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Next-Door Nature

tales from a wild metropolis

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breeding behavior

Basket Case

We can argue until the chickens come home to roost about which 19th century influencer said it first, industrialist Andrew Carnegie or author and humorist Mark Twain, but there's little dispute that most birds wholeheartedly agree with the statement, "Put... Continue Reading →

The Great Pumpkinseed

Setting out for a walk, I paused just past my building's threshold to savor morning air crisp as a fresh Granny Smith apple, perfumed with a blend of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves that have been whisked, infused, and frappéd... Continue Reading →

Slings and Arrows

I wonder if Henry knew that not everything shot into the air falls back to Earth. I'm not denying the sovereignty of gravity but if the arrow is a male common nighthawk (Chordeiles minor) hoping to impress a potential mate... Continue Reading →

Space Invaders

The aliens are back. Just when I thought they were through with me they reappeared, sliding silently through walls that appear solid (but the quantum physicists know better). Suddenly they are everywhere. Staring at me from the rim of a... Continue Reading →

Identity Thief

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, we're twenty years into the Information Age so I’m pretty sure everyone in this courtroom knows that, to quote a famous New Yorker cartoon, “On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog.” The anonymity... Continue Reading →

Rideshare

My wire fox terrier and I were walking along a favorite path on a cool autumn morning. Stopping to investigate a patch of tall plants clinging to the steep sides of a ridge that used to carry Virginia Anthracite Coal... Continue Reading →

Night Shift

Does living in the city make it easier to be nocturnal? Natural-born early birds may never learn to love the nightlife, and owls might not ever welcome dawn's early light but bobcats (Lynx rufus) have shown themselves to be as... Continue Reading →

The Hawk Who Mistook Her Mate for a Meal

Seriously, it could happen to anyone. Well, any working mom operating on instinct and snap-judgements who needs to snag some groceries before she flies back home to those perpetually ravenous kiddos. Okay... maybe it couldn't happen to anyone. But every... Continue Reading →

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