

 Ep. 50 - Antifreeze Fleas and More Winter-Active Insects (Feat. Dr. Wayne Gall) | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 01:03:33

Spring is here! So, what better time to talk about winter-active insects? Steve recorded this one in February with entomologist and all-around-great-guy Dr. Wayne Gall, and there was no way we could wait until next winter to share it! Join Steve and Wayne as they head into the winter woods, peeling back the snowy curtain that conceals the ecology of these fascinating invertebrates. This episode was recorded in February 2021 at the Deer Lick Conservation Area, a Nature Conservancy property, located in Gowanda, NY. Thank you Patrons! Alyssa, Eric, The Hebranks, Ken, Diane, Daniel M, Rachelle, OrangeJulian, Jessica, Rich K, Sean, Kali, Rob M, WeNamedTheDogIndie, John, Bethany, Ester, Jeff, Goose_Egg, bruce, Kazys, Jajean, Bob, Doodle Dude 82, Elisabeth, Lauren, Jane, Ben, Andrew, Andy, Helen, MD, Judy, Kelly, Sara, and this month’s new patrons: Jonathan A, Anna G, Jake M, Melissa Marie in Dusty, AZ, Celia, Lucas, and Kelly S.

 Ep. 49 - Whither the Snowy Owl? (Part 2) | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:47:01

