Discover Nature Notes

Winter Sparrows

Dec 09, 2018

WINTER SPARROWS:  They're all around us in winter, eat cheap, and frequently feed on the ground.  Sparrows are small birds with thick bills for cracking seeds.  Sparrows are mostly brown but some have showy accents like yellow eyebrows, red caps, and white mohawks.  Discover how sparrows can lively-up your backyard in the dead of winter, and hear their calls and chirps in this week's Discover Nature Notes blog.

american tree sparrow

Missouri's Spicy Evergreen

Dec 02, 2018

MISSOURI'S SPICY EVERGREEN: Its aromatic wood is used for chests and closets, its oils for soaps and gin, and its high-energy berries feed hungry birds. Meet the Eastern red cedar. A shapely, spicy evergreen that is Missouri's most common and a yuletide favorite for people and wildlife. Red cedar branches provide greenery during winter and protect deer and rabbits from the wind. Learn more fun facts about red cedar trees in this week's Discover Nature Note.

Eastern red cedar tree berries

Christmas Bird Counts

Nov 25, 2018

CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNT:  Try a new outdoor adventure by joining an old holiday tradition.  Several Missouri counties have openings where you can be part of Audubon's annual Christmas Bird Count, the longest-running, citizen-science effort in the U.S.  Each count takes place on a single day between December 14, and January 5, from before sunrise to after sunset.  New birders are often paired with experienced counters.  Many groups enjoy a warm meal together after the count.  Learn how you can help birds by counting them in this week's Discover Nature Notes blog.

Eastern bluebird on a branch

The Thanksgiving Turkey

Nov 18, 2018

THE THANKSGIVING TURKEY:  Wild turkeys are birds simmered in American tradition.  They have over 5,000 feathers, are swift runners, as well as quick flyers for short distances.  Learn more about these powerful birds, how they got here, and watch a video with some tasty ways to prepare them with MDC's Kyle Lairmore and Missourinet's Bill Pollock in this week's Discover Nature Notes blog.

turkey

Dabblers vs Divers

Nov 13, 2018

DABBLERS VS. DIVERS:  Ducks are amazing creatures.  Discover how to tell dabbling ducks from diving ducks by the way they eat, fly and look.  Check out a video and photos and where you can see them in this week's Discover Nature Notes blog.

Wood Duck

Why Healthy Deer Matter and How You Can Help

Nov 04, 2018

WHY HEALTHY DEER MATTER AND HOW YOU CAN HELP:  Over the last 100 years, Missouri's white-tailed deer were brought back from an all-time low of 400 to more than 1.2 million today.  They're one of our most valuable species for outdoor recreation, jobs and tourism.  The work of keeping our deer herd healthy today is as important as the early work to restore them.  Scientists work with hunters and landowners to prevent the spread of disease, especially Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), which is always fatal.  Learn more about deer health, CWD, and mandatory testing in this week's Discover Nature Note.

deer hidden

Creepy Critters

Oct 29, 2018

GUESS THAT SPOOKY SOUND:  They may have hairy legs or vampire-looking wings, but these real life critters eat the blood suckers that ruin our summer evenings and perform some amazing feats.  Learn more about spiders and bats in this week's Discover Nature Note and see how many spooky sounds you can guess before each video puzzle completes.

Silver-Haired Bat

Three Dabblers

Oct 22, 2018

ARE YOU A DABBLER OR A DIVER:  Do you like to skim along the surface or go deep?  Learn the differences between dabbling ducks and diving ducks and how you can look for three dabblers winging their way through Missouri in this week's Discover Nature Note blog. 

American wigeon male

The Sounds of Fall

Oct 15, 2018

THE SOUNDS OF FALL:  Fall is a sensory delight.  And not just for the eyes and nose.  The sounds of fall are as distinct as its sights and smells.  Explore the many sounds of fall and places to go to hear them in this week's Discover Nature Note.

Woolly Bears and Winter

Oct 08, 2018

WOOLLY BEAR MYTHS AND FACTS:  These fuzzy caterpillars are out crossing roads now.  Why do they do that and can they really predict weather?  Explore fun facts about them and learn what they turn into in this week's Discover Nature Notes blog.

Woolly Bear Caterpillar

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