What is mistletoe?

As the winter holidays approach, we are reminded of familiar, longstanding traditions. Even though they may be popular, they can also be mysterious. Where did they come from in the first place? One of my favorite examples is mistletoe. Between pop songs and Christmas carols, everyone seems to love the flirty thought of puckering up under the mistletoe. But what …

How to detect spongy moths in your yard

Invasive species are a problem in natural areas just about anywhere on Earth. Some, like spongy moths (Lymantria dispar), can damage plants on your property and be a major nuisance. If you live in the Northeastern U.S., you might have problems with this plant. But how do you detect spongy moths? In this Outdoor Tips post, I’ll guide you through …

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 …

12 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 12 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 …