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Outdoors

  • Bears springing into action after winter hibernation

    By Christie Greene

    Last fall, as the days grew shorter and the sun moved lower in the sky, the bears listened to their instincts and began eating, really eating, up to 20,000 calories a day. As their foods sources dwindled and the temperatures began to sink, they ambled into the woods to make a den.

    In the meantime, we adjusted our clocks, made soup and readied the snowblowers. While we settled in front of the fire with a book, the thick-coated, fat-laden bruins curled up inside cozy dens and began living off their acquired fat stores. 

  • Mountain community remembers Chow Down’s friendly felines

    By Christie Greene

    Visitors to Chow Down Pet Supplies in Bergen Park may wonder why the store counter seems so wide and empty. Instinctively, we turn to the right, expecting to see two lethargic, lounging cats that were a fixture in the store for more than two decades. Butch and Sundance were a constant presence at the store, presenting lazy tummies and chins for obligatory scratches.

  • Wildlife watch: The scourge of mange and the mighty mites

    By Christie Greene
    For the Courier

  • Wildlife watch: The scourge of mange and the mighty mites

    By Christie Greene
    For the Courier

  • Tent caterpillars help more than hurt wildlife

    (Reprinted from March 10, 2010)

    If you are one of the many people who find tent caterpillars objectionable in your backyard, now is the time to control them.

    I know they do little harm in our forests, but I find it difficult to be tolerant of them. Their favorite food is the new leaves of apple trees, so they were very common and considered destructive pests in the apple-growing sections of New York state where I grew up.

  • Rosy finches flock to tundra in variety of latitudes

    (Reprinted from March 5, 2008)

    For many years when winter visitors to Colorado called us to inquire about where they could see rosy finches, we would either take them or send them to the top of Squaw Mountain to visit the Swanlunds.

    When we were faced with this request recently, we didn’t know a really “sure spot” to send these visitors.

  • You can help with Great Backyard Bird Count

    (Reprinted from March 4, 2009)

    Editor’s note: This year’s Great Backyard Bird Count will be Feb. 17-20)

    I have just mailed in a count for the Great Backyard Bird Count to the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology at Ithaca, N.Y. This count is a joint effort of the Laboratory of Ornithology and Audubon. It is such an easy count to do that I thought some of you might be interested in taking part next year.

  • Red-winged blackbirds are a feisty bunch

    (Reprinted from Feb. 6, 2008)

    Usually cold and wintry, February is made bearable by the first signs of spring — nothing as showy as the first daffodil in bloom, but still good, dependable signs of spring.

  • Shrikes common in foothills, though not easy to identify

    (Reprinted from Jan. 23, 2008)

    For some time now, the birds at our feeders have been nervous, flying into the prickly thickness of a nearby blue spruce or darting into the lilac bushes every time anything moves in the yard or even inside the window. Such behavior, especially in cold, snowy weather, can mean only one thing. There is a predator of some kind working in the area. But what kind? That is the question.

  • The final fate of Frances the goose

    Several readers of this column have inquired recently if I knew what had become of “Frances” the Canada goose that lingered at Evergreen Lake into winter. Since I had suggested that the people who were concerned about Frances should call Carol Wade, I called her last week to find out what had transpired.