Birds Nesting Earlier

Writer and conservationist Annette J Beveridge

by Annette J Beveridge

Spring is upon us. The sound of birds singing and the warmth of the sun is so welcome after the dark nights and the chilly winter months.

It may feel wonderful to us, but we do know that throughout springtime, birds start to build their nests in alignment with available food sources. This is typically around the same time of the year every year.

However, research by US scientists analysed nesting trends and used egg samples available in the Chicago area. It revealed that egg laying is now occurring almost a month earlier than at any time over the last century.


The Asian Grass Lizard

Writer and conservationist Annette J Beveridge

By Annette J Beveridge

An arboreal, diurnal species distributed throughout southern and south-eastern Asia, the Asian grass lizard (Takydromus sexlineatus) is a species easily recognised by the length of its tail. This distinctive long tail – approximately three times the length of the lizard’s body might be considered a hindrance but it distributes body weight and balance by making points of contact when climbing through grass stalks. They can easily jump from one stalk to the next.

Asian grass lizard description

The lizard has a pointed snout and small head. The tongue is black or pink. Sometimes, small scales can be seen beneath the chin which resemble a beard. The lizard’s limbs are of a normal size but notice the long and thin digits.

The underbelly is cream but the colour on the back will vary – green – beige. Some have brown stripes. Both male and females look similar but males can be identified through the presence of white spots on the side of the body and the pre-anal pores. The male’s tail is also thicker past the vent.


These lizards are most commonly found in grasslands. Each morning, they bask in the sunlight and are often seen swaying in the tips of grasses. This greater height affords protection from some of the ground predators. Asian grass lizards are not found in the arid areas but prefer habitat where seasonal rain occurs.

At night, they coil around the grass base or hide beneath logs for protection.

If a predator approaches, the Asian grass lizard remains completely still until danger has passed. If under immediate threat, they will quickly flee to safety diving into the deeper foliage. These are agile lizards and incredibly fast. If attacked, they can drop their tail which serves to distract the predator. The fact that these are such distinctive reptiles may go against them as they are often sold as pets. Fortunately, the species is not at risk.

Big cats Mammals

The Tragic Loss of Jaguars

By Annette J Beveridge

Editor Annette J Beveridge

Jaguars (panthera onca) are enigmatic animals. With an unusually large round head, a stunning coat and long tail, jaguars are muscled, compact and distinctive. They have shorter legs than other Panthera species of a similar weight. In the Americas, it is the largest species of cat and has the most powerful bite comparative to its size which enables it to bite through the skull of mammalian prey.

Jaguars are the third largest feline after tigers and lions and are listed on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). They are classified as near threatened. An investigation into the population recorded a loss of almost 1500 animals. Here’s why.


Introducing Flesh-Eating Vulture Bees

By Annette J Beveridge

Editor Annette J Beveridge

There are approximately 20,000 species of bee worldwide and most will search for pollen and nectar but some bees actively seek out rotting flesh instead. Vulture bees (also known as carrion bees) form a select group of three and belong to the genus Trigona.

They live in tropical rainforests and use pheromones to signal a source of food to others. Bees respond to this signal swarming to the carcass where they can be seen covering the flesh with saliva. It may sound gruesome but it has proven of great interest to the science world since this behaviour was first discovered in 1982. These are stingless bees living primarily in South and North America.

Wildlife Gardening

How Bog Gardens Add Nature Appeal

Yellow Iris

By Annette J Beveridge

If you are trying to make your garden more welcoming to nature, think about adding a bog garden. There are so many beautiful plants that thrive in bog gardens and you can make it both beautiful and dramatic. They are perfect for attracting bees, butterflies and other insects. If you have an existing damp area in the garden, this is ideal and if you have a pond, consider adding a bog garden as a feature at the side. They are easy to create and so worth the effort forming a connection between ecosystems.  Here is everything you need to know….

EcoRIGHTS Environmental

EcoRIGHTS – Making A Stand

Annette J Beveridge

When you look around your local area can you see the so-called signs of progress as new housing developments take over glorious open spaces? Do you find yourself wishing you could turn the clock back to a time when life was simpler and nature thrived?

Ever since the pandemic struck, it is true to say that many people have developed a renewed understanding of the benefits of nature. With life standing still, many of us embraced local walks, listened to bird song, took pleasure in sitting in woodlands or, by rivers and have enjoyed the changing seasons. Nature offered solace and a way to offset anxiety. But although we may recognise the importance of nature, our government seemingly, still does not. The mantra Build, Build, Build says it all. As a nature-depleted country, we cannot afford to lose more land unnecessarily. Right now, there is a lot of promises to protect the environment but very little action. Environmental issues are rife…’s why.