Hunting in Winter

Can you see the bird in the above photo? It’s a red-shouldered hawk. As mentioned in the previous post, Herps (reptiles and amphibians), there’s been lizard, snake, and frog activity lately. This red shoulder is hunting those creatures. It’s also keeping an eye out for any incautious bird, shrew or rodent. Looking high and low, left and right, the hawk keeps a sharp eye on it’s environment for the slightest movement, ready to pounce. After many minutes (at least anRead more

Things To Look For

If you’ve been out strolling the outdoor areas of the Museum you may or may not have noticed some of the many creatures we have living here alongside our exhibits. Here’s some suggestions as to what to look for. If you’re down by the Wetlands in Explore the Wild or up near the Bungee in Catch the Wind you could possibly hear what may sound like the bleating of a lamb. Rather than a lamb, it’s probably a small amphibian that you’reRead more

And a Red-shouldered too!

Not a day goes by that I don’t see or hear a red-shouldered hawk here at the Museum. I’ve been allowed to observe them hunting and courting. I’ve been able to get close looks at them in various plumages and molts. I’ve even seen them catch a variety of prey as diverse as frogs and toads, snakes, rats, and even fish. It’s my opinion that red-shouldereds will eat whatever comes their way, as long as it’s not too large toRead more

When Frogs and Toads become Frogs and Toads

Last week while walking along the path in Explore the Wild, I stepped off into the grass to have a closer look at the Wetlands, the water’s edge. As my foot hit the grass half a dozen tiny creatures leapt for their lives. Hmm. Looking closer I realized they were frogs, Pickerel Frogs and Spring Peepers. A day or two before, I had come across a miniature toad hopping across the path. During February, March, and into April, Spring Peepers, PickerelRead more

Shoulders Return

The headline above is a bit misleading. The Red-shouldered Hawks (shoulders) never left, they just haven’t been perch-hunting here at the Museum as they had in years past. I could pretty much count of seeing one of our resident shoulders at least every other day, if not every day, perched somewhere along the Trail either in Explore the Wild or just inside the woods along the path in Catch the Wind. Although I often hear them calling from above asRead more

The Ice Cometh and the Ice Goeth

The first few days of the year brought with them the first ice over of the Wetlands. The ice will soon be history, all gone. I, or we, know that the ice will be gone within a day or two since the TV, internet, and radio tells us these things ahead of time. But for some of the creatures that live in and depend on the Wetlands for food, ice is not a good thing and it can’t be predictedRead more

The Great Tadpole Rescue

During the last week in November I noticed a group of tadpoles individually surfacing and then quickly submerging in the murky water in the northwest corner of the Wetlands. There’s a pipe in that corner of the Wetlands which drains the higher ground above it. I’m not sure why this area is popular with tadpoles but the attraction must surely be related to the pipe; the same type of activity (a collection of tadpoles huddled together in this tiny corner ofRead more