Melissa Groo (@melissagroo) | Instagram Profile & stories,photos,videos
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Melissa Groo

@melissagroo

Wildlife Photographer, Biographer, Educator | Writer | Conservationist | ILCP Fellow | Project Coyote Ambassador | Rep’d by @natgeoimagecollection

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2019/06/global-wildlife-tourism-social-media-causes-animal-suffering/

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“Be tough, yet gentle, humble, but bold, swayed always by beauty and truth.” ~Bob Pieh

Young lion in Tanzania..

“Be tough, yet gentle, humble, but bold, swayed always by beauty and truth.” ~Bob Pieh Young lion in Tanzania. ...

“Singing whales, talking trees, dancing bees, birds who make art, fish who navigate, plants who learn and remember. We’ve forgotten that we are surrounded by intelligences other than our own, by feathered people and people with leaves.”
~Robin Wall Kimmerer 
Greater Flamingo, Tanzania..

“Singing whales, talking trees, dancing bees, birds who make art, fish who navigate, plants who learn and remember. We’ve forgotten that we are surrounded by intelligences other than our own, by feathered people and people with leaves.” ~Robin Wall Kimmerer Greater Flamingo, Tanzania. ...

“Only if we understand, can we care. Only if we care, we will help. Only if we help, we shall be saved.” ~Jane Goodall

I wish every single person on the planet would read and share the cover story for the June issue of Nat Geo, linked to in my bio. It's called

“Only if we understand, can we care. Only if we care, we will help. Only if we help, we shall be saved.” ~Jane Goodall I wish every single person on the planet would read and share the cover story for the June issue of Nat Geo, linked to in my bio. It's called "Suffering unseen: The dark truth behind wildlife tourism.” Posing with captive exotic wildlife on social media may look like a dream-come-true moment for a tourist, but it means a lifetime of terrible suffering and exploitation for that animal. Don't go to these places or follow them on social media. Don't "like" these photos. They are not charming or cute--they are grotesque. We are all complicit in the suffering and debasement of these animals if we visit these places, or support them with our social media approval. Thank you to National Geographic for taking on such an important story, to investigative journalist Natasha Daly, photographer Kristen Luce, and Kathy Moran for brilliant editing (all women, yea!). Share this article wherever and however you can. Go to Bit.ly, make a short link out of it, and share it in the comments under these horrid photos. Do what you can to spread the word. Awareness and education are key. Link in my bio. This photo is of a wild elephant, photographed in Amboseli, Kenya, when I was visiting with the great Cynthia Moss years ago, back when I was working with Iain Douglas-Hamilton and Save the Elephants. ...

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
~Albert Einstein

Great Horned Owl chicks photographed a couple weeks ago in Ithaca, NY. Their nest cavity was quite high up in the tree and I was at a good distance using a 600mm with a 1.4x teleconverter, and this image is cropped. I don’t like to photograph nests much as I feel it can be so intrusive but some situations are ok for a brief spell. Each situation must be carefully assessed..

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” ~Albert Einstein Great Horned Owl chicks photographed a couple weeks ago in Ithaca, NY. Their nest cavity was quite high up in the tree and I was at a good distance using a 600mm with a 1.4x teleconverter, and this image is cropped. I don’t like to photograph nests much as I feel it can be so intrusive but some situations are ok for a brief spell. Each situation must be carefully assessed. ...

"Compassion is not just feeling with someone, but seeking to change the situation. Frequently, people think compassion and love are merely sentimental. No! They are very demanding. If you are going to be compassionate, be prepared for action." ~Desmond Tutu Thank you to all the makeshift mothers out there who step in to care for wildlife that are injured and sick due to human carelessness and cruelty, as lovingly as any real mom. By this I mean wildlife rescuers, vets, and rehabbers. In this case, the staff at Cornell’s Janet L. Swanson Wildlife Health Center, taking care of, in these pictures (swipe to see all), a 2 month old red fox kit hit by a car, a baby gray squirrel hit by a car, a red-tailed hawk shot by a bb gun as well as poisoned by rodenticide, and a rose-breasted grosbeak caught by someone’s cat. Ps especially during baby season, please drive more slowly and alertly; never use rodenticide; and please keep cats indoors. These are simple things we can each do to give wildlife a much better chance. 🙏 ...

“Even a wounded world is feeding us. Even a wounded world holds us, giving us moments of wonder and joy. I choose joy over despair. Not because I have my head in the sand, but because joy is what the earth gives me daily and I must return the gift.” ~Robin Wall Kimmerer 
I’ve been busier than I'd like to be this time of year, and have struggled to find time to get out and photograph as much as I yearn to (which would be constantly), but I am grateful for the moments I've had with the beautiful birds returning to their breeding grounds here in New York. I photographed this male Baltimore Oriole yesterday, feeding in a crabapple tree. I couldn't decide which image to post, so I'm sharing three I liked..

