February

Despite the 70 degree temps we’re experiencing, it’s February. And, what happens every February here at the Museum of Life and Science? Hazel alder blooms. The golden flecks of wind-borne pollen sail through the air from the male catkins to the upright reddish female flowers (photo above). Look for the alders on the north side of the wetlands in Explore the Wild. Each February, brown-headed nuthatches pound away on the soft wood of some recently expired black willow in ourRead more

Reddish

When asked to describe a male cardinal, there’s little doubt in anyone’s mind what color the bird is, red. It’s not so clear-cut when describing some of our other local fauna. The red-bellied woodpecker in the above (and below) photos certainly has red on its head, but the red on it’s belly, the derivation of its common name, is not often seen. The bird, more often than not, perches with its belly against a tree trunk or branch making itRead more

February

It’s February, and what happens in February besides the Super Bowl and, this year, the Olympics? Spring! Well, not quite, but we’re getting there. To prove it, hazel alder is blooming (happens here at the Museum in Feb.), brown-headed nuthatches are excavating nest holes, and the red wolves are feeling amorous (sort of). The wind-borne pollen of the long, pendulous male flowers of the alder are now attempting to pollinate the small reddish, upright female flowers of the wetland growingRead more

It’s February

You don’t need a calendar to know that it’s February, just take a hike around the Wetlands here at the Museum. If you see two Canada Geese, it’s February. These two geese drop in every February, very often its within a few days of the first of the month. The geese are absent during summer through winter, spending only late winter and spring with us. I guesss their arrival could be termed as a harbinger of spring. It may beRead more

Feeder Watch

Slow and steady is the best way to describe the activity at the bird feeders in Catch the Wind. The local residents are visiting the feeders as usual but there have been few winter birds yet. Our first Pine Siskin didn’t show up until the second week in January last winter and I don’t often see Fox Sparrows until sometime in January, so there’s no need to sound the alarm. That’s not to say that there are no winter species hereRead more

Bluebird Update 4.9.13

Lots of news to report today. We’ll start at the “Cow Pasture.” Last week this nest box contained a completed nest but lacked eggs. It now has 3 beautiful blue eggs. The nest box at the meadow next to the “Take Off” which was empty last week now has a completed chickadee nest with eggs. The bird was incubating when I approached the nest, flew out of the entrance hole and scolded me from a nearby tree while I openedRead more

Siskins, others, and a sign of the season to come (maybe)

The cold weather following the cold front last Wednesday night brought with it increased activity at the bird feeders in Catch the Wind. There had been one Pine Siskin hanging around for a couple of weeks and Ranger Kristin reported 6 siskins at the feeders on Sunday (1/27) but it took the cold to bring in a group of 18 of the little finches. The birds had nearly cleaned out the thistle feeder, it was getting very low on seed,Read more

New Bird Arrives

Red-breasted Nuthatches showed up at the feeders in the Bird Viewing Exhibit today. It’s been so long since I’d seen a R-b Nuthatch that I’d forgoten whether or not I’d ever seen one here at the Museum. After checking my records, yes, I had seen them here before. Must have been the excitement of the sighting that caused my temporary memory loss. Anyway, here’s just a few photos: These birds may or may not stay with us, they may moveRead more

Spring?

Spring is wound up and ready to pop! Sure, it was colder than usual the first two months of this year. And, it seems as though it has snowed more this year than within memory. It’s predicted to snow today! But, there’s much evidence pointing to a new season springing forth. The days are getting longer. Both the maples and elms are ready to burst open their buds and Hazel Alder is nearly in full flower. The sun is coming upRead more