September 9, 2009
- Family Fun
- Upcoming DEC Events
- Hudson Valley - Stony Kill Farm Environmental Education 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
While moose aren't common in New York, there are several hundred moose who call New York home, and the number continues to grow. They prefer mixed conifer and hardwood forests, brush, beaver flows and wetland areas, and live mostly in the northeastern part of the state.
Members of the deer family, moose are one of the largest land mammals in North America, weighing as much as 1,400 pounds and averaging 6 feet tall. The male's antlers can weigh in at 25-30 pounds and measure 4 to 5 feet across.
Moose have a large body with a hump on their shoulder and large horse-like heads with a flap of skin that hangs beneath the chin. The front legs of moose are longer, enabling them to jump over fallen trees and other debris on the forest floor. Moose can't see very well, but their extraordinary senses of smell and hearing warn them of potential danger. They can run through the forest quietly at speeds up to 35 mph and can swim for many miles. They like to eat leaves, twigs, buds and aquatic vegetation-up to 40-60 pounds a day!
DEC's website has more information about moose (pdf - 228Kb).
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Freshwater marshes and woody swamps-one of the moose's favorite locations-are also important to other wildlife because they provide water, dense cover and sources of food. While you would be pretty lucky to spot a moose, you won't be disappointed at the other wildlife that you can see there. Along with an adult, visit a marshy area or swamp and find a place near the water's edge where you can sit comfortably. You probably scared everything away if you weren't quiet when you entered, so sit still and quietly for about 15 minutes. As the animals get used to your presence and become active again, observe them silently while you take notes on how many different kinds of birds, animals and insects you see.
Moose have a keen sense of hearing and know what other animals are around them long before anything gets close. In contrast, our lives are so full of noise that we don't need to listen closely because noise surrounds us all the time-the television, radio, computer games. Try the following game to test your "silence skills." The best time for this game is in the early morning or in the early evening. Go for a walk in the woods or a nearby park with a few friends and family members. Ask each person to find a special spot and sit quietly. Try a few different challenges: who can count ten natural sounds first? Who can stay quiet for the longest time? Can anyone identify any bird calls? Can anyone hear insects or animals? Try this game in a variety of different habitats like a garden or by a stream to see--or listen--to how the noises change.
Read Conservationist for Kids for more information and activities!
Upcoming DEC Events
Nature Discovery After-School Programs
4:00 to 5:00 PM, each Thursday from September 3 through November 19
Attention kids of all ages! Bring a parent or other adult and discover the outdoors at Stony Kill together.
Saturday Morning Guided Walks
10:00 AM each Saturday during September
Join a Stony Kill naturalist as we take an easy, leisurely stroll along the Woodland Trail.
11:00 AM to 1:00 PM each Saturday during September and October
Come meet the livestock-cattle, sheep, pigs, chickens and turkeys-up close.
Hudson River Ramble Freedom Trail Adventure
Saturday, September 12 at 2:00 PM
This 2.5 mile walk is on Stony Kills's most remote trail, and it follows a route blazed by the Underground Railroad in the 19th century.
Hudson River Ramble Bull Hill
Saturday, September 19 from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Join us for this strenuous 4.5 mile loop hike, with a vertical rise of 1,400 feet to the summit of Bull Hill. Call 845-831-8780 to register. Bring lunch and at least one quart of water per person.
Scent of a Woodland
Saturday, September 12 at 10:00 AM
As the Half Moon traveled upriver on September 4, 1609, Robert Juet wrote a journal entry describing the sweet smells of the Hudson Valley woodlands. Join us for a walk as we try to sniff out what he was describing.
Saturday, September 12 at 2:00 PM
In one of nature's extraordinary migrations, each fall monarch butterflies flit their way from Canada and the northern U.S. to a small forest in Mexico. Join us as we monitor the milkweed for monarch larvae and scan the skies for adults already in flight.
Saturday, September 19 at 10:00 AM
A bird guide and a pair of binoculars are all you need to begin this popular hobby. Learn about these basic tools and get some helpful tips for identifying birds.
Saturday, September 19 at 2:00 PM
New York State is host to many animals and plants that came here from somewhere else. Some are invasive species and cause a lot of problems for our native residents. Learn some of the stories behind these organisms and what you can do to help.
Mushrooms of the Pine Bush
Saturday, September 19 from 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Have you ever wondered what the different kinds of mushrooms are that you see growing in the Pine Bush? The Pine Bush Preserve has a beautiful diversity of fungi of various shapes, sizes and colors. Cost: $2.00/person, $5.00/family, children under 5 free. Call 518-456-0655 to register. Location: Madison Avenue, Pinelands Trailhead #7
Adirondack Park Agency Newcomb Visitors Center
Orange Leaf Seeker
Saturday, September 19 from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Join us in a challenge to find the wooden leaf hidden on one of our trails. Stop in at the front desk for the natural history clue sheet, then follow the clues, find the leaf and report back to the staff.
Adirondack Park Agency Paul Smiths Visitors Center
Friday, September 18 from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Take a woodland walk to look for the lights of glow worms. We will end the evening with a campfire. Call 518-327-3000 to register.
Hike at Brookfield State Land
Saturday, September 12 from 9:00 AM to Noon
Hike a few miles of this trail and enjoy the hidden ponds and lovely woods.
Saturday, September 19 at 11:00 AM
The most recognized butterfly in North America is heading to Mexico on a long migration. Learn about these amazing insects and see if we can find some that have lingered here.
Advance registration is required. Call 716-683-5959.
9th Annual Fall Festival
Saturday, September 19 from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Kick off the fall season by spending a day in the woods. Enjoy crafts for kids, live animals, guided nature walks, hands-on activities, food and more. No advance registration required for this event.
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