Wednesday, April 8, 2020
Home Authors Posts by Matt Pelikan

Matt Pelikan

278 POSTS 0 COMMENTS

Wild Side: Hawks and doves

As usual for this time of year, the production of more mourning doves is in full swing in our small Oak Bluffs yard. But...

Wild Side: On the road

Breaking a decades-old tradition of wallowing in seasonal affective disorder and grumbling about late-winter weather on the Vineyard, your intrepid Wild Side columnist and...

Wild Side: Wintering with us, the hermit thrush

On Friday the 21st, I surprised a hermit thrush as it fed on multiflora rose berries next to the building I work in. The...

Wild Side: Phormia regina

Winter, naturally, is a slow season for insect observation, with only a modest variety of particularly hardy or specially adapted species active. Some of...

Wild Side: Groundhog Day

Groundhog Day might be my favorite holiday. It’s not that I have any particular fondness for rodents. And the six more weeks of winter...

Wild Side: A new perspective

If you’re reading this, you’re probably a human being. As such, while there are exceptions, you’re likely more than five feet long and weigh...

Wild Side: Unsolved mystery

Ah, there are few things better than a natural history problem solved! A tough ID nailed down, a droll bit of ecology revealed. Such...

Wild Side: Belted kingfishers

A bit larger than a blue jay, belted kingfishers are chunky birds with a scraggly crest on their head that gives them their regal...

Wild Side: Short-eared owls

I could never pick just one favorite bird. But surely on the short list would be the short-eared owl, a crow-size, brownish bird of...

Wild Side: Low on the food chain

A high percentage of the meadow voles that I see are in a difficult situation indeed: dangling from the talons of a red-tailed hawk...

Wild Side: Stranded leatherback

On Wednesday, Oct. 30, word of a dead leatherback turtle beached on Cape Poge turned up on social media. I was one of several...

Wild Side: Blue jays

When it comes to migration, the blue jay, among our most familiar and recognizable birds, plays by its own rules. By and large, the...

Wild Side: American copper

As the days shorten and the butterfly season begins to wind down, the Vineyard appears to be enjoying an unusually good late-season showing by...

Wild Side: On the hunt

Where have you been all these years, Encoptolophus? That’s what I want to know.Clouded grasshopper (Encoptolophus sordidus), a boldly marked, grayish insect, turned up...

Wild Side: Counting katydids

When it comes to what’s happening in the natural world, you don’t know what you’re missing.No, really: If you know you’re missing something, you...

Wild Side: Meadow katydids

When the average person thinks of katydids, which isn’t very often, they likely have in mind the true katydid, Pterophylla camellifolia. A species that...

Wild Side: Wiley robber flies

Everyone knows that evolution can take one basic design for a plant or animal and diversify it into scores, or even hundreds, of specialized...

Wild Side: Paper wasps

My gardening pride and joy is a patch of ‘Jersey Supreme’ asparagus I laboriously planted back in 2009. When two species of asparagus beetles...

Wild Side: Northern broken-dash

The northern broken-dash is a tiny brownish butterfly, not much over a half-inch long. Its peculiar, hyphenated name comes from the stigma on male...

Wild Side: Bug hunting

On a recent canoe outing up into channels in a salt marsh adjacent to Sengekontacket Pond, I was delighted to find a batch of...