Wrens in Vapor Rings

Top Photo: Prefab wren alternate nest house in vicinity of Vapor Rings exhibit in Catch the Wind. Each year at this time we check the air canons at the Vapor Rings Exhibit to see if they have Carolina wren nests in them. There usually is at least some nest material in one or more of the canons. If there is, it’s removed. If we catch it before there’re eggs in the nest we consider it a job well done. WeRead more

Carolina Wren

Carolina wrens are famous, or should I say infamous, for not being picky about where they build their nests. The nest is a clumsy looking dome-shaped mass of leaves, grasses, roots, string, and whatever other debris happens to be lying about. It has a side entrance. They’re officially listed as cavity nesters, building their nests inside a woodpecker hole, rock crevice or ledge, hollow log, or bird box. It seems though, that any fairly enclosed structure will do, flower pots,Read more

July, gone but not forgotten

On its way to the ocean via the Eno River, Falls Lake and Neuse River, Ellerbe Creek runs through our 84 acre campus. Before it reaches us, it flows under an interstate highway (twice), through a golf course, through quiet neighborhoods and under and through a mall, mostly unseen by the local human population. There are a handful of preserves along its 20 mile meander through Durham but for the most part, I’d wager, most folks don’t know it exists.Read more

Spring Happenings

Before and after your visit to the Red Wolf Enclosure to see the wolf pups out in Explore the Wild, be sure to keep a keen lookout for some of our local wild fauna here at the Museum. The garden in front of the Butterfly House, the sides of the paths around our outdoor loop, and the Wetlands are host to many a diverse creature waiting for your discovery. Currently, insects, frogs, and birds are stealing the show. Beetles, dragonflies,Read more

The Feeders

OK, in the past few weeks we’ve had days with snow, ice, and some very cold temperatures. We’ve also had a solid week, seven days, with temps in the sixties and seventies. And now, it’s chilling down again. Not long ago the local birds were singing a happy tune. Now it seems all they care about is putting on fat, the bird feeders in Catch the Wind are busy! Here’s just some of the birds looking to put on weightRead more

Gnatcatcher and the Wren

Blue-gray Gnatcatchers usually arrive in the spring before the trees leaf-out and start building nests right away. The absence of leaves, and the fact that they are very vocal when building the nest, makes it fairly easy for people who want to find the nest to actually locate them. The birds are not very loud, but persistent in their squeaky, buzzy vocalizations.  Even so, I often have trouble locating the nest of these little, gray bundles of energy here at theRead more