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About FldHrpr

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  1. Not sure about the study that you referred to, but garters are tolerant of some reasonably potent anuran toxins as well. To add to Mike's fun fact: there's a pufferfish delicacy fugu that is served in Japan and requires a specially-trained chef to prepare it and remove the gland. If the gland is not properly removed it's the last supper for the diner. Tarichatoxin (newt toxin) is fundamentally the same compound as tetrodotoxin, which is the toxin in pufferfish. Like Mike said, it is one of the most deadly toxins on Earth. Its mechanism of action is to lock down sodium channels, ultimately shutting down the nervous system. Red-spotted newts produce it too, and it's the reason why we see them walking around boldly on the damp forest floor here in the Northeast when most other amphibians are hiding from whatever would eat them.
  2. Terrific advice from all! Thank you!
  3. Great job Elisa! I enjoyed the newsletter-keep up the good work!
  4. Thank you Aveschapines and Creeker, your ideas are greatly appreciated!
  5. Thank you Thunderbird! Those are some great suggestions. Regarding general area where I live, I am in New Jersey. Another thought that I had was to start them watching birds in late autumn when the leaves are down and the flocks are forming. I thought that it might be cool (and inspiring) for them to get a chance to see a few different types of birds at once in the open and be able to identify different individuals of the same species. Your thoughts? Also, one thing that I personally have never done is gone on a hawkwatch. We do have one not far from here along a flyway and according to the records, it is a very good place to see a variety of raptors in one day. What are your thoughts, do you think that they would enjoy this or might this be overwhelming/boring because of the challenge of identifying many of the raptors in flight? Keep in mind that it would also involve a hike and of course there would be different birds to see. Look forward to hearing your thoughts.
  6. My sons are immensely interested in all things nature, with the exception of birding. My older son is lukewarm about it, but my younger one not so much. I believe that the tangible parts of nature observation (handling insects, herps, flipping rocks in streams, etc.) are what got them hooked on the other aspects, and the animal tracking for them is like detective work, solving a mystery. I'd like to foster my older son's marginal interest in birding but also don't want to push. I'd like to hear the ideas and advice of others on how they got their kids interested, or fostered whatever budding interest may have been there? Thanks in advance for any help that you can offer.
  7. Eastern Hognose Snake

    There's nothing ho-hum about it! It's a great and exciting find no matter what. Thank you for sharing!
  8. Song and shore, Mid-Atlantic

    Wings moderately contrasting with no evidence of wingbars and green undertail. I vacillated between scarlet and summer but made an allowance for a weird photo angle of the bill.
  9. Song and shore, Mid-Atlantic

    #1 has quite a hefty bill for a warbler, no? How about a female summer tanager?
  10. Common snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina). Sorry to say that I can't help you with the fish.
  11. Bird sound Help

    Sounds to me like a Baltimore oriole.
  12. snake, Texas

    Looks good for Nerodia fasciata, the banded water snake. The behavior that you observed was mating. Attracted to her by her pheromones, more than one male will attempt to mate with a female at one time.
  13. North Carolina Warbler

    Towhees don't just sound the standard "drink-your-teeaaaa", I have heard them make a variety of other calls. I believe that the bird in the recording is an Eastern towhee.
  14. flycatcher

    #1-olive back, rufous wings, sharply contrasting dark and white tertials for great crested.
  15. Central Ohio Birds

    If that's the same bird as in photo #1, I'm good with cooper's.