AMERICAN GOLDFINCH: Adapting for Survival & Late Summer Nesting


IMG_6932On a desert island in the heart of the Galapagos archipelago, Darwin received his first inklings of the theory of evolution by observing the variations of finch beaks. His awareness led to later confirmations that through the process of evolution and natural selection, species physically change and adapt to the landscape they inhabit. This endless process of evolutionary change, or survival of the fittest, continues today. (The Beak of the Finch by Jonathan Weiner presents an exciting and compelling modern day look back at the process of evolution, a process that is neither rare nor slow and is never ending.) Continue reading




August is the birthing season for the reclusive ‘swamp rattlers’ of Oakland County. Like all rattlesnakes, the eastern massasauga rattlesnakes (Sistrurus catenatus catenatus) bear live young. The United States Fish and Wildlife Service states, “The young actually hatch from eggs while still in the female’s body. Depending on the health of the individual, adult females may bear young every year or every other year.” According to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, our state’s only venomous snake gives birth to eight to twenty young. The little rattlers disperse shortly after birth and strike out on their own in our county of swamps and uplands using their heat-sensitive pits on the sides of their head to detect prey. Continue reading

Elite 40 Under 40 2015 – Forum 5

Yesterday morning, Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson invited five members of the 2015 Elite 40 Under 40 to a forum where they could get to know one another in a smaller, more intimate setting. The County Executive holds these forums in effort to build friendships and connections among the Elite 40 and the county’s leadership. The Elite 40 members that attended were: Jayne Harper, Henry Ford – HAP; Steve Miglior, Honigman, Schwartz and Cohn LLP; Moheeb Murray, BSP Law Firm; Kristen Pursley, Dobrusin Law Firm; and Jaymes Vettraino, Rochester College. Also in attendance were Matthew Gibb, Deputy Oakland County Executive; Kristie Everett Zamora, Elite 40 Program Coordinator; and Steve Huber, Marketing & Communications Officer.


Continue reading