“Even a wounded world is feeding us. Even a wounded world holds us, giving us moments of wonder and joy. I choose joy over despair. Not because I have my head in the sand, but because joy is what the earth gives me daily and I must return the gift.” ~Robin Wall Kimmerer I’ve been busier than I'd like to be this time of year, and have struggled to find time to get out and photograph as much as I yearn to (which would be constantly), but I am grateful for the moments I've had with the beautiful birds returning to their breeding grounds here in New York. I photographed this male Baltimore Oriole yesterday, feeding in a crabapple tree. I couldn't decide which image to post, so I'm sharing three I liked. ...

“I have no words with which to conjure up in your mind the lilting, lisping song of a black-throated blue warbler, nor with which to give you even a taste of the vibrant, energetic refrain of a winter wren. These sounds come from another world that must be experienced to be felt.

“I have no words with which to conjure up in your mind the lilting, lisping song of a black-throated blue warbler, nor with which to give you even a taste of the vibrant, energetic refrain of a winter wren. These sounds come from another world that must be experienced to be felt." ~Bernd Heinrich Two of my favorite songsters (swipe left) to go with a quote from one of my favorite writers and naturalists. I am blessed to hear these birds every day now from my home. ❤️ If you’ve never heard the song of a winter wren, go here to hear and see https://musicofnature.com/video/winter-wren/. Prepare to have your mind blown. Recorded by friend Lang Elliott (perhaps in the very woods next to my home, where he often records). ...

Singing Eastern Meadowlark. One of my favorite sounds of spring is the jubilant calls of meadowlarks and bobolinks bubbling up from local meadows. Over the last few decades there's been a drastic decline in the numbers of these birds due to loss of habitat. 
As ground nesters, they also struggle to have successful breeding seasons due to the mowing of hayfields that destroys their nests and young. 
For those landowners with hayfields that are able to be flexible with their mowing schedule and want to support grassland birds, here are some helpful guidelines from a Cornell Cooperative Extension publication entitled Hayfield Management and Grassland Bird Conservation: “To be considered good habitat for grassland birds, a grass hayfield needs to remain substantially unmown through the breeding season, which begins in early May and ends by mid-July across most of New York State. During this time hayfields grow vigorously, providing shelter, nesting areas among the grass stems, and a source of insects that comprise bird diets. Any significant disturbance, like mowing or manure application, will cause most nests to fail. Alfalfa hay stands are generally unsuitable for grassland birds. 
In New York, breeding grassland birds will begin identifying territories from late April through May. Nest building and egg laying occur through early June and young birds tend to hatch by mid to late June. The ability to fly for cover and feeding (called ‘fledging’) develops by early July.” The article has a calendar which shows the dates May 14 thru July 22 as times when mowing is detrimental to grassland birds. 
Go here for full article: http://www.nysenvirothon.org/Referencesandother/Hayfields_Grassland_Birds.pdf.

Singing Eastern Meadowlark. One of my favorite sounds of spring is the jubilant calls of meadowlarks and bobolinks bubbling up from local meadows. Over the last few decades there's been a drastic decline in the numbers of these birds due to loss of habitat. As ground nesters, they also struggle to have successful breeding seasons due to the mowing of hayfields that destroys their nests and young. For those landowners with hayfields that are able to be flexible with their mowing schedule and want to support grassland birds, here are some helpful guidelines from a Cornell Cooperative Extension publication entitled Hayfield Management and Grassland Bird Conservation: “To be considered good habitat for grassland birds, a grass hayfield needs to remain substantially unmown through the breeding season, which begins in early May and ends by mid-July across most of New York State. During this time hayfields grow vigorously, providing shelter, nesting areas among the grass stems, and a source of insects that comprise bird diets. Any significant disturbance, like mowing or manure application, will cause most nests to fail. Alfalfa hay stands are generally unsuitable for grassland birds. In New York, breeding grassland birds will begin identifying territories from late April through May. Nest building and egg laying occur through early June and young birds tend to hatch by mid to late June. The ability to fly for cover and feeding (called ‘fledging’) develops by early July.” The article has a calendar which shows the dates May 14 thru July 22 as times when mowing is detrimental to grassland birds. Go here for full article: http://www.nysenvirothon.org/Referencesandother/Hayfields_Grassland_Birds.pdf ...

I look upon everything 
as a brotherhood and a sisterhood, 
and I look upon time as no more than an idea, 
and I consider eternity as another possibility, 
and I think of each life as a flower, as common 
as a field daisy, and as singular, 
and each name a comfortable music in the mouth, 
tending, as all music does, toward silence, 
and each body a lion of courage, and something 
precious to the earth. ~Mary Oliver

Zebra foals playing, Tanzania. --.

