The 5 Best Field Guides for the Birds of North America

One of the most exciting things for a naturalist is running into new and unfamiliar species. This makes field guides an essential part of any nature-lovers go-bag for outdoor adventures. Field guides can help you sleuth out and identify new encounters using field marks and other cues. In this Birdwatching Basics post, I’ll review my top 5 guides to the …

Book Review: Duet by Phillip Hoose

If someone asked you how birds have changed history, you’d probably think of Darwin’s finches or Thanksgiving turkeys. But Phillip Hoose has a very different, unexpected, and fascinating bird story to tell. In this post for Book Reviews, I’m reviewing Hoose’s new book, Duet, a history of the mockingbird. While birdsong has enchanted people for thousands of years, some singers …

Green non-profits to support on Giving Tuesday

Giving Tuesday is a chance to step outside of the consumerist mayhem of the holidays and give something back to the world. If you’re a nature lover, consider supporting an environmental NGO (non-governmental organization). Many NGO’s are doing fantastic and important work to protect the outdoors all over the world. In this post, I’ll share my top list of green …

What’s the difference between butterflies and moths?

Butterflies and moths are active, fascinating insects that you’ll find all over the world. With over 160,000 species, these bugs in the order Lepidoptera are a fixture in outdoor spaces. Although most people will be quick to tell you that there is a difference between butterflies and moths, scientists tend to disagree. In reality, when we get down to trying …

11 Nature Podcasts you should be following

Whether you’re on the road or at the gym, podcasts are a great way to keep your brain active and entertained. Podcasts are a great way to learn about new topics while you’re on the fly. In this Outdoor Tips post, I’ll tell you about 10 nature podcasts that should absolutely be in your queue. Be sure to check out …

Why is bird poop white?

Some people say it’s good luck. Most of us, though, aren’t too thrilled to find a white splat on our car or new sweater. And we know just who to blame: birds. Unlike all the other poo in the animal kingdom, theirs is distinctly white. But why is bird poop white? Let’s find out in this Naturalist Answers post. Not …

What are coral reefs?

Often called “rainforests of the sea”, coral reefs are an iconic marine habitat. Furthermore, they’re a fixture of advertisements for tropical vacations. Tourists are dazzled by the vibrant colors and incredible biodiversity of these busy undersea ecosystems. But what are coral reefs? And how do they form? In this Naturalist Answers post, we’ll learn about coral reefs, what they are, …

Why do bugs die on their backs?

People often uses phrases like “going belly up” to describe dead or dying things. The idea of dead animals with legs sticking up in the air seems especially iconic for insects. For instance, exterminator companies’ logos will often feature a dead bug on its back with its feet high in the air. Furthermore, “dead bugs” are a popular abdominal exercise. …

10 signs of wildlife to look for in nature

Although spending time in nature has its own benefits, many people go outside to watch wildlife. Activities like birdwatching or visiting a pollinator garden are almost sure to deliver sightings during spring and summer. However, depending on the timing of your visit, animals might not always be active. Knowing key signs of wildlife to look for in nature can help …

12 scary nature facts for spooky season

It’s always worth having cool nature facts at your disposal, whether it’s for a conversation starter or trivia night your local pub. In this Biologist Ruins Everything post, I’ve collected 12 spooky, horrible nature facts to shock and terrify your friends. While ghost stories around the campfire are great, nature’s imagination and ingenuity far exceeds our own. This is no …