Come join us in celebration

Today, March 3, is World Wildlife Day—a day, its website says, “to celebrate and raise awareness of the world’s wild animals and plants.”

So, what’s your favorite wild animal or plant, and why—whether in Ohio, North America, or anywhere on the planet? Write your answer in “Leave a comment.”

Me, I’ll keep it close to home and split my vote for two locals—the familiar eastern fox squirrel and the stolid, beatific American toad, the first wild animals I got to know well as a kid growing up in the suburbs.

(Photo: Getty Images.)

If it walks like a …

Ohio’s coronavirus stay-at-home order continues through at least May 1. So you just might be noticing some busy new co-workers when you look out your dining room window from your “desk.” Let’s meet a few of them.

You might see me if you have a pond, stream, wetland, or retention basin near your home. I’m a fast flyer, good waddler, strong paddler, loud quacker. During my mating season, which is going on right now in Ohio, the males of my species (pictured on the right)—sometimes called “greenheads”—look a lot different than the females (pictured on the left), a low-key brown. I’m the duck you’re most likely to meet in North America. I’m …

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If I were a carpenter …

Ohio’s coronavirus stay-at-home order continues through at least May 1. So you just might be noticing some busy new co-workers when you look out your dining room window from your “desk.” Let’s meet a few of them.

You might think I’m a bumble bee. I’m big like one. But my back end is smooth and shiny black, while a bumble bee’s is hairy and black and yellow. Our females make nests by boring into wood. It’s how we get our name. Our males are territorial and protective. They’ll hover and buzz around up in your grill if you get too close to their nests. But it’s a case of all buzz and no bite. The males don’t have a stinger; they’re harmless. I’m a valuable native pollinator of plants who some call a “gentle giant.” I’m …

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Sing, sing a song, sing it loud, sing it strong

Ohio’s coronavirus stay-at-home order continues through at least May 1. So you just might be noticing some busy new co-workers when you look out your dining room window from your “desk.” Let’s meet a few of them.

You might see me skulking on the ground, under shrubs, under your bird feeder, scratching and kicking for things to eat. Sometimes I kick using both feet at once. That said, you might also see me out in the open, at the end of a branch or the top of tree, with my head thrown back, singing loudly. There’s a special connection between me—and more specifically, a groundbreaking life-history study of me—and a woman scientist who lived in Columbus 100 years ago. I’m …

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You can call me Ray, or you can call me …

Ohio’s coronavirus stay-at-home order continues through at least May 1. So you just might be noticing some busy new co-workers when you look out your dining room window from your “desk.” Let’s meet a few of them.

My cousins include crows, ravens, and magpies, but only crows and members of my species are common in Ohio. Together, we’re some of the smartest birds in the world, if I may be so bold to say (and bold is something I tend to be). I’m a helpful alarm system for other birds, calling “Jeer! Jeer!” and so on loudly when a predator like a hawk comes around. I tend to prefer living in woods with oak trees. But I’ve also adapted to living, say, in parks and your own backyard. Thanks for those sunflower seeds, by the way. There’s a Canadian baseball team named after me. I’m …

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Keep an eye on your lunch if it’s nuts

Ohio’s coronavirus stay-at-home order continues through at least May 1. So you just might be noticing some busy new co-workers when you look out your dining room window from your “desk.” Let’s meet a few of them.

I’m a rodent. I climb trees. I tend to eat nuts such as acorns. I get my name from the bushiness of my tail and the typical color of my fur, which resemble those of a relative of the dog that would eat me for lunch if it could. I’m …

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She works to help bumbles bee well

Doing good for bumble bees takes finding out what’s bad for them.

Sarah Scott, a CFAES entomology doctoral student, is studying how the fuzzy, buzzy, black-and-yellow pollinators get exposed to heavy metals in their environment—and what it can mean to their survival.

Scott, at CFAES’ Waterman Agricultural and Natural Resources Laboratory, poses near hives housing bumble bees’ domesticated cousins. (Photo: Ken Chamberlain, CFAES.)

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Coyotes looking at you (oh-oh, oh-oh)

Is city life changing coyotes? In a new study underway in Cleveland, Chicago, Columbus, and Cincinnati, Stan Gehrt, CFAES’ renowned urban coyote expert, is hoping to find out. He says whether you’re a rabbit, a rat, or typical city dweller or suburbanite, “coyotes spend a lot of time watching us.” Read the story.