This winter (2021) marked the first time a Snowy Owl (Bubo scandiacus) was spotted in New York City’s Central Park in 130 years. Why was it there? Where did it come from? Since 99.9% of the population immediately just thinks of Harry Potter when Snowy Owls are mentioned, the guys wanted to cast the proverbial “Lumos!” and shed some light on the subject. Join them and guest Daniel Mlodozeniec (photographer and naturalist) as they delve into the Snowy Owl’s ecology in part 1. Then, in part 2, come along as they look into the research behind what drives Snowy Owl irruptions, those irregular migrations that cause Snowies to end up in Central Park and even in places like Bermuda and Hawaii! This episode was recorded on February 1, 2021 in Buffalo, NY at the Erie Basin Marina (part 1) and Tifft Nature Preserve (part 2). Special thanks to Dan for getting up early and joining us for a cold, cold four hours! Check out the link to his work below. Episode Notes For items mentioned in part 1 of this episode, please see the episode notes page for part 1. Bill mentioned Frank Chapman as the originator of the Christmas Bird Count, but he failed to give any context. Here’s an excerpt from the Audubon Society’s “History of the Christmas Bird Count”: Prior to the turn of the 20th century, hunters engaged in a holiday tradition known as the Christmas "Side Hunt."* They would choose sides and go afield with their guns—whoever brought in the biggest pile of feathered (and furred) quarry won. Conservation was in its beginning stages in that era, and many observers and scientists were becoming concerned about declining bird populations. Beginning on Christmas Day 1900, ornithologist Frank M. Chapman, an early officer in the then-nascent Audubon Society, proposed a new holiday tradition—a "Christmas Bird Census" that would count birds during the holidays rather than hunt them. *As a side note, Bill wonders if these “side hunts” really occurred. The only reference to this tradition he has ever seen is in articles talking about how the Christmas Bird Count got started. This raises his “skeptical spidey-sense”. Did these side hunts actually take place? Is this just an apocryphal idea that has been repeated and spread over the last century because of the Christmas Count? Bill would love to get to the bottom of this, and he asks that if any listeners have or could find any accounts of these “side hunts” (apart from references related to the Christmas Bird Count), he would be very grateful if they would pass them along. Links / Picture Credit Dan’s Instagram: into_the_wild_photography2018 / This episode’s cover photo is also by Dan! Click here to find out more about Springtails. Watch Steve’s old YouTube show: Lookin’ At It: A Nature Show. This link will take you to the episode focused on Snowy Owls, but there are several other episodes to enjoy! Matt Candeias’s book, In Defense of Plants, is available here. Nature Out Loud! plays upbeat, fun, family friendly tunes inspired by the wild world all around us. Check out their website and their YouTube channel. Support The Field Guides Patreon Make a onetime Paypal donation. Our Sponsor Gumleaf Boots, USA Thank you to Always Wandering Art (Website and Etsy Shop) for providing the artwork for Part 1, as well as the art for many of our previous episodes! Works Cited Snowy Owl sounds from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology / Macaulay Library Chang, A.M. and Wiebe, K.L., 2018. Habitat selection by wintering male and female Snowy Owls on the Canadian prairies in relation to prey abundance and a competitor, the Great Horned Owl. Journal of Field Ornithology, 89(1), pp.64-77. Curk, T., McDonald, T., Zazelenchuk, D., Weidensaul, S., Brinker, D., Huy, S., Smith, N., Miller, T., Robillard, A., Gauthier, G. Chamberlin, M.L., 1980. Winter hunting behavior of a snowy owl in Michigan. The Wilson Bulletin, pp.116-120. and Lecomte, N., 2018. Winter irruptive Snowy Owls (Bubo scandiacus) in North America are not starving. Canadian Journal of Zoology, 96(6), pp.553-558. Fuller, M., Holt, D. and Schueck, L., 2003. Snowy owl movements: variation on the migration theme. In Avian migration (pp. 359-366). Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. Gessaman, J.A., 1972. Bioenergetics of the snowy owl (Nyctea scandiaca). Arctic and Alpine Research, 4(3), pp.223-238. Gross, A.O., 1947. Cyclic invasions of the snowy owl and the migration of 1945-1946. The Auk, 64(4), pp.584-601. Heggøy, O., Aarvak, T., Øien, I.J., Jacobsen, K.O., Solheim, R., Zazelenchuk, D., Stoffel, M. and Kleven, O., 2017. Effects of satellite transmitters on survival in Snowy Owls Bubo scandiacus. Holt, D.W. and Zetterberg, S.A., 2008. The 2005 to 2006 Snowy Owl irruption migration to western Montana. Northwestern Naturalist, 89(3), pp.145-151. Koenig, W.D. and Knops, J.M., 2001. Seed‐crop size and eruptions of North American boreal seed‐eating birds. Journal of Animal Ecology, 70(4), pp.609-620. McCrary, M.D., Bloom, P.H., Porter, S. and Sernka, K.J., 2019. Facultative Migration: New Insight from a Raptor. Journal of Raptor Research, 53(1), pp.84-90. Robillard, A., Gauthier, G., Therrien, J.F. and Bêty, J., 2018. Wintering space use and site fidelity in a nomadic species, the snowy owl. Journal of Avian Biology, 49(5), pp.jav-01707. Robillard, A., Therrien, J.F., Gauthier, G., Clark, K.M. and Bêty, J., 2016. Pulsed resources at tundra breeding sites affect winter irruptions at temperate latitudes of a top predator, the snowy owl. Oecologia, 181(2), pp.423-433. Santonja, P., Mestre, I., Weidensaul, S., Brinker, D., Huy, S., Smith, N., Mcdonald, T., Blom, M., Zazelenchuck, D., Weber, D. and Gauthier, G., 2019. Age composition of winter irruptive Snowy Owls in North America. Ibis, 161(1), pp.211-215. Solheim, R., 2012. Wing feather moult and age determination of Snowy Owls Bubo scandiacus. Therrien, J.F., Gauthier, G., Pinaud, D. and Bêty, J., 2014. Irruptive movements and breeding dispersal of snowy owls: a specialized predator exploiting a pulsed resource. Journal of Avian biology, 45(6), pp.536-544. Winter, R.E., 2016. Hunting Behaviors and Foraging Success of Winter Irruptive Snowy Owls in New York.

