Ilex

Top Photo: The red fruit and evergreen leaves of Ilex. Ilex is a genus of largely evergreen flowering plants which are very familiar to most people. Some Ilex have spiked leaves but, surprisingly, most varieties do not. After spring and summer pollination of their tiny white flowers, the plants produce red berries, more correctly called drupes, which persist throughout the fall and winter. The plants in the genus Ilex are more commonly known as hollies. The native holly, American hollyRead more

The Hollies

Last week I wrote about a small flock of Cedar Waxwings flying around the Outdoor Exhibit area of the Museum searching for berries. That’s what waxwings do. They’re nomadic and social. In winter you can expect to see flocks of these gentle birds wheeling across the countryside looking for fruit. You may not see them as often as you’d like (they are very attractive birds and worth your attention) but if you have a fruiting tree or vine nearby andRead more

Two New Species!

The Bird On March 28, Ranger Kristin spotted 3 Blue-winged Teal in the Wetlands. As far as I’m aware, this is the first of this species to be seen here at the Museum. I’ve been waiting for this species to show up here. They are listed as “very rare” in both winter and summer in the Triangle, being encountered more in the spring and fall than at other times of the year. They do, however, breed in North Carolina. GoodRead more