Winter Woods Savvy Quiz

Winter Woods Savvy Quiz

Every winter, as part of a general effort to raise funds for our nonprofit (and amuse ourselves),  we put together a Woods Savvy Quiz: a tricky multiple choice test that refers back to content that we’ve covered, one way or the other, in our magazine or Outside Story ecology series.

This year we had many participants, but very few who achieved perfect scores. From that elite group we randomly chose two names as our grand prize winners. Congratulations to Amy Wilmot and Barb Mackay. Amy and Barb will both receive a free one-year subscription and a Season’s Main Events daily calendar.

While the quiz is over, it’s never too late to support our work! If you’d like to make a donation, here’s a link.

And here are the correct answers:

1. C: Regrettably, cowbird chicks do not moo. You can more about the birds in Carolyn Lorié’s Outside Story article here.

2. D: The Biltmore Stick, a forestry tool used for measuring tree diameter, was named for the Biltmore Estate in North Carolina. We’re proud of those who knew that Carl Alwin Schenk invented it, but that wasn’t the question. To learn more about the tool, see this piece in our Spring 2017 magazine.

3. B: We asked for the typical range of a female bobcat. While the preferred answer was ten square miles, on further reflection, “typical range” is a poor question given the realities of food abundance, terrain, and population dynamics. So we didn’t count off for those of you who answered A or C. For more information on the cats, and their recent increase in population, see this article by John A. Litvaitis.

4. B. A corduroy road is a row of logs placed over wet areas on a trail. It’s used to prevent wear and tear on the land, and is appropriate for relatively light use, such as cross country skiing and passage by small tractors. To read more about corduroy roads, and tips on how to make them, click here.

5. A. Which of the listed frogs is the last to join the spring frog chorus? The answer is mink frogs. Some of you answered E, “tree crickets.” While they can be late to sing, they aren’t frogs. For an audio preview of the season, go to this article by the Vermont Center for Ecostudies’ Steve Faccio.

6. A. This was one of the most correctly answered questions, and that’s a good thing. Fragmentation is the breaking up of forestland into isolated patches. It’s something our nonprofit and so many others across the region work hard to prevent, by encouraging a love of local nature and supporting working forests and the sustainable management of land.

7. C. Porcupines aren’t especially social or trendy, so no, “peer pressure” is not why they eat salt. Research suggests that salt helps them compensate for potassium-sodium imbalances that result from their woody winter diet.

8. E. The continent’s northernmost conifer is white spruce. (Though we appreciated the bold decision of several of you who chose “Billy T. More, Jr.”)

9. B. This one threw many of you, because the correct answer is the one that sounds the most fake. An agropelter is a legendary creature of the northern forest. Hairy and somewhat ape-like in appearance, agropelters feast on woodpeckers and are reported to torment loggers by throwing branches at their heads. Yes, really. For more monster stories, see this fun article by Rachel Sargent.

10. D. It turns out that blue jeans are more vivid to a deer than blaze orange. For a fun read on deer vision, see this article by Editor Dave Mance III.


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