title

The Field Guides

The Field Guides

15
Followers
19
Plays
The Field Guides
The Field Guides

The Field Guides

The Field Guides

15
Followers
19
Plays
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About Us

Nature nerds rejoice! The Field Guides is a monthly podcast that will bring you out on the trail, focusing on the science of our North American wildlife.

Latest Episodes

Ep. 40 - Put a Ring On It, Part 2 - How Safe is Bird Banding?

Welcome to part 2 of our episode on bird banding! In this part, we look at what the research has to say about how birds fare during and after the banding process. All research that involves capturing and handling wildlife poses some level of risk for the target species. So, what about bird banding? Are injures rare? Do injured birds fare worse than birds that are banded without injury? Join Steve and Bill for a deep dive into a question that many bird banders have wondered about over the years: how safe is bird banding?

41 MINAUG 1
Comments
Ep. 40 - Put a Ring On It, Part 2 - How Safe is Bird Banding?

Ep. 40 - Put a Ring On It, Part 1 - All About Bird Banding

A bird alights on a nearby branch, and, for a brief moment, a flash of silver on the bird’s leg catches your eye. If you’re fortunate enough to get a closer look, you might notice that the reflection comes from a tiny, silver bracelet wrapped around the bird’s leg – a bird band. Bird banding (or bird ringing, for our European listeners) has been used for over a century to better understand the life histories of our avian neighbors. But that’s just one of many reasons why bird banding has been so valuable to researchers. In this episode, Bill and Steve delve into the details of what banding is all about. Part one covers the history and basics of how bird banding works, and part two provides an overview of research that looks into how harmful bird banding might be to the birds involved. This episode was recorded on July 14, 2019 at the Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve in Cheektowaga, New York. Reinstein Woods is operated by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

54 MINAUG 1
Comments
Ep. 40 - Put a Ring On It, Part 1 - All About Bird Banding

Ep. 39 - The Alliterative Purple Pitcher Plant (Carnivorous Series #1)

Carnivorous plants are the renegades of the plant world. About 800 known species have gone from primary producers to immobile predators. In this episode, Steve goes on and on and on about everything you want to know about carnivorous plants (and a few things you don’t want to know). You’ll learn what it means to be a carnivorous plant, what it means to be a pitcher plant, and a few interesting things about the Purple Pitcher Plant, Sarracenia purpurea. Enjoy!

72 MINJUL 1
Comments
Ep. 39 - The Alliterative Purple Pitcher Plant (Carnivorous Series #1)

Ep. 38 - Ants in Our Plants

Have you ever heard of myrmecochory? It may not pop up much in casual conversation, but this strange word is your doorway to a tiny, fascinating world of ant-plant interactions. Myrmecochory is seed dispersal by ants (don’t worry, we cover how to pronounce it in the episode), and while it may seem simple on the surface, it’s a beautifully complex spectrum of behaviors and benefits, , including some questionable ones. Myrmecochory has long been considered a classic example of mutualism, in which two species benefit from a shared interaction, but recent research has called this idea into question. Are the ants really benefiting? Is it possible that plants are parasitizing the ants? Are the ants inadvertently ‘cleaning’ the seeds, inoculating them against harmful soil microbes? There is so much more to myrmecochory than Bill and Steve ever imagined! Join the guys as they hit the trail, exploring the seldom-seen world of ants and plants. This episode was recorded at Nature View Park...

53 MINMAY 15
Comments
Ep. 38 - Ants in Our Plants

Ep. 37 - Bill and Steve Go Timberdoodlin'

In spring, a naturalist’s fancy turns to thoughts of Timberdoodlin’, and that means heading out into the spring twilight, finding a brushy meadow, and listening for the buzzy “Peent!” of the American Woodcock (Scolopax minor) . AKA the Timberdoodle, this odd bird (it’s a shorebird that doesn’t live near the shore) performs a strange and stunning sky dance that is a must-see for any wildlife lover.

-1 sAPR 4
Comments
Ep. 37 - Bill and Steve Go Timberdoodlin'

Ep. 36 - Spring Science Geek Out!

Spring is here, and the guys hit the trail to discuss spring-related science, including how climate change is impacting global plant growth and how it’s changing bird migration. Plus, Bill gives a (sort of) rebuttal to Steve’s unprovoked and vicious attack on Charles Darwin from last episode. Happy Spring!

-1 sMAR 30
Comments
Ep. 36 - Spring Science Geek Out!

Ep. 35 - The Receding Hare Line (and More Snow-related Science)

It’s Snow-and-Tell time! We’re deep into winter right now, and spring seems snow far away. So, we decided to embrace the season and look into recent research around a topic that would be sure to provide plenty of puns for this write-up: SNOW! We delve into recent studies about how much snow actually falls on North America, if the indigenous peoples of the north really have 100 words for snow, how climate change is affecting snowfall levels, and how those changes impact Snowshoe Hare populations (Lepus americanus) . Plus, in honor of Darwin Day, Steve insults the father of natural selection. All this, plus, we follow up on last episode’s cliffhanger, filling you in on the results of Bill’s Lyme disease test. Enjoy!

