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Outdoors & Environment

Venomous Snakes of Alabama: What You Need to Know

AUBURN, Ala. — Alabama is home to almost 50 species of snake, but only six of those are venomous snakes.  Although deaths from snakebites are relatively uncommon in Alabama, it is important to know how to identify and avoid poisonous snakes. The six venomous snakes of Alabama include the Eastern coral snake, copperhead, cottonmouth, Eastern diamondback, timber rattlesnake and pigmy rattlesnake. Alabama ... Read More »

Safeguard Pets in Summer Heat

pets hot weather

AUBURN, Alabama–As the state bakes with temperatures in the 90s, remember to protect pets from the dangers of heat-related illnesses. Alabama Extension specialist Robert Spencer says it’s important to take extra measures to keep pets hydrated in high temperatures. Plentiful Water Crucial “Pets should have access to fresh water at multiple locations,” he said.  “Animals may be unwilling to move about to access water. “Also, ... Read More »

Beware of Ticks this Summer

AUBURN, Alabama — Ticks are abundant and aggressive in many places across the county. In recent years, research has raised concerns about the prevalence, misdiagnosis and emergence of tick-borne illnesses that pose serious health risks. To avoid illness, it is important to take proactive steps that limit exposure and enable you to quickly identify disease symptoms and seek medical help. ... Read More »

Fox squirrels: The gray squirrel’s colorful cousin

Fox squirrels

Auburn, Alabama — Have you ever wondered what species of squirrel roam around your backyard? The Eastern Fox Squirrel (Sciurus niger) is often found in Canada and the Eastern part of the United States. They are fairly common in Alabama and currently have a status of low conservation concern. This means their population size is doing well and they do ... Read More »

Proper Care for Ruby-throated Hummingbirds and Feeders

hummingbirds

Auburn, Alabama –Ruby-throated hummingbirds are buzzing feeders across the state, having migrated back  from Central America. A species found in the eastern United States, ruby-throated hummingbirds are an eastern species of hummingbirds, found across Alabama. The males have ruby-colored throats while females have green-tinted throats. Like all hummingbirds, they are acrobatic and precise in their movements, as any hummingbird observer ... Read More »

Beware of Fire Ants During Heavy Rains and Floods

fire ants flooding

AUBURN, Ala.— Tropical storm Cindy promises to bring heavy rains to Alabama and possibly flash flooding.  When floodwaters come, humans are not the only ones looking for dry ground. In areas infested with red imported fire ants, these ants and their colonies can present a potentially serious medical threat to people and animals during and after a flood. Flood Waters ... Read More »

Fire Ant Mounds Popping Up After Recent Rains

fire ant

AUBURN, Alabama—Thanks to recent rains, fire ant mounds are popping up in lawns across the state. An Alabama Extension entomologist says what appear to be new mounds have been around for probably several months at least. “Just because you don’t see fire ants doesn’t mean they aren’t there,” said Dr. Kathy Flanders, who is also an Auburn University entomology professor. “When it is ... Read More »

Yellowhammer or Northern Flicker: It’s Alabama’s State Bird

northern flicker

AUBURN, Alabama — Designated back in 1927, Alabama’s state bird, the Yellowhammer, is really a Northern flicker . A  member of the woodpecker family, Northern flickers got their common name comes from the bright yellow coloring on the undersides of their wings. Dr. Jim Armstrong, a wildlife scientist with Alabama Cooperative Extension System, said while found in Alabama all year round, the Northern flicker ... Read More »

Hurricane Season Begins June 1

hurricane

AUBURN, Alabama — The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season begins June 1. That week throughout the nation is Hurricane Awareness Week. A campaign led by the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and storm-vulnerable states are encouraging residents to increase their awareness and preparedness for the upcoming hurricane season. The peak period of the season is August through ... Read More »

Slime Molds, Nostoc Appear in Yards after Heavy Rains

slime molds nostoc

 AUBURN, Ala.—Many Alabama homeowners felt the effects of torrential downpours in the garden and in their yards. Dr. Dave Han, an Alabama Extension turfgrass management specialist, said homeowners may see a plethora of strange-looking organisms popping up in the yard. “Besides the usual mushrooms, moss and algae, two strange-looking things are popping up: slime molds and Nostoc,” Han said. Slime ... Read More »