Category Archives: Bill’s Notes

Signs of Summer 6: Considering the Passenger Pigeon

(Click here to listen to an audio version of this blog!) The passenger pigeon (Ectopigtes migratorius) is an extinct, North American bird of great legend and mystique.  It resembled in size and markings the still living mourning dove (Zenaida macroura), … Continue reading

Posted in Bill's Notes | 1 Comment

Signs of Summer 5: The Virosphere!

(Click here to listen to an audio version of this blog!) A couple of months ago an old friend and former Penn State colleague sent me an email in which she wrote: “Just wondering if all viruses are bad and … Continue reading

Posted in Bill's Notes | Leave a comment

Signs of Summer 4: Natural History of the American Beech (part 2)

(Click here to listen to an audio version of this blog! (Please note: the Campus Nature Trail at Penn State New Kensington is no longer accessible for hiking. The notes and observations about the trail that are included in this … Continue reading

Posted in Bill's Notes | Leave a comment

Signs of Summer 3: Natural History of the American Beech (part 1)

(Click here to the listen to an audio version of this blog!) (Please note: the Campus Nature Trail at Penn State New Kensington is no longer accessible for hiking. The notes and observations about the trail that are included in … Continue reading

Posted in Bill's Notes | Leave a comment

Signs of Summer 2: The Cavity Nesting Team Year #6!

(Click here to listen to an audio version of this blog!) Over the past six years I have written a number of articles about our Cavity Nesting Team study up at Harrison Hills Park in northern Allegheny County. Each year … Continue reading

Posted in Bill's Notes | Leave a comment

Signs of Summer 1: Short Blogs on Unrelated Topics!

(Click here to listen to an audio version of this blog!) I get ideas for blogs either from my own observations out in nature or from reading about observations in the scientific literature. I keep file folders open on the … Continue reading

Posted in Bill's Notes | Leave a comment

Signs of Spring 13: More on Butterflies (Evolution, Poisons, Rearing)

(Click here to listen to an audio version of this blog!) The evolution of moths and butterflies (the “lepidoptera”) is a topic that is constantly being revised as new evidence is found. It was once widely assumed, for example, that … Continue reading

Posted in Bill's Notes | Leave a comment

Signs of Spring 12: Monarch Update!

(Click here to listen to an audio version of this blog!) Monarch butterflies had a good year in eastern North America in 2018-2019. As I wrote in Signs of Summer 8 (July 25, 2018) the meadows at Harrison Hills Park … Continue reading

Posted in Bill's Notes | Leave a comment

Signs of Spring 11: Fledglings and Adolescence

(Click here to listen to an audio version of this blog!) The bluebirds at Harrison Hills Park are just starting to hatch their first round of nestlings. In two weeks, after an intense period of parental feeding and nurturing, these … Continue reading

Posted in Bill's Notes | Leave a comment

Signs of Spring 10: The Eastern Screech Owl!

(Click here to listen to an audio version of this blog!) One of the great benefits of warmer weather is sleeping with the windows open. The sounds of the night (at least out here in semi-rural Pennsylvania) are usually quite … Continue reading

Posted in Bill's Notes | 2 Comments