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Common Loon by Gary Lackie

Biologists Study Impact of BP Oil Disaster On Loons

4/15/2014 // By Laura Tangley

Just over a year ago, I held a “charismatic megavertebrate” on my lap. As a participant on a research project in the Gulf of Mexico just off the coast of Louisiana, I had tucked the common loon’s head under my […] Read more >

Raccoon kits by Barbara Fleming

How to Keep Wild Raccoons Wild

3/31/2014 // By Laura Tangley

Whether you live in the country, the city or the suburbs, if you’re frequently out and about after sunset, you’ve likely encountered a raccoon or two in your yard or neighborhood. Highly adaptable mammals, these masked carnivores seem to make […] Read more >

Purple Martin by Richard Winegar

The Case of the Missing Martins

9/12/2013 // By Laura Tangley

  A few weeks ago, I headed down Interstate 95 from my home in Washington, D.C., to attend a quirky festival, “Gone to the Birds,” held each August in Richmond, Virginia. The festival celebrates purple martins, and it is timed […] Read more >

Augochlorella aurata

Photo Gallery: Surprising Backyard Bees

8/7/2013 // By Laura Tangley

Until a few months ago, if someone said the word “bee,” I’d immediately picture the familiar black-and-yellow-striped honeybee or perhaps a big, fuzzy bumblebee—both regular summer visitors to the flowers in my yard. But a trip last spring to the […] Read more >

Northern Cardinals by Paul Brown

Help Bugs—and Birds—By Growing Native Plants

5/9/2013 // By Laura Tangley

Like most environmentally-friendly gardeners, I’ve long known that it’s better to cultivate native than nonnative plants. Adapted to local conditions, natives thrive better—and with less water and other expensive inputs such as fertilizer—than do most exotics. Natives also are less […] Read more >

Buntings at bird feeder by Bernard Friel

Summer Bird Feeding: the Case For and Against

4/18/2013 // By Laura Tangley

Should you take your bird feeders down for the summer? The answer may depend on where you live. Ever since I started feeding backyard birds several years ago, I’ve religiously taken down my feeders this time of year and not […] Read more >

Swamp milkweed and monarch butterfly by Victor Quintanilla

Monarch Butterflies in a Changing World

3/19/2013 // By Laura Tangley

On a recent trip to California, I stopped by Natural Bridges State Beach, a lovely seaside protected area in Santa Cruz that’s best known for the monarch butterflies that overwinter there. Unlike monarchs east of the Rocky Mountains, which fly up […] Read more >

Certified Wildlife Habitat, Washington, DC

Wildlife Gardening: Don’t Forget the Neighbors

2/25/2013 // By Laura Tangley

When I bought a house on a large corner lot a decade ago, I was in a hurry to convert the lawn as quickly as possible to a lush, plant-filled haven for wildlife. Too much of a hurry, it turned […] Read more >

Cedar waxwing feeding on white mulberry

Nonnative Plants: Ecological Traps?

1/28/2013 // By Laura Tangley

When I moved into my first house several years ago, it was also the first time I’d ever had my own yard—and with a double lot located on a corner, it was a substantial yard indeed. A lover of lush […] Read more >

egret, National Wildlife photo contest, Rob Sheppard

An Expert’s Tips: How to Make Better Nature Photos

5/21/2012 // By Roger Di Silvestro

You’ve probably seen photographer Rob Sheppard’s images in National Wildlife magazine. Based in Southern California, he’s worked as a nature photographer for nearly 30 years. In addition to shooting photos for magazines, he offers nature photography workshops in which he […] Read more >