Bears, Burls, and Butter-butts

Top Photo: Mimi bear (right) and Gus bear. After grazing on some winter grass, Mimi bear seemed to be headed for the culvert pipe attraction in her enclosure to slip inside for a nap. Gus bear was already engaged. With a sidelong glance at the slumbering male bear, Mimi slinked off to greener pastures. Recently, Ranger Brooke found a small piece of pine branch with a growth attached. She asked me what I thought it was. I reasoned it aRead more

More Cedar Berries

  The cedar trees which line the fence at the Red Wolf Overlook have been, and still are, prolific in berries. The birds have noticed. This is a good spot to stand by and watch the avian parade. The birds move around in loose, mixed flocks searching for forage. And here, they have found what they were looking for. Most of the birds are migrants who will most likely spend the winter with us, if they don’t move further south laterRead more

Some Spring Happenings

Top Photo: Immature plumaged hooded mergansers lingering in wetlands. I’ve been negligent in my duties and haven’t been reporting as often as I’d like to on the goings on in Explore the Wild and Catch the Wind. So much is happening, as it does every spring, that it’s tough to keep up. Here’s just a couple of handfuls of things that we’ve seen in the Wild over the past few weeks (not necessarily in chronological order). During the first weekRead more

A Taste of Fall

It was 80 some degrees on 28 October. Even so, fall is here, trust me. Butter butts have arrived along with other migrant birds and the leaves are, and have been, turning red, yellow, and all shades in between. If you don’t believe me, take a walk outside and see for yourself. If you’re anything like me, you’ll appreciate what’s happening out there. By the time you read this, the warm temps will have departed. It  will not only lookRead more

The Feeders

OK, in the past few weeks we’ve had days with snow, ice, and some very cold temperatures. We’ve also had a solid week, seven days, with temps in the sixties and seventies. And now, it’s chilling down again. Not long ago the local birds were singing a happy tune. Now it seems all they care about is putting on fat, the bird feeders in Catch the Wind are busy! Here’s just some of the birds looking to put on weightRead more

In Celebration of Yellow Rumps, Ruby Crowns, and Blue Heads.

I saw the first Yellow-rumped Warbler of the season here at the Museum on October 10, just two weeks ago. The chilly northwest winds of the latter part of last week brought in masses of them. When this occurs, as it does every year at this time, I usually sift through them for other migrants and take photo after photo of the birds. The birds are typically very hungry from a long night’s flight so they’re not as concerned withRead more

Nothing But Cape May

At the end of the day Wednesday (10/12/11), a handful of Cape May Warblers were again foraging in the elms and willows of Explore the Wild. Are they the same warblers as reported last week? I don’t know, but they very well could be, seems to be the same number of birds. There was a Magnolia and a few Yellow-rumped Warblers, and a Ruby-crowned Kinglet in with the group. But here, are photos of the Cape Mays only as theyRead more

The Butter-Butt

This year’s “Butter-Butt” goes to Ranger Kristin who saw the first Yellow-rumped Warbler (a.k.a. Butter-butt) of the season – beat me by about two minutes (10/5/11). However, she’s the one that pointed out the Butter Butt that I saw, so I probably wouldn’t have seen it if she hadn’t pointed it out. Congratulations Ranger Kristin! There are still more seasonal firsts to be had so don’t despair. The first Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, and White-throated Sparrow, among others, have yetRead more

Flycatching MYWAs

On the warm, calm 10th of February I noticed a bit of activity in two Loblolly Pines just north of the Ornithopter. A group of Myrtle Warblers (AKA Yellow-rumped Warblers, Butter Butts, or MYWAs) were busy sallying forth from the tops of the trees. They were flycatching. It’s not unusual to see these warblers flycatching, after all, it’s how they make their living, eating insects. True, these warblers revert to eating fruits and seeds during winter, especially the wax myrtleRead more

Winter’s Here!

The calendar says that winter has arrived. What’s been going on in Explore the Wild? Raccoons make nightly sorties around the Wetlands in search of food, which can be anything from persimmons to tadpoles, or a raid on the trash receptacles along the paths of the Museum (the trash bins are emptied each day before closing so the pickings are slim there). Raccoons are not the only animals roaming Explore the Wild. The tracks below were left in the snow aRead more