staten island museum nature
Turning Three Tumblrs into One!

Hello Staten Island Museum Nature friends!

In the next week, we will be combining this Tumblr feed and our History feed with our main page.

Like the Museum itself, you’ll be able to explore the dynamic connections between art, history, and natural science - all in one location!

See you there!

Staten Island Museum

statenislandmuseum:

Hello, my name is Joseph Lipari and I am summer intern at the Staten Island Museum’s History and Archives department and for the next nine weeks I will be sharing my experience with the museum here.  I will spare you the lengthy introduction that can be found on the History and Archive’s Blogger page posted below and instead get right to the fun stuff.   

Upon my first visit to the archives I was shown a number of different objects from various collections including photographs, scrapbooks, maps, beer bottles (empty ones of course) and tons of other neat items.  If there is anything that stood out with particular interest it was the archive’s recently restored daguerreotypes.  Now if you are like me than you’re thinking, “Dagerreawhat?” but don’t let this strange word fool you, these objects are quite interesting.

Created by Louis-Jacques-Mande Daguerre in the late 1830s, daguerreotypes are the first commercially available photographic images before photographs and other forms of imaging were created. Check out the wiki page for more details. 

The chemicals used to create daguerreotypes make them susceptible to corruption and decay so restoration and preservation is essential. What makes these images important is that they provide a window into the past. Many daguerreotypes were used for personal portraits and it’s funny to see that people back them seemed to be against smiling and preferred to wear stern, serious faces…even children! Part of the beauty of having these images is that it allows us to see bizarre phenomenons…but more importantly they give us a sense of the clothing, jewelry, hair styles and fashions of people throughout the 19th century.   

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daguerreotype

http://statenislandmuseumhistory.blogspot.com/

Magicicadas are on the move!  Recent updates from museum volunteers report that nymphs are already coming to the opening of burrows, like the one shown above, but quickly retreat when disturbed.  (Photograph by William T. Davis, Part of the William T. Davis Collection at the Staten Island Museum)
The Staten Island Museum is looking for citizen scientists to help collect data on this year’s emergence. Please click here to visit our blog about how you can lend a hand!

Magicicadas are on the move!  Recent updates from museum volunteers report that nymphs are already coming to the opening of burrows, like the one shown above, but quickly retreat when disturbed.  (Photograph by William T. Davis, Part of the William T. Davis Collection at the Staten Island Museum)

The Staten Island Museum is looking for citizen scientists to help collect data on this year’s emergence. Please click here to visit our blog about how you can lend a hand!

Staten Island’s newest nesting birds!  A pair of Great Blue Herons (Ardea herodias) has taken up residency at Martlings Pond in Clove Lakes Park.  These follow last year’s return of nesting black-and-white warblers after over a century and whip-poor-wills after a twenty year absence on the island’s nesting bird list.

Staten Island’s newest nesting birds!  A pair of Great Blue Herons (Ardea herodias) has taken up residency at Martlings Pond in Clove Lakes Park.  These follow last year’s return of nesting black-and-white warblers after over a century and whip-poor-wills after a twenty year absence on the island’s nesting bird list.

The cicadas are coming, but wait let’s take a look back to see what cicadas are in the William T. Davis Collections at the Staten Island Museum.  Is there more to the story than meets the eye?  
To learn more read the article by Alexander Bolesta

The cicadas are coming, but wait let’s take a look back to see what cicadas are in the William T. Davis Collections at the Staten Island Museum.  Is there more to the story than meets the eye?  

To learn more read the article by Alexander Bolesta

rhamphotheca:

