Open Spaces : Fish and Wildlife Service

Looking Back: William L. Finley

Dramatic photography, captivating lectures, memorable movie scripts and magazine articles – William L. Finley used them all to convince the American public that it was time to give birds a home of their own.

Finley/Bohlman Slide of PelicansAn American White Pelican just before take-off at its nest site in Malheur Lake, 1908. Handpainted glass slide by Finley and Bohlman.

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Wisdom, Dr. Sylvia Earle, And a New Addition to Midway Atoll

In December, we brought you the story of Wisdom.  She's the over 60 year-old Laysan Abatross that returned to Midway Atoll to incubate an egg.

Albatross at MidwayA Laysan Albatross colony on Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge in Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument number over a million and cover nearly every square foot of open space during breeding and nesting season. Photo:Andy Collins/NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries

But Wisdom's return isn't the only cool thing happening at Midway these days.  Dr. Sylvia Earle, former chief scientist of NOAA, recently visted and met Wisdom, and also got to meet a very special newly-hatched chick.

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Photo Tour: Relating to Snow

Each week, the National Wildlife Refuge System puts together a slideshow on flickr for people to see some amazing shots of wildlife from across the country.  Check it out here!

Can you guess what all these images have in common?  

Okay, it's not that hard if you read the blog title.  They all have to do with snow - from snowfalls to animals with "snow" in their names!

What's your favorite thing related to snow? 

Snowy OwlThis snowy owl sits adjacent to Siletz Bay National Wildlife Refuge, Oregon.  Photo: Roy W. Lowe/USFWS

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Ring in 2012 with these Babies!

The New Year Baby has been featured in many cartoons over the course of our history, symbolizing the birth of a new year.  It's a time for new beginnings, resolutions, and an attitude of 'out with the old and in with the new.'  

At Open Spaces, we want to take part in the tradition with a nature twist.  We couldn't think of a better way to ring in 2012 than with these adorable baby animals.

And when it comes to resolutions, let us all resolve in 2012 to do all we can to protect baby animals everywhere and the wild places they call home.

Polar Bear Cubs

Do you know the names for baby animals?  Many of them are easy to guess, like these polar bears, which are called cubs.  See how well you do with the rest!

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Looking Back: Elizabeth "Betty" Losey

Every so often it's good to look into the past to revisit the people who got us where we are today. Looking Back is a new series on the people who helped shape the National Wildlife Refuge System. The series is based on "A Look Back," a regular column written by Karen Leggett, from the Refuge System Branch of Communications, which appears in each issue of the Refuge Update newsletter.

In 1947, Elizabeth “Betty” Losey – fresh from the University of Michigan with a master of science degree in wildlife management and conservation – said she couldn’t get a job with the Michigan State Game Division because no one wanted a woman out in the field overnight. 

Fortunately, a fellow Michigan graduate offered her a job. 

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Photo Tour: The Weather Outside

Snow can be beautiful - especially when flakes are slowly falling from the sky, covering us in a soft white blanket.  It's a time to curl up on the sofa, maybe a fire crackling in the background, and sip on something warm.  Let us take you on a snow-filled tour, including some cute critters and some great scenery.  

Cardinal in SnowA Cardinal sits on a Pine tree branch in New Jersy.  Photo: Laura Perlick

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Looking Back: Forrest Carpenter

Every so often it's good to look into the past to revisit the people who got us where we are today. Looking Back is a series on the people who helped shape the National Wildlife Refuge System. The series is based on "A Look Back," a regular column written by Karen Leggett, from the Refuge System Branch of Communications, which appears in each issue of the Refuge Update newsletter.

When Forrest Carpenter retired in 1973 after 36 years of federal government service, he became the founding president of the National Wildlife Refuge Association, the nonprofit organization that supports the Refuge System.

Forrest Carpenter

“When he realized he could do something that would help refuge managers and the Refuge System that he believed in so strongly,” says his daughter Susan Evans, “he felt he had to do it. He worked harder on that than anything in his life for 13 years.” 

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Looking Back: Howard Zahniser

Every so often it's good to look into the past to revisit the people who got us where we are today. Looking Back is a series on the people who helped shape the National Wildlife Refuge System. The series is based on "A Look Back," a regular column written by Karen Leggett, from the Refuge System Branch of Communications, which appears in each issue of the Refuge Update newsletter.

Howard Zahniser was known in Washington, DC, for his genial personality, his poetic prose, and his coat.

Zahniser PortraitCourtesy of Wilderness.net

The coat, tailor-made for Zahnhiser, had multiple oversize pockets to hold handouts and drafts of legislation while Zahniser made his rounds on Capitol Hill in the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s.

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Is it Really a "Flock" of Seagulls?

A group of seagulls is actually called a colony.  Turns out the band led you astray.  Who would have thought with all that fabulous hair?  

Flock of Seagulls Band

When we posted the story last week about rescuing rabbits, we were checking out the collective name for a group of rabbits (“herd” is right, by the way, so is colony, husk, warren and others).  In searching we stumbled across this page from our cousins over at the U.S. Geological Survey.

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Looking Back: Mollie Beattie

Every so often it's good to look into the past to revisit the people who got us where we are today. Looking Back is a series on the people who helped shape the National Wildlife Refuge System. The series is based on "A Look Back," a regular column written by Karen Leggett, from the Refuge System Branch of Communications, which appears in each issue of the Refuge Update newsletter.

The first woman to head the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Mollie Beattie, was appointed in 1993 by President Bill Clinton. Then-Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt wrote that Beattie was determined to make the Service “the strongest protector of America’s wild creatures and the finest steward over America’s National Wildlife Refuges.” 

Three years later, Babbitt mourned Beattie’s death of brain cancer when she was only 49 years old.

He wrote that Beattie “fought fiercely against the forces that sought to weaken the mission of our wildlife refuges, to gut the Endangered Species Act, or to turn the lights off on good science through funding cuts.” 

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Last updated: June 21, 2012