49 MINFEB 19
Comments
Ep. 35 - The Receding Hare Line (and More Snow-related Science)

Ep. 34 - The Downy-Hairy Game

Did you ever wonder why Downy and Hairy Woodpeckers look so much alike? No? Neither did we, but it was because we always assumed they were just closely related species. Maybe you did, too, but thanks to the wonders of DNA analysis, we now know that these two look-alikes are not even in the same genus. So, what gives? Researchers recently looked into this stumper-of-a-problem, and, in this episode, Bill and Steve break down what might be the cause. Oh, and Bill talks about how he might have Lyme disease. Enjoy!

65 MINJAN 20
Comments
Ep. 34 - The Downy-Hairy Game

Ep. 33 - Hart's-tongue Fern: Restoring an Endangered Species

“Richer than millionaires! Happier than Kings! Envied by multitudes! May be said of hobnobbers with Hart’s-tongues.” So said one enthusiast of the Hart’s-tongue fern (Asplenium scolopendriumvar.americanum) long ago, and we think you’ll agree. This species is exceptional in many ways; its appearance (it doesn’t look like your typical fern), its uncommon habitat, and it’s rarity all add to the Hart’s-tongue fern’s mystique. This month, the guys hit the road, traveling to central NY and hitting the trail with Mike Serviss, a conservation biologist working with New York State Parks. Among his many duties, Mike is researching the most successful ways to restore this picky plant to its habitat, and he’s also a fantastic science communicator. Join us as Mike helps us peel back the mystery of what’s involved in restoring an endangered species. Enjoy!

-1 s2018 DEC 1
Comments
Ep. 33 - Hart's-tongue Fern: Restoring an Endangered Species

Ep. 32 - The Devil Crayfish

Have you ever heard of a burrowing crayfish? We hadn’t, until our much-smarter-than-us friend, Dr. Wayne Gall, shared the story of how he discovered one particular species living in western NY 30 years ago - Cambarus diogenes - the Devil Crayfish. Wayne invited us to join him on a hunt for this species, to see if it was still present at Tifft Nature Preserve, three decades later. Now, we invite you to come along with us, braving deep mud, crayfish pincers, and audio challenges (Tifft is lousy with the sound of trains, barges, and jets overhead). Along the way, Wayne proves himself a consummate storyteller, spinning the yarn of amazing coincidences that led to his connection with this species and publishing research about its presence in New York. We also give some visitors to the preserve a good scare. A big thank you to Wayne for his time, expertise, and persistence. This episode may be shorter than usual, but we want you to know that Wayne spent hours with us at Tifft, his arms b...

-1 s2018 NOV 5
Comments
Ep. 32 - The Devil Crayfish

Latest Episodes

Ep. 40 - Put a Ring On It, Part 2 - How Safe is Bird Banding?

Welcome to part 2 of our episode on bird banding! In this part, we look at what the research has to say about how birds fare during and after the banding process. All research that involves capturing and handling wildlife poses some level of risk for the target species. So, what about bird banding? Are injures rare? Do injured birds fare worse than birds that are banded without injury? Join Steve and Bill for a deep dive into a question that many bird banders have wondered about over the years: how safe is bird banding?

41 MINAUG 1
Comments
Ep. 40 - Put a Ring On It, Part 2 - How Safe is Bird Banding?

Ep. 40 - Put a Ring On It, Part 1 - All About Bird Banding

A bird alights on a nearby branch, and, for a brief moment, a flash of silver on the bird’s leg catches your eye. If you’re fortunate enough to get a closer look, you might notice that the reflection comes from a tiny, silver bracelet wrapped around the bird’s leg – a bird band. Bird banding (or bird ringing, for our European listeners) has been used for over a century to better understand the life histories of our avian neighbors. But that’s just one of many reasons why bird banding has been so valuable to researchers. In this episode, Bill and Steve delve into the details of what banding is all about. Part one covers the history and basics of how bird banding works, and part two provides an overview of research that looks into how harmful bird banding might be to the birds involved. This episode was recorded on July 14, 2019 at the Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve in Cheektowaga, New York. Reinstein Woods is operated by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

54 MINAUG 1
Comments
Ep. 40 - Put a Ring On It, Part 1 - All About Bird Banding

Ep. 39 - The Alliterative Purple Pitcher Plant (Carnivorous Series #1)

Carnivorous plants are the renegades of the plant world. About 800 known species have gone from primary producers to immobile predators. In this episode, Steve goes on and on and on about everything you want to know about carnivorous plants (and a few things you don’t want to know). You’ll learn what it means to be a carnivorous plant, what it means to be a pitcher plant, and a few interesting things about the Purple Pitcher Plant, Sarracenia purpurea. Enjoy!