 Ep. 49 - Whither the Snowy Owl? (Part 1) | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 01:00:52

This winter (2021) marked the first time a Snowy Owl (Bubo scandiacus) was spotted in New York City’s Central Park in 130 years. Why was it there? Where did it come from? Since 99.9% of the population immediately just thinks of Harry Potter when Snowy Owls are mentioned, the guys wanted to cast the proverbial “Lumos!” and shed some light on the subject. Join them and guest Daniel Mlodozeniec (photographer and naturalist) as they delve into the Snowy Owl’s ecology in part 1. Then, in part 2, come along as they look into the research behind what drives Snowy Owl irruptions, those irregular migrations that cause Snowies to end up in Central Park and even in places like Bermuda and Hawaii! This episode was recorded on February 1, 2021 in Buffalo, NY at the Erie Basin Marina (part 1) and Tifft Nature Preserve (part 2). Special thanks to Dan for getting up early and joining us for a cold, cold four hours! Check out the link to his work below. Episode Notes During the episode, Steve wondered if it’s illegal to use rat/rodent poison. The answer is mostly no; here in the US, certain types have been banned. When discussing if lemmings actually run off cliffs, the guys mentioned a Disney film that is likely the origin of that myth. The film is called White Wilderness, and you can read this great article from Snopes to find out more. Bill wondered, “Is a Red Phalarope a shore bird?” Yes, it is. The guys said they thought the Great Black-backed Gull is the largest gull. Turns out they were right! Check out this macabre shot of the lemmings a Snowy Owl arranged around its nest! Dan was correct in saying that the barn owl family is Tytonidae. Bill mentioned how the temperature in Siberia reached over 100 degrees F during the summer of 2020. Read more about it here. Shortly after we wrapped, the Snowy Owl in Central; Park reappeared. Read about it here. Links Check out Dan’s work: Dan’s Instagram: into_the_wild_photography2018 Partners in Flight The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Project Snowstorm - uses innovative science to understand snowy owls, and to engage people in their conservation through outreach and education. More info about Lemmings: Brown Lemming (Lemmus) species: Find out more about the Norwegian Lemming (Lemmus lemmus), and other members of this genus Collared Lemming (Dicrostonyx) - Check out this overview of the genus Support The Field Guides Patreon Make a onetime Paypal donation. Our Sponsor Gumleaf Boots, USA Picture Credit Thank you to Always Wandering Art (Website and Etsy Shop) for providing this episode’s artwork, as well as the art for many of our previous episodes! Works Cited Snowy Owl sounds from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology / Macaulay Library Chang, A.M. and Wiebe, K.L., 2018. Habitat selection by wintering male and female Snowy Owls on the Canadian prairies in relation to prey abundance and a competitor, the Great Horned Owl. Journal of Field Ornithology, 89(1), pp.64-77. Curk, T., McDonald, T., Zazelenchuk, D., Weidensaul, S., Brinker, D., Huy, S., Smith, N., Miller, T., Robillard, A., Gauthier, G. Chamberlin, M.L., 1980. Winter hunting behavior of a snowy owl in Michigan. The Wilson Bulletin, pp.116-120. and Lecomte, N., 2018. Winter irruptive Snowy Owls (Bubo scandiacus) in North America are not starving. Canadian Journal of Zoology, 96(6), pp.553-558. Fuller, M., Holt, D. and Schueck, L., 2003. Snowy owl movements: variation on the migration theme. In Avian migration (pp. 359-366). Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. Gessaman, J.A., 1972. Bioenergetics of the snowy owl (Nyctea scandiaca). Arctic and Alpine Research, 4(3), pp.223-238. Gross, A.O., 1947. Cyclic invasions of the snowy owl and the migration of 1945-1946. The Auk, 64(4), pp.584-601. Heggøy, O., Aarvak, T., Øien, I.J., Jacobsen, K.O., Solheim, R., Zazelenchuk, D., Stoffel, M. and Kleven, O., 2017. Effects of satellite transmitters on survival in Snowy Owls Bubo scandiacus. Holt, D.W. and Zetterberg, S.A., 2008. The 2005 to 2006 Snowy Owl irruption migration to western Montana. Northwestern Naturalist, 89(3), pp.145-151. Koenig, W.D. and Knops, J.M., 2001. Seed‐crop size and eruptions of North American boreal seed‐eating birds. Journal of Animal Ecology, 70(4), pp.609-620. McCrary, M.D., Bloom, P.H., Porter, S. and Sernka, K.J., 2019. Facultative Migration: New Insight from a Raptor. Journal of Raptor Research, 53(1), pp.84-90. Robillard, A., Gauthier, G., Therrien, J.F. and Bêty, J., 2018. Wintering space use and site fidelity in a nomadic species, the snowy owl. Journal of Avian Biology, 49(5), pp.jav-01707. Robillard, A., Therrien, J.F., Gauthier, G., Clark, K.M. and Bêty, J., 2016. Pulsed resources at tundra breeding sites affect winter irruptions at temperate latitudes of a top predator, the snowy owl. Oecologia, 181(2), pp.423-433. Santonja, P., Mestre, I., Weidensaul, S., Brinker, D., Huy, S., Smith, N., Mcdonald, T., Blom, M., Zazelenchuck, D., Weber, D. and Gauthier, G., 2019. Age composition of winter irruptive Snowy Owls in North America. Ibis, 161(1), pp.211-215. Solheim, R., 2012. Wing feather moult and age determination of Snowy Owls Bubo scandiacus. Therrien, J.F., Gauthier, G., Pinaud, D. and Bêty, J., 2014. Irruptive movements and breeding dispersal of snowy owls: a specialized predator exploiting a pulsed resource. Journal of Avian biology, 45(6), pp.536-544. Winter, R.E., 2016. Hunting Behaviors and Foraging Success of Winter Irruptive Snowy Owls in New York.