I look upon everything as a brotherhood and a sisterhood, and I look upon time as no more than an idea, and I consider eternity as another possibility, and I think of each life as a flower, as common as a field daisy, and as singular, and each name a comfortable music in the mouth, tending, as all music does, toward silence, and each body a lion of courage, and something precious to the earth. ~Mary Oliver Zebra foals playing, Tanzania. -- ...

Snowy Owl female in flight, Utqiagvik, Alaska. Photographed a year ago while on assignment for @smithsonianmagazine, working with Denver Holt and @owlresearchinstitute. 
Interested in seeing spectacular photos of Snowy Owls? That aren’t getting the wild sucked out of them by being thrown little quivering pet store mice? Interested in learning fascinating, little-known details about their lives? And supporting the work of an organization doing critically important work studying and conserving them? Then please follow @owlresearchinstitute. They recently launched Snowy Owl week during which they’ve been sharing dozens of photos and stories about these iconic owls. If you missed it, check out the posts, and do give them a follow. . —.

Snowy Owl female in flight, Utqiagvik, Alaska. Photographed a year ago while on assignment for @smithsonianmagazine , working with Denver Holt and @owlresearchinstitute. Interested in seeing spectacular photos of Snowy Owls? That aren’t getting the wild sucked out of them by being thrown little quivering pet store mice? Interested in learning fascinating, little-known details about their lives? And supporting the work of an organization doing critically important work studying and conserving them? Then please follow @owlresearchinstitute. They recently launched Snowy Owl week during which they’ve been sharing dozens of photos and stories about these iconic owls. If you missed it, check out the posts, and do give them a follow. . — ...

"Touch the earth, love the earth, her plains, her valleys, her hills, and her seas; rest your spirit in her solitary places. For the gifts of life are the earth’s and they are given to all, and they are the songs of birds at daybreak, Orion and the Bear, and the dawn seen over the ocean from the beach." ~Henry Beston Happy International Dawn Chorus Day. I couldn’t let the day go by unnoted. This time of year I am up at dawn, my ears awake before the rest of me, listening as hard as I can while I lie in bed. I’m isolating each song, thinking of the bird it belongs to, and excited to hear new species just arriving back to the area to breed. Just yesterday morning—I realized my catbird is back, as his voice mixed with the wood thrush, the winter wren, the cardinal, the robins, the rose-breasted grosbeaks. I haven’t heard a scarlet tanager yet but I am listening, all the time, for that distinctively raspy voice I love so much. Do yourself a favor and sometime in the next week or so, wake up while it’s still dark, get comfortable outside, or inside next to an open window, and just listen to the dawn chorus as it begins with one voice and then slowly swells to a choir. It’s one of the most beautiful things you’ll ever hear. -- ...

Earlier this week I was in NYC for a couple of days to help judge National Audubon Society’s annual photo contest. Last night I came home to central New York, and was blown away by how spring had suddenly exploded. Rose-breasted grosbeaks back at the feeder, wood thrushes and black-throated green warblers singing in the trees around my home at dusk, and everywhere, a green veil of leaves unfurling. Perhaps more keenly than ever, I felt astonished by the transformation of the natural world in spring, by how she always renews, always restores. Somehow it fills me with wild hope, and the belief that we as humans can somehow follow suit. That we can each work to renew and restore the world around us, even just a small part of it. Because if nature can do that, and we are a part of nature, then why can’t we do that too? Yes, we are obviously capable of doing great destruction, but we are also capable of conserving and restoring habitat, protecting species, and living more lightly on the world. And encouraging others to do the same through direct education or simply by example. As Jane Goodall put it so well: “What you do makes a difference. You have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” Yellow warbler photographed this afternoon, just arrived from his wintering grounds in Central America or northern South America..

Earlier this week I was in NYC for a couple of days to help judge National Audubon Society’s annual photo contest. Last night I came home to central New York, and was blown away by how spring had suddenly exploded. Rose-breasted grosbeaks back at the feeder, wood thrushes and black-throated green warblers singing in the trees around my home at dusk, and everywhere, a green veil of leaves unfurling. Perhaps more keenly than ever, I felt astonished by the transformation of the natural world in spring, by how she always renews, always restores. Somehow it fills me with wild hope, and the belief that we as humans can somehow follow suit. That we can each work to renew and restore the world around us, even just a small part of it. Because if nature can do that, and we are a part of nature, then why can’t we do that too? Yes, we are obviously capable of doing great destruction, but we are also capable of conserving and restoring habitat, protecting species, and living more lightly on the world. And encouraging others to do the same through direct education or simply by example. As Jane Goodall put it so well: “What you do makes a difference. You have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” Yellow warbler photographed this afternoon, just arrived from his wintering grounds in Central America or northern South America. ...

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