The Warblers and The Aphids

Top Photo: Northern Parula on river birch. The other day while down in Explore the Wild on a cool October morning there was an active group of migrant songbirds working the trees along the shoreline. The group was composed of mostly yellow-rumped warblers, a few northern parulas and some kinglets. While the yellow-rumped warblers (butter-butts) were attracted to the wax myrtle fruit, which is in abundance this year, a river birch tree held the attention of the other birds inRead more

Fall Update

Top Photo: Eastern phoebe awaits airborne insects. These hardy flycatchers will be with us for most of the winter. The weather is delightful and so are the sights outdoors at the museum. But, you have to be there to see them. Abelia is still blooming and attracting visitors at the Butterfly House Garden. It’s a non-native species but not considered invasive. A carpenter bee buzzes by goldenrod in the garden along the stairway and ramp leading to the Butterfly House.Read more

Bird Feeders

If you happen to be passing Bird Viewing while on your way to or from Catch the Wind on the Museum’s outdoor loop trail, stop and sit down for a few minutes. Grab one of the very comfortable Adirondack chairs (you won’t want to get up again) and set a while. You’re very likely to see Carolina chickadee, northern cardinal, tufted titmouse, white-breasted nuthatch, Carolina wren, downy and red-bellied woodpeckers, mourning dove, and pine warbler, among others, year round. InRead more

Winter Visitors

I recently reported that at least two of our female mergansers have paired up with males. That’s certainly true, but there are still “singles” out there who have yet to make a commitment. And, the available males are not being shy about their intentions. One minute they’re swimming along peacefully, the next they shift into display mode. The mergansers are, for the most part, winter visitors here. And so are Hermit Thrushes. One of the best places to see aRead more

Cold Front

I was expecting big things after the passage of the cold front on Tuesday evening. The next morning I anxiously took a look around the grounds for any birds that may have come in behind the front. I was secretly hoping for a Northern Saw-whet Owl. I’ve looked for saw-whets every year here at the Museum during November and December. I’ve yet to find one. They’re small owls, about 7 or 8 inches and weigh 5 ounces or less. TheyRead more

In Celebration of Yellow Rumps, Ruby Crowns, and Blue Heads.

I saw the first Yellow-rumped Warbler of the season here at the Museum on October 10, just two weeks ago. The chilly northwest winds of the latter part of last week brought in masses of them. When this occurs, as it does every year at this time, I usually sift through them for other migrants and take photo after photo of the birds. The birds are typically very hungry from a long night’s flight so they’re not as concerned withRead more