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Features (Creature Feature)

A soda can alligator takes top honors at the Maryland Department of the Environment’s Rethink Recycling contest

Josh Tichinel’s alligator may not be able to swim the waters of the Chesapeake Bay. But the soda-can reptile is a reminder that we can all help save the Bay through creative repurposing.

The Northern Garrett High School student won the Maryland Department of the Environment’s Rethink Recycling art contest.

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Sign up for Bird School and you’ll think like a bird

As cold weather sets in and you fill your bird feeders, you’ll find hours of entertainment — and bafflement — in their behavior. What are they up to with all the strutting, head-bobbing, feather-fluffing and wing flapping?

Get the answers from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, now enrolling backyard birders in the online bird-behavior course Investigating Behavior: Courtship and Rivalry in Birds.

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The National Aquarium is looking for a manatee with a bad sense of direction

If there is a manatee swimming in the Middle Branch of the Upper Patapsco, it must be cold.

The sub-tropical marine mammal was reported in mid-October. Since then, nothing — despite a plea to boaters for updates.

“With this one we haven’t been able to confirm an actual sighting ourselves with photographic evidence,” says Baltimore National Aquarium’s media/public relations director Jen Bloomer.

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Tundra Swans Winging Their Way to Chesapeake Country

Migrating to their winter home, tundra swans will soon be filling the gap in the sky left by south-migrating osprey. Our snowbirds could be arriving any day.

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Mast year creates a bounty of acorns, which should lead to a bounty of bushy tails next year

Which came first, the acorn or the squirrel? 

Whichever you prefer, both will be doing exceptionally well this year as acorns fill the forest floor and squirrels’ stomachs. For both species, 2010 is a mast year.

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From here to Venezuela

Where have our osprey gone after abandoning Chesapeake Country over the last six weeks?

In general, we know that Chesapeake osprey fly from between 2,000 and 4,000 miles. Their journey takes 15 to 50 days, depending on the individual’s flight plans.

Transmitter-tagged birds can tell us much more.

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AAA finds that careful driving has gone to the dogs

 

It’s now illegal for Marylanders to drive with their hands on their phone, but according to a AAA study, we’re still likely to fall victim to another driving distraction: our animal companions.

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Life stinks for Marylanders

The brown marmorated stink bug has made itself Maryland’s least welcome invader of 2010. Fat from feasting on orchard and soybean crops, flocks of the Asian alien have invaded homes and gardens, causing more than a foul odor.

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Calvert Marine Museum’s snakehead settles into life in solitary confinement

 

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In the war against the vacuum, Lothian’s Juanky is declared top dog

The  war between pets and vacuum cleaners is long-standing and seemingly inexplicable. Maybe it’s the noise. Maybe it’s the aggressive suction coupled with a rolling machine. Maybe pets just don’t like clean carpets.

Eureka Vacuums, however, sought an armistice between their cleaners and your furry friends, inviting pet owners around the country to enter Fido’s Fight or Flight contest with videos of their pets reactions to the vacuum.

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