Sights of Spring

Canada Geese mate for life, and they are devoted. Watching our resident pair of Canadas here in our Wetland it’s obvious that they watch out for one another. The male is always on the lookout for danger as his mate feeds, bathes and preens, and rests. We know these geese well, they’re here every year at this time. The female stands out among Canada Geese, she has noticeable eye rings around her eyes. Canada geese are not only devoted toRead more

Drum, drum, drum

The daylight hours are increasing, the weather getting warmer and the local birds are singing, some birds, that is. Woodpeckers, as vocal as they can sometimes be, don’t have a sweet song to sing to attract a mate or proclaim their territorial boundaries. They, instead of singing a tune to announce their intentions, seek out the most resonant piece of tree limb, trunk, clapboard siding or rain gutter and drum out their message. There are eight species of woodpecker thatRead more

Party in the Wetlands Last Night

If I didn’t know any better, and I don’t, I’d say that the bullfrogs had a party in the Wetlands last night.¬†With the temperatures in the seventies, and even eighties, this week it looks like the frogs have extended their breeding season. While most of the other dozen or so species of frogs and toads that breed in our little Wetlands have been put to bed or at least on break (I did hear spring peepers calling last week andRead more

Life and Death in the Wetlands

I first saw the snake in the photo as it was swimming in the shade of the willows at the edge of the Wetlands. It slowly crawled out of the water and onto one of the trees. Up it went until it found a limb to its liking and proceeded to follow it out to its end. I assume it was looking for bird nests in the willows, there’s much catbird activity in the area. Apparently finding no nest inRead more

Battling Behemoths

It’s spring and the snapping turtles are feeling the urge. I’m not sure if these two snappers ever connected, whether they actually got together and mated, but one of them was seen hauled out on a rock later the same day. For a somewhat blow-by-blow description of what mating snapping turtles go through to reproduce, click here.Read more

More Signs of Spring!

The turtles were out in force on the logs, rocks, and any other surface that lends itself to basking yesterday (3/17/11). The first Common Snapping Turtles of the season were spotted yesterday as well. The American Toad that I heard in Catch the Wind last Thursday (3/3/11) was busy in the U-shaped pond next to the Ornithopter. And, several times during the past week or so I’ve witnessed the Red-shouldered Hawks mating. There’s a lot of aerial display, loud screechingRead more

Snakes Mingle, Snappers Tumble, and Yellow-bellies Hatch

Each day that I visited the Wetlands during the first half of April I was able to locate from four to six different Northern Water Snakes. Towards afternoon of each day, there were at least four of these variably colored snakes on a near horizontal Black Willow trunk no more than a dozen feet from the paved path next to the Wetlands Overlook. Hundreds of field-tripping school children from districts all over the state, including some from Virginia, were ableRead more