May 20, 2009
- More Photos of Turtles
- Family Fun
- Upcoming DEC Events
- Hudson Valley - Stony Kill Farm Environmental Education Center and Tivoli Bays Visitors Center
- Capital District - Five Rivers Environmental Education Center and Albany Pine Bush Discovery Center
- Adirondacks - Adirondack Park Agency Visitors Interpretive Centers at Newcomb and Paul Smiths
- Central New York - Rogers Environmental Education Center
- Western New York - Reinstein Woods Environmental Education Center
Turtles are unmistakable in appearance. Their unique double-shelled armor distinguishes them from all other vertebrates. In New York State, there are 11 species of freshwater or land turtles, one species of saltwater/brackish water turtles and five species of sea turtles. Turtles are slow-growing, long-lived reptiles; most live for 40 to 70 years, but several species can live more than 100 years. In New York State, turtles nest from late May to early July, depositing eggs in sand, gravel or even on lawns. Hatchlings emerge from the eggs in two or three months.
Sea turtles, New York's largest turtles, live in the warm waters of oceans, bays and estuaries. They have streamlined bodies and flippers that aid them in swimming. Sea turtles spend the winters in warmer waters and return to New York's waters in late June, remaining until mid-November. DEC's website has more information about various turtle species, including sea turtles.
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Are you a good predator? Are you a careful animal? Get three or more friends or family members together to play this version of tag. One person (the prey) closes his or her eyes and counts to twenty while the other players (the predators) hide. The predators must find their own individual hiding space where they can see the prey, but the prey cannot see them. When the prey finishes counting, he or she can look in all directions, but cannot move about. If the prey spots a predator, the prey calls out the predator's name and the predator must come back to the starting spot.
The patterns on a turtle's shell aren't just pretty-they are often a form of camouflage. To a fish swimming in a pond, a snapping turtle may look a lot like a rock, and the fish will soon become lunch. The patterns make it difficult for the prey to spot the turtle. Learn some other animal hiding tricks to help you spy any wildlife on your next trip outdoors:
-Blending in - Birds see in color, while mammals can tell if your clothing is light or dark compared to the background. Make sure that you are wearing subtle colors that won't contrast with your surroundings.
-Undercover - Animals hide from predators under bushes, trees and rocks. Drape a tarp over a low branch and sit quietly underneath it to see what animals come near.
-Scents - Mammals have an excellent sense of smell. When you choose your spot, make sure that the wind is blowing away from the direction that you are watching.
Looking for an adventure this summer for your teenager? Check out DEC's Environmental Education Camps!
Read Conservationist for Kids for more information and activities!
Try the lifelong sport of fishing at one of these events. You don't need a fishing license to attend, and many sites have loaner rods available. Fishing licenses are available online if you would like to fish throughout the season.
Monroe County Intergenerational Fishing Derby
Thursday, May 21 from 8:00 AM to 10:00 AM
Held at Powder Mill Park, Pittsford. Call the Monroe County Youth Bureau at 585-753-6463 to register.
Wyoming County Free Learn-to-Fish Family Picnic
Saturday, May 23 from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Held at Letchworth State Park Trout Pond at the Trailside Lodge. Call 585-493-3600 to register.
Westchester County Family Fishing Day
Sunday, May 24 from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Held at Rockefeller State Park Preserve. Call 914-631-1470 ext. 10 to register.
Rensselaer County Family Fishing Clinic
Saturday, May 30 from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Held at Grafton Lakes State Park. Call 518-402-8891 to register.
Eels of the Hudson
Saturday, May 23 at 2:00 PM
Learn about the life cycle and habits of eels, which are mysteriously declining throughout their range.
Garlic Mustard Pull
Saturday, May 30 at 2:00 PM
Garlic mustard is a non-native, invasive plant that is taking over many areas, including parts of Stony Kill's trailsides. Come help remove this plant while learning the secrets of how to best eliminate it from your own backyard.
Tivoli Bays Visitors Center
Discovering Water Bugs!
Wednesday, May 20 from 4:30 PM to 5:30 PM
Ever wonder what's below the mud and muck? See firsthand all the amazing creatures that spend their lives under the water!
Exciting Eels on the Hudson River!
Wednesday, May 27 from 4:30 PM to 5:30 PM
Swimming to an estuary near you! Come see eels in their different stages before their amazing transformation back into the salty seas!
Outdoors After School
Every Thursday from February 26 to June 18 from 3:30 PM to 5:00 PM
A nature walk for grade-school children and their caregivers. Each week will feature a different theme and habitat.
Saturday, May 23, 10:00 AM
Your reports as citizen scientists can help track the changes in the seasons. Come and learn how.
World Turtle Day
Saturday, May 23, 2:00 PM
Come and meet some captive turtles, then go for a walk to see Five Rivers' wild turtles.
Saturday, May 30, 2:00 PM
A walk to search out the flowers of spring.
Designed for Darkness
Saturday, May 23 from 7:30 PM to 8:30 PM
This night hike will offer a glimpse into the adaptations of bats to the nocturnal world. Fee: $2.00/person, $5.00/family, children under 5 free. Call 518-456-0655 to register.
Saturday, May 30 from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Outdoor fun for the whole family! No registration required.
Adirondack Park Agency Newcomb Visitors Center
Birds of Prey
Saturday, May 23 at 1:00 PM
Join us for a live raptor program featuring some of our non-releasable education birds. Call 518-582-2000 to register.
Adirondack Park Agency Paul Smiths Visitors Center
Saturday, May 23 from 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM
During this experiment, we will experience the trail without the sense of sight, walking the Barnum Brook Trail blindfolded. Call 518-327-3000 to register.
Children's Program: Ladybugs
Saturday, May 23 at 11:00 AM
Be a ladybug detective and assist with Cornell University's Lost Ladybug Project.
Canoe/Kayak Leland Pond
Saturday, May 30 from 8:30 AM to Noon
This lovely pond is home to abundant plant and animal life. $5 fee per paddler. Call 607-674-4017 to register. Equipment provided or bring your own.
Advance registration is required. Call 716-683-5959.
Saturday, May 23 at 10:00 AM
Explore the diversity and richness of mature forests on this guided walk. For adults and children age 8 and older only.
Saturday, May 30 at 10:30 AM
Reinstein Woods has been invaded by aliens...plants that is. Learn more about them on this informative walk.
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