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Nature

Studying the Dining Habits of Deer

In an attempt to get a handle on the impacts of the region's outsize deer population, East Hampton Town established a new fenced-in deer “exclosure” in mid-October in Northwest Woods. The idea of it is pretty simple: Deer are restricted from feasting inside the fence, so that the plant life inside “can be compared to vegetation outside of it to determine the impact deer 'browse' is having.”

Dec 1, 2022
On the Wing: We Should Call It the Zebra Bird

You don’t need to go deep into the woods to find a red-bellied woodpecker, but if you're looking for a distinctive red belly, you won't find it. Instead, its head is red, which explains why people often misidentify it as the red-headed woodpecker, which hardly shows up on Long Island.

Dec 1, 2022
On the Wing: Turkeys, Turkeys, Everywhere

It’s hard to decouple the turkey from Thanksgiving, but long before we paired turkeys with mashed potatoes and stuffing and turned them into a national symbol, they were going about their business, hanging out in gangs, flipping leaves, and browsing the ground for nuts.

Nov 24, 2022
An Unhealthy Obsession With Leaf Removal

On the South Fork, it seems the moment a leaf falls to the ground it becomes a nuisance to be blown, corralled, and carted to a landfill. But leaving at least some of those leaves be can be healthy for your lawn and your other plantings.

Nov 17, 2022
Pollinator Garden Unveiled at Town Hall

“There’s trouble in paradise,” Gail Pellett of ChangeHampton said outside East Hampton Town Hall last Thursday, where a group of elected officials and residents had gathered for a ceremonial groundbreaking for a community pollinator garden that will extend a pollinator pathway that includes another garden and a wildflower meadow in progress on the campus.

Nov 3, 2022
Bluetongue Virus Hits Deer Here

Bluetongue, a serious virus, has been detected for the first time in New York State deer. A cousin of epizootic hemorrhagic disease, it is spread by the bite from a midge, or no-see-um, and incubates in a deer for seven days before the animal begins to show symptoms. There is no treatment for the virus, which typically kills an adult deer within 36 hours.

Sep 29, 2022
Pine Beetles Wreaking Havoc on Napeague Forest

Some 3,200 pitch pines on Napeague were being felled this week, victims of the southern pine beetle infestation that has killed thousands of trees in East Hampton Town since 2017.

Sep 15, 2022
Shark Encounters Are on the Rise. Why?

A handful of recent shark attacks and sightings on Long Island's barrier beaches has beachgoers on edge and officials responding with red-flag beach warnings and enhanced shark patrols — but don't blame the sharks, said Greg Metzger of the South Fork Natural History Museum. They aren't here to feast on humans but on the vast schools of menhaden, or bunker, that have settled in for their annual summer residencies. 

Jul 14, 2022
Lilly the Turtle Sets Out to Sea Four Years Later

When young Ella and Gracie Wobensmith found the diamondback turtle on a Noyack Bay beach four years ago it, had serious wounds to its shell and a punctured lung. It was rehabilitated at a turtle rescue center, and this week the girls had a chance to help release it back into the wild.

Jul 7, 2022
Piping Plover Nest Is Destroyed

Piping plover posts and fencing at Maidstone Park in Springs were ripped out of the ground on June 15, perhaps resulting in the deaths of two plover chicks that had recently hatched there.

Jun 23, 2022
Targeting Ticks by Killing Them on Their Hosts

At the end of March, in an ambitious effort to eradicate ticks on North Haven, the village relaunched its campaign to install "four-poster" feeding stations for deer. The stations bait deer with corn. While they feed, a tickicide is applied directly to their necks.

May 19, 2022
On the Wing: A Tempest of Towhees in a Teapot

The eastern towhee breeds in Montauk, and if you go to Oyster Pond this weekend you can hear them calling and singing everywhere.

May 11, 2022