Top Photo: Northern Mockingbird establishes its territory. Note leaf buds sprouting from tree branches.
As temperatures settle back from highs in the mid to upper 70s to seasonal norms of 50s and 60s, more signs of spring are being seen around campus. Here’s some examples.
The day following the capture of the photo above, fresh young leaves emerged from the buds of the fig tree our mockingbird was claiming as his own.
Blue violet is common along paths in Explore the Wild.
Eastern tiger swallowtails are more likely in April, but many were seen over the past week.
Winter visitors, hermit thrushes are either headed out the door or gone by the end of April.
Mallards will be here all year long.
When you’re down at the Red Wolf Enclosure you may be able to see a red-shouldered hawk’s nest in a tall loblolly pine in the woods behind the enclosure, Here’s a few helpful images to guide you.
The hawks have been seen flying into the nest, placing twigs and branches, but it doesn’t appear as if there are eggs in the nest – yet.
Eastern tent caterpillar adults, the moths, lay eggs on the branches of their preferred cherry trees in summer. The eggs hatch with leaf-out the following spring, now.
A protective tent is manufactured and placed in a crotch of their birth tree. The caterpillars retreat to the tent for safety after filling up on the tender cherry leaves forming on the branches all around them.
And, you never know who you’ll run into on the paths at the museum.
The Animal Care folks conducted a “Missing Lemur Drill” the other day. It was just a drill. No lemurs were loose, or lost, during the drill. You may notice, though, a stand-in ring-tailed lemur (plush) being carried back to its home by one of the team (hint – green vest, below).
Anything could happen on a nice spring day out on the Loop.