50 episodes

Nature nerds rejoice! The Field Guides is a monthly podcast that will bring you out on the trail, focusing on the science of our North American wildlife.

The Field Guides The Field Guides

    • Natural Sciences

Nature nerds rejoice! The Field Guides is a monthly podcast that will bring you out on the trail, focusing on the science of our North American wildlife.

    Ep. 41 - The Autumn Episode (Pumpkin Spice-flavored)

    Ep. 41 - The Autumn Episode (Pumpkin Spice-flavored)

    …And we’re back! After a lengthy hiatus, Bill and Steve return with an episode focused on the fall. Specifically, they look into why fall is the neglected season when it comes to climate change research. Is it a conspiracy? Is it a plot by the ‘deep state’ to play favorites with the seasons? Probably not, but the guys have some fun uncovering the possible reasons why the natural events that occur in the fall are more difficult for researchers to pin down and quantify.

    • 59 min
    Ep. 40 - Put a Ring On It, Part 2 - How Safe is Bird Banding?

    Ep. 40 - Put a Ring On It, Part 2 - How Safe is Bird Banding?

    Welcome to part 2 of our episode on bird banding! In this part, we look at what the research has to say about how birds fare during and after the banding process. All research that involves capturing and handling wildlife poses some level of risk for the target species. So, what about bird banding? Are injures rare? Do injured birds fare worse than birds that are banded without injury?

    Join Steve and Bill for a deep dive into a question that many bird banders have wondered about over the years: how safe is bird banding?

    • 41 min
    Ep. 40 - Put a Ring On It, Part 1 - All About Bird Banding

    Ep. 40 - Put a Ring On It, Part 1 - All About Bird Banding

    A bird alights on a nearby branch, and, for a brief moment, a flash of silver on the bird’s leg catches your eye. If you’re fortunate enough to get a closer look, you might notice that the reflection comes from a tiny, silver bracelet wrapped around the bird’s leg – a bird band.

    Bird banding (or bird ringing, for our European listeners) has been used for over a century to better understand the life histories of our avian neighbors. But that’s just one of many reasons why bird banding has been so valuable to researchers. In this episode, Bill and Steve delve into the details of what banding is all about. Part one covers the history and basics of how bird banding works, and part two provides an overview of research that looks into how harmful bird banding might be to the birds involved.

    This episode was recorded on July 14, 2019 at the Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve in Cheektowaga, New York. Reinstein Woods is operated by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

    • 54 min
    Ep. 39 - The Alliterative Purple Pitcher Plant (Carnivorous Series #1)

    Ep. 39 - The Alliterative Purple Pitcher Plant (Carnivorous Series #1)

    Carnivorous plants are the renegades of the plant world. About 800 known species have gone from primary producers to immobile predators. In this episode, Steve goes on and on and on about everything you want to know about carnivorous plants (and a few things you don’t want to know). You’ll learn what it means to be a carnivorous plant, what it means to be a pitcher plant, and a few interesting things about the Purple Pitcher Plant, Sarracenia purpurea. Enjoy!

    • 1 hr 12 min
    Ep. 38 - Ants in Our Plants

    Ep. 38 - Ants in Our Plants

    Have you ever heard of myrmecochory? It may not pop up much in casual conversation, but this strange word is your doorway to a tiny, fascinating world of ant-plant interactions. Myrmecochory is seed dispersal by ants (don’t worry, we cover how to pronounce it in the episode), and while it may seem simple on the surface, it’s a beautifully complex spectrum of behaviors and benefits, , including some questionable ones.

    Myrmecochory has long been considered a classic example of mutualism, in which two species benefit from a shared interaction, but recent research has called this idea into question. Are the ants really benefiting? Is it possible that plants are parasitizing the ants? Are the ants inadvertently ‘cleaning’ the seeds, inoculating them against harmful soil microbes? There is so much more to myrmecochory than Bill and Steve ever imagined! Join the guys as they hit the trail, exploring the seldom-seen world of ants and plants.

    This episode was recorded at Nature View Park in Amherst, NY on April 24, 2019. Nature View is owned by the Western New York Land Conservancy.

    • 53 min
    Ep. 37 - Bill and Steve Go Timberdoodlin'

    Ep. 37 - Bill and Steve Go Timberdoodlin'

    In spring, a naturalist’s fancy turns to thoughts of Timberdoodlin’, and that means heading out into the spring twilight, finding a brushy meadow, and listening for the buzzy “Peent!” of the American Woodcock (Scolopax minor) . AKA the Timberdoodle, this odd bird (it’s a shorebird that doesn’t live near the shore) performs a strange and stunning sky dance that is a must-see for any wildlife lover.

    • 57 min

Customer Reviews

Joe Jonzz ,

You can learn more than 1 thing new every day with this podcast!

Fascinating podcast from two very knowledgeable scientists! Great for road trips and the commute. Hello from Australia!

Marion987 ,

Easy to listen to, insightful & enjoyable!

So glad to stumble upon this podcast! It's great! Listening from Tasmania, Australia

DWH22 ,

Fun and fascinating

Always enjoy these podcasts, where the hosts take you with them into the field and fill you up with information they have digested and made accessible from scientific publications. Nice to listening to something well reserached but certainly not dry! The dynamic between the hosts is fun too.

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