Nature

Environment
11:35 am
Thu May 7, 2015

Local biologist fears Red Cedar bald eagles have abandoned nest

The female bald eagle arrives at the Lansing nest in April.
Credit Christopher N. Hull

Dozens of bird lovers have journeyed to Lansing’s Potter Park Zoo recently to view the area’s first nesting bald eagles in decades. The nest sits in a large tree in a marshy area in the middle of the Red Cedar river. What’s the likelihood that the birds could make that area a permanent home? Biologist Christopher Hull has his doubts. He has vield the nest and the eagles a number of times, and he thinks the eagles may be in the process of abandoning the nest now.

Read more
Environment
11:41 am
Tue April 28, 2015

Birdwatching 101 at the Harris Nature Center

Credit Courtesy Harris Nature Center

From March Madness to April showers, the signs of spring have been making their arrival in Michigan these past few weeks. You’ve probably also noticed a few more bird songs accompanying those first rays of morning light. Bird enthusiasts such as Harris Nature Center bird naturalist Clare Bratton have been venturing out more and more lately, binoculars at the ready.

Read more
Environment
11:38 am
Tue April 21, 2015

MI naturalists recruit volunteers to track disappearing rusty blackbird

The rusty blackbird population has declined dramatically over the last few decades.
Credit Flickr - Don Faulkner

All sorts of migratory birds that winter in the southern United States are returning to their northern breeding grounds. Many birds that live in Canada and Alaska are passing through Michigan. Bird watchers are keeping a close eye out for one particular subspecies whose numbers have plummeted over a period of decades.

Read more
Environment
11:07 am
Mon April 13, 2015

New MSU research offers rare glimpse into panda life

Credit Wolong Nature Preserve

Pandas, with their distinctive markings and decidedly cuddly appearance, are an international symbol for conservation. But because wild pandas are incredibly elusive, little research has been done on their behaviors in the wild. For a long time, the Chinese government outlawed using radio collars to track pandas. Now, a team of MSU researchers are among the first to be allowed to use GPS to track wild pandas in China, and they found out some surprising things about these elusive creatures.

Read more
Environment
12:06 pm
Mon March 30, 2015

MSU raising money to restore iconic polar bear

Darin McCullough and Dr. Scott Winterstein are working to restore this polar bear at the entrance to MSU's Natural Resources building.
Credit Kevin Lavery/WKAR

For decades, first time visitors to the Natural Resources building on the MSU campus have been startled by the guard keeping watch by the north doors. Standing nine feet tall and weighing 300 pounds, a huge polar bear stands frozen in time, in a menacing pose. Polar bears have been on the Endangered Species list since 2008, and though long dead, the MSU bear is once again in danger. The bear was killed in Barrow, Alaska in 1957. It’s showing some wear and needs to be repaired soon.

Read more
Education
11:48 am
Fri February 13, 2015

Stockbridge students dive into marine biology

Madelyn Armstrong (left) and Chloe Hypes are among a group of students from Stockbridge High School who spent 24 hours in a submersible chamber in Key Largo, Florida. They spoke with students back in Stockbridge via Skype.
Credit Kevin Lavery/WKAR

Back in October, we told you on this program about a team of students at Stockbridge High School in rural Ingham County who build robots. The Stockbridge students build underwater robots that search for downed World War Two aircraft in the South Pacific. Now, some of the kids are off on another expedition where it’s considerably warmer than it is here.

Read more
Environment
11:35 am
Thu February 5, 2015

MSU researcher helps discover new Indonesian bird

The Sulawesi streaked flycatcher.
Credit http://msutoday.msu.edu/

If you discovered a new species that no one had ever seen before, what would you name it? For most of us, that’s a hypothetical question. But not for Dr. Pam Rasmussen, an assistant professor in the department of Integrative Biology at MSU, and assistant curator at the MSU Museum. She has named and described nine species of birds that were new to science and was part of a team that recently described a new bird species in Indonesia.

Read more
Environment
11:11 am
Fri January 30, 2015

BWL falcon family future up in the air

A 2014 image of Viper and Eckert in Lansing.
Credit http://lbwl.com/

Some downtown Lansing residents are being watched intently for signs of courtship. The saga of the peregrine falcons who live at the Lansing Board of Water and Light’s Eckert Power Station continues with some new twists.

