The Local Squirrels

The common tree squirrel in our area is the eastern gray squirrel. And yes, there is a western gray squirrel. It occupies parts of the western states of Washington, Oregon, and California. The eastern gray lives in the central and eastern states, wherever there are trees. Besides the two already mentioned, there are tassel-eared squirrels of the southwest and various forms of fox squirrels, mainly in the east but also in some of the western states. And there are theRead more

Last Chance to Get Out and Enjoy the Cold

In a day or two all of this coldness will be behind us. What little bit of snow we had will be forgotten too, a faded memory. So, if you like the cold you should get outside now and enjoy it. While you’re out there, check any remaining patches of snow for animal tracks, see who’s been wandering around the neighborhood while you’ve been warm and cozy inside. Go out and see what you can find. Every track tells aRead more

Quick Quiz

Take a look at the photo below and see if you can identify the subject. If you said “the tail of an eastern gray squirrel,” you’d be correct. Now that you know what it is, did you know that eastern gray squirrels grow little tufts of white fur on their ears in winter? Eastern gray squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis) are everywhere in the east. From east Texas to Saskatchewan and east to the Atlantic Coast gray squirrels are a familiar sight.Read more

It’s Time to Eat

  The red wolf in the above photo has something hidden behind the pine tree to its left. The animal keepers entered the red wolf enclosure today (1/30/15), as they do every day, to feed the wolves. The keepers typically toss about meat balls throughout the enclosure, on rocks, in clumps of grass, halfway up the hillside in the enclosure, for the wolves to sniff out and eat. Today, they also tossed a large lab rat into some tall grass partway upRead more

Some Goings On

Just a handful of things that you might want to keep an eye out for while walking along the Outdoor Loop Trail this spring at the Museum of Life and Science. Whenever an “outside” pair of geese fly into the Wetlands, the resident gander takes offensive action towards the intruder. Sometimes a simple flyby suffices to send them on their way. Other times, it may get physical. Enjoy your walk!Read more

Sleeping Wolves

While the wolves sleep, the birds reap. Animal keepers enter the Red Wolf Enclosure daily to both clean up and to drop off fresh meat in the form of meatballs. The meat is placed in various locations around the enclosure. Much of it’s picked up and wolfed down before the keepers leave the enclosure, but there’s often small tidbits left behind. I’ve often seen cardinals drop in to sample the raw meat. And Carolina Wrens sometimes fly in to pickRead more

Warm and Wet

The past few days have been rather warm and humid, if not rainy. That will all change soon, there’s colder air moving our way. But until that cold front rolls over us, enjoy the warmth as some of our wildlife has been. I don’t think the warmer weather matters very much to the mergansers, as long as the water doesn’t freeze and they can get at the fish and tadpoles beneath the surface, they’re happy. The mergansers above seem toRead more

We have much to do before winter

With each passing cold front the temperatures are a little cooler, the humidity a little dryer, and winter a little closer. There’s plenty going on outside during this transitional time of year when we make the shift from summer to winter. It’s time to prepare for what’s to come and the birds, mammals, and insects are doing just that. As the cicadas wind down so too the activities of the Cicada Killer. Hopefully their burrows are stocked with cicadas forRead more

Eating what’s in Season

The Museum’s gray squirrels have shifted their diet from elm to mulberry. The dark succulent berries of the mulberry trees are ripening as I write and the squirrels have found them. I found them too, and they are delicious! I don’t know a mammal or bird that would pass up a big juicy mulberry. It’s a good thing that the trees produce copious amount of the berries, too many if you talk to homeowners that have them next to theirRead more