Cardinals Fledge!

On April 22, I posted to this blog about a northern cardinal’s nest in a red cedar tree at the Red Wold Exhibit in Explore the Wild. I included photos of the nestlings in the post. Fours days later, the nestlings are out of the nest, they fledged on the morning of 26 April. I was able to get photos of three of the fledglings. They’re posted here for your viewing pleasure. The nest was a bit crowded for the four fast growingRead more

New Additions (4) at Red Wolf Exhibit

No, no, not red wolf pups, northern cardinal chicks! For the past several weeks a pair of cardinals have been building a nest, laying eggs, incubating and hatching out those eggs, and finally feeding four nestlings right over our heads at the Red Wolf Enclosure. Just two feet over our heads, as one stands at the red wolf interpretive signage at the overlook, the cardinals have been flying in and out of the nest in a red cedar tree atRead more

The Struggle for Survival

My pace was quick for a hot August morning, but the scene before me stopped me in my tracks as I rounded the curve in the path in front of the Sailboat Pond in Catch the Wind. It was a clash of two mighty predators, a classic battle for survival, which has played out over and over again since the beginning of time, or at least since animals have roamed the earth. In front of me were a female northern cardinal and aRead more

NOCA Nest

What’s a NOCA? It’s the four letter code for Northern Cardinal. The code was devised by the Bird Banding Laboratory in Patuxent, MD to lessen confusion and save time while collecting, entering, and sorting data on banded birds in North America. Rather than writing down sometimes lengthy common names of birds when entering data you simply use a four letter code. There’s less chance for mistakes and less chance for data collectors and data entry personsonel to write down their ownRead more

Spring Happenings

There’s been much excitement over the past few days about the Red Wolves and the expected new residents here at the Museum. In the next few days many of you will hike out to the Red Wolf Exhibit to check on our female (1287) to see how she’s doing. I don’t blame you, I’ve been spending a lot of time watching the wolves my self lately. There’s been many changes in our female’s behavior and appearance of late. So, by allRead more

Bald-headed Cardinal

While strolling down the boardwalk into the Wetlands you may have heard the cheery song of a cardinal. If you had stopped to admiral the bright red bird singing from the bare-limbed Bald Cypress on your right, you might have noticed that the bird was balding, or missing feathers from around its eyes and part of its forehead. The first two photos of the cardinal were shot in mid February. The baldness has progressed since then. I usually see thisRead more

Great Backyard Bird Count

This past weekend I, along with Rangers Kristin and Sara, participated in the Great Backyard Bird Count. The count is a joint project organized by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Audubon Society, and Bird Studies Canada. The count spans four days but you only have to count one day if time is short, and only fifteen minutes of that day if you’re really pressed for time. The requirements for participating in the Great Backyard Bird Count are a willingness toRead more

Who’s Nesting

A Cooper’s Hawk was seen carrying prey on the 7th of June. The hawk appeared to be a female and was flying in the direction of the pines which surround the Ellerbee Creek Railway tracks near the train tunnel. This is the area in which Cooper’s Hawks nested last year. The fact that this bird was carrying prey, and was a female, seems to indicate that there were young Cooper’s Hawks in those pines waiting to be fed. I’ve yetRead more

A Busy Season for Birds

Not exactly on the Explore the Wild/Catch the Wind Loop but close by, a Red-shouldered Hawk on its first day (hour) off the nest was photographed just before it gulped down the last bits of a rat brought to it by one of its parents. The hawk’s nest is at Northgate Park, a few seconds, via air, from the Museum. There were four young in the nest. And, while the nest is not on the Museum’s property, you can beRead more