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Signs of spring blog five

3/26/2012 —

BIRDS AND ANTS

After a bravo performance by bats and skunks, the ecology limelight turns to birds and ants at Bill Hamilton’s “Signs of Spring” nature blog.

Hamilton, assistant professor of biology at Penn State New Kensington, utilizes the habits of his pets and the activities of various species around his yard in Apollo as predictors for the coming of spring. Although the vernal equinox officially arrived at 1:14 a.m. EDT on March 20, Hamilton’s cadre of flora and fauna has heralded spring since January.

Hamilton and Deborah Sillman, senior instructor in biology at the campus, maintain a blog site, "Ecologist's Notebook: Reflections on the Natural World of Western Pennsylvania," that reports on their observations around their house and on local nature trails, as well as the campus nature trail. Each spring, the biologists blog about the birds, insects, mammals and flowers that herald the arrival of spring. The fifth blog, "Tree Buds, Ants, and Birds,” was written March 11.

For the blog and comments, visit http://www.personal.psu.edu/hw7/blogs/nature/index.html online.

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