Ep. 36 - Spring Science Geek Out!

Spring is here, and the guys hit the trail to discuss spring-related science, including how climate change is impacting global plant growth and how it’s changing bird migration. Plus, Bill gives a (sort of) rebuttal to Steve’s unprovoked and vicious attack on Charles Darwin from last episode. Happy Spring!

Download the episode transcript

Episode Notes:

This episode was recorded on March 17th, 2019 at Sinking Ponds Wildlife Sanctuary in East Aurora, NY.

During the episode the guys discussed air speed vs. ground speed. Here’s a much more thorough description from the good people at NASA.

Steve also wondered how air speed is related to Mach 1, Mach 2, and so on. Those awesome uber-nerds at NASA also explain that here.

Regarding the bud that Steve noticed: Bill identified it as a hickory, but he was unsure of the species. And Steve wasn’t sure if the hickory genus was Carya. He was correct about that, and the velvety, yellowish bud belonged to a bitternut hickory (Carya cordiformis). Check out this great primer on hickories from The Buckeye Botanist.

Thank you to listener Joe Stormer for donating his time and talent to transcribe this episode (see the link above).

Works Cited:

Kautz, M., Lienert, S. and Lombardozzi, D., 2018. Widespread seasonal compensation effects of spring warming on northern plant productivity. Nature562(7725), p.110.



Horton, K.G., Van Doren, B.M., Stepanian, P.M., Farnsworth, A. and Kelly, J.F., 2016. Seasonal differences in landbird migration strategies. The Auk.



Lehikoinen, A., Lindén, A., Karlsson, M., Andersson, A., Crewe, T.L., Dunn, E.H., Gregory, G., Karlsson, L., Kristiansen, V., Mackenzie, S. and Newman, S., 2019. Phenology of the avian spring migratory passage in Europe and North America: Asymmetric advancement in time and increase in duration. Ecological Indicators101, pp.985-991.



Nilsson, C., Bäckman, J. and Alerstam, T., 2014. Seasonal modulation of flight speed among nocturnal passerine migrants: differences between short-and long-distance migrants. Behavioral ecology and sociobiology68(11), pp.1799-1807.



  • Sponsorship of this episode provided by Gumleaf Boots, USA

  • As always, check out Always Wandering Art (Website and Etsy Shop), who provided the artwork (Redbud Forest) for this episode!