A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

UK study finds some birds could aid integrated pest management; benefits may outweigh negative effects

By Katie Pratt University of Kentucky Birds have long been considered the nemesis of many farmers, as they can feast on agriculturally important crops like blueberries and corn. But University of Kentucky research suggests, in some instances, the benefits of some birds may outweigh their negative effects. Birds provide an often unseen benefit to farmers as they can consume a large number of insect...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: A distinctive seasonal visitor, the brown thrasher is often found along roadsides

Driving Kentucky’s rural backroads during the spring and early summer it’s not uncommon to see this distinctively-marked brown bird darting into brushy fencerows or tangles of vines and honeysuckle at the wood’s edge. An adult and juvenile brown thrasher (Photo from Wikipedia Commons) A rather large bird with long tail feathers, the Brown Thrasher (Toxostoma rufum) is a member of the family Mimidae,...

EKU researchers studying copperheads in Red River Gorge, seek to minimize human-snake interaction

They come from all over the country for the rock climbing, the hiking and, of course, the rugged, breathtaking scenery. But visitors to Kentucky’s Red River Gorge sometimes encounter copperhead snakes when they interact with the environment. Funded primarily by grants from the U.S. Forest Service and the National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates, a team of Eastern Kentucky...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: No songbird more visible in greening landscape of spring than Indigo Bunting

In the greening landscape of spring, no bird is more visible than the Indigo Bunting (Passerina cyanea). The vibrant, cerulean blue plumage of the male seems almost out of place, as if it belongs on some resident of a tropical rain forest. In fact, this diminutive insect and seed-eating bird in the Cardinal family, Cardinalidae, may mingle with exotic, colorful birds during its annual southward migration...