Nest Box Update 4.23.19

There’ve been additional eggs, hatchlings and a change in occupancy since the last nest box inspection. Bluebirds, chickadees and house wrens are all involved. Yes, house wrens have returned from their winter quarters and have very loudly made their presence known. I heard the rolling warble of a house wren as I approached the nest box at the Cow Pasture and immediately started to wonder, ”Had the wrens taken over the chickadee nest inside the box, the chickadee nest whichRead more

Hunting in Winter

Can you see the bird in the above photo? It’s a red-shouldered hawk. As mentioned in the previous post, Herps (reptiles and amphibians), there’s been lizard, snake, and frog activity lately. This red shoulder is hunting those creatures. It’s also keeping an eye out for any incautious bird, shrew or rodent. Looking high and low, left and right, the hawk keeps a sharp eye on it’s environment for the slightest movement, ready to pounce. After many minutes (at least anRead more

Familiar Faces

If you’ve spent any time walking the paths at the Museum of Life and Science, the following faces may be familiar to you. All of them, save one, are residents in some form. Above (banner photo) is one of our ring-tailed lemurs (Satyrus). Snakes are always a possibilty, even in winter. If you do see a snake during winter it’s probably a brown snake or possibly a garter snake. Everyone has seen one or more of our four black bearsRead more

Spring Happenings

Last week started cool, temperature-wise, but ended with a warmth that brought out all manner of creatures and plants that had been lying in wait for just that moment to arrive. There are a lot of photos to show and things to discuss, so let’s start with the snake above. It was pointed out to me that someone here at the museum had seen a water snake back at the end of February or in early March. We had someRead 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

Red-shouldered Hawk

A common sight here on the museum’s campus is the red-shouldered hawk. This one is fluffed up against the cold as it perches on a branch while surveying the swamp below for movement. Birds often fluff themselves up in cold weather, trapping air between the feathers effectively raising their R-value. Our resident red-shoulders are fairly tame, that is, they’re quite used to people. I’ve walked past them at a distance of less than ten feet without causing alarm. You couldRead 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

Birds, Insects, Reptiles and Mammals Too!

If you keep your eyes and ears opened while hiking the Explore the Wild and Catch the Wind Loop you’re likely to see and hear all sorts of wonderful sights and sounds. Birds that have spent the winter in the tropics are back home and full of song. Insects that have spent the last few months or longer in pupal or larval states are entering the next phase of their lives. Reptiles are taking advantage of locally plentiful food andRead 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

Bluebird Update 3.24.15

If you were to scan through the photos below and compare them to the photos from last week’s Bluebird Update you may notice similarities in the photos. There’s not been much progress in any of the nests. There are, though, two new developments to report. The nest box behind the Sailboat Pond in Catch the Wind has a fully executed chickadee nest within and a bluebird has shown at least fledgling interest in starting a nest at the Picnic DomeRead more