Waxwings and Mulberries

I was cruising Explore the Wild and Catch the Wind for turtles that might have been looking for nest sites when I noticed that the branches of the mulberry tree that hangs over the path near the Sail Boat Pond were drooping very low. There were also many purple stains on the pavement below the branches. The mulberries were ripe. It was time to keep an eye out for berry loving birds raiding the trees in search of that ohRead more

Waxwings!

Yesterday, I noticed a few Cedar Waxwings flying about the trees on the path leading towards Explore the Wild just above the Lemur House. I watched quietly as one bird preened, looked around a bit and then took off with a purpose in the direction of the Lemur House. “There must be more of these birds around,” I said to myself, “and there must be some ripe berries somewhere over by the lemurs.” Walking down the path I saw whatRead more

Spring?

Spring is wound up and ready to pop! Sure, it was colder than usual the first two months of this year. And, it seems as though it has snowed more this year than within memory. It’s predicted to snow today! But, there’s much evidence pointing to a new season springing forth. The days are getting longer. Both the maples and elms are ready to burst open their buds and Hazel Alder is nearly in full flower. The sun is coming upRead more

Early Nesters, Arrivals, Delayed Departures

It was a busy time for birds. Besides the Red-shouldered Hawks snatching frogs out of the Wetlands, Carolina Chickadees feeding their young in a nest in a Loblolly Pine between Catch the Wind and Explore the Wild, and the Red-bellied Woodpeckers sitting on eggs in another loblolly in front of the Lemur House, many new seasonal arrivals and migrants have been observed. After a seven-month absence, a Green Heron was back on station on 28 April. As if it hadRead more

Nuthatch Landlords? Hollies under Assault?

There are still two pairs of Hooded Mergansers present in the Wetlands. There is one pair of Canada Geese present. Red-tailed Hawks continue to be seen daily and Cooper’s Hawks have been noticed flying and perching in the vicinity of the previous year’s nest site. And, as mentioned above, Red-shouldered Hawks are once again showing up in the Wetlands. Eastern Phoebes are calling regularly in and around the Wetlands. Phoebes nest on ledges. I’ve witnessed the birds investigating potential nestRead more

Nesting Duck? Excavating Nuthatches, and Waxwings Aplenty

On Saturday, February 21, I noticed a duck (a Mutt Duck, Mallard x Domestic Duck that’s often seen in the Wetlands) sitting hunched down on the small island out in front of the Wetlands Overlook. There are two of these Mutt Ducks in the Wetlands. They’re very similar in appearance with dark brown bodies and white chests. The male has a green head, the female’s head is brown. I was looking at the female. The duck was nestled down inRead more

A Harrier, an Owl, and a Big Fish

Hooded Merganser numbers in the Wetlands have fluctuated between 4 and 11 birds. The males can sometimes be seen bobbing their heads, rearing up in the water and, with their bills pointed skyward, emitting a low-pitched snore-like staccato. They’re vying for the attention of the females. It often seems that all of the males are perusing one female, who, by the way, appears little impressed with all of their strutting and showing off. Cooper’s Hawks and, since the second weekRead more

Spotted Sandpiper Fly-by and other Comings and Goings

Top Photo: spotted sandpiper makes brief stop in wetlands. A Spotted Sandpiper was seen at the Sailboat Pond. The bird circled the pond once and then proceeded down the path toward Explore the Wild. Spotted Sandpipers prefer a muddy shoreline on which to forage for invertebrates. We don’t often see shorebirds at the Museum. If they stop in, they usually don’t stay long. A young Red-tailed Hawk, leisurely soaring over the Wetlands, was met by a Red-shouldered Hawk intent onRead more