Read more
Environment
11:13 am
Thu October 30, 2014

Fifty years of salmon in Michigan

MSU Project FISH coordinator Mark Stephens
Credit http://msutoday.msu.edu/

Fall on Michigan’s waterways means it’s time for the salmon to spawn. Salmon can be found in many places, including the Red Cedar River and the Grand River.

Read more
History
11:54 am
Mon August 25, 2014

Lake Superior agates remnants of Michigan's prehistory

Lake Superior agates in a display case.
Credit Flickr - Ryan Somma

We often presents stories of Michigan history, and this is one of our state's oldest. Before the existence of life on our planet, geologic forces were working to form the stuff of our world, the very earth beneath our feet. It's the passion of Lake Gitchee Gumee Museum of Agate and History director Karen Brzys.

Read more
Environment
11:34 am
Mon June 30, 2014

Expert: Michigan mosquitoes 3x normal numbers this year

Credit Wiki Commons

If you live in Michigan it seems like every summer is a time to complain about the mosquitoes being really bad this year, but how bad are they, really?

Read more
Lifestyle & Recreation
2:30 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Finding balance in Lake Huron's fisheries

Credit Flickr - American Legacy Fishing Co.

About a decade ago, Lake Huron’s fishing game was not very abundant because of a steep decline in overall fish numbers. To see how the lake is doing now, Current State’s Melissa Benmark spoke with David Fielder, Fisheries Research Biologist for the Department of Natural Resources and a doctoral student at Michigan State University.

Read more
Politics & Government
1:01 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

Okemos fourth graders lobby for state amphibian

Northern Spring Peeper
Credit paherps.com, Bob Hamilton

Some elementary students in Okemos are wrapping up their school year with a crash course in political lobbying.

Read more
Lifestyle & Recreation
12:38 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

Local bird watching opportunities

Credit Peter Whorf/WKAR

May is an important month for birdwatchers. "Birdwatching in our Parks" is a series of walks presented by Meridian Township Parks and the Capitol Area Audobon Society. The final walk of the season takes place Sunday at 8 a.m. at the Davis Foster Preserve on North Van Atta Road.

Read more
Lifestyle & Recreation
1:00 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

Morels: Hunting and cooking the spring delicacy

May marks the beginning of morel season in Michigan.
Credit Flickr

During the month of May, a different type of hunter takes to the Michigan woods. Their prey is now low-lying honeycomb shaped fungi, morels. The woodlands mushroom is highly coveted by chefs and known for its unique taste. Current State spoke with Phil Tedeschi, President of the Michigan Mushroom Hunters Club and Ruth Johnston, author of the book "The Art of Cooking Morels".

Read more
Lifestyle & Recreation
12:38 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

Stargazers drawn to Michigan 'Dark Sky Park'

This month marks the three-year anniversary of Michigan's first International Dark Sky Park.
Credit Flickr

Three years ago this month, a curious “first” unfolded in Michigan. That’s when a 600-acre county park just west of the Mackinac Bridge became our state’s first International Dark Sky Park.

Read more
Lifestyle & Recreation
1:37 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

Study links children's spirituality and the outdoors

Dr. Gretel Van Wiren
Credit http://msutoday.msu.edu

With more daylight and the end of school, lots of kids will have the opportunity to play outdoors more in the coming weeks and months if they choose to. Outdoors time has decreased drastically for children. A new MSU study indicates that there are benefits to outdoor free play besides the physical exercise.

Read more
Environment
1:30 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

BWL falcons expecting

Baby falcons are on the way at the Board of Water and Light's Eckert electric generating plant.
Credit http://www.lbwl.com/falcon.aspx

There are many expecting parents around Mid-Michigan, but few will produce offspring as rare as Eckert and Viper’s. The peregrine falcons are waiting for three little ones to hatch, after nesting at the Lansing Board of Water and Light’s Eckert electric generating plant.

Read more
Environment
2:01 pm
Mon April 28, 2014

Volunteers guard Michigan's spawning sturgeon

"Sturgeon for Tomorrow" will be guarding the banks of the Black River from poachers to ensure that lake sturgeon will be able to spawn.
Credit Flickr - USFWSmidwest

From now through early June, some volunteers will be standing guard over the Black River in Northern Michigan. They’ll be on the banks of the river making sure that the lake sturgeon, a rare and threatened species in the state, are able to leave their homes in Black Lake and successfully spawn in the Black River. Why do the fish need guarding?

