David Lukas http://knau.org en Earth Notes: The Humble (or Maybe Not) House Sparrow http://knau.org/post/earth-notes-humble-or-maybe-not-house-sparrow <p>No city park or town plaza is complete without the presence of ubiquitous house sparrows — birds so resourceful and adaptable that they can be found even at remote ranches with just a couple of trees. House sparrows are the little brown birds, often with black bibs, that hop around on the ground, cadging bugs, leftover French fries and sandwich crumbs.</p><p> Wed, 05 Feb 2014 20:52:20 +0000 David Lukas 43045 at http://knau.org Earth Notes: The Humble (or Maybe Not) House Sparrow Earth Notes: Rattled on the Trail http://knau.org/post/earth-notes-rattled-trail <p>Few sounds in nature are as instantly recognizable and terrifying as the sudden rattle of a pit viper. No matter how often you&rsquo;ve heard it, it&rsquo;s a sound that sends a jolt of adrenaline and raises the hair on the back of the neck.</p><p>But look closely, because maybe what you&rsquo;re hearing isn&rsquo;t a rattlesnake at all.</p> Wed, 25 Apr 2012 15:46:57 +0000 David Lukas 12885 at http://knau.org Earth Notes: Rattled on the Trail Earth Notes: The Bird that Sleeps Through Winter http://knau.org/post/earth-notes-bird-sleeps-through-winter <p>From rodents to bats, many mammals that live in cold climates make it through the lean days of winter by hibernating without food. They find a safe place to rest, lower their body temperature and breathing rate, and wait for milder conditions. Most birds that rely on an insect diet, on the other hand, head south.</p><p>But the open mesas and canyons of the American Southwest are home to an odd exception. It&rsquo;s the common poorwill, a highly camouflaged insect-eater no more than seven inches long.</p> Wed, 08 Feb 2012 12:00:00 +0000 David Lukas 8588 at http://knau.org Earth Notes: The Bird that Sleeps Through Winter