Barred Owl, Pickerel Frog, and American Crows

Once again, the local barred owl has made an appearance. I was standing in Catch the Wind watching a raccoon snooze away the afternoon (another story for another time) when, out of the corner of my eye I noticed a large brown bird fly down out of the trees and land on the edge of the service road near the entrance to Explore the Wild, some fifty yard’s distance. I was sure the bird had come down on some sort of prey. JustRead more

Fish Crows

It’s usually the middle of March when I first hear and see fish crows each year. Oh, I sometimes hear the single calls of one or two of the somewhat migratory crows in the first couple of weeks of March, but it’s mid March when bands of the crows start moving through. Groups of the birds come bouncing through the sky, their nasal calls filling the air. They seem to be having fun, happy to be back from wherever itRead more

Now Showing

During the past week many new flowers, animals and insects have appeared. First, a few plants. A few trees. Finally! After having seen damselflies emerge from the Wetlands since the 19th of March I was able to get a photo of one, a Fragile Forktail, another “punctuation mark” insect. Reptiles made themselves more available for viewing in the past week as well. Since March 10th when I saw the first Common Snapping Turtle of the season they have been out foragingRead more

Fish Crow and Lep Update

Though Fish Crows have been seen and heard in our area (Piedmont) for several weeks, Saturday (3/6) was the first sighting for me at the Museum. If I hadn’t heard them first I would have passed them off as American Crows. Although Fish Crows are a bit smaller the two species look very much alike. Luckily, their calls are a bit different. Fish Crows sound like an American Crow with its nose pinched as it calls, it’s very nasal. It’s veryRead more

Nuthatch Landlords? Hollies under Assault?

There are still two pairs of Hooded Mergansers present in the Wetlands. There is one pair of Canada Geese present. Red-tailed Hawks continue to be seen daily and Cooper’s Hawks have been noticed flying and perching in the vicinity of the previous year’s nest site. And, as mentioned above, Red-shouldered Hawks are once again showing up in the Wetlands. Eastern Phoebes are calling regularly in and around the Wetlands. Phoebes nest on ledges. I’ve witnessed the birds investigating potential nestRead more

Spotted Sandpiper Fly-by and other Comings and Goings

Top Photo: spotted sandpiper makes brief stop in wetlands. A Spotted Sandpiper was seen at the Sailboat Pond. The bird circled the pond once and then proceeded down the path toward Explore the Wild. Spotted Sandpipers prefer a muddy shoreline on which to forage for invertebrates. We don’t often see shorebirds at the Museum. If they stop in, they usually don’t stay long. A young Red-tailed Hawk, leisurely soaring over the Wetlands, was met by a Red-shouldered Hawk intent onRead more