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News Filed Under Urban and Backyard Wildlife

Joro Spider
June 17, 2022 - Filed Under: Urban and Backyard Wildlife

You may have recently heard about joro spiders on the news. The gigantic yellow spiders are creepy enough to give anyone the heebie-jeebies! The good news about these spiders is that they have not shown up in Mississippi yet. 

Turtle crossing the road
May 6, 2022 - Filed Under: Wildlife, Urban and Backyard Wildlife

In the South, there’s a legend that says rain is on the way any time you see a turtle cross the road. There’s very little truth to this myth, even though it does seem like rain is in the forecast after we see one of these creatures slowly making its way across the street. 

Baby bunnies on log.
March 29, 2022 - Filed Under: Natural Resources, Urban and Backyard Wildlife

Spring is when we see a lot of baby wildlife. You’ll likely start seeing young animals tagging along behind one or both their parents, and boy, is it cute.

three different pictures of caterpillars.
March 22, 2022 - Filed Under: Insects, Lawn and Garden, Insects-Vegetable Gardens, Wildlife, Urban and Backyard Wildlife

Butterflies aren’t just beautiful. They are important pollinators for wildflowers and woody plants. But before they transform into the colorful, winged adults you see fluttering around your landscape, they are caterpillars hatched from eggs. Mississippi is home to more than 50 species of butterflies. Have you seen any of these three common butterfly caterpillars in your yard?

Purple martins flying around white gourds.
March 11, 2022 - Filed Under: Landscape Architecture, Natural Resources, Urban and Backyard Wildlife

Purple martins are a real treat to have grace your landscape. They offer hours of bird watching entertainment with their musical chatter, beautiful colors, and aerial acrobatics. Each year, purple martins migrate to North America from South America to nest. They arrive at varying times, but most tend to show up in March in Mississippi. To help welcome purple martins to your home, make sure you have the right kind of habitats for them. 

Three birds on a bird feeder.
January 28, 2022 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Urban and Backyard Wildlife

If there’s one thing we southerners love, it’s our backyard birds. There’s something enjoyable about watching birds fly around and chirp with each other in the yard. However, as brutal as the winter months can be to us, it can be even more challenging to our feathered friends. Many trees and shrubs become bare during the cold weather, eliminating their primary sources of shelter and food. To help provide food, water, and shelter to your backyard buddies, consider creating a welcoming habitat that will prepare them for cold weather.

A coyote walking.
December 3, 2021 - Filed Under: Natural Resources, Wildlife, Urban and Backyard Wildlife

At a quick glance, coyotes can be mistaken for a domestic dog, like a German shepherd or collie. But this wild dog species can be trouble if they take up residence in your neighborhood. 

Coyotes are abundant in Mississippi and are natural predators, preying on animals like small dogs, cats, birds, and rodents. They also can damage land. 

Mouse in a field.
October 29, 2021 - Filed Under: Urban and Backyard Wildlife

As cooler weather arrives, mice are looking for any source of heat and food they can find. Sometimes, they find their way into homes. You may notice the faint pitter-patter of small feet inside walls and attics. It’s just the mice looking for a warm place to stay!

Buck.
September 30, 2021 - Filed Under: Wildlife, Urban and Backyard Wildlife, White-Tailed Deer

The white-tailed deer is one of the most popular game species in Mississippi. We have over 2 million white-tailed deer in the state, and we rank second behind Texas for the densest population of deer in the nation.

Bird feeder, bottle of bleach and cleaning brush.
September 29, 2021 - Filed Under: Plants and Wildlife, Wildlife, Urban and Backyard Wildlife
RAYMOND, Miss. -- After an active year for disease-related wild bird deaths in the U.S., people should follow best practices when providing backyard feeders and water sources for wild birds this fall and winter.
 
Disease in wildlife populations is normal and is one of the many mechanisms that regulate wildlife populations. Many things can cause diseases in wildlife, including viruses, bacteria and parasites, along with exposure to toxic substances. 
 
Nine-banded armadillo
September 2, 2021 - Filed Under: Wildlife Youth Education, Wildlife, Urban and Backyard Wildlife

Armadillos are one of the most unique looking critters out there. These animals are covered in silver, armor-like plates that protect them The word “armadillo” actually means “little armored one” in Spanish!  

Raccoon.
August 2, 2021 - Filed Under: Wildlife, Urban and Backyard Wildlife

The Northern raccoon, also known as the backyard bandit, is no stranger to Mississippi. Known for the black bandit mask on its face and its striped tail, these raccoons can be found in a variety of environments. They easily adapt to their surroundings, whether that be in forested areas or cities. 

Green Frog.
July 26, 2021 - Filed Under: Wildlife Youth Education, Wildlife, Urban and Backyard Wildlife

Is it a frog or a toad? If you stumbled on this amphibian, would you be able to call it by its correct name? Many people believe that frogs and toads are two different types of amphibians. Technically, a toad is a type of frog! At first glance, they may appear very similar but there are a few differences that will help distinguish one from the other. 

Blue Jay with nut in mouth.
July 8, 2021 - Filed Under: Wildlife Youth Education, Wildlife, Urban and Backyard Wildlife

Birdwatching is a favorite pastime of many Mississippians. My grandmother had a bird book she wore out over the years. I fondly remember sitting on the porch swing with her as a child trying to identify the different birds that frequented her house. Sometimes we were successful in finding the bird, other times not so much. 

Bald Eagle flying.
July 2, 2021 - Filed Under: Wildlife, Urban and Backyard Wildlife

There's nothing more majestic than the bald eagle. As many know, the bald eagle is the United States' national bird and is exclusively found in North America. Spotting one in the wild is a moment many will never forget!

A squirrel on wood railing.
June 4, 2021 - Filed Under: Urban and Backyard Wildlife

Most people have a love-hate relationship with squirrels. It’s fascinating to watch them jump from tree branch to tree branch, searching for any food in sight. At the same time, they can also be quite a nuisance to homeowners.

A black and white skunk.
May 6, 2021 - Filed Under: Wildlife, Urban and Backyard Wildlife

A skunk knows how to make its presence known. With their furry black and white coats and pungent odor, they’re hard to miss! Mississippi is home to two species of skunks: the spotted skunk and the striped skunk. The striped skunk is the most commonly found skunk in the state and are easily identified by, you guessed it, a white stripe on their back. 

An American goldfinch sits on a bird feeder.
April 22, 2021 - Filed Under: Natural Resources, Wildlife, Urban and Backyard Wildlife

Mississippians concerned about the number of dead songbirds being found near feeders can use this opportunity to learn best practices to follow when offering birds food and water.

A rabbit in a field.
March 31, 2021 - Filed Under: Wildlife, Urban and Backyard Wildlife

Did you know eastern cottontail rabbits are the most commonly found mammal in the United States? They have made themselves right at home throughout the eastern two-thirds of the country.

An Eastern Wild Turkey in a field.
March 11, 2021 - Filed Under: Natural Resources, Wildlife, Urban and Backyard Wildlife

Spring is here, and wild turkeys are on the minds of many Mississippians. While there are five species of wild turkeys, Mississippi is home to the Eastern wild turkey, which is the most abundant. 

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