 Ep. 48 - Eat Sh*t and Live, Bill (Part 2) | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:49:36

Now that Bill’s done droning on about animals, we can finally talk about PLANTS! and CARNIVOROUS plants at that. Steve reviews carnivorous plants in general and then breaks into examples of carnivorous plants that have evolved to eat poop: Roridula spp. in South Africa, Sarracenia purpurea in North America, & Nepenthes spp. in Southeast Asia.

 Ep. 48 - Eat Sh*t and Live, Bill (Part 1) | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:45:52

With the high-end guests we’ve recently had on, we’re concerned that the podcast is getting a bit too classy. So, this month, we’re getting down and dirty, delving into the delightful topic of defecation. Specifically, animals that eat poop. We know, it seems gross. We thought so, too. But once we started exploring this surprisingly common behavior (called coprophagy), we were amazed at what we uncovered!

 Ep. 47 - Field Trip!: Exploring the Roger Tory Peterson Institute (Part 2) | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 01:02:42

Welcome to part 2 of our field trip to the Roger Tory Peterson Institute. In this segment, Bill and Steve take a hike with Twan Leenders, Senior Director of Science & Conservation at the Institute. Twan has had a career in conservation that deserves to be made into a movie. From researching wildlife in the treetops of Central American rainforests to corralling ornery spiny softshell turtles in post-industrial rivers, Twan’s stories, as well as his personal philosophy on science communication, make for a fascinating listen. Enjoy!

 Ep. 47 - Field Trip!: Exploring the Roger Tory Peterson Institute (Part 1) | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:42:51

This month, Bill and Steve visit The Roger Tory Peterson Institute in Jamestown, NY. In part 1, we talk with CEO Arthur Pearson, delving into Roger Tory Peterson’s background, his influence on the modern field guide, how field guides influence conservation, and how the Institute seeks to bridge people’s passions for art, nature, and conservation.

 Ep. 46 - The Piping Plovers of Sandy Island Beach | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:49:04

This month’s episode is all about the Piping Plover (Charadrius melodus), a small shorebird that is endangered in New York State. Bill and Steve head off to Pulaski, New York to visit Sandy Island Beach State Park where plovers have been breeding since their return in 2016. The guys are joined by Claire Nellis, the ‘Piping Plover Project Coordinator’ for the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historical Preservation. They’re also joined by Tom Kerr, local naturalist with Buffalo Audubon, who previously worked with Piping Plovers at Rockaway Beach in Queens, New York. We hope you enjoy the episode!

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