Wildlife

By - 4/27/06 - 8:57 am

The Urban Pantheist discusses garlic mustard, an edible - and non-native - weed that has started taking over our local woodlands:

... I have noticed that it has appeared in Olmsted Park and the Riverway within the past two or three years, and it is spreading fast. ...

By - 4/26/06 - 4:57 pm

Boston Gal'd been thinking there were too many chirping, warbling birds crowding her backyard birdfeeder. A neighborhood sparrow hawk had the same thought today. Now: No more crowding.

With photos showing why they call sparrow hawks sparrow hawks, in case you have a tender tumm.

By - 4/23/06 - 10:54 pm

In his series on Boston wildlife, the Urban Pantheist discusses (and offers up larger-than-life photos of) the eastern subterranean termite, which he calls "a relatively fragile creature." He adds he doesn't buy those Terminix commercials, at least not for New England:

... I have only found termites in Boston underneath damp rotten logs. ...

By - 4/14/06 - 7:52 am

Neil McCabe wings it with photographs of one of the wild turkeys of North Cambridge - which apparently made it across Mass. Ave. without ruffling a feather:

... Here a turkey passes the evening in the parking lot and lawn of St. John the Evangelist Church.

Abby doesn't chicken out when she sees a turkey on Green Street in Jamaica Plain - she takes its photo.

By - 4/13/06 - 2:33 pm

OK, so they're not (yet) clawing at the backs of terrorized residents, like those fowl beasts over in Brookline (oh, wait, scratch that - they've all been eaten by the coyotes), but wild turkeys are flocking to North Cambridge and Somerville:

A turkey just walked down the side walk on Mass Ave. in front of my office. ...

Comments to that post also note their presence in Watertown, Forest Hills and Forsyth Street at Northeastern:

By - 4/9/06 - 2:01 pm

The Urban Pantheist, continuing to educate us on the creatures in our midst, first examines woodlice (a.k.a. sow bugs - and they are neither lice nor bugs but instead a type of crustacean), then the spiders that eat them (the latter is not for people who might not want to see a photo of a spider with "long, obvious fangs" capable of piercing human flesh).

By - 4/6/06 - 11:34 am

Recall how Dave Pye got a live Giant Madagascar Hissing Cockroach in the mail, and his tortured debate on what to do with the thing. Turns out he's just an old softie and couldn't let Hissie die. So he bought a terrarium, set it up on the window sill in his Park Square office and released the beast (don't worry: It eats bananas, not eyeballs).

By - 4/4/06 - 12:16 pm

More as a joke than anything else, David Pye set up Roachbrooch.com, to post faux photos of celebrities wearing bejeweled Giant Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches as ornaments. But then came the infamous "America's Top Model" episode, in which contestants actually had to wear them (one even gave hers a tender peck on the um, whatever it is giant hissing roaches have). To capitalize, he set up an affiliate deal with somebody who actually sells these things. Alas, the Web testing went awry and the guy sent David a box with a live Giant Madagascar Hissing Cockroach in it.

By - 3/31/06 - 10:36 am

Michael Burstein relays the news that coyotes moving into town are taking care of those terror turkeys clawing at the backs of shell-shocked Chestnut Hill residents. But with coyote Thanksgiving over and the beasts turning their slavering, beady eyes on poodles, he wonders, what eats coyotes? And when do we have the first Brookline bear sighting?

By - 3/27/06 - 5:47 pm

The Urban Pantheist walks around the pond, takes photos proving spring is here

By - 3/27/06 - 5:05 pm

Alyssa Boehm reports that this falcon comes after her whenever she enters the Common these days; thinks it might have overheard her calling it "one big chicken" while talking to a friend on a cellphone one day:

... I'm not sure if redheads have natural predators, but I hope it's not a giant peregrine falcon. ...

By - 3/16/06 - 11:33 pm

Andy Carvin bravely reports from Brookline, a town under seige by a horde of wild turkeys - and even manages to smuggle out video of these fowl attackers.

Mabfan demands action:

... Brookline has been feeding the turkeys for years. It's now their turn to feed us.

Early Thanksgiving, anyone?

By - 2/22/06 - 12:15 am

The Charles River White Geese Blog chronicles efforts to save the white geese of the Charles River basin:

... Yesterday, February 20, 2006, I was able to visit the Goose Meadow/Destroyed Nesting Area, the only part of the habitat of the Charles River White Geese from which they have not been barred since September 2004, and it was destroyed by Boston University for normal use in October 1999.

The gaggle of the Charles River White Geese greeted me with their usual happy hello. ...

By - 2/19/06 - 11:45 pm

In his ongoing series on urban wildlife, the Urban Pantheist takes a look at the American coot:

... The American coot is something of a rarity in New England, but can be reliably found in several urban locations in the winter. A handful of these odd-looking birds keeps company with mallards on Jamaica Pond and Chandler Pond, two Boston bodies of water. ...

By - 2/8/06 - 9:44 am

Gly, who's from Illinois, learned firsthand that birds in the Boston area sound different from birds in the Midwest:

By - 2/5/06 - 3:52 pm

Could either the city of Newton or the YMCA please remove the three dead pigeons attached to the fence that separates the YMCA on Church Street from the turnpike? They're skeeving Krissy out.

Vitally important update: They were pieces of wood, not actual frozen dead pigeons, alas.

By - 1/12/06 - 4:33 pm

Granted, they're no Eurasian wigeons, but they'll do. The Urban Pantheist reports:

A lone female bufflehead has been hanging around in the Muddy River this week. This morning I saw a pair of buffleheads, so perhaps a lost mate was found again. ...

Speaking of Eurasian wigeon, I was heartened to see in Wednesday's Sidekick bird report that two were spotted on Nantucket. Unless it was a typo, the plural of wigeon is just "wigeon."

By - 1/9/06 - 6:51 pm

Will reports his Internet service went out when squirrels chewed through the insulation of his cable line, letting it fill with water:

... The frosting on the cake was when (the cable tech) came inside and said, "Yeah, so squirrels chewed on the line and then it filled with water. There's nothing we can do about that because we can't kill all the squirrels."