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About Ryan Davis

Ryan is the Alliance's Project Coordinator for our Chesapeake Forests program. He focuses on forest conservation and restoration within the watershed in Pennsylvania and Maryland.

The Rugged Ruffed Grouse: Heartbeat of our Winter Forests

Photo credit: Corinne Lamontagne Wintry weather can take a toll on year-round wildlife residents of mid-Atlantic and northeastern forests. For roughly one third of the year, regional forests offer little protective broadleaf cover from predators and the elements, have limited food sources, and are frequently inundated with snow. In response to these lean

Birds, Bugs, and Trees for the Bay

On a warm Saturday morning this fall, over 30 landowners gathered on a property in Baltimore County, Maryland to learn a little about promoting the birds and the bees. Literally. The workshop, titled “Get to Know Your Backyard Habitat”, invited local residents to see an example of stellar wildlife habitat tended by landowners Pascale Meraldi

Mistletoe: A Merry Parasite

Despite occasionally being a bit of a Grinch, something I love about the holiday season is that we fill our houses with wild flora. Dozens of conifer species are displayed in homes as Christmas trees, wreaths of hemlock and fir hang from doors, and sprigs of American holly brighten up rooms with their glossy green

Don’t Let Invasive Plants “Return From the Dead”!

Mile-a-minute (Persicaria perfoliata), oriental bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus), and Japanese stiltgrass (Microstegium vimineum) swallowing up a pine in York County, PA. You could be next! Photo by Ryan Davis Invasive plants have a lot in common with zombies. They’re dangerous, hard to dispatch, and have a tendency to surround and overwhelm even the most

Forests for the Bats Part III: Foraging Habitat

Bats are not something that you should be afraid of, but to nocturnal insects there is no greater danger. An individual bat will eat thousands of insects each night! This is good news for humans who want less insect pests, but means that bats need good foraging habitat to satisfy their voracious appetites. In Forests

Forests for the Bats Part II: Managing Roosts and Hibernacula

Bats of the eastern US are in trouble. Millions have succumbed to White-nose Syndrome in the past decade, which can kill 90-100 percent of bats that hibernate together in caves over winter. Our bats have been declining for decades before White-nose Syndrome began spreading throughout the northeast, however. Their reliance on forests, outlined in Forests

Forests for the BATS – A Spooky Halloween Edition

        Bats are important members of our forest ecosystems and perform invaluable functions for humanity. All October long, you can learn more about these fascinating animals and their current conservation plights as we feature articles and blog posts about our furry friends and their importance to our Chesapeake ecosystem! Alliance Blog Posts     Forests for

Forests for the BATS, Part 1

The federally endangered Virginia Big-Eared Bat (Corynorhinus townsendii virginianus). Photo by Jesse De La Cruz Bats are typically associated with caves, attics, and Halloween, not trees. However, all 15 of the bat species within the Chesapeake Bay Watershed use forest habitat for breeding, foraging, and/or shelter. They are a critical part of forest

The Complicated Relationship Between Acorns and Animals

Photo by Jake Dingel, PA Game Commission The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Axioms aside, neither do acorns. How, then, do oak saplings grow anywhere but directly beneath or downhill of adult oaks? How can they possibly end up on ridges, where gravity couldn’t possibly take them? Acorns can be dispersed

Species Spotlight: Table Mountain Pine

A Table Mountain Pine limb, Shenandoah National Park. Photo by Ryan Davis Dry, rocky ridges are home to plants that show how tough it is to live there. Gnarled limbs and stunted stature are common on wind-scoured peaks where soil is shallow and poor in nutrients. Many species can be found in better

Native Shrubs: the workhorses of our streamside forests

Native moisture-tolerant shrubs that fringe this stream in western Maryland improve the water quality and habitat for both terrestrial and aquatic fauna. Ninebark fruits are developing in the foreground, and several dogwood and viburnum species hold the white flowers peppering the shrub layer in the background. (Photo by Ryan Davis) Not many woody

5 Common Edible Summertime Berries in the Chesapeake

Forest Foraging for Summertime Treats In early summer months, eastern forests yield many plants that can be eaten raw or cooked, and dozens of edible mushroom species. Wild berries are particularly wonderful; they’re easy to find and identify, very abundant, and of course tasty. Searching for berries is an excellent way to get to know