Follow Me: SCA member blogs from the field

Follow Me is the place to read field dispatches from SCA members serving the planet all over the USA.

Tom Barnes | February 19, 2014

Today, we’re talking about how, in some cases, our passion for nature can actually end up doing more harm than good to the cause of conservation. Some of the world’s problems are so obvious, like pollution and poaching, that we end up missing what’s right under our nose.

Tom Barnes | February 19, 2014

For those that love history as well as the outdoors, Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge, located along the Delaware coast, is a birder’s paradise. The refuge also features a pre-revolutionary war farmhouse on the National Register of Historic Places. Saltwater marshes at the refuge are first-rate habitats for many migratory birds that stop in Delaware Bay on their journey along the Atlantic Flyway.

Tom Barnes | January 23, 2014

Ever looked out your window and wondered which of our flying feathered friends is perched on your feeder? Or maybe you even take note of the variety of beautiful birds that pass through your backyard or favorite hiking spot, but have no idea what kind of birds they are and don’t own a field guide. (Let’s be honest — even if you did, who has time for flipping through hundreds of pages in this ever-accelerating digital age?

Tom Barnes | January 15, 2014

Conservation doesn’t stop at the borders of the US — protecting the diversity of wildlife and habitat is an international responsibility.

Tom Barnes | December 30, 2013

Look out, Northeast — already there have been many more sightings of snowy owls this season, and much further south than expected.

An irruption, in birding, is when a species of bird moves into an area where it doesn’t normally winter. Snowies have been spotted as far south as North Carolina this year, in what’s being considered one of the most dramatic snowy irruptions witnessed in recent years. This wintering season, one was even spotted in Bermuda — certainly a warm weather destination far from the upper latitudes where they typically make their home.

Tom Barnes | December 24, 2013

With so many options to choose from, finding the right gift for that special someone can be stressful. But there’s a gift that almost anyone can appreciate, and that’s one that gives back to wildlife: the Federal Duck Stamp.

Tom Barnes | December 17, 2013

Wisdom the Laysan albatross returned to Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge!

Wisdom laid her newest egg on November 29, 2013 – exactly a year and one day since she laid her last egg! She and her mate are currently brooding the egg. Wisdom is the oldest banded, wild bird in the world and has nested consecutively at the refuge since 2008.

Tom Barnes | December 9, 2013

While it seems counterintuitive, students can learn the most when they’re not at a desk. And that’s the mission of the Schoolyard Habitat Program — to teach students about the outdoors, while outdoors.

Hands-on learning is the name of the game here, with students and educators working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to assist students in restoring the natural landscapes around or nearby their schools.

Tom Barnes | December 9, 2013

Whether you’re in a post-Thanksgiving turkey coma or eating popcorn at the premiere of “Catching Fire,” food is on everyone’s mind, wildlife included. And for good reason — animals across the Northeast are preparing to sustain themselves during the coming winter months.

Temperatures are dropping and food is getting scarce. Of course, wildlife have adapted in numerous ways to deal with long winters.

Tom Barnes | December 9, 2013

My name’s Tom, and as an SCA outreach assistant with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s communications office in the northeast, I’ll be sharing stories with you these next few months.

I’m a senior English major at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, and besides working with the Service, I’m an editor at the student newspaper and perform with UMass’s premiere sketch comedy troupe. I’m looking forward to talking to you about conservation news and entertaining, educating nature stories.