Sunday, July 21, 2024
Home Authors Posts by Matt Pelikan

Matt Pelikan

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Wild Side: Seaside goldenrod

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This past weekend, I focused my fieldwork on one of my favorite plants: seaside goldenrod, Solidago sempervirens. The common name accurately sums up the...

Wild Side: Birds from Lee

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Vineyard birders have a love-hate relationship with tropical storms. Like anybody else, we respect the enormous power of these systems, and dread the damage...

Wild Side: Sense of direction

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September is the peak of migration, not just for birds but for bats, butterflies, and dragonflies as well. We tend to think of fall...

Wild Side: It’s just a little crush

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Most of the time, I’m an equal-opportunity naturalist: Everything I see holds the same interest for me, and everything seems uniquely beautiful. But every...

Wild Side: The seasons are turning for birds

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In nature, as in anything else, arrivals and beginnings are relatively easy to spot. One day in early spring, birds appear that weren’t there...

Wild Side: The driveway is prime real estate

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If you were asked to describe good pollinator habitat, you’d probably come up with something like a wildflower meadow or a pollinator garden: green,...

Wild Side: Tree crickets

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Members of the insect order Orthoptera — grasshoppers, crickets, and katydids — can be found year-round on Martha’s Vineyard (immatures of a few species...

Wild Side: Sheep laurel and its lonely fan

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Across much of the Vineyard, on sandy soils both moist and dry, the most obvious late spring flowers may be those of sheep laurel,...

Wild Side: The mysterious chimney swift

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After the robin, the chickadee, and the blue jay, the chimney swift may have been the first bird I learned to identify. I was...

Wild Side: A hard frost, late

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When it comes to weather, every year is unique, perhaps more so on Martha’s Vineyard than in most places. And so far, at least...

Wild Side: Spring orioles

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Spring songbird migration on Martha’s Vineyard is a highly variable phenomenon from year to year. Sometimes, about all that happens is that our breeding...

Wild Side: She’s a polyester bee

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How does a female solitary bee start her day? I’d never asked myself the question, but recently ended up with a chance to answer...

Wild Side: Bee season is here

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My first native bee of the season? Why, thank you for asking! It was a male Bradley’s mining bee, Andrena bradleyi, which I found...

Wild Side: Spring may look sparse

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As the first half of April arrives, Vineyarders can finally think of winter in the past tense. To be sure, we could still see...

Wild Side: It’s an ill wind

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Martha’s Vineyard is a great place for birding, with a high diversity of birds present at most times of the year, and a remarkable...

Wild Side: Townsend’s solitaire

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So far, 2023 has been a bit of a snoozer from the birdwatching perspective. Not much unusual has been reported, and at least in...

Wild Side: On the house fly

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“House fly.” I think we all get roughly the same image from that common name: a grayish fly, between a quarter- and a half-inch...

Wild Side: The hermit thrush

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One of the more gratifying aspects of birding is the way even familiar species find ways to surprise you. Common birds turn up in...

Wild Side: Red-bellied (Carolina) woodpecker

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In these days when so many bird species are beleaguered by habitat loss, climate change, disease, environmental toxins, competition from invasive species, or other...

Wild Side: CBC

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The 63rd annual Martha’s Vineyard Christmas Bird Count (CBC), held on the first day of the year, was in one respect the most enjoyable...