Do cicadas have mouths?

As late summer approaches across much of the globe, cicadas emerge from the ground to breed. These large, loud insects are fascinating for backyard wildlife enjoyers. However, they spend most of their time living high up in trees, so it’s much easier to hear them than see them. Encountering a cicada in the wild can be exciting, because they are …

What is molting?

In many previous posts, I’ve mentioned animals that molt. Birds do it, insects and arachnids do it, not to mention many marine animals. Heck, even people do it! But what exactly is molting (or as the British spell it, moulting)? What does it mean for an animal to molt? By now, I have received those questions in one form or …

11 stunning examples of animal camouflage

On a recent hike in South Georgia, I watched a gorgeous brown butterfly take off from a tree, fly along in front of me, and then disappear. I looked, then looked again, and couldn’t find where it had gone. It looked as though it had evaporated as it passed by a nearby oak. I crept close to investigate, and eventually …

Butterfly bush: Is it actually good for butterflies?

Every year, more and more homeowners are trying to garden for wildlife. After all, it’s really pleasant to have certain kinds of wildlife in your yard. From hummingbirds and songbirds to bees and other beneficial garden bugs, nature can bring wonderful company to your outdoor spaces. One popular garden plant for bringing in butterflies is butterfly bush. After all, it’s …

What are mosses?

Some of the most special things in nature are the ones that we overlook most often. It’s easy to take some forms of wildlife for granted, especially the ones that are small, or ever-present. Mosses certainly fall under this category. Amidst the flashy green of other plants, it’s easy to lose sight of these widespread but understated features. But what …

Tropical rainforests: What makes them special?

 Tropical rainforests capture people’s imagination as exotic, mysterious natural places. They conjure up images of hanging vines, colorful birds, big cats, huge flowers, and areas vibrant with life. But what makes a tropical rainforest? And why are they, and the wildlife they support, so different? In this Deep Stuff post, I’ll share what I’ve learned in my time living and …

What to do if you find a bird nest at your house

While you can enjoy backyard birds year round, the warmer seasons give a more intimate window into their lives. For resident and migratory songbirds, Spring and Summer are the peak times for breeding. This can mean birds nesting around your home, garden, or backyard. For some people, a bird nest at home is an exciting opportunity to learn about how …

How does climate change affect wildlife?

Experts consider climate change to be one of the biggest threats to the environment. But understanding the links between a changing climate and things like species extinctions can be difficult. How can changing weather patterns have such big impacts on the natural world that we know and love? After all, what’s wrong with things getting a little warmer? After all, …