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Matt Pelikan


Records help refresh and enrich memories

I've always augmented my memory with written records, especially when working on a specific project.

Invasive pests crash the biodiversity of Martha’s Vineyard

Flightless and strongly associated with horticultural plants, this species surely didn't get here on its own.

Singing to promote themselves, birds help us identify them

Bird song is everywhere, now, and the number and diversity of birds singing seems to increase every day.

Vocal and social, cardinals are at home on Martha’s Vineyard

Bright red males are unmistakable, but even females are eye-catching and a cinch to identify.

Zippity doo dah, Zippity aye, how nice to see a bluebird

The bluebird is welcome for its song, its role in controlling insect numbers, and above all because of that blue.

Six principles to boost native species in your yard

A green lawn and beds of non-native ornamentals benefit the lawn and garden product industry more than native wildlife.

Working the angles

In early January, chickadees begin to chime in; later in the month, they're joined by house finches, and as February proceeds, song sparrows tune up.

Extreme cold challenges wildlife on Martha’s Vineyard

Prolonged cold, especially when paired with snow cover, represents a sort of ecological bottleneck, killing many individuals.

Martha’s Vineyard birders appreciate wintertime juncos

Juncos are not particularly shy birds, and if they are frequenting your feeding station, you can't miss them.

Martha’s Vineyard birders take a year-end accounting

Approximately 60 birders took to the field, and tracked down more than 21,000 individual birds representing 121 species.

Rare and elusive, auks winter off Martha’s Vineyard shores

Though they're hard to find and even harder to get a good look at, I've always had a fondness for the auks.

Feeding birds is serious business on Martha’s Vineyard

Birds are nice friends to have. Feeding them, as lots of Islanders do, can have unintended consequences.

A common pigeon asks for help on a Martha’s Vineyard ferryboat

The episode reminded me that humans and animals, for all their differences, also share many similarities.

Finches due to swarm over Martha’s Vineyard soon

On the Vineyard as well as in the rest of our region, this will be a bountiful season for these northern birds.

Mushrooms bloom on Martha’s Vineyard in autumn

Conditions have produced an unusually lengthy season for these interesting Islanders, along with robust numbers and diversity.

Nature never gets old, on Martha’s Vineyard or anywhere else

The complexity of nature is virtually infinite, and in a half-century of study, I've barely scratched the surface.

Crickets and katydids make a racket on Martha’s Vineyard now

With sufficient stealth, patience, and a flashlight if it's night, you may be able to zero in on the sound of a calling Orthopteran in order to watch it sing.

Pet cats can skew the Martha’s Vineyard ecosystem

Domestic cats can live and hunt at densities many times higher than any natural predator would ever reach.

Big news – new butterfly found

The aptly named giant swallowtail, one of the largest and most strikingly marked butterflies occurring in North America, has paid us a visit.

Even on Martha’s Vineyard, robber flies have a bad name

These predatory insects have never been systematically studied on the Vineyard, so hard information about their diversity here is lacking.