Waxy Fruit Eaters

Above: Yellow-rumped warbler on wax myrtle. Yellow-rumped warblers (also know as myrtle warblers) are not the only animals that eat wax myrtle fruit. I read somewhere that some 42 bird species consume the wax-coated seeds of the shrub. Besides the above mentioned warbler, I can only remember seeing a handful of species of bird partake, ruby-crowned kinglet, eastern phoebe, and a few more. Regardless of how many birds or other animals eat the wax myrtle fruit, the grand prize winnerRead more

A Taste of Fall

It was 80 some degrees on 28 October. Even so, fall is here, trust me. Butter butts have arrived along with other migrant birds and the leaves are, and have been, turning red, yellow, and all shades in between. If you don’t believe me, take a walk outside and see for yourself. If you’re anything like me, you’ll appreciate what’s happening out there. By the time you read this, the warm temps will have departed. It  will not only lookRead more

Boys and Girls and Turtles and Myrtles

Groundsel Tree is in bloom, both male and female plants have flowers at this time. A few small diameter logs have drifted over towards the Wetlands Overlook and the sliders have taken to basking on the logs. There’s a frog on the log! Myrtle Warblers (you may know them as Butter Butts) are in. I saw the first one here at the Museum last Saturday (10/6). Besides the butter butts, both Ruby-crowned and Golden-crowned Kinglets, Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers, and other migrantsRead more

Nothing but Butter Butts

Back in October I posted a series of photos of fall plumaged Cape May Warblers feeding on aphids. Today it’s Yellow-rumped Warblers. Yellow-rumped Warblers have been variously known or referred to as Myrtle Warblers, Butter Butts, Dendroica coronata and Setophaga coronata. By whatever name, they’re still the same species and are the most often encountered warbler during North Carolina’s winter season. As I stood in Catch the Wind on a sunny day during the first week of December I watched a flock of these versatileRead more

The Butter-Butt

This year’s “Butter-Butt” goes to Ranger Kristin who saw the first Yellow-rumped Warbler (a.k.a. Butter-butt) of the season – beat me by about two minutes (10/5/11). However, she’s the one that pointed out the Butter Butt that I saw, so I probably wouldn’t have seen it if she hadn’t pointed it out. Congratulations Ranger Kristin! There are still more seasonal firsts to be had so don’t despair. The first Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, and White-throated Sparrow, among others, have yetRead more

Mergs and other Birds

On Wednesday (11/3) there were four Hooded Mergansers in the Wetlands, two males and two females. A group of 8-9 Canada Geese dropped in for a few hours on Wednesday as well. Although these geese are of a non-migratory population, they’re usually absent during the summer months, returning in November. And, speaking of mutt ducks… There were many Yellow-rumped Warblers and Ruby-crowned Kinglets working over the Mimosas next to the mid-way landing on the boardwalk Wednesday (11/3). Seen this pastRead more

Golden-crowned Kinglet and more

I saw the first Golden-crowned Kinglet of the season on October 9 while it was foraging in a Mimosa Tree. There were several of the frenetic little birds working over the branches and leaves of the non-native silk trees on the back side of the Explore the Wild/Catch the Wind Trail. The birds spent quite a bit of time gleaning insects from these trees. On the 13th of the month there were plenty of other migrants around, mostly butter buttsRead more

Blue Jays Hoard, Butter-Butts Swarm

Mallards are back in the Wetlands. Three Mutt Ducks (Mallard x Domestic) and eight or so “normal” Mallards have been feeding and resting in the quiet water and under the Willow Trees. Canada Geese are paying regular visits to the Wetlands. For nearly a week after the passage of the cold front that moved through on the 18th/19th of October the skies were mostly clear with high cirrus clouds making it easy to pick out high flying birds. The 18thRead more