Read more
Environment
12:12 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

Fungus threatens Michigan's bat population

White nose syndrome has been detected in bats in 25 states.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

Since 2006, a deadly bat fungus called white nose syndrome has spread its way throughout the eastern U.S. and Canada, decimating bat populations. This April, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources confirmed that the disease has been detected in Michigan.

Read more
Lifestyle & Recreation
11:53 am
Tue April 22, 2014

Turkey love: Even birds need a wingman

Credit Wikimedia Commons

Here in mid-Michigan we’re finally starting to see signs of spring after the long winter. Current State’s Melissa Benmark has been enjoying the humor, and hopefulness, of a spring ritual she’s been witnessing in her back yard.

Read more
Business
1:58 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Saranac syrup-maker sticks to tradition

Last year, John Smith produced 361 gallons of maple syrup, compared to 250 gallons this year.
Credit Flickr - Wigwam Jones

As you drive west from Ionia, Michigan, you’ll come to the little town of Saranac. Its streets are lined with a bountiful number of large old maple trees. And this time of year, it’s not uncommon to see many of them with pails and spouts attached to collect sap for maple syrup.

Read more
Environment
12:42 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

MSU Museum looks at 'Turtles in Trouble'

The exhibit runs through Sept. 21 in the MSU Museum's Art-Science-Creativity Gallery.
Credit Flickr - Alexandra MacKenzie

A new exhibit at the MSU Museum focuses on the plight of turtles around the world. “Turtles in Trouble” is meant to boost awareness of the impact humans have on turtles populations worldwide.

Read more
Lifestyle & Recreation
1:30 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

Paddling pioneer discusses life on the water

Janet Moreland completed the kayak journey alone, but made countless friends along the way.
Credit loveyourbigmuddy.com/

 

Last year, Janet Moreland became a legend in the world of kayaking. She became the first woman ever to solo paddle what’s called "Source to Sea," the full length of Missouri River-Mississippi River system, from Brower’s Spring, Montana to the Gulf of Mexico. The 38-hundred mile journey took almost eight months to complete.

Read more
Radio Made in Michigan
1:37 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

Rails to Trails network plans to connect Ionia and Owosso

Credit Flickr - Jetta Girl

A long hike or bike ride on a warm Michigan spring day may seem like a long way off right now. However, plans are in the works to build a new trail line in mid-Michigan north of Lansing. Bids could go out as soon as next month to build a 42-mile trail on the site of an abandoned rail line from Owosso to Ionia. The project is part of a much larger plan that would create a sweeping 125-mile trail that would loop through parts of  five counties.

Read more
Radio Made in Michigan
10:58 am
Mon January 13, 2014

Outdoor winter fun not far away

Credit http://www.meridian.mi.us

The Great Lakes State celebrates our beautiful outdoors, and outdoor activities year-round.  Current State's Peter Whorf checked in late last week at Meridian Township’s Harris Nature Center to find out about upcoming events.

Read more
Radio Made in Michigan
11:23 am
Mon December 16, 2013

Lansing zoo plays role in saving endangered toad

Credit Flickr - Billy_J._Santiago

The Puerto Rican crested toad is endangered. At Lansing’s Potter Park Zoo, officials are involved in a project to help save the toad from extinction. The Puerto Rican crested toad is a native species of toad that cannot be found anywhere else.

Read more
Radio Made in Michigan
11:33 am
Tue December 10, 2013

Bee trends: Populations down, interest up?

Beekeeping is a growing pursuit in Michigan.
Credit Flickr - Bright Beehive

With the start of Michigan’s sometimes eternal-seeming winter, many of us may be taking refuge in seed catalogs or planning for next summer’s gardens. There's something else you might see in an increasing number of yards: hives of bees.

Read more
Radio Made in Michigan
11:27 am
Fri November 15, 2013

Minnesota's second wolf hunt offers lessons for Michigan

This wolf was photographed north of Marquette, Michigan.
Credit Flickr - Mikel Classen

After a year filled with controversy, Michigan will hold it’s first wolf hunt in nearly 40 years.

Read more
Hot Views
8:54 am
Tue November 12, 2013

WATCH: NATURE - Parrot Confidential

8 pm Wed., Nov. 13 on WKAR TV | From the wilds of Costa Rica to the suburbs of our own country, NATURE explores the difficulties of raising parrots, why some breeders and owners become rescuers, and conservation efforts in the wild. 

Read more

Pages