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Showing posts from May, 2018

Mammals of the Mountain!

Mammals of the Mountain!
Sierra Outdoor School (S.O.S.) is not just a place for a few days visit, but it is also called ‘Home’ to a wide variety of wildlife. Located in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountain range, and surrounded by the Stanislas National Forest, many animals, plants… Ecosystems thrive in this area at 4100’ feet. Today we are going to be taking a closer look at the mammals of this mountain community.
Now, some of you might be wondering “What makes a Mammal a Mammal?” Mammals have five main characteristics that classify them differently from other groups of animals such as birds, amphibians and reptiles. All mammals share these features, of all shapes, sizes and species! Including people, we are mammals too.
1) Vertebrates! We all have a backbone called a spinal cord that is made of different vertebrae bones. 2) We are warm blooded. Using our metabolism and energy from the food we eat, we regulate our body to keep a warm body temperature. 3) We all breath air through …

What's that you sing? It's Spring?!

It is that time of year! Noticeably, the days are beginning to warm and the sun is casting its light a little longer with each day. If you look and listen closely, you will notice pops of color from dormant flowers beginning to bloom, the birds have started singing, spring is here!
Image 1. Ruby Crowned Kinglet. Photo by Paul Higgins. 
After months of quiet skies, the Oregon juncos’ song will make your heart skip a beat. Many of the birds in our forest do not migrate, but their songs are silenced during the cold winter months.I like to believe they are saving up their vocal chord strength for their spring song, when the males are in full singing form to attract their mate! Since the Oregon junco does not leave our forest in the winter, they are the first species to declare that spring is near. When the days get longer, they know it is time to find a mate, so they open their throat and let their trilly-song come through, and each time I hear it, I cannot help but smile.
Image 2. Oregon …