///

Social Butterfly: Isa Betancourt co-stars with insects on her popular livestream weekly

by Bernard BrownIn a room crowded with dusty reference books and bugs—some dead and pinned neatly in glass-topped boxes, others, like the stag beetle grub, alive and growing slowly on a diet of rotting tulip tree wood—assistant entomology curator Isa Betancourt, of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, adjusts her iPhone stand, brushes

More
3 mins read
///

Birders document the impressive array of wintering bird species

By Bernard BrownDawn over the Delaware River painted clouds rose and orange in the frigid morning air as three participants in the Philadelphia Mid-Winter Bird Census stepped out of a hatchback.Keith Russell, Shawn Towey and Patrick McGill stood at the base of the driveway for Pulaski Park in North Philadelphia, binoculars in hand, and confronted

More
2 mins read
///////

With the opening of the Discovery Center, the East Park Reservoir is once again an oasis in Strawberry Mansion

In 1970, the City of Philadelphia closed off the East Park Reservoir at the edge of the Strawberry Mansion neighborhood. A gate blocked the ramp up from Fairmount Park. “I grew up in Strawberry Mansion, and the reservoir was used by the community as a recreational space,” explains Tonnetta Graham, president of the Strawberry Mansion Community

More
2 mins read
///

Biodiversity? There’s an app for that

On July 16, a female ruby-throated hummingbird drank from a coral honeysuckle flower at the edge of Tacony Creek Park. We know this because an iNaturalist user with the handle “digitalmirage” took a picture of the bird in the moment before it hummed away. “Recently I’ve been obsessed with hummingbirds,” explains Savannah  McHale (a.k.a. digitalmirage), who

More
2 mins read
///

A wildlife center for convalescing animals finds a new home

Abrood of fledgling kestrels—America’s smallest falcons that are adorable even as adults—peer through the front of their cage, which sits at the top of shelves filled with animals on the mend. “These are ones we raised from fallen nestlings,” explains Michele Wellard, assistant director of the Philadelphia Metro Wildlife Center. Wellard is careful to make

More
3 mins read
///

A Troubled Optimist

There are two letters from readers sitting on my desk, each one tugging at me, competing for my mood and mindset. I may be an optimist, but I’ll start with the more negative of the two. It comes from a reader in Oreland, a response to editor’s notes I had written about the ill-conceived idea

More
2 mins read
////

A job program has former inmates caring for young trees on the Delaware River Greenway

Someday the row of young elm trees will transform this sunbaked stretch of Delaware Avenue, but first they have to survive the next couple years. To the west is the Northeast Water Pollution Control Plant. To the east is a Sanitation Convenience Center (where you can drop off hard-to-dispose-of items like tires and mattresses) and

More
3 mins read
///

A Penn State researcher learns what bees can teach us about urban ecology

An entomological research project might bring to mind expeditions through far-away jungles or at least meadows out in the countryside. It probably doesn’t conjure up an Old City chocolate factory rooftop. But to reach this field site we walked into Shane Confectionery. From there we hiked up the stairs through one of the most delicious-smelling

More
3 mins read
1 14 15 16 17 18 22