Field Notes

Monday 3:00 PM and Sunday 12:25 PM

For keen observers, a walk to the grocery store or a hike up a mountain can inspire questions. Where do magpies nest?  Why doesn’t a spider stick to its own web? How do water striders keep from sinking?  Every week since 1992, Field Notes has inquired about Montana's  natural history. Produced by the Montana Natural History Center, Field Notes are written by naturalists, students and listeners about the puzzle-tree bark, eagle talons, woolly aphids and giant puffballs of Western, Central and Southwestern Montana.

Interested in writing a Field Note? Contact Allison De Jong, Field Notes editor, at adejong [at] montananaturalist.org or (406) 327-0405.

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Field Notes
8:00 am
Fri April 11, 2014

Dirt

Loam soil
Credit Brent Wilson

4/14/14: This week on "Fieldnotes:" "Dirt," by Deborah Tanner.

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Field Notes
8:00 am
Fri April 4, 2014

Chickadee Songs

Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)
Credit University of Massachusetts OEB Program

4/6/14 & 4/7/14: This week on "Fieldnotes:" "Chickadee Songs," by Archie McMillan.

"Pretty Shield, a medicine woman born to the Crow Nation 160 years ago, heard the bird saying, 'Summer's near, summer's near!' She taught that the bird has a single tongue in the fall, and then, as the seasons progress, more tongues each month until spring, when it has seven...

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Field Notes
8:00 am
Fri March 28, 2014

Mammal Insulation

Musk ox (Ovibos moschatus)
Credit Tim Bowman, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

3/30/14 and 3/31/14: This week on "Fieldnotes:" "Mammal Insulation," by Carol Alette.

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Field Notes
8:00 am
Fri March 21, 2014

Canada Thistle

Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense)
Credit Oregon State University Research & Extension

3/23/14  &  3/24/14: This week on "Fieldnotes:" "Canada Thistle," by Heather Sarantis.

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Tracking Long-Distance Migrants
8:00 am
Fri March 14, 2014

Bird Migration

Bar-tailed godwith (Limosa lapponica) in breeding plumage.
Credit Andreas Trepte

3/16/14  &  3/17/14: This week on "Fieldnotes:" "Bird Migration, Part 2," by Andrea and Don Stierle.

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Field Notes
8:00 am
Fri March 7, 2014

Birds of a Feather

Cedar Waxwings (Bombycilla cedrorum)
Credit Douglas Dunn

3/9/14 and 3/10/14: This week on "Fieldnotes:" "Bird Social Behavior," by Mark Hanson.

"Except when mating and nesting, Bohemian and Cedar waxwings are simply highly social birds. They seek food and water supplies large enough for the entire flock. Even more remarkably, they will sometimes pass berries from bird to bird down a line until a berry is finally swallowed. They not only eat together, but they may also become intoxicated together, indulging their tendency to gorge themselves on overripe berries."

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Decline in Numbers Prompts Scrutiny
8:00 am
Fri February 28, 2014

Montana's Moose Population

Cow and bull moose (Alces alces)
Credit Ryan Hagerty, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

"Fieldnotes," March 2nd & 3rd, 2014: “Moose in Montana," by Matt Hannon. http://www.montananaturalist.org/

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Field Notes
8:00 am
Fri February 21, 2014

Mule Deer Scent Behavior

Female mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus)
Credit Yathin S Krishnappa

"Fieldnotes," February 23rd & 24th, 2014: "Mule Deer Scent Behavior," by Beverly Dupree. http://www.montananaturalist.org/

"It would be easy to assume, looking at those ears, that the mule deer's most important sense is hearing. But then I noticed a curious behavior that led me to the conclusion that mule deer depend just as much on smell as on hearing.

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Winter's hot wind
8:00 am
Fri February 14, 2014

Chinook Winds

Credit F.A.A.

"Fieldnotes," February 16th & 17th, 2014: "Chinook Winds," by Stephanie Gripne & Caroline Kurtz. http://www.montananaturalist.org/

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Long-eared Owls at Ninepipes
8:00 am
Fri February 7, 2014

Owl Afternoon

Long-eared Owl (Asio otus)
Credit angusleonard

"Fieldnotes," February 9th & 10th, 2014: "Owl Afternoon," by Caroline Kurtz. http://www.montananaturalist.org/

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