Nest Box Update 3.13.18

Not surprisingly, there have been no changes to the nest boxes since last week’s inspection. No new nests have been started and the one which had the beginnings of a bluebird nest last week, the Butterfly House nest box, looks the same. The weather needs to improve before we see more in the way of nest building. As usual, we’ll have to wait till next week to see what happens on our six nest box, bluebird trail.Read more

Hunting Hawk

Keep and eye out for the red-shouldered hawk pictured here while you stroll through our outdoor exhibits, especially near the wetlands and the wooded area on the far side of the outdoor loop. This hawk has been actively hunting frogs (mostly pickerel frogs) from low perches, often very close to the path. The hawk is very people tolerant and will allow a close approach. All its attention seems focused on the task, catching food. Don’t push your luck though, itRead more

Just a Few Tree Thoughts

While this post is mostly pictures of trees along our paths here at the museum, there is some news to impart and to perhaps think about. Most of our elms and red cedars are only recently past blooming, but other trees still have their seeds attached from last year’s growing season and are far from flowering anew. Try to catch the trees backlit against a severe clear blue sky. Just a week ago male red cedar flowers were sending off theirRead more

Bluebirds 3.6.18

This is the first official 2018 status report of our bluebird trail nest boxes. We have six nest boxes located across our 84 acre campus, from the Cow Pasture near the Train Tunnel, through Catch the Wind, to the south side of the campus near the Woodlands Classrooms. I’ve had to make adjustments over the last seven or so years that I’ve been monitoring our nest boxes, allowing for changes in landscaping practices, new exhibit openings, and even parking deckRead more

Quiz Bird 2 Answer

I know, I know, this is tough. But hang on, let’s go through this together. As mentioned in the post when the birds were first introduced, they are much larger than swallows, much larger; goose, duck, heron, etc., size. You might be tempted to say the birds are ducks, or better, geese, simply because they’re flying in “V” formation. Ducks and geese do fly in “V” formations as well as echelon (like a V with one side removed, as inRead more

Pickerel Frogs

By the time you read this, it will be spring, meteorological spring. Spring to me actually begins in February. The days continue to get longer, red maple and elm flowers pop, and frogs, peepers, chorus and pickerel frogs, are all calling. I know there may indeed be some cold days between now and April, but it won’t last long, a few days at most. Winter’s done. If you’ve been down into our wetlands in the last week and a halfRead more

The Geese Are Back

Each February, sometimes as early as late January, two geese fly into our wetlands. It’s the same pair each year. This year, it happened to be the last week of January when they showed up. How do I know they’re the same geese. I don’t know with absolute certainty. But, the female of the two has a gray or whitish eye-ring. Most Canada geese do not have an eye-ring (it’s black, and since the feathers surrounding the eye are blackRead more

Quiz Bird 2

  Ah yes, the moon above the pines. But look closer. What do you see? The images here are of a flock of birds flying in formation across the moon. The birds are distant and I understand that it may be difficult to identify as to species, so you only have to determine as to family, or subfamily of bird. In other words, if they were swallows (they’re not swallows, but much larger birds) all you would have to sayRead more

Springing Forward

If you put any stock in what plants tell you, you’d have to agree that spring’s about to pop. Don’t take my word for it, look: incidentally, spring peepers and upland chorus frogs have been calling. So, it’s time to get out and experience these early manifestations of spring.Read more

‘Tis the Season – for Red Wolves

Alerted by animal keepers Autumn and Janine that mating behavior had been witnessed in the red wolves, I unleashed my camera and high-tailed it down to their enclosure. Sure enough, within minutes the wolves lived up to what the keepers had said (2/13/18). Unfortunately, after several attempts the wolves never tied or knotted which is necessary for a successful mating. Of course, the wolves have many hours in each day when no human is present to observe their behavior, who knows whatRead more