Out in the darkness the whip-poor-wills cry

Using GPS tags attached to the birds, associate professor Chris Tonra and graduate student Aaron Skinner, both of CFAES’ School of Environment and Natural Resources, helped discover some surprising facts about the long migrations that eastern whip-poor-wills make from their Midwestern (including Ohio) breeding grounds.

Read the full story.

(Photo: Eastern whip-poor-will, Getty Images.)

Where it winters, why that matters

The prothonotary warbler, which in summer breeds in eastern and central North America, including Ohio, spends winter in just one country in South America. So says a new study led by Christopher Tonra, assistant professor in CFAES’ School of Environment and Natural Resources. The finding, Tonra said, “speaks to how important habitat protection in this one country is to the (birds’) overall population.” Read the story. (Photo: Male prothonotary warbler, Getty Images.)

Making homes for pollinators

Pollinators — butterflies, bees and others — are key to farming, gardening and healthy diets. But globally, unfortunately, their populations are declining. Learn and see ways to help them, especially by growing the plants they need, in an expert talk called “Pollinator Habitat” in the Gwynne Conservation Area at Farm Science Review. It’s set for noon to 12:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 20.

See the full Gwynne schedule. The Review overall runs from Sept. 18-20. (Photo: Monarch butterfly, Getty Images.)

Sssselebrities to follow on Twitter

Follow Skeate, Arwen, Hermione and Mr. Darcy, among others — radiotagged timber rattlesnakes living in southeast Ohio woods — on the @TimberTweets Twitter feed by CFAES’s Peterman Lab. Lab staff are tracking the secretive snakes, an Ohio endangered species, to see how forest management affects them. Venomous but shy, with a taste for eating small rodents (including ones spreading Lyme disease), timber rattlers help ecosystems and, quietly, people.

Lab head Bill Peterman, assistant professor in CFAES’s School of Environment and Natural Resources, says, “I’ve had a passion for amphibians and reptiles since I was a kid catching frogs and snakes.” He’s in the video above.

Pollinator workshop in Wooster

CFAES’s Bee Lab hosts a workshop on Creating Pollinator Habitat from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 18, in the Shisler Conference Center, OARDC, 1680 Madison Ave., Wooster. The event features about a dozen experts from CFAES and elsewhere speaking on creating pollinator habitat in diverse ecosystems, including vacant urban land, roadsides, field edges, utility rights-of-way, pastures and gardens. Registration is $50 and includes handouts, morning refreshments and lunch. Learn more and register.

‘We were knee high in mud. But it was worth it’

Ohio’s Division of Wildlife recently honored Medina County Career Center graduates Dan Phillips and Emma Trapp for their work developing a WILD School-designated wildlife garden at the center. Both are now students at CFAES’s Agricultural Technical Institute in Wooster. Ann Norman of northeast Ohio’s Sun News has the story.

Howdy, (biodiverse) neighbor!

coyote for GBBiodiversity is a key part of sustainability. Although in this case, the biodiversity is of certain mammals, including predators, that are living in growing numbers in our cities. CFAES’s Stan Gehrt is quoted in recent issues of Science and Scientific American on the boom in coyotes and other urban wildlife. (Photo by JoernHauke via Wikimedia Commons.)