Spring arrives!
A curious young Mule Deer bids you "welcome" to this month's newsletter.
Welcome to March's issue of Whispers, the newsletter of the Dereila Nature Inn - your cyber nature centre. 

We hope that the new season brings along wonderful opportunities for precious encounters with nature for you.

Thank you for subscribing and supporting this project!
Trivia Time
We start off each month with a trivia question.  Here's this month's:

Which bird is considered by many to be a major pest in North America?

You'll find the answer at the end of the newsletter.

New Features at the Inn
This month's new additions include pages featuring mammals, a recipe and another stroll along the beach exploring marine life.  Just click on the images to visit the page.

Walking in the Wild 
In this new series you are invited meet some of the furry critters of the wilds. We have several pages ready for you to peruse with more coming in the next few months. 

The Mountain Goat  The American Bison  The Chipmunk

The Columbian Ground Squirrel  The American Pika
Click to visit.
Yummy Suet 2
A new recipe from our All Things Natural Restaurant for your feathered guests to try.  Best served in a pine cone!
Click to visit
Life Beneath the Waves

Come along on another beach stroll and meet some barnacles, mussels, clams and other diverse creatures of the sea, reef and shore.

To see the latest postings at the Inn as they are added, visit the news and updates page.
Contributed by...
As a community of nature enthusiasts exchanging ideas, stories, tips and images, we invite you to submit nature images to this part of our monthly newsletter. 

This month Mickey D. from Big Lake, Minnesota, sent us these two great pictures:

Contributed image 1

A storm coming across the Grand Canyon.

Contributed image #2

A small, picturesque river taken in Colorado.

It's wonderful so have such a variety of contributed photos.  Thank-you!

If you would like to see your image as part of our members' section,
simply send us an e-mail.
Monthly Selections 
Each month we select a bird, bug and wildflower of the month. Here are this month's choices:

Insect of the Month  Flower of the Month  Bird of the Month
Click on the images to visit the page and don't forget that we welcome your suggestions for future selections, even if you don't have an image to supply for us. Please send your ideas to us by e-mail.

And a reminder that the year's archives for each are just a click away:

Wildflower Archives | Bug Archives | Bird Archives

The Wandering Image
Our wandering image this month is actually a two-parter.  When gulls dive to get tasty morsels to eat, you may have wondered how they mange to crack open their meals.

Wandering Image

Here a gull has found something for lunch.

Wandering Image 2

 Gulls have the opening solution down to a fine art.  They take the shell in their beaks and then to crack it open, they drop it onto rocks or a stony beach. They may have to do this several times and also need to be very quick getting down to the shell as other gulls are usually already waiting for them to drop!
Snippets in Nature ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This month we head to the Badlands of Alberta with some curious looking formations and structures. 

Snippet of the Month

This is an area in south-central Alberta that was once lush and tropical and the home to dinosaurs.  Today it is dry and almost desert-like.  Erosion has worn away softer rocks and sediment and has created fascinating formations such as these above called hoodoos. 
Caption This! 
Each month we would like to invite you to submit a funny caption to go with one of the images in our "Caption This!" collection.  This month a Robber Fly needs help with a caption or two.  We've given you a couple of ideas to get you thinking.

Caption needed!

Number one: "How much further do I have to go?"
Number two: "Oh, my aching knees!"

We had some super suggestions to last month's heron:

Caption this image

"Do you  mind?  I'd like to skinny dip in private!!" - Angelika G. Cochrane, AB
"One two, one two, I lead, you follow." - Beth, H, Michigan
"I feel pretty, oh so pretty." - Mickey D, Big Lake, MI
"Mom, I didn't do it. Cross my legs!" - Julie K, Tonasket, WA

Bernie T. from Yakima Valley in Washington sent in a caption from an earlier image.

Caption This!

 "Hey guys!  This is my impression of a bunny."
(And if you look at the duck it really does look like a rabbit.  Well spotted, Bernie.)

A huge thank-you to everyone who took the time to send us their captions and ideas.

If you have a suggestion that will make us chuckle, please, send us an e-mail
We'd love to hear from you and add your caption to our collection.

You can visit the rest of the collections at the Inn:
The Mammals | The Birds | The Insects
Nature Notes

Click here to do some online jigsaw puzzles featuring our butterflies and moths.

