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Creature Feature

Sometimes it takes a village

It takes a village, they say, to raise a child. So it does to relocate an osprey pair.     This story begins in spring last year, when a pair of osprey constructed their residence atop a three-story chimney of a home in Resthaven in Southern Anne Arundel County. After the construction of the large, freeform contemporary and the raising of their brood, off they went to their second home for the winter. Prior to their departure, however, these tenants saw no need to clean the large amounts of graffiti left on the siding and decks below the nest.

Cheer super-avian feats of prowess at International ­Migratory Bird Day

Imagine the epic journey of the red knot as it flies 9,300 miles along the Atlantic coast from its wintering grounds in southern South America to its high Arctic breeding grounds. The journey is so taxing that it requires two to three stopovers for refueling, including one at Delaware Bay. When the knot arrives there, its body is half its starting weight, devoid of fat and even some muscle. Here, it will spend some 10 days consuming the eggs of the horseshoe crab to regain its weight before continuing north.

More ups and downs

Will 101 million spawning-age females produce a sustainable future for Chesapeake Bay’s blue crabs?     That’s the $64,000 question raised by this year’s Winter Dredge Survey, Maryland Department of Natural Resources’ census of crabs asleep in the mud of the Bay.

Run the Freedom Hill People Steeplechase, Kids Canter or Toddler Trot

Horses give humans a lift at Freedom Hill Horse Rescue in Calvert County.     In species pairings called Equine Assisted Learning, people learn leadership, goal-setting and teamwork.     In Equine-Based Education, people learn about horses, their proper care and treatment, natural horsemanship and the basics of horseback riding.     In Equine Connection, people get to know horses in an introductory group horsemanship lesson. 

Chesapeake Country’s celebrity birds

Time to tune into Chesapeake Country’s favorite celebrity reality show.     Season three of the Chesapeake Conservancy’s popular Osprey Cam begins with drama and intrigue.     Audrey returned just before St. Patrick’s Day and quickly began building her nest. Day after day went by with no Tom.

Ravens and Orioles watch out; Maryland’s going wild over peregrines

Fifty years ago, peregrine falcons were nearly eradicated from the Eastern United States due to the pesticide DDT. Today, they are riding high — literally — on the 33rd story of the TransAmerica building in Baltimore.     In 1977 a falcon was released at the Edgewood Arsenal as part of the Peregrine Fund’s captive breeding effort. Scarlett, as she was named, made her home at the then-United States Fidelity and Guaranty building at 100 Light Street in downtown Baltimore.

Marvels lie under the sea

Right here on the ocean floor Such wonderful things surround you      –The Little Mermaid: Under the Sea

Vote bracket by bracket for the Live ­Science champion

Which scares you more? A scorpion crawling up your leg? Being devoured by the King of the Jungle? Swimming with a killer whale?     As March Madness brings the nation’s top college basketball teams into quick-death competition, the website Live Science jumps in with a parallel competition in the Animal Kingdom. Bracket by bracket, you’re invited to advance your worst fears in its no-holds-barred Killer Animal Tournament.

Look and listen before they leave

Trumpeter swans returned to Chesapeake Country after many years.     “I have lived at this location on the Chesapeake Bay for 19 years and have never observed trumpeter swans before,” said life-long bird watcher Randy Kiser of Shady Side. “Their sound was unmistakable, so different from the tundras.     “They stayed for about an hour and then moved on,” Kiser said.     He wasn’t alone in his trumpeter sighting.

Oh, the creatures we’ve seen

You find them sitting atop shelves at libraries, inside toy chests and in the hands of parents turning well-worn pages in a nighttime ritual of reading the rhymes, words and wisdom of Dr. Seuss and his unforgettable characters.     From 1928 until his death in 1990, Theodor Seuss Geisel wrote and illustrated 60-plus books for children and adults as Dr. Seuss.