Why do people find birdsong relaxing?

Does birdsong actually make people more relaxed? Is this ancestral association the reason that people find birdsong relaxing? Do birds really stop singing when there are predators around?

How to describe outdoor places like a naturalist

One of the most delightful parts of nature adventures is getting to share them with others. The huge variety of outdoor places is part of what makes the outdoor lifestyle so exciting and rewarding. On the other hand, it can be hard to explain the places you’ve been and the things you’ve seen. Conversely, if you’re looking for certain settings …

Phenology: Timing is Everything

Being a beginner naturalist means learning the answers to lots of what, why, where, and how questions. What is a lichen? Why do bugs gather around streetlights? Where do you go if you want to spot a kingfisher? How do trees move their seeds to new locations? But we tend to overlook questions of when. Nature is dynamic, things are …

What is Bird Banding/Ringing and how does it work?

The part of my conservation work that people are most interested in is bird banding. Folks see pictures of me holding gorgeous feathered animals and understandably have a lot of questions. How do you catch them? What are you trying to find out? What do you do to them? Does it hurt? In this Naturalist Answers post, we’ll explore some …

What is a Kinkajou?

I recently had my first encounter with the animal celebrity of this week’s Wildlife Spotlight, the kinkajou (Potos flavus). During a visit to Costa Rica last month, some friends and I stayed up chatting long after sunset. We were savoring a cool evening after the swelteringly hot days of the dry season in Guanacaste. “Something’s moving in the trees!” my …