72 MINJUL 1
Comments
Ep. 39 - The Alliterative Purple Pitcher Plant (Carnivorous Series #1)

Ep. 38 - Ants in Our Plants

Have you ever heard of myrmecochory? It may not pop up much in casual conversation, but this strange word is your doorway to a tiny, fascinating world of ant-plant interactions. Myrmecochory is seed dispersal by ants (don’t worry, we cover how to pronounce it in the episode), and while it may seem simple on the surface, it’s a beautifully complex spectrum of behaviors and benefits, , including some questionable ones. Myrmecochory has long been considered a classic example of mutualism, in which two species benefit from a shared interaction, but recent research has called this idea into question. Are the ants really benefiting? Is it possible that plants are parasitizing the ants? Are the ants inadvertently ‘cleaning’ the seeds, inoculating them against harmful soil microbes? There is so much more to myrmecochory than Bill and Steve ever imagined! Join the guys as they hit the trail, exploring the seldom-seen world of ants and plants. This episode was recorded at Nature View Park...

53 MINMAY 15
Comments
Ep. 38 - Ants in Our Plants

Ep. 37 - Bill and Steve Go Timberdoodlin'

In spring, a naturalist’s fancy turns to thoughts of Timberdoodlin’, and that means heading out into the spring twilight, finding a brushy meadow, and listening for the buzzy “Peent!” of the American Woodcock (Scolopax minor) . AKA the Timberdoodle, this odd bird (it’s a shorebird that doesn’t live near the shore) performs a strange and stunning sky dance that is a must-see for any wildlife lover.

-1 sAPR 4
Comments
Ep. 37 - Bill and Steve Go Timberdoodlin'

Ep. 36 - Spring Science Geek Out!

Spring is here, and the guys hit the trail to discuss spring-related science, including how climate change is impacting global plant growth and how it’s changing bird migration. Plus, Bill gives a (sort of) rebuttal to Steve’s unprovoked and vicious attack on Charles Darwin from last episode. Happy Spring!

-1 sMAR 30
Comments
Ep. 36 - Spring Science Geek Out!

Ep. 35 - The Receding Hare Line (and More Snow-related Science)

It’s Snow-and-Tell time! We’re deep into winter right now, and spring seems snow far away. So, we decided to embrace the season and look into recent research around a topic that would be sure to provide plenty of puns for this write-up: SNOW! We delve into recent studies about how much snow actually falls on North America, if the indigenous peoples of the north really have 100 words for snow, how climate change is affecting snowfall levels, and how those changes impact Snowshoe Hare populations (Lepus americanus) . Plus, in honor of Darwin Day, Steve insults the father of natural selection. All this, plus, we follow up on last episode’s cliffhanger, filling you in on the results of Bill’s Lyme disease test. Enjoy!

49 MINFEB 19
Comments
Ep. 35 - The Receding Hare Line (and More Snow-related Science)

Ep. 34 - The Downy-Hairy Game

Did you ever wonder why Downy and Hairy Woodpeckers look so much alike? No? Neither did we, but it was because we always assumed they were just closely related species. Maybe you did, too, but thanks to the wonders of DNA analysis, we now know that these two look-alikes are not even in the same genus. So, what gives? Researchers recently looked into this stumper-of-a-problem, and, in this episode, Bill and Steve break down what might be the cause. Oh, and Bill talks about how he might have Lyme disease. Enjoy!

65 MINJAN 20
Comments
Ep. 34 - The Downy-Hairy Game

Ep. 33 - Hart's-tongue Fern: Restoring an Endangered Species

“Richer than millionaires! Happier than Kings! Envied by multitudes! May be said of hobnobbers with Hart’s-tongues.” So said one enthusiast of the Hart’s-tongue fern (Asplenium scolopendriumvar.americanum) long ago, and we think you’ll agree. This species is exceptional in many ways; its appearance (it doesn’t look like your typical fern), its uncommon habitat, and it’s rarity all add to the Hart’s-tongue fern’s mystique. This month, the guys hit the road, traveling to central NY and hitting the trail with Mike Serviss, a conservation biologist working with New York State Parks. Among his many duties, Mike is researching the most successful ways to restore this picky plant to its habitat, and he’s also a fantastic science communicator. Join us as Mike helps us peel back the mystery of what’s involved in restoring an endangered species. Enjoy!

-1 s2018 DEC 1
Comments
Ep. 33 - Hart's-tongue Fern: Restoring an Endangered Species

Ep. 32 - The Devil Crayfish

Have you ever heard of a burrowing crayfish? We hadn’t, until our much-smarter-than-us friend, Dr. Wayne Gall, shared the story of how he discovered one particular species living in western NY 30 years ago - Cambarus diogenes - the Devil Crayfish. Wayne invited us to join him on a hunt for this species, to see if it was still present at Tifft Nature Preserve, three decades later. Now, we invite you to come along with us, braving deep mud, crayfish pincers, and audio challenges (Tifft is lousy with the sound of trains, barges, and jets overhead). Along the way, Wayne proves himself a consummate storyteller, spinning the yarn of amazing coincidences that led to his connection with this species and publishing research about its presence in New York. We also give some visitors to the preserve a good scare. A big thank you to Wayne for his time, expertise, and persistence. This episode may be shorter than usual, but we want you to know that Wayne spent hours with us at Tifft, his arms b...

-1 s2018 NOV 5
Comments
Ep. 32 - The Devil Crayfish