Tips from the Inn 
This month we have another suggestion for getting some good bird pictures that you might like to try out.

Tips from the Inn

Take an old log from the forest and if possible position and secure it to the railings running around the deck or your bird feeding station.  The log above has been used by the clingers and creepers of the bird world, such as woodpeckers and nuthatches as shown below.

Tips from the Inn

Although there is no sign of food on the log, the nuthatch searches for insects in the cracks in the wood.  With a little patience, you may be rewarded with a super photograph.
What's This?  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
In this new feature, can you figure out what this cropped close-up is?  Is it a bug, rock, butterfly or something else completely? This month's is perhaps a bit harder than the last one, so we've made it a bit bigger.

Close-ups In Nature

You'll find the answer below.
Be sure to visit our pages of Close-ups in Nature.
Joke of the Month ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Why does the  mushroom always get invited to parties?

Joke of the Month photo

Because he's a fun guy.
Notes from Around the Inn
Images Wanted
We had a number of people submitting images to help us complete out provincial and state wildflower page but we could still use a few more to fill in some missing spots.

CANADA - Newfoundland and Labrador: Purple Pitcher Plant
Northwest Territories: Mountain Avens
Nova Scotia: Mayflower
Nunavut: Purple Saxifrage
Prince Edward Island: Ladyslipper
Quebec: Blue Flag Iris
Saskatchewan: Western Red Lily
USA - Arizona: Saguaro Cactus Blossom
Delaware: Peach Blossom
Iowa: Wild Prairie Rose
Massachusetts: Mayflower
Minnesota: Bitteroot
North Dakota: Wild Prairie Rose
Ohio: Scarlet Carnation
Tennessee: Iris
Wisconsin: Wood Violet

If you can help out with any of these, that would be great. Please e-mail us.
Just a Reminder

We mentioned a few months ago that it would be a useful idea to pick a few bullrushes and save them until the spring.  Well, spring is close by and that means nesting season and it's time to put the bullrushes out.

Hummingbird and bullrush fluff

Hopefully the bullrush fluff will attract some birds as they search for some suitable nesting material.  Above, an Anna's Hummingbird takes advantage of the situation, and below, a Pine Siskin.

Pine Siskin likes the fluff

Add a Google Gadget to Your iGoggle Homepage
You can now add a gadget to your iGoogle hompage featuring images from the our website.  It's colourful, free and easy.  For more information visit the Inn's Add a Google Gadget page.

Book Recommendations
You may have noticed that we've been placing more and more featured books on our various pages.  We receive a very small commission from anything purchased through the Inn on Amazon.ca or Amazon.com - not just recommended books - which all helps pay for our webspace and other expenses. So please, shop with us and support our project!

Pay-Pal Accepted - or a cheque!
We have had a few people inquire about donating to help with our costs. Apart from making a purchase through amazon.ca or amazon.com (see above) you can help out by making a credit card donation through Pay Pal.  Just click on the Pay Pal logo on the main home page or site map.  If you don't want to use a credit card and would prefer a contribution by cheque, simply e-mail us or write to address at the bottom of this newsletter and we'll be happy to send the details for that to you.  Thanks again for your support! 
Past Issues
If you're a new subscriber to Whispers you might be interested to know that past issues are available online - simply click here. We upload the issues as new ones are released, so as you receive this edition we will be uploading last month's issue.

Next Issue
Our next issue will be in your inbox during the first week of April. See you then!
Trivia Answer 
Starlings are one of North America's worst bird pests.  An invasive species, they were introduced in 1890 by an American othnithologist who released 60 pairs in New York's Central Park.  They're now found across the continent.

Trivia Answer 

What's This? 
If you guessed a Rockweed, Fucus gardneri, then that's amazing!

What's this answer

To learn about rockweeds, seaweeds and all sorts of marine life, drop by the Inn's Lagoon Trail.
Spread the Word ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Please spread the word about our project by passing on our website information to friends and other nature lovers.  You can also forward this newsletter by clicking on the "forward e-mail" link at the bottom of this newsletter.

Any other ideas and suggestions are always welcome.  Send us an e-mail!
Contact Information
Until next time, best wishes from your friends at the Dereila Nature Inn - a Cyber Nature Centre for Nature Lovers.