white-tailed deer

White-tailed Deer Antlers Fascinate, but Why?

Naturalist and wildlife photographer, Stan Tekiela, shares with us the many reasons why White-tailed Deer antlers are fascinating. Hopefully you have survived another holiday season and now snow blankets the woods and farms throughout most of the country. Winter is here and the White-tailed breeding season, called the rut, has come to an end for another year. However, the big White-tailed bucks are still wondering the woods lugging around their antlers like old worn out trophies. For whatever reason, people are fascinated with white-tailed deer antlers. I understand this, I have many deer antlers in my office. But just exactly what are antlers? Antlers are actually very simple. They are made of solid bone. Only members of the deer family, Cervidae, grown antlers. Except for Caribou (Reindeer), only male deer have antlers, with the odd exception of a rare female with a hormonal imbalance which sometimes grows a set of small...

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Fossils for Kids: How to Find, Identify, and Collect

As incredible as it sounds, fossils are all around us, waiting to be discovered. Become a young paleontologist. Learn to find, identify, and even collect the petrified forms of ancient organisms. Dan R. Lynch, author of many field guides, presents an introduction to paleontology in his easy-to-understand guide Fossils for Kids.  Begin by learning about the early Earth and the process of fossilization. That’s followed by an identification guide to the most common and collectible fossils: crinoids, snail shells, shark teeth, and more. With full-color photographs, illustrations, and range maps, you’ll always know what to look for and where to look. A “how to” section includes the details your family needs to begin a successful fossil hunt.  As an added bonus, you’ll get information on everything from rock shop fossils and rules of collecting to dinosaur fossils and more. Dan will even share tips on what to do with your fossil collection....

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How to Use Animal Tracks to Identify Wildlife

Stan Tekiela loves taking pictures of animals, but it’s not always easy. Sometimes he can’t find the animals. When this happens, he only get pictures of their tracks. In his book Whose Track is That? Stan Tekiela examines animal tracks. Today we take a look at three of them. Identifying animal tracks is tricky. Bobcats, for example, are small—not much larger than a house cat. They are found in a wide variety of habitats, from forests to wetlands. When a bobcat walks, its back feet step directly into the tracks of its front feet, making it look like it only leaves a single line of tracks.  The American Black Bear is the most common bear in America. Bears have long, sharp claws, and you can see claw marks in their tracks. Large male bears also often mark trees by using their teeth or claws. This helps them to communicate with other bears and show their size and...

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Homemade Bird Food to Feed Backyard Birds

A few minutes in the kitchen can become hours of bird-watching fun. Take birding to another level by creating unique dishes especially for backyard birds. This creative cookbook by Adele Porter turns bird food into a banana split, cupcake, pie, and even tree ornaments. Children will especially enjoy helping you put together these visually appealing treats. The ingredients are designed to attract up to 74 different bird species, from hummingbirds to orioles and even “hard-to-get” birds in your area.  The beautifully designed, full-color book includes 26 recipes, along with tips on selecting the right ingredients for the right birds. A handy chart shows which types of birds dine on each dish, so you can make the best foods to attract the birds that you want to see. As an added bonus, you’ll find tips for cooking with kids, wildlife research projects, a bird-identification section, and more!  See more birds with this fun...

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Check Out Whose Track is That?

We are excited to present our latest children’s book: Whose Track is That? by acclaimed wildlife photographer and naturalist Stan Tekiela. Few of nature’s offerings are more captivating to children than wildlife. While it isn’t always easy to spot animals in the wild, they leave plenty of evidence behind. Introduce young readers to the fun and fascinating study of animal tracks.  This interactive picture book showcases the full-color photography of Stan Tekiela, a professional naturalist and award-winning author. Readers are shown a mysterious print on the ground and provided a few lines of clues. They are asked to guess, “Whose track is that?” Then it’s time to turn the page and discover the answer. Every reading gets children more familiar with a variety of North American critters, and they might soon become experts at identifying animal tracks! Pre-order your copy now! About the author: Naturalist, wildlife photographer, and writer Stan Tekiela has written more than...

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How to Help Non-migrating Birds this Winter

Winter can be a very challenging time for the birds who don’t migrate. The rigors of winter, lack of food, reduced access to fresh water, and extremely long and cold nights do represent a lot of challenges for our resident birds. Finding food in winter is also a challenge for our winter residents. Birds that are dependent upon insects are plum out of luck. If you live in an area that gets below freezing, which most of the country does, insects are dormant during winter. So the insect eaters are long gone. That leaves fruit and seeds as the only alternatives. Planting and maintaining fruit trees, especially native species, is as important as leaving some dead trees to stand. So, if you gander into your backyard and don’t see a single fruit-bearing tree, there might be a problem. Perhaps this will give you a project for next spring.  On this New Years Eve we...

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Eastern Skunk Cabbage

Eastern Skunk Cabbage, Unsung Hero of the Plant World

Wildlife photographer and naturalist Stan Tekiela introduces us to the Eastern Skunk Cabbage, a cool and unsung hero in the plant world.  Skunk Cabbage in Central Wisconsin Some people are mainly interested in large animals such as deer, elk, or bears. These mega-fauna are a very popular group of animals. Others are fascinated with birds—small, often brightly colored, winged beauties. Of course, what I especially enjoy about nature is...

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Christmas tree debate

The Christmas Tree Debate

The great Christmas tree debate continues, and Stan Tekiela discusses the question, fresh or artificial? Unfortunately, this year it doesn’t matter if you choose fresh or artificial. Either way you are going to pay more than you did in the past. This year there is a nationwide shortage of fresh trees and are averaging $3 per tree more than last year. According to the National Christmas Tree Association, the average price of a natural Christmas tree is up $10 over the past 10 years. The average cost for a natural tree this year is around eighty-one dollars.   Even artificial trees are up in price this year. According to Balsam Brands, a high-end Christmas tree suppler, says the cost of materials and the tariffs imposed by the current administration has contributed to the increase in price. No doubt if you have purchased a fresh tree this year you may have some questions about which...

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