Rudy Mancke


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 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher nest.
USGS Bee Inventory and Monitoring Lab [Public Domain Mark 1.0] via Flickr

These birds use lichen to help camouflage their nests.


Feb 24, 2020
An Osprey in flight.
Gareth Rasberry [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

A listener reports a stirring sight: an Osprey diving for a fish.

A Column Stinkhorn, Clathrus columnatus.
Rebekah D. Wallace, University of Georgia,

Clathrus columnatus, commonly known as the columnar stinkhorn, is a saprobic species of basidiomycete fungus in the family Phallaceae. It has a widespread distribution, and has been found in Africa, Australasia, and the Americas. It may have been introduced to North America with exotic plants. Similar to other stinkhorn fungi, the fruiting body, known as the receptaculum, starts out as a subterranean "egg" form.

Turkey Tail Mushrooms

Feb 20, 2020
Turkey Tail mushrooms
Bureau of Land Management Oregon & Washington [CC BY 2.0] via Flickr

The Turkey Tail mushroom, Trametes versicolor – also known as Coriolus versicolor and Polyporus versicolor – is a common polypore mushroom found throughout the world.

Fowler's Toads

Feb 19, 2020
Fowler's toad
Seanin Og [CC BY-NC-ND 2.0] via Flickr

Fowler's toad (Anaxyrus fowleri, formerly Bufo fowleri) is a species of toad in the family Bufonidae. The species is native to North America, where it occurs in much of the eastern United States and parts of adjacent Canada.

Baltimore Oriole

Feb 18, 2020
A northern oriole, a.k.a. Baltimore oriole
Larry & Teddy Page [CC BY 2.0] via Flickr

The northern oriole, a.k.a. Baltimore oriole (Icterus galbula), is a small icterid blackbird common in eastern North America as a migratory breeding bird. It received its name from the resemblance of the male's colors to those on the coat-of-arms of Lord Baltimore.

logo for the Great Backyard Bird Count
Audubon Society

Rudy shares some of the birds he's been seeing.

Happy Valentine's Day

Feb 14, 2020
SC Public Radio

By taking part in the Great Backyard Bird Count, you can add to our understanding of birds.

The Piedmont

Feb 12, 2020
SC Public Radio

The Piedmont is a plateau region located in the Eastern United States. It sits between the Atlantic coastal plain and the main Appalachian Mountains, stretching from New York in the north to central Alabama in the south. The word comes from the Italian piemonte ‘mountain foot’.

Wood Stork

Feb 11, 2020
A wood stork

The wood stork (Mycteria americana) is a large American wading bird in the stork family Ciconiidae. It was formerly called the "wood ibis", though it is not an ibis. It is found in subtropical and tropical habitats in the Americas, including the Caribbean. In South America, it is resident, but in North America, it may disperse to as far as South America.

Red-Bellied Snake

Feb 10, 2020
A Northern Red Bellied Snake.
Todd Plerson [CC BY-NC-SA 2.0] via Flickr

The northern redbelly snake (Storeria occipitomaculata occipitomaculata) is a nonvenomous snake, sometimes referred to as a fire snake. It is endemic to North America, from Saskatchewan to Nova Scotia in the north and south to Florida and Texas.

Resin Balls?

Feb 7, 2020
SC Public Radio

A listener finds a ball of... resin?

Red Shouldered Hawk

Feb 6, 2020
A Red Shouldered Hawk.
peteyp8 [CC0 1.0] via Pixabay

The red-shouldered hawk (Buteo lineatus) is a medium-sized hawk. Its breeding range spans eastern North America and along the coast of California and northern to northeastern-central Mexico. Red-shouldered hawks are permanent residents throughout most of their range, though northern birds do migrate, mostly to central Mexico. The main conservation threat to the widespread species is deforestation.

Firefly Larva

Feb 5, 2020
A firefly larva.
Bob Gutowski [CC BY-NC-SA 2.0] via Flickr

A listener finds firefly larva...