Wildlife Matters

Did you know that a chipmunk can throw its voice? Or that Wisconsin has a venomous mammal? What about the answer to the question: can porcupines throw their quills?

Every Thursday on WXPR, the Masked Biologist answers questions just like these about living here in the Northwoods. You can send him your own questions on Facebook @TheMaskedBiologist.

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.

One of the smartest birds in North America is also one of our least appreciated. In this episode of Wildlife Matters, the Masked Biologist shares some information about the raven.

Have you ever had someone tell you hummingbirds ride south on the backs of geese in the fall? In this episode of Wildlife Matters, the Masked Biologist looks at this charming, albeit false, old wives’ tale.

My mom always used to tell me that hummingbirds traveled south for the winter riding on the backs of Canada geese.  While this is a charming and compelling tale, the fact is that these little birds don’t hitchhike their way south. They migrate like many other bird species. 

It is easy to let our modern electronics lull us into a false sense of security today, even when in the woods. In this episode of Wildlife Matters, the Masked Biologist talks about planning your hunt, and hunting your plan.

Color peeping and hunting in the fall results in a lot of wildlife observations. In this episode of Wildlife Matters, the Masked Biologist gives a few examples of unusual wildlife observations that come in especially in the fall.

Red Lanterns

Oct 19, 2017

Have you let the red lanterns light your way this fall? In this episode of wildlife matters, the Masked Biologist shares some excerpts from an Aldo Leopold essay about grouse hunting in autumn.

It is October, and the red lanterns of autumn are lit. If you are not familiar with the red lanterns, it is a reference to one of Aldo Leopold’s essays in his book, Sand County Almanac.

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