The Masked Biologist

Commentator

The Masked Biologist is a weekly commentator on WXPR talking about natural resources and wildlife in the Northwoods. He is anonymous so that he can separate his professional life as a biologist from his personal feelings about the natural world.

Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources

How much do you know about Wisconsin’s rabbits and hares?

In this week’s episode of Wildlife Matters, the Masked Biologist examines the lagomorphs of Wisconsin.

Wikimedia Commons

Wildlife needs to adapt to its place on the globe to survive, not to mention thrive.

In this installment of Wildlife Matters, the Masked Biologist takes a look at another generally accepted principle of adaptation to life in the north: Allen’s Rule.

Wikipedia Commons

The winter Olympics are going on now, not only in South Korea but also right here in Wisconsin’s Northwoods. In this episode of Wildlife Matters, the Masked Biologist highlights the athletic river otter.

Wikimedia Commons

Deep wintertime appears to be an advantageous time of year for some wildlife species to breed.

In this week's episode of Wildlife Matters, the Masked Biologist takes a look at the breeding habits of Wisconsin’s CARNIVORA, or carnivorous furbearers.

Looking for a cure for cabin fever? In this episode of Wildlife Matters, the Masked Biologist gives us some tips and tricks for viewing and documenting wildlife tracks and scat left in the snow.

While dealing with winter’s worst, we can always grab another blanket or turn up the thermostat to stay comfortable. Wildlife has to rely on finding other ways to try to stay warm.

In this episode of Wildlife Matters, the Masked Biologist talks about thermal cover.

Do you enjoy watching birds at a backyard feeder?

In this week's episode of Wildlife Matters, the Masked Biologist talks about two backyard bird feeder surveys that take place every winter.

It is safe to say that we are experiencing a genuine Wisconsin winter right now—the snow, the cold temperatures, short days and seemingly endless nights.

In this week's episode of Wildlife Matters, the Masked Biologist examines Bergmann’s rule, which helps explain how our wildlife can handle Northwoods winters.

Bird feeding is the second most popular hobby in the United States (behind gardening), with more than 55 million Americans participating annually.

In this week's edition of Wildlife Matters, the Masked Biologist talks about how, and what, to feed our local and visiting bird species this winter.

Black bears are easily one of our most interesting wildlife species. In this episode of Wildlife Matters, the Masked Biologist discusses some of what is going on in the life of a bear in the midst of Winter.

Black bears are a continual source of questions for folks who contact me for information. The calls tend to taper off somewhat in the winter, naturally, as bear activity slows to a crawl. However, any winter observation of a bear or a bear den gets a lot of attention and will trigger a number of calls.

Is goose on your menu this holiday season? In this episode of Wildlife Matters, the Masked Biologist takes a look at the tradition of the Christmas goose and the status of our native migratory geese.

In the Northwoods, most of us don't spend a lot of time thinking about armadillos.

In this week's episode of Wildlife Matters though, you'll hear about at least one verified armadillo report from North Central Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

Another firearms deer season is in the books. Did you get your deer? In this episode of Wildlife Matters, the Masked Biologist takes a look at when a deer really becomes yours.

You may well find deer antlers beautiful, but how much do you think about them—a little or a lot?

In this episode of Wildlife Matters, the Masked Biologist talks about the importance of antlers.

Antlers are extremely important. They are important to deer, to be certain, but they are important to hunters as well. If you took someone who knew absolutely nothing about deer or deer hunting and asked them to study deer and the people who hunt them, there is a fair chance they would come to the conclusion that the antler is the primary goal of the harvest.

Wikimedia Commons

Have you ever wondered what the first Thanksgiving might have been like if held in Wisconsin? In this episode of Wildlife Matters, the Masked Biologist examines that very question.

It seemed simple enough; I was going to refresh my memory on the first thanksgiving and write something about it. I vaguely recalled a story that in 1620 the pilgrims at Jamestown were struggling to survive and feed themselves, the Indians taught them how to farm and find food, and to celebrate a successful first year and a good fall harvest they put on a meal to celebrate and give thanks.

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