Rudy Mancke

Host

Naturalist Rudy Mancke served as naturalist and co-host of South Carolina ETV's NatureScene which began it's long run in 1978. His field trips, broadcast nationwide, have earned him a legion of dedicated viewers. Rudy's knowledge of the complex inner-workings of different ecosystems and his great admiration for the natural world make him the perfect guide. In fact, the National Wildlife Federation and the Garden Club of America honored his commitment to resource conservation with special awards. Since retiring from SCETV, Rudy has gone on to teach at the University of South Carolina, Columbia.

Before coming to television, Rudy served as the natural history curator at the South Carolina State Museum for 10 years, and was a high school biology and geology teacher. He earned a degree at Wofford College, attended graduate school at the University of South Carolina, and received honorary doctorate degrees from the College of Charleston, Winthrop College, and Wofford College.

Rudy Mancke currently hosts NatureNotes on both SCETV and South Carolina Public Radio.

Contact Rudy Mancke

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A column stinkhorn (Clathrus columnatus).
Rebekah D. Wallace, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org

A listener finds "something from an alien environment" in his yard.

Eastern Pheobe

Feb 28, 2018
An Eastern Phoebe.
Katja Schulz [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

A listener spots an Eastern Phoebe in her yard.

Woodland Voles

Feb 27, 2018
Woodland Vole (Microtus Pinetorum).
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (public domain)

The case of the disappearing dandelions.

Sand Collars

Feb 26, 2018
A sand collar, the egg capsule of a moonsnail.
© Hans Hillewaert [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

They look like they might be man-made, but, they are not.

Bagworm Moths

Feb 23, 2018
A Bagwood Moth egg case.
William Fountain, University of Kentucky, Bugwood.org [CC BY-NC 3.0 US]

The female Bagworm Moth is wingless.

Starfish Stinkhorn Mushroom
Mike Young [CC BY 3.0 US] via Wikipedia

This fungus gets part of its common name from its shape.

Cedar Waxwings

Feb 21, 2018
Cedar Waxwing
Terry Spivey, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org [CC BY 3.0 US]

A listener finds a flock of Cedar Waxwings drinking in his backyard.

Mystery Skull

Feb 20, 2018
NatureNotes
SC Public Radio

A listener finds a skull...

Count the Birds

Feb 19, 2018
logo for the Great Backyard Bird Count
Audubon Society

This is the last day of the Great Backyard Bird Count. Rudy shares his list, so far.

Bird Bones

Feb 16, 2018
A wild turkey.
Alfred Viola, Northeastern University, Bugwood.org

A listener finds large bones in the woods that look like they belonged to a bird. But, what kind?

logo for the Great Backyard Bird Count
Audubon Society

Go to birdcount.org to report birds you see in your backyard, February 16 - 19.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Feb 14, 2018
NatureNotes
SC Public Radio

Rudy shares a passage from The Dewy Morn, by Richard Jeffries.

A Southern Yellowjacket.
Bob Peterson (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr

A listener is surprised to see Yellowjackets devouring an animal carcass. Unusual? Not really: Yellowjackets  are omnivorous.

NatureNotes
SC Public Radio

As the name implies, you'll find these fungi in the winter.

Barnacles on the Beach

Feb 9, 2018
NatureNotes
SC Public Radio

A listener finds some Barnacles on Myrtle Beach.

Brown Snakes

Feb 8, 2018
A Dekay's snake (Storeria dekayi), aka Brown snake.
David Cappaert, Bugwood.org

Brown Snakes are nonvenomous, and they often hibernate in piles of dead leaves.

The egg mass and some newly hatched wheel bugs (Arilus cristatus).
Whitney Cranshaw, Colorado State University, Bugwood.org

A listener finds the egg mass of a Wheel Bug.

Mystery Egg Case

Feb 6, 2018
A Spiny Backed Orb Weaver.
David Cappaert, Bugwood.org

The egg case of the Spiny Backed Orb Weaver is bright green.

A Snowy Owl.
Rob Routledge, Sault College, Bugwood.org

Highly unusual sightings of Snowy Owls have been made in South Carolina this winter.

Happy Whistle Pig Day!

Feb 2, 2018
A Groundhog
Brett Marshall, Sault College, Bugwood.org

Groundhogs are usually called Woodchucks in South Carolina. In the past they were often called Whistle Pigs.

Manatees in the Cold

Feb 1, 2018
A Manatee
Whitney Cranshaw, Colorado State University, Bugwood.org

When extremely cold weather hits South Carolina, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service tries to push Manatees southward to warmer waters.

American Woodcock

Jan 31, 2018
An American Woodcock
Ricky Layson, Ricky Layson Photography, Bugwood.org

The American Woodcock is a permanent resident of South Carolina.

Snowball Snake

Jan 30, 2018
A Yellow Rat Snake.
Cliff from Arlington, Virginia, USA, via Wikimedia Commons

A Charleston listener has the rare chance to engage in a snowball fight, and makes a remarkable find in one of his missiles.

Major Sallow Moth

Jan 29, 2018
A Major Sallow moth, Feralia major.
CBG Photography Group, Centre for Biodiversity Genomics [CC BY-NC-SA 3.0]

A listener photographs a moth that she says looks like it's wearing a Christmas sweater.

"Ground Cedar"

Jan 26, 2018
Ground Cedar.
Nancy Magnusson [CC BY-NC 2.0] via Flickr

You'll find this green club moss on the ground among the brown, dead leaves in the winter.

Lichen with Legs?

Jan 25, 2018
A debris-carrying Aphis Lion, the larval form of the Green Lacewing.
USA, TX, Travis Co.: Austin Brackenridge Field Laboratory [CC0 1.0] via Flickr

The Aphis Lion carries remains of its prey on its back, along with other debris. Great camouflage!

Ferruginous Sandstone

Jan 24, 2018
Ferruginous Sandstone (banded).
Amcyrus2012 [CC BY 4.0] via Wikimedia Commons

Similar to mudstone, this sandstone is held together by iron oxide.

Winter Birds

Jan 23, 2018
Yellow Bellied Sapsucker
dfaulder, via Wikimedia Commons

There are plenty of birds that come to South Carolina in the Winter. Rudy mentions two of his favorites.

A Northern Brownsnake.
coloneljohnbritt [CC BY-NC-SA 2.0] via Flickr

A listener finds a Brownsnake in his yard and wants to know, will it keep Copperheads out of its territory?

Skeletons

Jan 19, 2018
NatureNotes
SC Public Radio

Skeletal material can tell you a lot, if you know what to look fore.

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