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News Filed Under Wildlife

An unhealthy deer stands next to a wall.
October 21, 2021 - Filed Under: White-Tailed Deer

A 100% fatal, transmissible, neurogenerative disease has entered the Mississippi white-tailed deer population, and hunters play a big part in controlling this disease. Chronic wasting disease, or CWD, is a prion disease that is easily transmissible to deer through saliva, feces, urine or a contaminated environment.

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!  

An adult male turkey is in a field.
August 24, 2021 - Filed Under: Wildlife

It seems that wild turkeys don’t like humidity any more than people do. That is a finding of a study conducted by the MSU Forest and Wildlife Research Center, or FWRC, in response to concerns that Mississippi’s turkey season was not timed properly.

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.

A wild gobbler turkey with brown and black feathers and a red head.
March 19, 2021 - Filed Under: Wildlife

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Nothing sends a charge of electricity up my spine quite like the boom of a gobbler sounding off in Mississippi woodlands. If you have ever had the privilege of hearing a male turkey gobbler announce his presence in Mississippi oak or hickory hardwood and pine forests, you’ll never forget it. 

Many hunters take to the woods during turkey season to experience this exhilaration and for the chance to glimpse the spectacle of a strutting gobbler in full display to attract turkey hens for mating.

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. 

A ruby-throated hummingbird.
March 4, 2021 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Landscape Architecture, Natural Resources, Environment, Urban and Backyard Wildlife

Ruby-throated hummingbirds will soon be migrating north, so it’s time to prepare for their arrival! Most ruby red-throated hummingbirds will be throughout Mississippi by the end of March.

An Eastern mole.
February 19, 2021 - Filed Under: Turfgrass and Lawn Management, Natural Resources, Wildlife

If you’ve noticed irregular, snake-like raised ridges throughout your lawn, Eastern moles have most likely found themselves at home. They are known for building a network of tunnels underground, and typically spend 90 percent of their lives there.

Red fox in a field.
January 21, 2021 - Filed Under: Natural Resources, Wildlife

“What does the fox say?” That’s a question we may never know the answer to, but I’m sure we’ve all heard the song before!

Real Christmas trees piled with curbside garbage
December 18, 2020 - Filed Under: Natural Resources, Christmas Trees, Urban and Backyard Wildlife

If you celebrate with a real tree, you’ll have to decide how to dispose of it once the holiday is over. You have some good options for recycling the tree instead of sending it to the landfill.

A bird eats seed from a feeder.
October 15, 2020 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Plants and Wildlife, Urban and Backyard Wildlife

RAYMOND, Miss. -- When all things “pumpkin spice” start filling up your social media feed, you know it’s time to start winter preparations for backyard wildlife.

Many people feel invigorated to get outside and do yard work in the first cool days of October.  To help you channel this energy, here are some easy tips on how to provide needed habitat for our critter friends while still tidying up the yard.

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