June 4, 2008
- Young Wildlife
- Family Fun
- Upcoming DEC Events
June is the peak month for the arrival of new, young wildlife in New York state, as native animals are born or hatched. These cute, furry and feathery creatures can be found in farm fields, backyards, woodlots and parks. When people and wildlife inhabit the same areas and come into contact, some people will try to "rescue" young wildlife because they think they are abandoned. What we view as neglectful behavior may be the natural way that wildlife raise their young.
The best thing that you can do is LEAVE THEM ALONE! Most often, the parent is nearby watching, or the baby doesn't need the parent's care. Turtles and snakes are ready to venture out on their own within hours of birth. Baby rabbits are born sightless with no fur, and are unable to leave the nest for weeks. After venturing out, they still nurse from their mother for a week or two. Songbirds spend two weeks in the nest, and then follow their parents around, begging for food and learning to fly. Doe deer move their fawns from one hiding spot to another for the first three weeks, leaving them alone for several hours at a time.
Enjoy watching young wildlife, in the wild, and learn about ways that parents care for their young. Remember to keep a safe distance, and don't disturb the animals. Taking a photograph is a perfect way to appreciate these young creatures and remember your experience.
Occasionally, you may encounter a young wild animal that is obviously injured or orphaned. If you find yourself in this situation, you should call your DEC regional office or a licensed Wildlife Rehabilitator for advice and help.
Build a Wildlife Sanctuary
If you have room in your backyard, you can turn a section into a wildlife sanctuary. Plant native plants that bear fruits, nuts, seeds and pollen that animals eat. Place orange slices on a feeder tray or on a hanging dish to attract birds like orioles. All animals need water - put several birdbaths at different levels and fill with water. Build some shelters with piles of rocks, brush or logs for smaller animals, and if you have the room, plant some native shrubs in a long row.
It's Crowded out There
Biodiversity is a measure of the number of different species that live in a particular location - even your backyard.
Gather a notebook, pencil and several field guides or reference books on animals, plants and birds. Find a comfortable spot and settle in. Write down all the living things you see, and use your field guide to try to identify them. Did it make noise? How many were in a group? Don't forget about the plants and flowers. Did animals or birds use them for food or shelter? How about insects? If you have a camera, take some pictures to add to your biodiversity journal, or draw your own.
Water, Water Everywhere
We all know that animals need food and water to survive. But animals can't get water from the tap like we do. How do they survive? Some animals get the water they need from the food they eat. But did you know that water is hidden everywhere in our environment, even in the desert? Try this experiment to create your own water supply:
On a warm sunny day, dig a hole about 18 inches across and one foot deep. The bottom of the hole should be much smaller, only about 6 inches across, so that the hole is shaped like a cone. Place an empty coffee can or recycled margarine container in the bottom of the hole. Spread a thick 2-ft. square sheet of plastic over the hole and secure each corner with a large rock. Place some small pebbles in the center of the plastic, causing it to sag toward the container at the bottom of the hole. Leave your experiment overnight.
What happened? Was there moisture in the container? The sun's warmth caused the water in the soil to evaporate, and when the air cooled down at night condensation formed on the plastic and dripped into the container.
For more information and activities, check out Conservationist for Kids!
Upcoming DEC Events
Long Island - Cedar Beach Pier, Mount Sinai
North Shore Beach Fishing Clinic
Saturday, June 7 from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
In conjunction with National Fishing and Boating week, I Fish NY presents basic surf casting information such as lure selection, casting techniques and casting safety. Open fishing will follow the presentation. This program is recommended for ages 14 and up and preregistration is required. Please call Malynda Nichol at 631-444-0283 for more information or to preregister.
Norrie Point Education Center
Fishin' on the River
Saturday, June 14 from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
In this program, you will use either a seine net or angle with hook and line for Hudson River fish. Equipment will be provided. For more information email email@example.com or call 845-889-4745 x104. Hosted by the Hudson River Research Reserve and I Fish NY.
Stony Kill Farm Environmental Education Center
Nature's Flying Bug-Zappers
Saturday, June 7 at 10:00 AM
Nine species of bats inhabit New York State. These mosquito-eating mammals are now in trouble. Find out more about these amazing, important creatures and what you can do to help. An indoor slide presentation by Al Hicks, DEC bat expert, will be followed by a walk to view the capture and release of live bats using mist netting.
Family Fishing Day
Saturday, June 14 at 10:00 AM
Enjoy a morning of fishing in our farm pond (poles and worms provided for those who need them). Children can have fun making colorful fish prints as they learn some fascinating fishy facts!
Capital Region - Five Rivers Environmental Education Center
Old Field Trail Walk
Saturday, June 7 at 2:00 PM
Join us for a field study of early summer ecology on one of Five Rivers' best-loved trails, as we visit a variety of upland and wetland habitats. The overgrown fields support bluebird, rabbit and fox. The dense evergreen growth is home to deer, owls and turkeys, while the far fields reveal bird life such as bobolinks and meadowlarks. Dress for outdoor activity. In case of inclement weather this program may be cancelled.
Friday, June 13 at 7:00 PM
June brings the deep-throated calls of the grand-daddy of all frogs, the bullfrog. We will also be looking for green frogs and other wetlands wildlife as part of a continuing effort to monitor the center's amphibian populations. Bring flashlights, dress for outdoor activity and wear footgear that you don't mind getting wet.
Saturday, June 14 at 2:00 PM
Join dragonfly experts from the National Audubon Society as we continue our annual census of the center's populations. We will present a short indoor talk about dragonfly habits, habitats and identifying characteristics, and then lead an outdoor catch-and-release survey to census local species. Nets, field guides and other equipment will be provided. Netted specimens will be identified, counted and immediately released unharmed. Participants should dress for outdoor activity. In case of inclement weather this program may be cancelled.
Central New York - Rogers Environmental Education Center
Bat Box Building/Bat Watching
Saturday, June 7 at 8:00 PM
Bats are very efficient insect eaters and fun to watch. You can attract them to your home if you live in suitable habitat by providing a roosting box. Come and build a bat box and then journey outdoors to watch bats swoop over Cunningham Ice Pond. Bring a hammer and $8.00 for every box you take home.
40th Anniversary Celebration
Saturday, June 14 from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Help celebrate 40 years with lots of fun activities! Take part in owl pellet dissections, try out our canoes and kayaks, check out our furs and skulls collection.
Western New York - Reinstein Woods Environmental Education Center
Life on the Forest Floor
Saturday, June 7 at 10:30 AM
Explore under logs and leaf litter to discover a hidden world right underfoot.
Advance registration is required. Call 716-683-5959.
Strawberry Full Moon Walk
Wednesday, June 18 at 8:30 PM
Join us for a walk through the woods by the light of the moon and taste some fresh strawberries.
Advance registration is required. Call 716-683-5959.