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Sunday, September 28, 2014

Chickadees remember where they (or you) put that seed

In a study of Black-capped Chickadees, the portion of the brain used to process spacial information (the hippocampus) varies in size during a typical year. It enlarges in the fall and winter, when seeds are harder to locate, coinciding with seed-hoarding and -finding activity. It shrinks in the spring, when feats of memory are no longer crucial.


Careful of those hot-air balloon injuries!   During the past 50 years, only 48 U.S. residents contracted rabies from bats (not "died from"); that's less than one per year. That’s less than the number of hot-air balloon injuries in the whole country! (for comparison: in 2001 alone, 15,989 people contracted TB). Nationally, less than half of one percent of bats even have rabies. Bats aren’t rabies vectors anyway.
Just to be super-safe, however, never pick up a bat from the ground with your bare hands.

OWEN YOST, in addition to being a blogger, is a licensed Landscape Architect emeritus who has lived and worked in north Texas for over 30 years. He is the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award of the Native Plant Society of Texas, and is a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), International Federation of Landscape Architects, National Wildlife Federation and the Audubon Society. His office is at in Denton.

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