Why Birds Fly in “V” Formation

November 15, 2010

Scientists believe the “v” formation gives large birds an aerodynamic advantage that helps them conserve energy. French researchers measured the heart rates of great white pelicans, and found their heart rates slowed when flying in this formation. They were also able to glide more often. The birds can flap their wings in unison, and draft […]

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Hoarders Prepare for Winter

November 1, 2010

Most people have seen squirrels hoarding acorns and other nuts as winter approaches. But did you know that many birds are also hoarders? The white-breasted nuthatch, seen in these photos, is an accomplished hoarder. Nuthatches empty feeders quickly in the fall, removing one seed at a time and stashing it for a winter meal. They’re […]

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Cricket Invasion

October 15, 2010

Around this time every year, you probably notice black or brown crickets sneaking into your home and school. Sometimes, your only clue that crickets are in your house is the incessant chirping from the basement. A few days later, you find cricket carcasses in corners and under boxes. So what drives these insects into buildings […]

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Why Birds Migrate

October 15, 2010

During the cold winter months, many birds simply can’t find enough food to survive in northern habitats. Insect-eating birds, and some that rely on certain berries or seeds, will head to warmer climates where food is always plentiful. So why don’t birds that live in the warmer climates just stay there all year? In summer, […]

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Fall Foliage Facts

October 4, 2010

The amount of daylight (photoperiodism) prompts the color changes in leaves, not cooler temperatures. As days get shorter, trees use less chlorophyll. All that green pigment starts to degrade, revealing the other leaf pigments. Trees with leaves that always turn yellow include tulip poplar, birch, hickory, and redbud. Some trees have leaves with high amounts […]

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