nature questions I need to look up

What is that one bird that I always hear in the woods? You know, that one, with the really clear two-note descending whistle. I wish I knew how to transliterate it. Whatever it is, its range includes Ohio as well as Massachusetts, and that’s about all I know. (Wait, no, I also know that I enjoy whistling back to it, like my dad taught me.)

Is there any way to tell coyote tracks apart from domestic dog tracks in the same size range? I’m fascinated by coyotes, along with other animals who have adapted to more urban lifestyles, but they’re so secretive! The place I go hiking allows dogs, so I don’t know whose prints are whose.

How DO you tell an alligator from a crocodile from a caiman? This is probably something I once learned from a kids’ nature show and subsequently forgot. I’m going to the Everglades next week, so this one I need to look up soon. (Florida is mostly home to alligators, but one area where I’ll be hiking is known to have some crocodiles, and I’ve also heard there are invasive caimans out there.)

What happens in nature the year(s)¬†after¬†a drought? By which I mean: how will last summer’s drought in Massachusetts affect things for this upcoming summer, like plant growth and insect activity? I really hope there are more bugs around this year.


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