What’s Happening in the Wild

Above, during a downpour, northern rough-winged swallows take a break from swirling, diving and capturing airborne insects over the wetlands. If, while visiting the museum you park at the parking deck, stop and have a look at the flowers blooming along the path leading to the deck, you may see some interesting insects, including several species of butterfly. Over the past week I’ve been seeing dogbane beetles on their namesake plant along the path of the outdoor loop through ExploreRead more

Nest Box Update 6.4.19

So far this season we’ve fledged 9 bluebirds and 8 chickadees from the 6 nest boxes on our bluebird trail. We currently have 5 house wren nestlings in one nest box and a new nest started for what may be a second brood of bluebirds. Though the house wren nest at the Cow Pasture originally held 6 eggs, only five have hatched. The nestlings look to be healthy but probably won’t fledge til after next week’s inspection. The nest boxesRead more

Nest Box Update 5.21.19

We currently have two active nests, one with eggs and one with fledgling-sized bluebirds. The remaining four nest boxes are empty except for some scattered house wren twigs in two of the boxes. The nest box at the Cow Pasture still contains 6 house wren eggs. An adult flew out of the box as I approached so it appears the eggs are being incubated and should hatch soon. There’s still the beginnings of a house wren nest at the nestRead more

Nest Box Update 5.14.19

The news from the Bluebird Trail here at the Museum of Life and Science is all good. We have three active nests, two bluebird nests and one house wren nest. The bluebirds have nine nestlings which should fledge soon and the wren’s have finally laid eggs. The house wren nest in the nest box at the Cow Pasture near the Ellerbe Creek Railway Train Tunnel now has 6 shiny eggs. A bird flew out of the nest as I openedRead more

Moving Day

If you’ve been to the Red Wolf Enclosure recently you may have seen our adult female lying down with her six pups on the left side of the enclosure near the base of the ridge. She has at least three favorite sites to nurse here pups. One, is in the manmade den, visible on the monitor in front of the overlook. The second, as described above, is out in the open and visible from the overlook (best seen through binocularsRead more

The Week in Pictures

A quick pictorial trip back to the past week. Flowering dogwood is in bloom (above). Over the past week I began to see aquatic turtles very near the shoreline of our wetlands, peeking up from the water to the shore. I suspected they were searching for safe places to come ashore and lay eggs. The next day I saw two yellow-bellied sliders walking along the path. It’s nesting time. The tadpoles, products of the American toad breeding spree of March,Read more

Blue Bird Season

Meteorologically speaking, it’s spring and the local birds are feeling the urge to nest. Blue birds and chickadees are already checking out the nest boxes. In fact, two of our six nest boxes had nesting material in them as I made the rounds this morning (3/2/19) in preparation for the coming season. Last year we had 33 birds fledged on our modest blue bird trail, 16 eastern blue birds, 12 Carolina Chickadees, and 5 house wrens. The purists among youRead more

Red Wolf Update

In the above photo, the wolves anxiously await the departure of the animal keepers. The keepers enter the enclosure to do a daily poop-scoop followed by a distribution of food which usually consists of meatballs and or dead rats. Today it looks like all meatballs. (Top photo, left to right; Female 2062, Juv 2246, M 1803, Juv 2247, notice how the female is the lead) While in the enclosure, the keepers (always two or more keepers) keep a watch onRead more