Due to the Revolution…

Frogs and toads are breeding, butterflies flying, groundhogs foraging, birds migrating and early season flowers are blooming. The white common blue violet in the above picture has been blooming for over a week on the path leading away from the Lemur House. There are also many of the blue form of violet along the same stretch of path. American toads and pickerel frogs were vigorously calling and mating on the warm afternoons of the second full week of March. ManyRead more

Hunting Hawk

Keep and eye out for the red-shouldered hawk pictured here while you stroll through our outdoor exhibits, especially near the wetlands and the wooded area on the far side of the outdoor loop. This hawk has been actively hunting frogs (mostly pickerel frogs) from low perches, often very close to the path. The hawk is very people tolerant and will allow a close approach. All its attention seems focused on the task, catching food. Don’t push your luck though, itRead more

Pickerel Frogs

By the time you read this, it will be spring, meteorological spring. Spring to me actually begins in February. The days continue to get longer, red maple and elm flowers pop, and frogs, peepers, chorus and pickerel frogs, are all calling. I know there may indeed be some cold days between now and April, but it won’t last long, a few days at most. Winter’s done. If you’ve been down into our wetlands in the last week and a halfRead more

Looking For Frogs?

For you herpetologists out there, there are still frogs to be seen here at the Museum. That’s not to say that you can’t see frogs here in any month of the year, you can. I’ve seen bullfrogs at the edge of the water while there was ice covering our wetland! They are, however, much more difficult to locate during the cold months and many species are dug into the ground or leaf liter of the forest in late fall andRead more

A Frog First and a Lingering Duck

In the nine years that I’ve been walking the paths through the Wetlands here at the Museum, I’ve seen or heard 13 species of frogs and toads. Previous to March 24 I’d only heard southern leopard frog, I’d not seen one. Typically, I’ll hear one or two calling each year in late winter or early spring. Some years I don’t hear any leopard frogs. Leopard frogs are not uncommon in this area. In fact, they can be abundant. But hereRead more

Barred Owl, Pickerel Frog, and American Crows

Once again, the local barred owl has made an appearance. I was standing in Catch the Wind watching a raccoon snooze away the afternoon (another story for another time) when, out of the corner of my eye I noticed a large brown bird fly down out of the trees and land on the edge of the service road near the entrance to Explore the Wild, some fifty yard’s distance. I was sure the bird had come down on some sort of prey. JustRead more

Red-Shouldered Hawk

Red-shouldered hawks are common in our area. They vociferously proclaim their presence as they fly about the landscape or perch prominently atop one of our towering pines here at the Museum. But when they’re hunting from a perch along a favorite game trail or swamp, they are dead quiet, and deadly serious. I spotted the hawk, pictured here, in the swamp on the far side of the outdoor exhibits loop just as you leave Catch the Wind heading for ExploreRead more

Great Blue and Other Interesting Sightings

  Great blue heron (GBH) has been a common sight here at the Museum for the past eight years. Most of that time there was one present on a daily basis in the Wetlands. I’m afraid, though, our long time resident GBH has left us. I don’t know why our local GBH has moved on or whether or not it has expired, but I have not seen it. I keep a weekly checklist of all the birds I see here at the Museum, check it offRead more

News From the Wild

It’s definitely spring and things are happening fast.  Here’s a handful of observations from Explore the Wild and Catch the Wind. Still hanging in there as part of our wetlands avifauna are three hooded mergansers. The trio consists of two males in juvenal plumage and a female (not sure of her age).         While the ducks were resting on an island just off the boardwalk in Explore the Wild (and after photographing them), I noticed that atRead more

It’s worth the risk.

It’s a risky business, this coming down to the water to breed. It pays to be discrete. There are many things that can eat you, if you’re a frog.     Most frogs in our area don’t necessarily spend all their time in water. Many species can be found some distance from water when not breeding. Pickerel frogs are one of those species. They are, however, breeding at this time of year and therefore in our Wetlands in numbers attemptingRead more