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Black bears and polar bears, while being closely related, have some distinct and important differences in their habitats, diets, and physical adaptations. Many of the differences exist because of their geographic location, but they still each have a unique impact on their respective ecosystems. Throughout generations, they have carved out a niche that allows them to survive in that area.
A bit day dreamy one morning, I wondered if anyone has documented and appreciated birds at feeders through music. Not with the songs and calls birds make to communicate with each other, but music to capture their movements and behaviors. They share space and move around each other much like the musicians and their music in an orchestra. Has anyone ever written “Sonata at the Feeder in D Minor” or “Symphony for the Birds in the Backyard”?
This is where the joy of simple things comes in. It’s all a choice, right? You can choose to be irritated that the snow is falling or be indifferent or happy that the snow is falling. It doesn’t change the fact that the snow is falling. Let me share some simple moments from the last year in hopes that you’ll find your own moments that give you the energy you need.
One of the oldest ways to track where birds end up and how many are out there is the Christmas Bird Count. This annual count takes place in a 10-mile-wide circle around cities and towns across the United States, including in Jamestown, Warren and Dunkirk. Each year, dozens of people venture out to find, identify, and count birds in December. Some travel the same routes that have been walked or driven for 50 years. Others count at their backyard feeders. The numbers are all tallied together and reported to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, which compiles the data into a report on where birds are being found and how many there are.
On a walk along the paved trail from the backyard, I almost feel I am alone. I can hear the distant quacking of Mallards that always sound like they are chuckling at a bad joke. But near me, even the wind is still. Then there is a quiet munching sound. I stop, look and look again. Finally, I spot the muskrat on the edge of the ice. It dives down into the water and brings something dark, wet and lumpy to the surface and continues to much. Perhaps an aquatic plant root. Its brown fur lets it blend in with the winter landscape seamlessly. If it wasn’t for the subtle noise and movements, I would have passed by without noticing it.
there are some symbols that seem to transcend cultures and countries, and while slightly different, represent similar beliefs and feelings. Rebirth, renewal, hope, balance, rest, recovery, gratitude. These feelings and beliefs are why we fill our homes with light, evergreens, berries, sparkles, gifts, and trinkets and treasures that hold our memories.
Audubon Community Nature Center
1600 Riverside Road
Jamestown, NY 14701
Hours and Admission
Nature Center Hours:
Monday - Saturday
10:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
1:00 - 4:30 p.m.
Members - Free
Non-member Adult (ages 16+) - $6
Non-member Child (ages 3 - 15) - $2
Children ages 2 and under - Free
Maximum cost for a Family - $15
Free admission to the Nature Center for SNAP/EBT cardholders.
Free admission for all on Sundays.
Grounds and Outdoor Exhibits:
Open daily, year round from dawn to dusk free of charge
Thank you, Community Partners
Audubon Community Partners make a significant financial contribution each year because they believe that every child deserves the opportunity to have a real and healthy connection to nature.