Chris Paparo snapped this underwater shot of a horseshoe crab.
Commonly referred to as living fossils, horseshoe crabs first appeared on this planet approximately 300 million years ago (that’s 100 million years before the first dinosaur.) Over the course of that time, they have remained relatively unchanged. Today, there are four different species of horseshoe crab. Three of these species can be found living in the Indo-Pacific, while the fourth inhabits North America all along the East Coast from Maine to the Gulf of Mexico. (more…)
An osprey with a freshly caught alewife. (Credit: Chris Paparo)
Finally, spring has arrived! The days are longer, the bays have thawed, and most importantly, fish are on the move.
For thousands of years, alewives have returned every spring from their life in the open ocean to fulfill their primordial need to reproduce. In doing so, they have faced many natural perils along the way. In more recent history (shortly after the first European settlers arrived to the northeast), they have been confronted with a new set of challenges, ones that could potentially jeopardize the survival of their species. (more…)
An osprey stands atop its perch. (Credit: Christopher Paparo)
The song of a red-winged blackbird, the echoing choirs of spring peepers, and the thundering gobble of a wild turkey are just some of the welcoming sounds of spring. But of the cacophony of bird calls, nothing is music to my ears more than the high-pitched chirping call of an osprey.
At press time there have been no sightings of the predatory birds on the North Fork, according to Debbie O’Kane, president of the North Fork Audubon Society, though ospreys usually make their first appearance around St. Patrick’s Day.(more…)
Winter is one of my favorite times of the year to visit the beach.
The once crowded beaches are now deserted leaving you to peacefully enjoy nature. As I discussed in last month’s column, there are many fascinating species of waterfowl that can be observed at no other time of year. After a winter storm event, you will be treated to spectacular tundra-like views of ice and snow.
Now granted, unless you are a member of the local Polar Bear Club, the idea of taking a swim is off the table. However, even without getting your feet wet, there is so much marine life to encounter on the winter beach. (more…)
A northern shoveler drake and hen. (Credit: Chris Paparo)
For those who follow me through my social media accounts, you know me as the Fish Guy. In recent months however, my posts have focused more on wildlife that lives above the surface of the ocean rather than below it. This change of direction is fueled by two facts.
First, I do not like cold water! Once ocean temperatures drop below 55 degrees, I hang up my underwater camera for the season. Second, and more importantly, Long Island is a winter home to some really amazing wildlife that cannot be viewed locally at any other time of the year.
The time I would normally spend underwater during the summer months is now spent creeping along the shoreline photographing my favorite of these winter visitors, the waterfowl. (more…)