Tag Archive: Wildlife

Field Notes

Field Notes: What’s in the Woods Today ? December 21, 2018

December 21, 2018 - by Forester Lisa Deaton Surprises We expect to see Christmas trees at Christmas tree farms, but this decorated eastern red cedar is located on the edge of a 2-year old pine plantation. On a recent rainy day, the bald eagle below appeared to be hunting in a clearcut. One of my favorite things about this time of year on the Middle Peninsula is hearing the tundra swans fly overhead.   A... Read More

Field Notes

Field Notes: Whats in the Woods Today? November 27, 2018

November 27, 2018 - It’s Deer Time Again by Area Forester Lisa Deaton It is autumn in Virginia, so white-tailed deer are on the move again.  You may have noticed buck rubs on small trees similar to the one above and below. Bucks rub against trees to remove the velvet from their antlers when the antlers finish growing in September.  They continue to rub against trees and shrubs to mark their territory with scent... Read More

Field Notes

Field Notes: Quail on the Comeback?

August 21, 2018 - by Forester Travis Tindell All photos courtesy of Dwight Dyle, DGIF Imagine a quiet morning. You stop and listen, the trees swaying gently as a breeze rolls through. The birds have been calling since before you woke up. The birdsong continues as you tune in, and then you hear it: the three-part whistle of the northern bobwhite. This bird is elusive and more often heard than seen. They call to... Read More

Field Notes

Field Notes: Castles in the Field

August 13, 2018 - by Senior Area Forester Scott Bachman In my youth I spent hours playing in the creeks around my home.  I grew up in an area where streams were full of rocks and fast-flowing, cool water.  Back in the day we would turn over the rocks and try to catch the crayfish lurking underneath.  The plan was to wait for the water to flush out the stirred up silt and then... Read More

Field Notes

Field Notes: What’s in the Woods Today? July 10, 2018

July 10, 2018 - Turtles by Area Forester Lisa Deaton Why do turtles cross the road? The answer turns out to be the same as the famous chicken riddle:  to get to the other side.  The US Fish and Wildlife Service provides information on how to safely assist turtles in the direction they are traveling here: https://medium.com/usfws/turtles-are-crossing-the-road-96dafc2b3515 . Driving with your full attention on the road in front of you is always a good... Read More

Field Notes

Field Notes: Riparian Buffers and the Sargasso Sea…What’s the Connection?

July 2, 2018 - by VDOF Senior Area Forester Scott Bachman An SMZ or streamside management zone, also known as a riparian buffer, is an area along a stream or creek (or a river if you have one in your back yard!).  In forestry this SMZ is commonly wooded (grass buffers can be very important in agriculture areas).  During a timber harvest the VDOF encourages all landowners to retain at minimum 50 percent of... Read More

Field Notes

Field Notes: What’s in the Woods Today? May 9, 2018

May 9, 2018 - by Area Forester Lisa Deaton Flowers, Birds and Bugs When the songbirds and wildflowers reappear each spring, it feels a bit like a reunion with long lost friends.  The migratory songbirds fill the air with familiar songs.  The month of May brings many beautiful wildflowers, including its namesake, the Mayapple (below). Golden ragwort (top photo) is a common wildflower in cutovers, and this large patch of ragwort (below) provides some... Read More

Field Notes

Field Notes: What’s in the Woods Today April 5, 2018

April 5, 2018 - by VDOF Area Forester Lisa Deaton Wildlife and Clearcuts Part 2 A beaver hut in the middle of a pond or swamp is a familiar sight.  The one above is located in Beaverdam Swamp in Gloucester County. While mapping a creek for another Riparian Buffer Tax Credit application, I had the opportunity to see a number of signs of beaver activity alongside a clearcut. First, I came across the beaver... Read More

Field Notes

Field Notes: What’s in the Woods Today? March 23, 2018

March 23, 2018 - by Area Forester Lisa Deaton Wildlife and Clearcuts, Part-One Cutover tracts of timber can look bleak during winter, but this leaf-less time of the year presents a great chance to see signs of wildlife.  It is also easy to encounter wildlife in clearcuts because many species take advantage of the change in habitat.  The Young Forest Project provides much more information on growing wildlife habitat and the benefits of young... Read More

Field Notes

Field Notes: Name Those Tracks!

February 22, 2018 - by Forestry Technician Jesse Bander Can you identify these tracks found on a muddy stream bank? If you guessed a raccoon (Procyon lotor lotor), you know your tracks!  Raccoons are very active this time of year, with February being the middle of their breeding season (January – March). For more information on this common, but mischievous, mammal please visit: https://www.dgif.virginia.gov/wildlife/information/raccoon/