How Do Starling Flocks Create Those Mesmerising Murmurations?
by Andrea Alfano, Cornell Univ.
Would you pull over your car just to watch some starlings? A gathering of only a few of these speckled, iridescent-black birds isn’t a very alluring sight—particularly in North America, where these birds are invaders. The European Starling was originally introduced here by a group of well-meaning Shakespeare enthusiasts in 1880, but many Americans now consider them to be pests that serve little purpose other than to dirty car windshields and destroy crops.
But Grainger Hunt, a senior scientist at the Peregrine Fund, tells a different story in Living Bird magazine. He marvels at the way thousands of the birds gather in flocks called murmurations. They are “a dazzling cloud, swirling, pulsating, drawing together to the thinnest of waists, then wildly twisting in pulses of enlargement and diminution,” he writes. It’s certainly worth stopping your car for, or stopping to watch a video like this one, a YouTube hit recorded over the River Shannon, Ireland.
Almost always, Hunt writes, these aerial spectacles are caused by a falcon near the edge of the flock. It turns out that the beauty of a murmuration’s movements often arises purely out of defense, as the starlings strive to put distance between themselves and the predator.
So how do these masses of birds move so synchronously, swiftly, and gracefully? This isn’t an idle question—it has attracted the attention of physicists interested in how group behavior can spontaneously arise from many individuals at once. In 2010, Giorgio Parisi of the University of Rome and colleagues used advanced computational modeling and video analysis to study this question. They found that starling flocks model a complex physical phenomenon, seldom observed in physical and biological systems, known as scale-free correlation…
(read more: Cornell Lab of Ornithology)
(image: European Starling by simonglinn via Birdshare, and murmuration photo by ad551)

rhamphotheca:

How Do Starling Flocks Create Those Mesmerising Murmurations?

by Andrea Alfano, Cornell Univ.

Would you pull over your car just to watch some starlings? A gathering of only a few of these speckled, iridescent-black birds isn’t a very alluring sight—particularly in North America, where these birds are invaders. The European Starling was originally introduced here by a group of well-meaning Shakespeare enthusiasts in 1880, but many Americans now consider them to be pests that serve little purpose other than to dirty car windshields and destroy crops.

But Grainger Hunt, a senior scientist at the Peregrine Fund, tells a different story in Living Bird magazine. He marvels at the way thousands of the birds gather in flocks called murmurations. They are “a dazzling cloud, swirling, pulsating, drawing together to the thinnest of waists, then wildly twisting in pulses of enlargement and diminution,” he writes. It’s certainly worth stopping your car for, or stopping to watch a video like this one, a YouTube hit recorded over the River Shannon, Ireland.

Almost always, Hunt writes, these aerial spectacles are caused by a falcon near the edge of the flock. It turns out that the beauty of a murmuration’s movements often arises purely out of defense, as the starlings strive to put distance between themselves and the predator.

So how do these masses of birds move so synchronously, swiftly, and gracefully? This isn’t an idle question—it has attracted the attention of physicists interested in how group behavior can spontaneously arise from many individuals at once. In 2010, Giorgio Parisi of the University of Rome and colleagues used advanced computational modeling and video analysis to study this question. They found that starling flocks model a complex physical phenomenon, seldom observed in physical and biological systems, known as scale-free correlation…

(read more: Cornell Lab of Ornithology)

(image: European Starling by simonglinn via Birdshare, and murmuration photo by ad551)

Atlantic horseshoe crabs (Limulus polyphemus) play an important ecological and medical roll.  This image dated July 1, 1925 was taken by museum founder William T. Davis.  
Today, the museum runs a reference beach at the Conference House Park as part of the New York Horseshoe Crab Monitoring Network.   Contact the museum for more information about helping to count the crabs in May and June.

Atlantic horseshoe crabs (Limulus polyphemus) play an important ecological and medical roll.  This image dated July 1, 1925 was taken by museum founder William T. Davis.  

Today, the museum runs a reference beach at the Conference House Park as part of the New York Horseshoe Crab Monitoring Network.   Contact the museum for more information about helping to count the crabs in May and June.

2013 marks the emergence of Brood II of the 17-year periodical cicadas (Magacicada spp.) on Staten Island.  Visit the museum’s new exhibition "They’re baaack" to learn more about this amazing natural phenomena.
The Staten Island Museum is also conducting citizen science projects to collect data on this year’s emergence.  Click here for more information on becoming a citizen scientist.

2013 marks the emergence of Brood II of the 17-year periodical cicadas (Magacicada spp.) on Staten Island.  Visit the museum’s new exhibition "They’re baaack" to learn more about this amazing natural phenomena.

The Staten Island Museum is also conducting citizen science projects to collect data on this year’s emergence.  Click here for more information on becoming a citizen scientist.

This compilation of video and images is from the newly rehabilitated Lemon Creek Purple Martin Colony.  Long time museum man, Howard Cleaves started this colony in 1952