Bay Journal

Join the hunt and learn the splender of Bay grasses

Each year, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service coordinates the SAV Hunt, a citizen effort to locate Chesapeake Bay grass beds. These grasses, known as submerged aquatic vegetation or SAV, are an important indicator of water quality and...

Without our help, birds will lose home tweet home

Thanks to the springlike temperatures, I've begun sleeping with my windows open. Each morning, I am awakened by the boisterous songs of birds returning  from their winter homes in the tropics. More than 360 species of birds make this...

BayScaping: going the whole yard to help the Bay

Now that spring has sprung, our attention turns toward our yards. Today, few of us have the time or resources needed to maintain a formal landscape. As a result, people are exploring alternatives to traditional landscapes, and many have...

Forested waterways have it made in the shade

I learned a lot about streams and rivers the summer of 1983 when I was a summer intern analyzing water samples throughout Maryland. I spent most of my days bent over a petri dish, trying to identify and catalog the aquatic animals in each...

Turkey vultures: nature's sanitary engineers

Turkey vultures. They're hard to admire. After all, they eat carrion, defend their nests by regurgitating and excrete on themselves. Still, they perform an important, yet thankless, function. Turkey vultures help to rid the landscape of road...

Wintering canvasbacks increasing on Bay waters

Continuing an ancient ritual, the majestic canvasback duck is returning to spend another winter on the Chesapeake Bay. The canvasback is easily recognized by its distinctive coloration and wedge-shaped head and bill profile. Male canvasbacks...

Leave it to trees to produce autumn's glorious colors

If you are like most people, autumn means one thing: the dreaded chore of raking leaves. In the Chesapeake region, autumn seems to sneak up on us. Finally, the heat and humidity of summer are gone, replaced by drier days and cooler nights....

Wood ducks add color to Bay's forested shorelines

When it comes to Chesapeake Bay waterfowl, most people are familiar with commonly seen wintering birds like Canada geese. Those who frequent areas of open water and marshes of the Bay, might also see canvasbacks, buffleheads, black ducks and...

Bay's bald eagles making comeback; threats still loom

I saw my first bald eagle more than 20 years ago on a school trip to Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge. Bald eagles were not a common site and I was enthralled with this rare bird. Since then, as bald eagles have made a comeback in the...

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