Feeling the Heat?

Top Photos:  Green treefrog peeks out from frog pipe in Earth Moves. It may be hot out there, but at least their’s plenty to look at to get your mind off the temperature, somewhat. If you’re going to take a photo of a silver-spotted skipper, do it fast, they don’t sit still long. You never know what or who you’re going to run into. Yes, it’s hot, but you can’t see any of these things sitting inside with the A/CRead more

Nest Box Update 5.14.24

Top Photo: eastern bluebird eggs. Of our six nest boxes, three hold bluebird eggs, two, five, and three for a total of ten eggs. The other three nest boxes are empty. — The Cow Pasture nest box still contains two bluebird eggs. There have been two eggs in this nest since at least April 30’s inspection of the nest boxes, two weeks ago. These eggs should have hatched. I’ve not seen adult bluebirds in the area. Has this nest beenRead more

Cicadas and Other Things Around the Campus

Top Photo: Magicada tredecim, one of two species of periodical cicadas emerging this spring in the Central Piedmont of North Carolina. You’ve most likely heard about the emergence of two broods of cicadas this spring, Brood XIII and Brood XIX of seventeen year and thirteen year periodical cicadas, respectively. Here in Durham and surrounding counties there is no overlap of the two broods but there are two species emerging at the same time from Brood XIX. Magicada tredecim and MagicadaRead more

Common Snapping Turtle Tumble

Top Photo: Common snapping turtles during spring mating. A disturbance just below the water’s surface caught my attention. Something was breaking the water’s surface about 100 feet or more out in the open water of the wetlands. Then it was gone. Was it a duck? No, all our winter resident diving ducks had already departed for the north, or wherever else they feel a need to be at this time of year. Was it an otter? Otters can stay belowRead more

Nest Box Update 4.9.24

Top Photo: Eastern bluebirds eggs. All six of our nest boxes are occupied. Two contain chickadee nests and four are bluebird made. There are 18 eggs (5 chickadee, 13 bluebird) and 6 nestlings (all bluebird). —- The female bluebird who sits in the nest box in the Cow Pasture is incubating 5 eggs. There are 5 Carolina chickadee eggs in the nest box at Explore the Wild. An incubating bird flushed as we approached the nest box. One of theRead more

More Quick Pics

Top Photo: Amur maple seeds. It’s a warm day in February, just the weather for strolling around campus. Here’s a mere handful of what you might see while you’re out there this week. There’s much more out there than this small sample of goodies suggests. So what are you waiting for, get out and have a look around!Read more

Final Nest Box Update 8.1.23

Top Photo: Eastern bluebird eggs. The bluebird nesting season here at the museum is officially over. There’s no activity in any of our six nest boxes. The table below is a total of all the birds fledged since 2012, when I first began monitoring the nest boxes. There were a total of 36 birds fledged this season. The best years for bluebirds were during the 2012, 2013, and 2014 seasons. Chickadees had their best years in 2013, 2018, and 2023,Read more

Nest Box Update 7.11.23 and 7.18.23

Top Photo: Eastern bluebird eggs. (This post covers two weeks of nest box inspections due to my absence) We have one active nest, the Cow Pasture. ————————— The Cow Pasture nest has what looks to be five house wren nestlings. The oversized bills on the birds give it away. (Thanks to Ranger Dakota and Volunteer Sammie for getting a photo of the nestlings last week – 7/11/23). Previously, there were six eggs in the nest but in both photos, fromRead more

Nest Box Update 6.27.23

Top Photo: Eastern bluebird eggs. It’s now down to one active nest, a second brood by house wrens. —————————— The nest box at the Cow Pasture now has six house wren eggs. This nest has already produced 4 house wrens. This is the second brood of the season. The Explore the Wild, Into the Mist, and Parking Deck East nest boxes are all empty. I expected an empty nest at Parking Deck West during this week’s inspection of the nestRead more