Welcome to Season Two!

After months of interviewing, recording, and editing, we’re ready to launch Season Two. We’ve got stories from all over the world and all sorts of biota, from Shanghai birds to London hedgehogs, from New York terrapins to Antarctic midges.

This season we want to hear more from YOU! If you’re listening to this podcast, we bet you dig urban wildlife. Next time you see some urban wildlife where you are, record a note and send it to us. This could be about the geckos on your walls, the wildflowers growing out of the pavement, the civets in your attic, or the marabou storks that crapped on your car. You can record a note on your phone and send it to us, or you could call us and leave a voicemail at 267-603-3219.

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Special Episode: Robin in Rome

This summer our frequent guest host Robin Irizarry (Philadelphia Watershed Coordinator for the Tookany/Tacony Frankford Watershed Partnership) took a trip to Rome. Lots of people see the history, enjoy the culture and food of the eternal city. Robin brought his binoculars and looked for wildlife.

Robin with Philly-style graffiti in Rome, "Philly 215."

Robin with Philly-style graffiti in Rome.

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Nature and Nature Lovers in Palestine

It’s easy to be a birder in Philadelphia, but what about Bethlehem (not the one near Allentown) or the Gaza Strip? Learn about nature and nature loving under occupation, and hear about two organizations training citizen scientists, educating children about nature, and advancing environmental preservation where it isn’t quite as easy. We speak with Mazin Qumsiyeh of the Palestine Museum of Natural History and Imad Atrash of the Palestine Wildlife Society about their programming and the wildlife of Palestine (like lesser kestrels on the walls of Jerusalem). Tony and Billy reflect on how social injustice manifests in how we experience nature, from Palestine to West Philadelphia.

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Things that go Flap in the Night: Nighthawks and Bats at the Cemetery

Nighthawks and bats come out at dusk to fatten up on cemetery bugs before migration and hibernation. In this special mini episode, we take a page from the Field Guides and record a full episode outside at one of our favorite urban parks, the Mount Moriah Cemetery. Tony and Billy bring along our partners and one very excited five-year-old, jacked up on hot chocolate and urban wildlife.

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Shiners, Mussels, and Marbled Sallies: Helping Critters that Rely on City Waters

Fish and mussel tanks at the Philadelphia, Fairmount Park Waterworks.

Fish and mussel tanks at the Philadelphia, Fairmount Park Waterworks mussel hatchery.

Tony and Billy join Robin Irizarry (Philadelphia Watershed Coordinator for the Tookany/Tacony Frankford Watershed Partnership) at his Irizarry Hillstead and hear Bryan Windmiller talk about Grassroots Wildlife Conservation‘s work with marbled salamanders and bridle shiners in the Boston area and about mussels in the Philadelphia area. Billy takes a mussel hatchery tour with Kurt Cheng of the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary.

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Rattlesnakes and Urbanization (Special Listener-Generated Episode)

What’s it like to be a rattlesnake in an urbanizing landscape, keeping to your patch, dodging car tires if you leave? In this special episode we air an interview that listener and wildlife biologist Pete Havlik did with Ecologist/Conservation Biologist Matt Goode of the University of Arizona. We hear about rattlers in the Tucson, Arizona area (including the Tumamoc Hill reserve) and also about Dr. Goode’s work with king cobras (the King Cobra Conservancy) in India as they discuss how we can best get along with wild animals in an urbanizing world.

Also check out our other rattler episodes: Timbers on a Boston Island, and One Man’s Pest is Another’s Gorgeous Rattlesnake.

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We the Weeds

Zya Levy and Kaitlin Pomerantz of the We the Weeds project join us for a weed walk in the neighborhood. Then we retire back at the Urban Wildlife Podcast studio with invasive species beverages, including a cocktail featuring utopic/dystopic bitters.

(learn about the bitters here: WTWBOOKLETDRINKSMUGWORT)

Epazote rising from a bed of lambs quarters.

Epazote rising from a bed of lambs quarters.

Sow thistle

Sow thistle

broad leaved plantain

broadleaf plantain

Virginia pepperweed

Virginia Pepperweed

Ailanthus

Tree of heaven (Ailanthus altissima)

Kaitlin Pomerantz' tatoo (Brooke Herr)

Artist Brooke Herr’s mugwort inspired tattoo (on Kaitlin Pomerantz’s leg).

Curb-crack purslane

Purslane growing from the edge of the curb.

Poke weed

Poke weed every day.

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Wildlife Bling: Red Squirrels, Black Rat Snakes, Lunch with Hawks

On this impromptu, patched-together, mini episode, we present recordings in the moment: Mike McGraw, Billy, and Magnolia check out a Philadelphia black rat snake; Billy nerds out over urban short-headed garter snakes in Pittsburgh; and a red-tailed hawk picks up some squirrel takeout for lunch. Also Tony and Billy talk about the red squirrel that visited Tony’s office, Tony recounts a Bird Philly urban raptor walk with Christian Hunold, and Tony gets a promotion.

young black rat snake

Wee black rat snake found by Mike McGraw (his photo via PARS)

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Cute, Furry, and in Your Roof: Part 2

Urban wildlife is great to look at, but what about when it makes your home its home? Guest host Christian Hunold (dig his photos) joins us as we look at cute omnivorous mesofauna in this episode: opossums, possums, skunks, palm civets. In Part Two we hear from urban skunk researcher Anna Schneider and Singapore urban palm civet researcher Xu Weiting.

Xu Weiting_civet in day

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Cute, Furry, and in Your Roof: Part 1

Urban wildlife is great to look at, but what about when it makes your home its home? Guest host Christian Hunold (dig his photos) joins us as we look at cute omnivorous mesofauna in this episode: opossums, possums, skunks, palm civets. In part one of this episode we talk opossums and hear from researcher Jeff Foulkes and nature blogger/listener Ry Beaver about Aussie possums.

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Skyscraper Bats and Ritzy Coyotes

In this mini episode Dr. Seth Magle of the Urban Wildlife Institute of Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo talks with Billy about the Institute and how they’re remotely monitoring urban wildlife in Chicago and beyond.

(you might remember Dr. Magle from our Fruit Bats, Prairie Dogs, and Sausage Weasels episode)

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