Active Summertime Reptiles

By Amelia Grider As summer has rolled around and temperatures have steadily increased, the activity levels of many organisms have also increased. Mammals, insects, birds, and even plants are enjoying the warmer weather and plentiful resources. However, one group’s increased activity levels can lead to particularly unpleasant encounters. Reptiles, specifically snakes and alligators, are some of the most feared and … Read More

Wood Storks

wood storks in crawfish ponds

By Susan Heath It’s that time of year again when it takes something pretty cool (pun intended) to get me outside on the weekend. Since I spend a good part of my work days outside, I’m pretty fond of sitting in the air conditioning on summer weekends. But there is one bird that’s worth looking for and I’ve just started … Read More

Bird Strikes

inside view of an office with a large window decorated with bird tape

It is estimated that window strikes by birds cause over one billion bird deaths per year in the U.S. alone! Although we have not had a huge number of birds striking our windows here at GCBO, we have had several, and any bird strike is one too many.

Nature notes: Summer bird campers share knowledge; ask others to “help save birds”

cutouts of birds and other animals taped to a window

By Jennifer Horton, with help from Siri Sanketh, Lily Bonser, Ashton Reed, Brandon Weeks, Daniel Faulk, Lauren Faulk, Gage McMillan, Hayden Dietrich, Ainsley McGee, Nikolai Leatherwood, and Ellie Madsen. Summer bird camp at the Gulf Coast Bird Observatory just wrapped up its eighth year of engaging children ages 8 to 11 in fun activities related to birds, nature, and wildlife. … Read More

Snakes 101

copperhead snake

By Amelia Grider There is no group of organisms that elicits more varied reactions than that of snakes. Even the bravest, animal-loving individuals may squeal or jump at the sight of one of these scaly critters. Our fear response to seeing a snake can’t be helped. We are taught from a young age that snakes are dangerous and our brains … Read More

Nature Notes: “I found a baby bird — now what?”

baby Northern Shrike

By Susan Heath This is the time of year when birds are busy making babies and people start spending a lot more time outside. These two things combine to create a situation that’s played out again and again: Someone finds a baby bird and wants to help but doesn’t know what to do. At the Gulf Coast Bird Observatory, we … Read More

Nature Notes: The Hazards of Fishing Line

by Kaitlyn Braddock There are invisible shackles hidden in all of our oceans, lakes, and waterways. They imprison our wildlife in the very ecosystems they live in, leading to cuts, amputations, starvation, and even death. Unfortunately, this is no natural, circle of life situation. Humans are responsible for this material in the water and we need to be aware of … Read More

Nature Notes: Thunderhead Prong

water rushing over rocks in a stream

The feeling, whatever it is, is totally enveloping. Your eyes take it all in… your mind relents to the heart and soul… allowing you to become one with the place. It is hard to break away… as if you get a feeling of restraint. You have found a place of sense so magical, so powerful… you must leave a part of you here.

Nature Notes: Awaken Your Inner Scientist

By Jennifer Horton We’ve all heard the saying “two heads are better than one.” Well, it’s true. Even scientists agree, which explains why many of them now rely on volunteers to help them answer their most pressing questions. It’s called “public participation in scientific research (PPSR)” or more commonly, “citizen science.” Though in the case of citizen science, two heads … Read More