Roseate spoonbill. [Photo: Michele Berger]
For decades I’ve traveled to southeast Florida with my family. But it wasn’t until a trip two years ago that we discovered Wakodahatchee Wetlands thanks to a friend. Now, every time I’m there, I drag whomever I’m with to the manmade marsh.
This time, it was my mom.!--/end tags-->
UPDATE: We've narrowed down the entries for last week's caption contest. Vote away!
Every week we post a funny animal photo that’s begging for a caption. Join in the fun! You’ve got til 11:59 pm (Eastern time) on Sunday to enter your suggestion (click “Read more” below). On Monday we’ll choose our three favorite captions and list them under the image.!--/end tags-->
In each issue of Audubon, the editors review a mix of narrative nonfiction titles, as well as art books and children’s books about nature. For ease, we’ve compiled the dozens of fantastic works we reviewed in 2012 in one place, and we’ve added a few additional books that we covered exclusively online.!--/end tags-->
The bananquit, one of Aruba’s birds. Photo: Michele Berger
Check the 1st and the 12th holes.
That was the advice we received to locate the burrowing owls, some of the few remaining on Aruba. So at 6:30 a.m. on our final morning in the Caribbean, we took at $17 taxi ride to a golf course to look for birds. As promised, there on the 1st hole, next to the sand trap, stood two burrowing owls in plain sight. We spotted another three at the 12th hole, and for good measure, a sixth met us at hole 14.
After several days on this island slightly larger than Washington, D.C., we learned that’s just what birding is like here. Once you know where to look, the birds are easily spotted. And what cool species, too.!--/end tags-->
“Take only photos and leave only footprints,” may become the new credo in Botswana, a premier safari destination that has also been popular among big game hunters. The Texas-sized nation has announced plans to ban trophy hunting in public areas amid concerns about sharply declining wildlife populations. “The shooting of wild game for sport and trophies is no longer compatible with our commitment to preserve local fauna,” said Botswana’s environment ministry in a statement.
Remote lands populated by cannibalistic natives and poisonous snakes set the stage for biologist Tim Flannery’s latest book, Among the Islands. The renowned author delves into his 1980s and ’90s expeditions to catalog unique, elusive species, like a red-gray tree-climbing mouse and a monkey-faced bat. He bounces from the Solomon Islands to Fiji to Bismarck’s Isles, falling into a sinkhole while trying to set a mist net and trudging through thigh-deep guano to get a closer look at an insect-eating bat.!--/end tags-->
Sandhill Crane, photo by Dwayne Longenbaugh
Don’t let that holiday turkey be the only bird your family encounters this Thanksgiving. Go for a hike. A post-feast nature walk can be as much a family tradition as cranberry sauce and stuffing. While burning off calories, you can enjoy the fresh air and see some wildlife. There are plenty of places to go. Visit one of Audubon’s 48 centers laced with trails. Or choose a National Wildlife Refuge. The Refuge System encompasses 150 million acres, and there is at least one refuge in every state. Many of them are Important Bird Areas. The following 16 National Wildlife Refuge walks are family-friendly and relatively short. Each one offers a chance to see many birds and other wildlife in late November.!--/end tags-->
It happens every year: a handful of unsuspecting national park tourists don’t survive their vacation. In California’s Yosemite National Park, bad weather, deceptively swift river currents, and steep, perilous trails all pose risks to the nearly four million people that visit the park each year. But this summer visitors to Yosemite face a more unusual threat—the rare and deadly hantavirus.!--/end tags-->
Footage from NASA’s Landsat satellites shows a unique overhead view of the infamous Mount St. Helens volcano. The time-lapse sequence documents the immense scale of destruction and the remarkable recovery in the three decades following the 1980 eruption. Collected by four different satellites, these images document the volcano and surrounding forest beginning just before the eruption. (Vegetation is shown as red in the first few images.)!--/end tags-->