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Q: In the summer, watching birds clean their feathers is an everyday thing. Somewhere, I read that birds need to keep their plumage very clean in order to fly. I enjoy watching birds, but never see … more
If you have a low horizon to your west, you may have already spotted a couple of bright "stars" appearing in that direction just after sunset. Well, those aren't stars, but planets.After many months … more
Last weekend, as I was refilling the hulled sunflower seed feeder, two rival male black-capped chickadees began their spring rivalry. Hidden from sight within the evergreen hedge we share with Al and … more
Constellations are like states. Just as the continental U.S. is divided into 48 such states — some large and some small — the heavens are also divided into 88 constellations. And just as every city in the U.S. (except … more
A READER'S 99 PERCENT SQUIRREL-PROOF FEEDERGet some old [or new] vinyl-clad clothes line at least twice as long as the distance between a [sturdy] tree branch [about 20 feet] and the ground. To one … more
Q: I read your column regularly and always enjoy learning new things from you. We have a bird feeder on our back deck, and I love to watch the birds (and squirrels) who come to eat at our feeder in … more
Q: We have noticed that birds don't come to our metal bird feeders. I have spoken with others who say the same thing. Any idea why they don't like metal feeders?— Joyce, Pittsfield, Mass.A: I … more
Q: I'm one of your southern Vermont readers (Wilmington). I enjoy learning about birds and am far from being an expert on their habits. Each winter, I have several feeders in my lilac tree just … more
This, of course, is the time of year for resolutions. These are notoriously easier to make than to keep, and I'm a prime offender in that respect. Still, I find resolution-making to be a useful … more
You stargazers can begin the new year with a celestial treat, but only if you're willing (and able) to rise before the sun. This week, four planets and the moon are performing a wonderful planetary … more
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