Sleeping Raccoon

T’was a fine mid-November morn as I walked through Catch the Wind. I’d stopped to look through the partridge pea patch across from the signage which introduces Catch the Wind to hikers, walkers and strollers making their way around our outdoor exhibits. In the fall, partridge pea produces many pods filled with copious amounts of seeds. As the pods dry, they twisted upon themselves forcing the seeds to propel themselves out away from the plant. I was hoping to collectRead more

Birds, Insects, Reptiles and Mammals Too!

If you keep your eyes and ears opened while hiking the Explore the Wild and Catch the Wind Loop you’re likely to see and hear all sorts of wonderful sights and sounds. Birds that have spent the winter in the tropics are back home and full of song. Insects that have spent the last few months or longer in pupal or larval states are entering the next phase of their lives. Reptiles are taking advantage of locally plentiful food andRead more

FOX

Wild gray fox pups were first noticed here at the Museum sometime around May 17 on the north side of the Wetlands close to the Lemur House. The fox were in a hollow on the opposite side of the path from the Lemur House and were visible from the path through a narrow opening in the brush. At the time it was estimated that there were anywhere from 5 to 7 of the pups in the litter. A short timeRead more

Spring Happenings

Happenings over the past few weeks have been a bit overwhelming. Insects that have been held back from emergence by cooler than normal temperatures are doing so now, snakes and other reptiles have been performing their springtime rituals, neotropical migrants are moving through, and local nesters are doing just that, nesting. Some have already fledged their first broods. It’s been difficult for me to keep up with all of the biological happenings in terms of posting them to this Journal. That beingRead 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

Can Groundhogs Swim?

You already know that groundhogs climb trees, right? If you didn’t know that, now you do, they can climb trees. But can they swim? I believe that every animal has the ability to swim. Cats don’t like to swim, but if you throw one, or should I say, if one falls into the water, you will most certainly see a cat swim. The question then, should be, do they want to, do they like to, or do they voluntarily swim? As farRead more

I’m excited, are you?

Mourning Cloaks, Groundhogs, more turtles, a bullfrog, and finally, Pickerel Frogs! Are you ready for some pictures? The cloak… The hog… The turtles… A bullfrog… And the Pickerel Frogs, lots of them… Sorry for getting carried away with the Pickerel Frogs, I’ve been waiting so long for them and at last, they’re here! I heard at least one Southern Leopard Frog today (3/13) but was not able to locate it in order take its portrait, maybe tomorrow. Enjoy!Read more

First Groundhog!

The first groundhog of the season was spotted on February 8 running across a service road and then over the path near the boardwalk leading to Explore the Wild. I assume that this marmot is the “Boardwalk Hog.” There is a groundhog burrow just below the fence at the head of the boardwalk that leads to Explore the Wild. The animal that I saw was last seen swiftly moving in that direction. There are many groundhog burrows throughout the MuseumRead more

Fall

There’s little doubt that fall is here. Warblers and other migrant birds are trickling through, the raccoons, groundhogs, and fox are feeding more heavily, and, as mentioned in a previous post, snakes are moving about more. Here’s just a few more signs of the season before us. And, not necessarily a sign of fall but perhaps a sign of exhaustion towards the summer season… Have we seen this snapper behavior before? That’s all for now.Read more

Beaver in the Bear Enclosure!!??

If you happen to be at the Black Bear Overlook and see a smallish (compared to the bears) gray-brown mammal pop its head up, look around, and then scoot along the grass, it’s not a beaver, it’s a Groundhog. Several people have come up to me in the past month and told me that they had seen a beaver in with the bears. Although beavers and groundhogs are both mammals, rodents, and look somewhat alike, the critter in the bearRead more