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Thursday, December 25, 2014

There are reindeer in North America, but we call them "caribou"

The genetic makeup of reindeer and caribou is the same. The two main populations are in sub-arctic regions of Scandinavia and North America; these two populations have been separated for centuries,  and couldn't  interbreed. As a result, the two populations have evolved a little differently - the caribou being slightly larger than the Scandinavian reindeer

One member of the species has a glowing. red nose but scientists haven't located it yet.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Most north Texas owls don't "hoot"


    

 
Eastern Screech Owls
The majority of Owls in north Texas don’t use the familiar “hoot-hoot” or “who-who” sound (depending on how you want to spell it). The largest native owl, the Great-horned Owl, is the only hooter. Our most numerous one is the Eastern Screech Owl, which makes a tremulous ‘horse whinney’ sound. Only occasionally will it actually screech. Most often, a Screech Owl is black & white.  Sometimes it's brown, however (both are pictured above). He’s smaller (about 9”) than the average owl.



Greater Roadrunner
Do I dare to eat a cactus?      During the winter, Roadrunners are often forced to feed on cactus plants, since insects and lizards are scarce. They often break off a piece of cactus and repeatedly smash it into a rock, softening the needles, to make it edible.

 


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 Yost87@charter.net in Denton.