Nest Box Update 4.16.19

As of the morning of Tuesday, April 16 there were 14 eggs and 3 nestlings in our 6 nest boxes. Nine of the eggs are chickadees and 5 belong to bluebirds. The 3 nestlings are all chickadees which also had 2 unhatched eggs in the same nest. I believe they’ll hatch later today, but let’s not count our chickadees before they hatch. The nest at the Cow Pasture near the Ellerbe Creek Train Tunnel contained two fresh chickadee eggs asRead more

The Week in Pictures

A quick pictorial trip back to the past week. Flowering dogwood is in bloom (above). Over the past week I began to see aquatic turtles very near the shoreline of our wetlands, peeking up from the water to the shore. I suspected they were searching for safe places to come ashore and lay eggs. The next day I saw two yellow-bellied sliders walking along the path. It’s nesting time. The tadpoles, products of the American toad breeding spree of March,Read more

Carolina Wren

Carolina wrens are famous, or should I say infamous, for not being picky about where they build their nests. The nest is a clumsy looking dome-shaped mass of leaves, grasses, roots, string, and whatever other debris happens to be lying about. It has a side entrance. They’re officially listed as cavity nesters, building their nests inside a woodpecker hole, rock crevice or ledge, hollow log, or bird box. It seems though, that any fairly enclosed structure will do, flower pots,Read more

Nest Box Update 4.9.19

This week’s trek around the campus to peek in on our 6 nest boxes along the museum’s bluebird trail involved eastern bluebirds, Carolina chickadees, and a bumblebee. All nest boxes contained nest material. Two had bluebird nests and four had chickadee made structures. The nest box at the Cow Pasture, up near the Ellerbe Creek Railroad Tunnel, has a completed chickadee nest. There were no eggs in the nest, and no adult that I could see or hear nearby, butRead more

Nest Box Update 4.2.19

All of our six nest boxes have shown activity over the past week. We have eggs in two nests. All but one nest has nest material within. One nest box has sign, if nothing else, that a bird showed interested in utilizing it for a nest. Last week the Cow Pasture nest box contained moss placed inside by chickadees. This week it’s been topped off with fur. Eggs are next. A partial chickadee nest sits inside the nest box inRead more

News from the Outdoor Loop

Many things have occurred over the last week, wildflowers blooming, ducks coming of age, insects emerging and mating, and warmer, more permanent weather has arrived. In a somewhat quiet out-of-the-way location here on our 84 acre campus native wildflowers, like dutchman’s breeches and bloodroot, from an old wildflower trail, have managed to survive amongst various non-natives like English ivy and Japanese honeysuckle. Toothwart’s clusters of white flowers, with a hint of pink or violet, are now blooming (top photo). It’sRead more

Nest Box Update 3.26.19

This is the second week of nest box inspections and we have four nests started or near completion. Three nests are of Carolina Chickadees and one of eastern blue birds. The nest box at the Cow Pasture near the train tunnel has a half-cup of moss. At this time last week the nest had only a few sprigs of moss. No takers for the nest boxes at Explore the Wild or Into the Mist service roads, both were empty whenRead more

Due to the Revolution…

Frogs and toads are breeding, butterflies flying, groundhogs foraging, birds migrating and early season flowers are blooming. The white common blue violet in the above picture has been blooming for over a week on the path leading away from the Lemur House. There are also many of the blue form of violet along the same stretch of path. American toads and pickerel frogs were vigorously calling and mating on the warm afternoons of the second full week of March. ManyRead more

Nest Box Update 3.18.19

I conducted the first nest box inspection of the season on March 18, and found two chickadee nests well on the way to completion and one just begun. Blue birds have yet to make a claim on any of our 6 nest boxes. One nest box was moved due to impending construction at its former site. Our nest boxes are located as follows: Cow Pasture (near train tunnel) Explore the Wild (service road on back side of outdoor loop) IntoRead more

Blue Bird Season

Meteorologically speaking, it’s spring and the local birds are feeling the urge to nest. Blue birds and chickadees are already checking out the nest boxes. In fact, two of our six nest boxes had nesting material in them as I made the rounds this morning (3/2/19) in preparation for the coming season. Last year we had 33 birds fledged on our modest blue bird trail, 16 eastern blue birds, 12 Carolina Chickadees, and 5 house wrens. The purists among youRead more