Category Archives: Phenology

The science of changes in nature brought about by the change of seasons.

This Week at Hilton Pond (21-31 October 2013)—#583—“Raise The Deck Midst Autumn Color”

We’ve been demolishing and rebuilding an observation deck “This Week at Hilton Pond,” but we haven’t been too busy to stand back and admire the fall color around us. Continue reading…

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This Week at Hilton Pond (1-14 April 2013)—“Early Spring 2013 Happenings At Hilton Pond”

Figure 1. Hilton Pond Center’s first Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Archilochus colubris, of the 2013 season showed up on 2 April. As expected, it was an adult male with red gorget (above); the earliest male RTHU usually precede earliest females by a week or so. (Photo copyright Bill Hilton Jr.)

In my continuing effort to catch up on posting “This Week at Hilton Pond” AND to maintain continuity in reporting phenological happenings at Hilton Pond Center, I offer the following installment covering the first half of April 2013. Continue reading…

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Citizen Scientists Track Butterfly Migrations; and Shed Light on Climate Change

Smithsonian Magazine has an interesting piece on how citizen scientists are collecting data on butterflies and helping to shed light on the effects of climate change. Continue reading…

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Amateur Botanist Rediscovers “Lost” Species

So when he came across a Boston University study reporting 155 plant species had disappeared from a section of the Fells over the last century, he vowed to give the matter a second look, a “proper follow-up.” Continue reading…

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CSL Provides Unprecedented Access to Scientific Literature

The Citizen Scientists League is providing access to thousands of scientific and academic journals and other publications. CSL is proud to be the first such organization to offer this kind of service. Continue reading…

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This Week at Hilton Pond (11-31 October 2012)—“Getting Ready For Winter”

Figure 1. As days shorten and the weather cools, leaves on deciduous shrubs like this Winged Sumac, Rhus copallinum, get ready for winter by shutting down water flow; subsequent loss of chlorophyll allows underlying red pigments to appear. (Photo copyright Bill Hilton Jr.)

As the seasons move from summer to colder weather, the plant world around us exhibits myriad ways of “getting ready for winter.” Continue reading…

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Few Spaces Remain for Hummingbird Expeditions

Each year Hilton Pond Center–through “Operation RubyThroat: The Hummingbird Project”–offers citizen science expeditions as part of the only in-depth long-term study of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds on their wintering grounds in the Neotropics. Although much is known about behavior of this common hummer species within its North American breeding range, little is known about what these tiny birds do the OTHER six months when they’re … Continue reading…

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This Week at Hilton Pond (1-10 October 2012)—“An Irruption Of (One) Red-breasted Nuthatch”

Figure 1. Red-breasted Nuthatches, Sitta canadensis, are quite rare at Hilton Pond Center, so even one constitutes an “irruption.” (Photo copyright Bill Hilton Jr.)

be a good “finch winter” in the southern U.S. and even that a few other northern species may come on down to show up at our feeders. Continue reading…

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This Week at Hilton Pond (22-30 September 2012)—“West Nile Virus 1, American Goldfinch 0”

Figure 1. Of the seven American Goldfinches banded at Hilton Pond Center during winter and found elsewhere March through September, four have been encountered in a very small area of New York State, just south of Lake Ontario. (Map copyright Bill Hilton Jr.)

One benefit of banding birds is that sometimes individuals we capture locally are encountered far from the Carolina Piedmont, providing valuable data about migration. Continue reading…

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This Week at Hilton Pond (1-9 September 2012)—“Fall Migration Begins, Sort Of”

Figure 1. The Northern Waterthrush, Parkesia noveboracensis (above), breeds in the northern tier of states and throughout Canada. We see it at Hilton Pond Center only during migration. (Photo copyright Bill Hilton Jr.)

With the advance of last weekend’s cold front, we expected lots of migratory birds to blow through the Carolina Piedmont. “This Week at Hilton Pond” we got a few migrants, but mostly our mist nets were filled by resident species. Continue reading…

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