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Features (Creature Feature)

In Sandy’s wake of wrath, our backyard birds need help.
    After days of sudden exposure to wet and cold, birds need to refuel with seed and suet to maintain body temperature and energy.
    “First and foremost, people need to get their feeders back up and fill them with fresh seed,” says Julie Curd, owner of Wild Bird Center of Annapolis.
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These spooky looking carrion feeders keep the living world healthy

Picture this: A chilly night cloaked in mist with vultures roosting by the dozens on lampposts, in trees behind the grocery store.
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Tagged with a transmitter, one bird’s migration ends in tragedy, mystery

Researcher Rob Bierregaard and his team climb into nests to tag East Coast osprey with radio transmitters. This fall, 11 birds are carrying transmitters that enable Bierregaard to track their every move.
    Birds have strong individual idiosyncrasies in their migration. Yet laid atop one another the migration lines form a clear pattern: East Coast Birds cling to that coast all the way down through Florida.
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These bugs have legs 150 times stronger than ours

Clusters of long-legged creatures congregate around my screen door and atop my plants.
    Granddaddy or daddy long-legs, also called harvestmen, turn up just about everywhere inside and outside of my home. I find them on walls and plants, the clothesline and the stone patio.
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Osprey leave Chesapeake Country

Somebody’s bound to be the last osprey to turn out the lights on summer 2012 on Chesapeake Bay.
    By eight weeks old, this year’s babies were as big as their parents and ready to leave the nests. By the end of July and early August, you could see the youngsters trying out their wings, fishing skills and independence.
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With summer at an end, hummers prepare for their long journey south
Two hummingbirds have been warring in my backyard over nectar the color of cherry Kool-Aid.
    They hover, frozen in time, sipping at the feeder and my hibiscus plants. I sit frozen too, watching them.
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Meet Facebook favorite Puff

There are many fish in the sea. The census of the Chesapeake extends to the thousands, filling 324 pages of Fishes of Chesapeake Bay.
    But few are as cute as the young northern puffer John Mayer, captain of the charter fishing boat Marauder, caught in the Patuxent River about six miles above Solomons.
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How a baby squirrel at the doorstep stole our hearts

Bay Weekly has acquired a furry friend, an orphaned baby squirrel. He (or she?) first caught our attention when he was stretched across the screen of our front window. We heard his cries through the open windows. Once our awhs stopped, we went back to work.
    When the mailman came with his delivery later that day, he stepped over the squirrlel to get through our front door.
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Your front porch is the buffet of choice for the orb weaver spiders, and your light is the headliner, attracting the smorgasbord of bugs that the spiders feast on.
    As autumn comes upon us, the days get shorter and the orb weavers come out to play. Hatchlings born in spring grow up in summer. Come fall, they’re amping up their eating to make big egg sacs.
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Lend an ear for the D.C Baltimore Cricket Crawl

It’s a symphony out there. The players are crickets and their cuter green cousins, katydids.
    Their instruments are their wings, specifically the tooth-covered stridulatory organ thereof, rubbed one against the other. Males play this instrument to attract females and repel other males.
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