Let’s not forget the others

With so much talk about herons lately I don’t want to forget the other residents of the Museum’s wild parts. Here’s what some of them have been up to.

A few birds…

A Downy Woodpecker works on gaining entry to a Trumpet Vine seed pod.
A resident Northern Mockingbird hangs out in a holly, one of the trees under the bird’s guardianship in Explore the Wild.

Several turtles…

Crawling out on a boulder in the Wetlands, this Yellow-bellied Slider is responding to unseasonably warm weather (12/22/11).
Another yellow-bellied enjoys the sun several weeks later (1/12/12).

And the heat goes on…

This slider catches some late afternoon warmth at the base of a willow (1/24/12).
What looks to be the same turtle as above was out the very next day (1/25/12).

And something left over from summer…

An Eastern Tent Caterpillar egg mass on a small cherry tree along the Dinosaur Trail.
The other side of the egg mass reveals what seems to be an attempt by a bird to get at the eggs within. Or did some of the caterpillars hatch thinking it spring? The black-topped eggs are empty eggs.

It wouldn’t be out of the question for those eggs to have hatched. It is very much like spring on this last week of January. The Red-shouldered Hawks were up performing their aerial courtship displays, I saw a spider wasp carrying a spider along one of the service roads here at the Museum, Spring Peepers have been heard calling (on my drive home Saturday I heard chorus frogs!), the male Belted Kingfisher was in town trying to impress our female with his fish catching prowess (she was having none of it and chased him off), and Jennifer Armstrong (Exhibits) reported seeing a red-shouldered with a snake!

And there’s much more, but you have to be there to see it. So, get out and have a look around!


2 responses to Let’s not forget the others

  1. shawntell says:

    Hi Greg! When will start seeing the dragonflies? Are there some that come out earlier than others?

    • Greg Dodge says:

      I’ve seen damselflies here at the Museum as early as mid-February. Fragile Forktails are one of the earliest odes that I see here, but typically March is when we start seeing most of the early odes emerge like Common Baskettail, Blue Corporal, and Lancet Clubtail. We might also see some early Common Green Darners from the south of us.
      I’m anxious to see what will happen this year though. First, it’s been so mild. Will the mild weather bring out odes earlier than normal, and more of them? And second, the Wetlands has changed so much due to the crayfish that now reside there. Will the changes in the Wetlands have an impact on the number of dragons and damsels we see this year?
      We’ll have to wait and see.

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