Welcome to Birds and Beyond

What is the first thing you think of when you hear these words; wildlife, conservation, habitat, threatened, endangered or extinct?

Maybe you think of exotic places and animals like the rainforest, coral reefs, elephants and tigers. These are fantastic and important, but what often get overlooked are the places, plants, and animals in our own country, state and backyards. Several governmental and non-governmental organizations have the responsibility of conservation and habitat restoration, but you and I have a responsibility and can make a big impact too.

The purpose of this blog is to explore and discuss the places, plants, and animals that are around us every day. We will dive into subjects ranging from native plantings for your garden to the timing of fish spawning in our waterways. We will discuss incredible species like the Great-horned owl and the Small-mouthed Salamander and explore habitats from prairie restorations to the mighty Mississippi. We will also learn about different organizations and research being done around the country in the subjects like water and soil conservation, ecology, wildlife biology, entomology, and natural resources.

I will post twice a month on the first and third Friday, and each post will be tailored to the season (Fall – migrating species, Winter – tracks in the snow, Spring – Nesting birds, Summer – Native planting for pollinators, etc.). When relevant, I will announce upcoming events in the area or mention organizations that work with the particular species or resource that is the subject of that post.

Every other month, I will have a guest author who will write about his/her research or organization. We can all get bogged down in the “doom and gloom” of what is happening to the environment, so it can be a breath of fresh air to see the incredible work people are doing to understand and preserve it.

At the end of each post, I encourage you to leave comments, questions, or suggestions for future post topics. Please note that this is only a portion of my job, and regrettably, I will not be able to respond to every comment. If you have a question, please give me ample time to answer it. I want to give you the most accurate answer possible, and I am happy to suggest literature or reputable sources for more information if I cannot answer your question fully or if it is out of my area of knowledge. I will take suggestions under consideration, but will most likely not be able to use them all due to the scope of this blog and time constraints. I do ask that you please keep any comment, question, or suggestion polite and professional and do not use foul language, insult me or other readers, or make political statements. This is not a political or opinion platform, but it is a place where we can all learn about our local treasures and enjoy them.

I look forward to our time together, and hope you enjoy reading it as much as I will enjoy writing.

Rachael in the Lab

Here I am, working in the lab.

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