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David Mizejewski
Life-long nature lover who is working his dream job at the National Wildlife Federation.
Recent Activity
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Crocodiles, lizards, turtles and snakes are reptiles, and generally speaking, most reptiles lay eggs--but not all of them. Some snakes give birth to fully formed live young, just like mammals. Copperheads are one of them, and this time of year is birthing season for these beautifully camouflaged snakes. At National... Continue reading
Posted Sep 9, 2014 at Bites @ Animal Planet
Check out this video of two deer trotting across the Golden Gate Bridge during rush hour traffic yesterday. I mean, sometime you just gotta get places. Protect wildlife with the National Wildlife Federation. Continue reading
Posted Sep 6, 2014 at Bites @ Animal Planet
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My friend and National Wildlife Federation colleague Beth Pratt-Bergstrom is a self-avowed pika lover. Pikas are small mammals that live in high-elevation cool mountains west of the Rocky Mountains in Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Utah and New Mexico. They are very, very cute. Even though they... Continue reading
Posted Sep 6, 2014 at Bites @ Animal Planet
Folks, call your local nursery ask if they sell milkweed plants. Try doing a google search too. Monarch Watch is a great organization that has a lot or resources on buying and propagating milkweed. http://www.monarchwatch.org/
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Some animals are just so ugly that they are cute. Here's a video of a tiny bat named Frank being raised by wildlife rehabilitators in Australia, happily munching on mealworms. Post by Wildlife Rockhampton - Rescue, Rehabilitation & Release Inc. The good folks at Wildlife Rockhampton had this to say... Continue reading
Posted Aug 27, 2014 at Bites @ Animal Planet
Cathy, there are several dozen species of milkweed native to North America. The species I featured in the photos this post is swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata), which is native to the eastern half of the continent. Here is a list of 12 milkweed species found in CA. Several of them are very showy and are great in the garden. http://www.wildflower.org/plants/combo.php?fromsearch=true&distribution=CA&habit=&duration=
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It's an eel-eat-fish world out there! Check out this video below of a spotted moray eel attacking and eating a lionfish. Pay special attention to the eel's hunting technique. It bites the lionfish in the middle of its body and uses its double set of jaws to both hold and... Continue reading
Posted Aug 25, 2014 at Bites @ Animal Planet
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Monarch butterflies are in serious trouble. Their populations have crashed and are at an all time low, and experts fear that this iconic black and orange butterfly species could disappear altogether if action isn't taken. Monarch butterfly on milkweed. Photo by Rick&Brenda Beerhoorst via Flickr Creative Commons. Monarchs, like all... Continue reading
Posted Aug 23, 2014 at Bites @ Animal Planet
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Check out this news report of my friend Ed Clark, President of the Wildlife Center of Virginia, releasing three young bald eagles back into the wild. The eagles were all blown out of their nests by storms earlier this year, and have spent the last few months in captivity under... Continue reading
Posted Aug 21, 2014 at Bites @ Animal Planet
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Bighorn sheep are creatures of the desert and mountains. They are specially adapted to survive in the extremes of arid habitats, where vegetation is tough and brown and water is hard to come by during much of the year. So when one showed up swimming in a golf course canal... Continue reading
Posted Aug 20, 2014 at Bites @ Animal Planet
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Here is part two of my highlight on some of the rare wild animals the conservation organization Rare works to protect. (See part one here.) Yellow Eared Parrot The population of the yellow-eared parrot is only about 1,000 since its rediscovery in 1998 near Roncesvalles, Colombia. It is bright green... Continue reading
Posted Aug 9, 2014 at Bites @ Animal Planet
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I'm certain that local Bigfoot hunters are going to get lots of calls about this one. This animal is of course not a Bigfoot, but an American black bear. Black bears are indeed able to stand on two legs, but they almost never walk around that way. I'm not sure... Continue reading
Posted Aug 6, 2014 at Bites @ Animal Planet
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Long time readers know that I'm a naturalist National Wildlife Federation, one of Animal Planet's R.O.A.R. partners, and I sometimes highlight NWF's work in my Animal Oddities posts. In this post I want to give a shout out to a fellow conservation organizations, Rare. Rare looks for proven conservation solutions... Continue reading
Posted Aug 5, 2014 at Bites @ Animal Planet
It's not quite bogus. The recordings are indeed real. However, the composer does seem to have arranged them to achieve the harmony. The post has been updated with the correct information (see above). Thanks for your diligence in researching this and for pointing out the error.
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That, at least, you might be right about. Based on the drawing it's clearly identical to a blue jay except for the coloring. I think it's more likely due to what you describe (inability to see the reflected blue light due to the angle) than a mutation or hybrid. We'll probably never know for sure.
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@Manticore Pinion -- Uuuuuhhhm, no. All artists use references, and it's quite possible that Ryan Browne did look at a photo reference of a blue jay in profile when creating his sighting sketch. Nothing odd about that. That doesn't mean he traced it. If you clicked on the links to Mr. Browne's work that I put into the post (3 times), you'd see that he is quite capable of sketching a bird without needing to trace. Here it is again, since you seemed to have missed it. http://ryanedwardbrowne.tumblr.com/
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Well, that was quick! rc6750, send me your mailing address at mizejewski@nwf.org and I'll get your book in the mail next week after the Thanksgiving holiday.
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Nicole is the winner!! Congrats. Send me your mailing address to mizejewski@nwf.org and I'll send your book out next week. Here's more info on the northern short-tailed shrew: http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/wildlife/information/?s=050012
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We have a winner! Dave Busby was the first one to correctly guess that is an Eastern Hercules Beetle. Even better, he got the scientific name AND the gender correct too. Dave, send your mailing address to mizejewski@nwf.org and I'll send you a copy of my book. Here's more info on these cool beetles: http://bugguide.net/node/view/2877 http://www.fcps.edu/islandcreekes/ecology/eastern_hercules_beetle.htm
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Thanks for your comment Lee. This is a fun, light-hearted blog focusing on odd animal stories, not a hard news site. As I mentioned in the post, I did see the story on several other sites, and while I cannot verify 100% that is true, the possibility of it being so was worthy of sharing it here. As I also mentioned in the post, the behavior the zookeeper was mimicking is certainly a biologically accurate way of dealing with a constipated baby mammal. If it ends up being a joke, that's fair game for this blog too. Should I find out that's the case, I will definitely update the post to make the correction. In the meantime, I hope you can appreciate (the admittedly juvenile) humor in the story.
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Thanks everyone for pointing out that Guy Combes is primarily a painter. I've updated the post to reflect that.
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Thanks for your comment, Guy, and for going through the effort to document this amazing and rare creature. I think some of the hunting comments are just people being snarky and they're probably unaware of the protections that Kenya provides to wildlife and the punishments doled out for poaching.
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Oops - that should be 100,000 acre wilderness! I just corrected it.
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Sorry folks if it seemed I was talking down by sharing info about sea stars and gulls. As a Naturalist, I'm an educator first and foremost and part of my job is to dispel myths and misconceptions about wildlife, and I recognized my own "nature-nerdiness." But this is a fun, light-hearted blog that focuses on odd things in the animal world, so I try not to take it too seriously. You shouldn't either.
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Coyotes are native to North America, so unless someone released one in Belgium, it's unlikely. If they did, it would be just as much of an "animals in odd places" kind of story. To my eye, this is not a coyote. It's also possible that this is a feral dog. That's harder to know without actually capturing it and really looking at its DNA. Since dogs and wolves are the exact same species, they can look very similar. That said, this animal looks very wolfish in my opinion.
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