Sky High Raptors

What do the 2 two geese (above) have to do with raptors, or birds of prey? Well, if I hadn’t been paying attention to those two geese I would not have seen a bald eagle soaring over our wetlands last week. As I approached a corner of our 750’ boardwalk near the Black Bear Exhibit, I noticed our two resident Canada geese below me in the water. As I peered over the rail, I realized both geese were staring skyward.Read more

Pied-billed Grebe

If we’re going to see a pied-billed grebe in our Wetlands it’s a safe bet it’ll be in late September or October. One of these small diving waterbirds dropped into the Wetlands yesterday (9/28). Pied-billed grebes are year round residents but I only see them here at the Museum between the end of September thru March. They’re fun to watch as they dive under the water for aquatic insects, fish, tadpoles, and the occasional crawfish. I’m not sure how long this one will stay with us,Read more

Look Who’s Back!

  I first noticed the grebe towards the end of the day on the 16th of October. I hadn’t seen one here in our Wetlands since 2012, September to be exact.     These smallest of grebes likely to be found in the east, are by no means rare, or even uncommon. A trip to any of the big lakes in our area during late fall or winter should score a look at one. Despite their relative common local occurence,Read more

Look Who’s in Town!

I haven’t seen a Pied-billed Grebe in the Wetlands here at the Museum since the fall of 2009, three years ago. I first noticed the current grebe on September 19, one week earlier than the first time I spied the 2009 grebe. That bird stayed with us into December of that year. Hope this one stays a while too! We usually lose our Green Herons to the migratory urge in late September, so we may not be seeing this one for muchRead more

The Crayfish Among Us: Part II

Our Wetlands is Changing! In August I wrote about a pile of crayfish hatchlings that I found on the path in Explore the Wild. I also wrote about how those crayfish are not native to our area and how they may be completely changing the Wetlands. The crayfish that I see and capture in our Wetlands are Red Swamp Crayfish (Procambarus clarkii). I first noticed these large crayfish with the red claws a little over two years ago. Then, it was unusual toRead more