Give me Some Kind of Sign

signs of the season…

Besides the many Spring Peepers and Upland Chorus Frogs calling out on the very warm 25th of February was what appears to be a lone female bullfrog on the side of the Black Bear Pond.
Heavy rains towards the end of the day on Feb. 24 brought out Pickerel Frogs to breed, as evidenced by this one found the following morning. This unfortunate breeder didn’t make it across the road safely.
Yellow-bellied Sliders have been out basking in numbers. These turtles were enjoying Friday’s warm weather (2/14/12).
I caught the first glimpse of “Chip” on Friday. Here she sits on her favorite perch (2/24/12).

Read more about Chip.

There are so many signs that point to spring it’s difficult to zero in on just a few. Here’s two very obvious bird signals of the change that’s coming.

The two geese in the photos below arrive at the Museum’s Wetland each February. I’ve been calling them Lucy and Goosey, Lucy’s the female. I typically don’t name birds, but these two have become so familiar that, well, why not!

Lucy and Goosey.

How do I know that these are the same birds that I see each year, and which one is which? Lucy has a grayish eyering. Canada Geese do not have contrasting eyerings as do some other birds so she stands out from the crowd.

Female (Lucy) left, Male (Goosey) right.

There have been Fish Crows reported all over the state during the past week. The first for me here at the Museum were chasing each other around a brilliant blue sky on the 28th of February.

The first of the season Fish Crows here at the Museum (2/28/12).

And, not really a sign of the season but a sign that deer wander this 84 some acre suburban oasis in Durham, NC.

Deer tracks in the mud of the new exhibit under construction in Catch the Wind (2/28/12).

It’s raining at the moment, but it’s a warm rain. It’s 51 degrees and may reach 68 later this afternoon. This is the kind of rain that salamanders find attractive for their breeding forays. Pickerel Frogs are probably gearing up as I type. The Wetlands is probably loud with peepers and chorus frogs. Sorry, gotta go…!

3 responses to Give me Some Kind of Sign

    • Greg Dodge says:

      Yes indeed, she’s still swimming the Wetlands.
      Last year she was seen on three separate occasions walking around Explore the Wild and Catch the Wind, presumably looking for suitable nest sites. We hope she’s up to the task this year.
      I wonder how many other turtles make multiple trips ashore looking for nest sites? Chip is the only turtle that is instantly recognizable here at the museum, for obvious reasons. We know that she came ashore more than once. Maybe a study is in order, to see if other turtles do the same. We see many turtles up laying eggs during the spring and summer, maybe it’s really only a handful making several trips each?
      Thanks Larry,

  1. Kimberly says:

    The Ring Tailed Lemurs spotted that deer the other day during a training session. Lycus was very interested.

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