Herps (reptiles and amphibians)

The seventies and eighties are behind us, for now. It’s back to more normal temps, forties and fifties. But, while the atypically high temps lasted, I was able to find some out and about reptiles and amphibians. It’s not unusual to see a brown snake in winter unless the temps are extreme, on the low side. I saw the northern brown snake, or Dekay’s brown snake, pictured here slowly making its way across the path just uphill from the LemurRead 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

Winter News

The temperatures have taken a nose dive. It’s a good twenty degrees colder today than it was yesterday—and will remain so for the next week or more. The high today will be near 50º which is average for this time of year. If you lived up north, close to the Canadian border, that’d be a shirtsleeve day for sure. But we’re here in North Carolina, and after a week or more of 60’s and 70’s (with lows around fifty), itRead more

News From the Wild

It’s definitely spring and things are happening fast.  Here’s a handful of observations from Explore the Wild and Catch the Wind. Still hanging in there as part of our wetlands avifauna are three hooded mergansers. The trio consists of two males in juvenal plumage and a female (not sure of her age).         While the ducks were resting on an island just off the boardwalk in Explore the Wild (and after photographing them), I noticed that atRead more

Frogs!

Although spring peepers and upland chorus frogs, and the occasional low croaking call of a pickerel frog, have been calling off and on for several weeks now, they are in full force at this time. Today, I was able to get a handful of photos of pickerel frogs and one shot of a bullfrog. The other two species, the tiny peepers and chorus frogs, proved elusive. Here they are.           Come on out a see how many frogsRead more

Sights of Spring

Canada Geese mate for life, and they are devoted. Watching our resident pair of Canadas here in our Wetland it’s obvious that they watch out for one another. The male is always on the lookout for danger as his mate feeds, bathes and preens, and rests. We know these geese well, they’re here every year at this time. The female stands out among Canada Geese, she has noticeable eye rings around her eyes. Canada geese are not only devoted toRead more

A Chorus of Frogs

As I mentioned in a previous entry in this journal, Spring Peepers and Upland Chorus Frogs had been calling vigorously during the warm weather of last week. We certainly have chorus frogs here at the Museum but they are difficult to locate visually. The best place to look for them is the U-shaped pond next to the Bungee Jump in Catch the Wind. Upland Chorus Frogs are small (about 1″ – 1.5″) and typically cease their singing when approached byRead more

Spring!!

It seems the lengthening days and warm weather of last week created a stirring in some of the local wildlife. As I drove in to work Friday I saw two Black Vultures copulating on the side of the road. On Wednesday (4/19) I saw one of our local Red-shouldered Hawks aloft, stooping, soaring, and screaming for all the world to see and hear his desire to procreate. I later saw the bird land next to another red-shoulder and mount the otherRead more

Fish Crows (w/audio this time) and Herp and Ode Updates

Fish Crows continued to fly over on Tuesday (3/9). I searched my personal audio library that I keep for video soundtracks and found a file that contains the nasal calls of the Fish Crows as they wing by. Have a listen here: [audio:/wp-content/files/2/2010/03/fishcrow.mp3|titles=fishcrow] The same day, Spring Peepers, Upland Chorus Frogs, (The chorus frogs are the ones that sound like someone running their finger down a comb, the peepers are the higher pitched single notes heard)[audio:/wp-content/files/2/2010/03/chorus_peeper.mp3|titles=chorus_peeper] Pickerel Frogs, [audio:/wp-content/files/2/2010/03/pickerel-frog.mp3|titles=pickerel frog]andRead more