Bay Journal

Migratory songbird decline hits an alarming note

As the weather warms up and spring vegetation emerges, the air is filled with the sounds of birds returning to the forests, fields and wetlands of North America. Absent for months, more than 360 species of migratory songbirds are returning...

Shad restoration an upstream struggle

They have been called poor man's salmon and white shad. The exquisite taste of their meat is reflected in their Latin species name, sapidissima, meaning savory. They are American shad, the largest member of the herring family. Native...

Skunk cabbage

When I was in elementary school, I loved to romp in the swampy woodlands behind my neighborhood. During winter, my friends and I would fearlessly traverse over icy leaves and frozen mud, taking shortcuts to favorite destinations, like the...

Evergreens nourish winter wildlife, souls

In the winter, when most trees are bare and many plants are dormant, evergreens take center stage. Not only do their leaves, seeds and berries provide food for the Bay's winter wildlife, but they are a feast for human eyes hungry for color....

Barnacles: We're stuck with them

Barnacles. Throughout time, there have been many misconceptions surrounding these simple creatures. This is illustrated in the origin of the word barnacle. This word first appeared in the 13th century, used in reference to a European species...

Autumn action at Bay's wildlife refuges

As the days grow shorter and the air becomes crisper, the daily activity of wildlife around the Chesapeake Bay changes. Animals are already preparing for colder weather. Deer gorge themselves on crop grains, berries and just about any edible...

Homeowners help Bay by turning yards into BayScapes

Through spring is the season of regrowth, autumn is the season for landscaping yards. More than 13 million people live in the Chesapeake Bay watershed and most of them have yards and gardens that they regularly tend. Every time it rains,...

Endangered Florida manatee returns to mid-Atlantic region

This summer, as in the summer of 1994, a strange and exotic creature graced the Bay waters. Not normally found farther north than North Carolina, a West Indian manatee swam from Florida to Chesapeake and Delaware bays, then along the New...

Blue crabs inhabit the Bay throughout the year

Summer on the Chesapeake -- it's just not complete without the traditional crab feast. For many Chesapeake Bay residents, summer doesn't really begin until they've consumed the succulent meat covered in spicy seasoning. Although these...

Citizens help to survey submerged aquatic vegetation

In the shallow waters of Chesapeake Bay, underwater grasses sway in the aquatic breeze of the current. Known as submerged aquatic vegetation or SAV, these amazing plant communities provide food and shelter for waterfowl, fish, shellfish and...

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