News Filed Under Urban and Backyard Wildlife
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The first settlers of North America did not realize all that they were going to find in the New World.
When European settlers came to North American, they wanted things to be different in their new country. History books tell us the promise of religious freedom, cheap land and economic opportunities gave them courage to make the long, dangerous and expensive trip.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mourning doves are popular game birds and songbirds in North America. Common in urban and suburban environments, they often are seen perched on utility wires or feeding in fallow grain fields or on the ground under bird feeders.
Mourning doves have a plump body, small head, buffy feathers with scattered black wing spots, long tail feathers, and short, pink legs. It is smaller and less colorful than its pigeon cousins that are often seen around city parks, bridges and silos.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- With the temperature rising daily, it is getting more common to spot turtles and snakes basking on the roads. Being aware of this change in reptile behavior can help drivers avoid hitting them.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Whether summer gardens are for beauty or food, this time of year is sure to bring wildlife into close contact with people's property.
Many gardens provide healthy and nutritious food for local critters such as armadillos, raccoons, white-tailed deer, eastern cottontail rabbits and a wide variety of insects. Gardens are usually easy for wildlife to access and offer an inviting buffet with such easy pickings concentrated in one area. All that time and labor you spent during the spring should not be tossed out due to these garden pests.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- As a child, some of my favorite times were spent outdoors. Sadly, spending time outside is no longer the norm for many people.
RAYMOND, Miss. -- Late spring and early summer is the time when wild animals are raising their young, but it also the time when people gear up for outdoor recreational activities such as hiking, playing baseball, riding all-terrain vehicles and visiting beaches.
We are fortunate to have ample green space in our state, but with this great resource comes the responsibility of respecting wildlife that use these spaces to raise young. The phrase "respect the nest" is an easy way to remember this responsibility.
RAYMOND, Miss. -- No other creatures provoke as many conflicting feelings as snakes do. We are attracted and repelled, and we are intrigued by them and ready to kill them, all at the same time. These feelings date back to antiquity.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Most of us spent our childhoods outdoors in a constant state of motion, but many of today's youngsters are not experiencing the outdoor activities we remember with pleasure.
When I reminisce about my childhood, the memories that make me smile the most are of times spent outdoors with family or close friends. I still enjoy many of those same activities today.
RAYMOND, Miss. -- The purple martin is one of the most appreciated and desired birds in the state. It is a summer resident found wherever multi-celled or multi-roomed housing is available.
While they lack the notoriety of the colorful and acrobatic hummingbird, purple martins are by far the most beneficial of the backyard birds. One purple martin can consume thousands of mosquitoes in a single day. Since they are heavily dependent on humans for their shelter, purple martins seem to enjoy being around people, as well.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- For many Mississippians, cold and wet conditions make this the least likely time of year to venture outside, but an outdoors lover knows it just takes a little preparation and a positive attitude to hit the trail and enjoy viewing wildlife.Having grown up in a climate much colder than Mississippi's, I learned a valuable skill to help cope with unpleasantly cold weather: layering clothing.
Before I venture outside, warm socks are my first priority. I prefer wool blends with mostly wool for two reasons: comfort and warmth.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Cooler weather brings a great time to get outside, set up a hammock and "just hang" between two trees.
When I am outdoors, one of my favorite ways to enjoy the wildlife and wild places in our state -- other than when I am hunting or fishing -- is to spend time in my hammock. Whether I relax in it while hiking or sleep in it while backpacking, lying in a hammock allows me to be comfortable while enjoying in the great outdoors.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- “Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!” Most Americans over the age of 30 will recognize this line from the “Wizard of Oz.” Dorothy and her friends were traveling the Yellow Brick Road through the dark and wild forest, worried they might encounter these fearsome creatures.
RAYMOND, Miss. -- One of the key elements of creating a wildlife-friendly yard is providing areas for animals to nest.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Winter months bring short days of weak sunlight, cold nights and icy rain. Even though Southern states have relatively mild winters, the more extreme weather conditions make life more difficult.
We humans hide indoors in furnace-warmed air, put on layers of clothing to combat the chill and use insulated coats, hats and gloves when forced to go outside. But what about the creatures that live outdoors? How do they survive until spring’s warm breezes and sunshine once again return?
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- “Birds of a feather . . .” Can you finish this sentence?
If you answered, “birds of a feather flock together,” you would be right. Wild animals are part of American culture, found in our literature, art and sports team names. Even for those who do not hunt, fish or live in wild places, wildlife may be a part of their lives.
FWRC-Wildlife, Fisheries & Aquaculture
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Myths abound in every culture. Stories of fairies, snow monsters and mermaids are great entertainment, but it is important to be able to separate fact from fiction.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Squirrels look cute and cuddly, but anyone who tries to feed birds knows they can be persistent thieves at the bird feeder.
Although squirrels traditionally gather nuts, seeds, acorns, mushrooms, insects and leaves from forested habitats, they also enjoy readily available food from backyard and agricultural habitats, which often causes conflict between squirrels and homeowners.
By Jeanne Jones, Professor, and Daryl Jones, Extension Professor
MSU Forest and Wildlife Research Center
Mississippi State University
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Our childhood was full of memorable experiences related to wildlife, thanks to our father’s encouragement on family outings, including one that conjured unusual images of frogs.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Have you ever wondered why there seem to be a lot of turtles crossing the road this time of year?
The turtles you see crossing the road in spring and early summer are most often females. They are either in search of a good place to lay their eggs or returning to their home territory. Drivers should not risk a vehicle accident to avoid hitting a turtle on the road. However, unnecessary turtle deaths should be avoided.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi boasts a wealth of outdoor recreational opportunities for residents and visitors, with abundant lakes, rivers, forests, refuges, state parks, national parks and camping areas.
With that being said, any outdoor activity can also bring risks if recreation lovers not fully prepared.