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It’s in your nature: It’s year-end exam time

It will soon be 7 years that I have been submitting my nature column. I enjoy the opportunity to share the passion I have for nature, and in particular, to focus on local nature opportunities. I hope you enjoy the columns and find what “neat” things are there all around us. Remember that T.O.T. (time on task), R.P.R.T. (right place, right time), and L.O.L. (lots of luck) are factors in seeing more and more activity. I focus on T.O.T. and always take along my binoculars and camera wherever I go, knowing that something new or exciting may be waiting to be seen.

From this past year’s 52 columns I’ve selected a few questions and a dozen photos to “test you” on what you may have remembered. My goal was to see what I was able to impart and again to continue to pique your interest in the flora and fauna around us. Good Luck and Happy New Year.

True and false

1. Bald eagles, at age 5 become sexually mature and sport a white head and tail.

2. Our smallest buteo is the broad-winged hawk.

3. The ruby-throated hummingbird is the only breeding hummingbird east of the Mississippi River.

4. White-tailed deer are color blind.

Multiple choice

5. Pap Knaus is the devoted caretaker and developer of the Spirit Trail at: A. Lehigh Gorge State Park; B. Tuscarora State Park; C. Hickory Run State Park; D. Beltzville State Park.

6. If a forest burns, or timbering occurs here in Pennsylvania, the gradual regrowth of dominant plants is called: A. commensalism; B. succession; C. transpiration; D. Eutrophication.

7. An eastern bluebird in Carbon County will have how many nests each year. A. 1; B. 2 C. 3.

8. The marsh hawk or ______ flies low over fields dropping down to grab a mouse. It also has a white rump patch to help identify it. A. peregrine falcon; B. Kestrel; C. harrier; D. red-shouldered hawk.

Answer pool

I’ve added a few extra to keep it interesting. Snapping turtle laying eggs, painted turtle laying eggs, red fox, juvenile bald eagle, trillium, red-tailed hawk, northern harrier, coyote, Tundra swans, snow geese, mallard duck, northern shoveller (duck), banded woolly bear caterpillar, tiger swallowtail butterfly, American redstart, pileated woodpecker, and green bottle fly.

Correct answers

1. True; 2. True; 3. True; 4. False; 5. B; 6. B; 7. B; 8. C; 9. Juvenile bald eagle; 10. Northern shoveller; 11. Pileated woodpecker; 12. Snow geese; 13. Banded woolly bear caterpillar; 14. Red fox; 15. American redstart; 16. Painted turtle laying eggs; 17. Tiger swallowtail butterfly; 18. Northern mockingbird; 19. Trillium; 20. Green bottle fly.

Scoring grid

18-20 correct: Excellent, you know your nature stuff.

17-16 correct: Not too bad at all.

15-14 correct: Maybe you just forgot a few things.

13–12 correct: There’s still hope.

Less than 12 correct: Less time on your phone, more time needed in our great outdoors in the Times News region.

Have a wonderful 2024 enjoying nature.

Test your outdoor knowledge: The mockingbird, originally a southern bird, is the state bird of 5 of our southern states.

Email Barry Reed at breed71@gmail.com