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March 04, 2011 - Field Notes

Noteworthy News from the Division of Fish, Wildlife and Marine Resources

Noteworthy Dates & Events

short-eared owls are endagered species
A short-eared owl in flight
- Photo by B.L. Sullivan ~
  • Don't Miss the 1st Annual Winter Raptor Fest.
    Attention raptor enthusiasts, keep your weekend open for the 1st Annual Winter Raptor Fest held on March 12-13 in Fort Edward, NY. See hawks, owls and falcons on display and enjoy watching their spectacular flight show. Learn about the short-eared owl, American kestrel, and other captivating birds of prey as you meet with experts who work to protect and conserve our wildlife. Join DEC biologists as they discuss tracking raptor movements with use of satellite, and meet with wildlife rehabilitators to find out what it takes to care for these wild animals. Additional fun activities include a snowshoe race, a horse-drawn sleigh ride, and a snow sculpture competition. This fun-filled two-day event will be held at the Little Theatre on the Farm in Washington County Grasslands Important Bird Area, a place that is critical to the survival of many raptors. Get more details on this event by visiting winterraptorfest.com (link leaves DEC website), and don't miss out!
  • Wildlife Rehabilitator Exam and Application.
    The annual written exam for those interested in becoming a New York State licensed wildlife rehabilitators will be on April 22. To register for the exam an application must be submitted by April 1. Wildlife rehabilitators provide the voluntary service of caring for injured, sick and orphaned wild animals, with the ultimate goal of preparing animals for their return to the wild. Prospective applicants are encouraged to gain experience by serving as an assistant to a licensed wildlife rehabilitator. For more details on this exam, including study materials and applicant requirements, read the DEC press release.
  • Falconry Apprentice Exam and Application.
    For those interested in practicing the sport of falconry in New York State, an exam will be held for an Apprentice Falconry License on April 22. To register for the exam an application must be submitted by April 1. Falconry is a traditional sport in which a raptor, such as a falcon or hawk, is trained to hunt small game. In New York State, Apprentices are limited to possessing one bird, either an American kestrel or a red-tailed hawk, and must serve two years under the guidance of a General or Master Falconer. A person thinking about becoming a falconer must understand that they are responsible for meeting the daily needs of the raptor, including feeding, housing, exercising, and ensuring that the bird has appropriate veterinary care. Review the DEC press release for more information on applying for the exam.


  • New Conservation Innovation Award.
    Based upon the history of DEC, this year marks the 100th year anniversary of the Conservation Department. To celebrate this centennial year, Division Director, Patricia Riexinger initiated the Conservation Innovation Award to acknowledge staff that have provided for innovative delivery of fish, wildlife and marine resources conservation programs. The first award was presented on February 2011 to DEC staff involved in an Oneida Lake cooperative cormorant management program. A collection of DEC staff from two regions and Environmental Conservation Officers worked together with volunteer cooperators to help continue managing cormorant predation on Oneida Lake's fish populations in the face of lost federal support. Visit the Conservation Innovation Award webpage for a list of DEC staff that received this award, as well as information about this cormorant management program.

Upcoming Hunting Season Reminders

All hunting seasons and trapping seasons can be found on the DEC website. The following reminders are of the most current seasons that are either opening or closing.


-- March 08, 2011 --

-- March 10, 2011 --

Did You Know...?

wood frog and bog turtle
A wood frog (top image) and
bog turtle (bottom image).
~Photos by Bill Hoffman~

Temperature affects the seasonal activity of amphibians, such as salamanders and frogs, as well as, reptiles, such as turtles and snakes. Amphibians and reptiles are ectothermic, which means their body temperature varies with its environment. In the spring, reptiles and amphibians emerge from hibernation when temperatures rise above freezing. One of the earliest to breed is the wood frog, which does so when average daily temperatures are above 32 degrees for four consecutive days; usually around mid-March in New York. Bog turtles, however, generally emerge in mid-April when temperatures reach 50 degrees.

Read more about the wood frog, bog turtle and other amphibians and reptiles in the colorful Reptiles and Amphibians Brochures originally published in DEC's Conservationist magazine.

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