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Features (Creature Feature)

Tiny frogs seldom seen but often heard

Spring has sprung.    
    Spring peepers are wide awake and calling out loud.
    These tiny frogs are among the first to call and breed. Only the males sing. They’re calling for mates.
    Competition’s tough.
    Females choose a mate by the quality of his call.
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Marshmallow creatures inspire creativity

Sam Born began selling Peeps in the early 1920s, in a small Pennsylvania grocery store he owned, under a sign that read Just Born.
    Nowadays March brings Peeps madness.
    The craze took off in 1953 as cellophane selections of packaged Peeps flew off neighborhood grocery shelves.
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How Bay Weekly's Betsy Kehne got the shot

Betsy Kehne had been waiting for three decades for the bird perched a stone’s throw from her window.
    At five years old, she’d grieved at learning that the pesticide DDT was pushing bald eagles to extinction.
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Blue herons return for Valentine’s Day

The great blue heron’s return to Chesapeake Country and consequent mating occurs mid-February, bestowing these majestic birds the nickname, lovebirds.
    “Their local nickname, along with love birds, is Johnny Crane,” said Mike Callahan, president of Southern Maryland Audubon Society.
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Chimps Go for Ravens, 49ers eat crow

The wise guys and gals of the world of sports gave Super Bowl XLVII to the San Francisco 49ers. The chimpanzee tribe of the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore, however, got it right.
    On Purple Friday, February 1, the zoo’s 11 chimps emerged from their night quarters into a dayroom decked out with footballs and two team banners: a red one for the 49ers and a purple one for the Ravens.
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Love finds its match with Critter Cupids

This Valentine’s Day, woo your love with chocolate, flowers and a critter cupid. That’s the advice of the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington, D.C., whose animals are lending their images to a loveable fundraising campaign.
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February 2 is too important a day to sleep through

February 2 is halfway through winter, so what better time to gather with friends and neighbors to eat good food, drink heartily and look ahead to the coming spring?
    The Pennsylvania Dutch descendants of German immigrants did just that. Among the first celebrants of Groundhog Day, they partied hardy in Punxsutawney, Penn., as far back as 1887.
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Student-artists show why turtles and balloons make a bad couple

When the Virginia Aquarium Stranding Response team found Kermit washed ashore, the small green sea turtle was wasting away. X-rays showed balloons and plastic bags blocking Kermit’s throat.
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Rufous hummingbird thrives in winter

My procrastination finally paid off. Long after the summer visitors to my hummingbird feeder had departed for their winter home, my feeder hung like a lone beacon in the leafless maple tree. I’ll get around to it, I kept telling myself.
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Fortunately, its roar is worse than its bite

Few things look scarier than a gelatinous mass with tentacles twisting in the Bay.
    Chesapeake swimmers endure sea nettle stings in summer. But few have been stung by a lion’s mane jelly, the world’s largest known jellyfish species. Lucky for us, these jellyfish are seasonal inhabitants of the Bay from November to March.
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