Nest Box Update 4.9.24

Top Photo: Eastern bluebirds eggs. All six of our nest boxes are occupied. Two contain chickadee nests and four are bluebird made. There are 18 eggs (5 chickadee, 13 bluebird) and 6 nestlings (all bluebird). —- The female bluebird who sits in the nest box in the Cow Pasture is incubating 5 eggs. There are 5 Carolina chickadee eggs in the nest box at Explore the Wild. An incubating bird flushed as we approached the nest box. One of theRead more

Spring Appearances

Top Photo: Fatsia japonica or Japanese Fatsia, fruit. Not native but planted on the Dinosaur Trail to enhance the sense of a long ago tropical realm, fatsia is in fruit, but going fast. The plant’s name is derived from the fact that fatsia, in an old Japanese language, means eight, presumably referring to the number of lobes on the plant’s large palmate leaves. This, even though the leaves never have an even number of lobes, or points. I’ve consistently countedRead more

Nest Box Update 4.2.24

Top Photo: Eastern bluebird eggs. All but one of our six nest boxes are occupied. There are four bluebird nests and one chickadee nest. There are five nestlings and at least thirteen eggs waiting to hatch, all bluebirds. — Last week the Cow Pasture nest held 2 bluebird eggs. The female has deposited another 3 in the cupped grass and pine needle nest. After remaining empty for the past six weeks, chickadees have finally taken over the nest box onRead more

Nest Box Update 3.27.24

Top Photo: Eastern bluebirds eggs. We have four active nests. Three nests hold a total of nine eggs and one contains five nestlings. All are bluebirds. —— The Cow Pasture nest box held an empty bluebird nest last week. Today it contains two bluebird eggs. The Explore the Wild nest box is empty, only a 1/2 pint berry basket inside. With a complete bluebird nest in the box last week, we now have four bluebird eggs to monitor at theRead more

Lemurs Eat, Tree Swallow Inspects, and Chickadee Nests

Top Photo: Lemur relishes redbud flowers. As you all know, or should know, redbud flowers are edible. To me, they have a sweet, crispy taste. They make a nice topping on a salad. Lemurs eat redbud flowers too. They seem to enjoy the colorful flowers with uncommon delight, as recently displayed by our resident ring-tailed lemurs. The flowers were placed in their enclosure by the Animal Care Team (ACT) and were quickly pounced upon by the primates. Here’s a fewRead more

Nest Box Update 3.19.24

Top Photo: Eastern bluebird eggs from previous season. We now have four active nests, all bluebirds. Two of our six nest boxes remain empty, one typically used by chickadees is vacant and the other perhaps due to disturbances by humans. —— The nest box at the Cow Pasture has a new and complete bluebird nest inside. No eggs yet. Over the years, the Explore the Wild nest box which has been a reliable location for Carolina chickadees to build nests.Read more

Springtime 2

Top Photo: Female mallard pauses to look me over while preening. Mallards stop into our wetlands often. They’ve nested here off and on over the years, sometimes successfully, sometimes not. Mallards are one of the most recognizable duck species in the world occurring to some extent on every continent except Antartica. Blue violets are in bloom. Yellow-bellied sliders are out taking advantage of the sunlight, basking on every available surface to warm and perhaps help rid themselves of parasites. Buckeye,Read more

Nest Box Update 3.12.24

Top Photo: Eastern bluebird eggs from previous season. On the fourth week of nest box inspections there is one active nest and five empty nest boxes. The Cow Pasture, Explore the Wild, and Into the Mist nest boxes are empty. Last week the nest box on the east side of the parking deck held one bluebird egg. Today there were five eggs in the nest. There was no sign of an adult in the area so it’s not clear whetherRead more

A Trio of Herons

Top Photo: A trio of great blue herons in loblolly pine tree at the edge of the wetlands. Three great blue herons were present in our little wetlands this dark and damp morning (3.8.24). As I walked down the boardwalk leading to Explore the Wild and into the wetlands, all three birds rose out of the water on the east side of the pond. The large prehistoric looking birds flew circles around the wetlands for several minutes, as if to gainRead more