Discover Nature Notes

Frog Chorus

Mar 12, 2018

FROG CHORUS: You can hear their chorus rising up on warm, rainy spring nights. From backyards to wetlands, frogs create a symphony of spring sound. Learn the notes of the spring peeper and western chorus frog in this week's Discover Nature Note. Frogs are also quite tasty and fishable. Learn some basics to Frogging 101 and about the adventure of fishing for frogs.

Photo of a western chorus frog

The Herons' Hood

Mar 05, 2018

You've likely seen them along the water, perching perfectly still with long legs and an "S" shaped neck.  You may have seen them quickly snag a fish.  Few people have seen where they nest and have young.  Herons build nests in colonies, usually high up in mature sycamore trees along streams.  Look for several large nests grouped in a single tree.  This time of year, you will see them flying around as they build, repair, and protect the nests.  Learn more about herons and their hood, called "rookeries" in this week's Discover Nature Note.

GB Heron nest

SPRINGing To Life

Feb 26, 2018

SPRINGING TO LIFE:  Robin Williams joked that "Spring is nature's way of saying, Let's party!" It's definitely a moveable feast for the ears and eyes.  Songs fill the air from backyard trees to prairies, forests, and ponds.  Flashes of color pop here and there.  Animals are moving around and competing for mates, even on those March days where poet Robert Frost notes, "The sun was warm but the wind was chill."  You can't help but be inspired and entertained by the sights and sounds of spring courtship.  See who you might observe dancing and singing this March in this week's Discover Nature Note. 

Spring Peeper

Just For the Birds

Feb 19, 2018

Only birds have feathers, and every bird has them. They are a natural engineering marvel that provide many functions like insulation from the heat and cold, displaying for courtship, and most impressively, lift and drag for flight. See a variety of bird feathers up close in the video and learn more fun facts in this week's Discover Nature Note.

Road Runner

Salamander Sway for Valentines Day

Feb 12, 2018

Salamander Sway For Valentines Day: The song "Sway", first made popular by Dean Martin, would choreograph well with the ritual water dance of spotted salamanders. Shortly after Valentine's Day, on the first warm rains of late winter/early spring, hundreds will gather in ponds and sway and swim with a marimba type rhythm. It can look like a flash mob during this brief window of their breeding season. Learn more about spotted and other salamanders in this week's Discover Nature Note.-- Peg@MDC

Drawing of spotted salamander

Winter Wildlife Games

Feb 05, 2018

WINTER WILDLIFE GAMES: While humans compete for sport and honor at the Olympics, Missouri's wildlife are busy hunting, playing and competing for survival. They can be seen performing feats of strength, speed and endurance throughout the Show Me State. Learn more about the competitive skills of Missouri wildlife and see a video of them in action in this week's Discover Nature Notes.

coyote in snow

Groundhogs and their Day

Jan 29, 2018

With their own holiday and the most watched weather forecast of the year, groundhogs have reigned through folklore as a predictor of how much winter is left in the season. In some places, people gather to see if they will see their shadow on February 2. A lesser known fact about groundhogs, also known as woodchucks, is that they are also excellent home builders. Learn more about groundhogs as well as the answer to the age old question of "how much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?" in this week's Discover Nature Note.

Groundhog weather cartoon

Night Sounds: Owls

Jan 22, 2018

They might hoot or holler, make a soft whinny, or even repeat your call. Owls are fascinating creatures of the night and their calls can help you identify them. Winter is the best time to hear and see owls which are usually active after dark. Learn more about these nocturnal predators and their environmental benefit in this week's Discover Nature Note.

great horned owl

Outdoor Winter Adventures

Jan 15, 2018

OUTDOOR WINTER ADVENTURES:  If you're having cabin fever, looking for ways to get fit, or spend time with family and friends, consider heading outdoors this season.  There's a lot to see and do during the winter in the Show Me state.  You can find out how and where to try out three different outdoor adventures in this week's Discover Nature Note.

Hickory Canyons in snow

The Masked Bandit of the Night

Jan 08, 2018

They are stealthy, savvy and hard to outsmart. Campsites and backyards are common scenes for their night raids.   Raccoons are furbearers with an amazing ability to break into containers and garbage cans.  Their long fingers on their front paws are perfect for picking locks and latches.  They also have an uncanny ability to remember these feats and mimic them from watching each other.  Learn more about raccoons and their special skills and value in this week's Discover Nature Note.

Pages

Subscribe to Discover Nature Notes

Get an email when new blog posts are available.
Sign up Now

Field Guide

Discovering nature from A-Z is one click away

Recipes

You had fun hunting, catching or gathering your quarry—now have more fun cooking and eating it.
Check out the recipes