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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
On the Wing: Millions of Birds on the Move

Over the next two weeks, spring bird migration will peak. Hundreds of millions of birds will fly up the country, largely south to north, in sync with blooming trees, flowers, and insect hatches. Many are attempting to reach the green attic of North America, the boreal forest of Canada, where they will breed and raise their young before reversing course in the autumn.

May 5, 2022
Stop and Smell the Roses

In the Northeastern United States, at least, these blossoms — whether red, pink, peach, yellow, white, or some combination of all — are at peak perfection starting in late May through June. As you stroll about, drive around town, or even take the train, here are some South Fork spots where you can find this favorite flower.

Apr 29, 2022
On the Wing: Think Like a Bird in Your Backyard

To make your backyard bird-friendly, you'll need to think like a bird when making landscaping decisions.

Apr 29, 2022
Abuzz About Pollinator Pathways

What are pollinator gardens and why are so many people talking about them right now? The idea, according to the organizers of the Pollinator Pathway movement, is to manage backyards without pesticides and with native plantings so they can connect with parks and preserves, creating a sort of bird and insect “refuge corridor,” an "archipelago" of habitats.

Apr 28, 2022
Great Backyard Bird Count Is This Weekend

This weekend is the 25th anniversary of the Great Backyard Bird Count. To participate, you spend a minimum of 15 minutes counting birds, and afterward report what you see to the number-cracking scientists at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

Feb 18, 2022
On the Wing: It Starts With the Spark Bird

In a new column about birds, The Star's Christopher Gangemi discusses the "spark bird," that bird that first makes you notice birds in general, sparking a deeper curiosity about the many birds around you. His, in December of 2001, was the tufted titmouse.

Dec 2, 2021
Early Spring Was a Bounty for Bees on East End

When things greened up early this spring thanks to warmer-than-usual temperatures around here, humans weren't the only ones who noticed. Honeybees are thriving on the East End.

Jul 2, 2020