Nest Box Update 5.19.22

Top Photo: Eastern bluebird eggs. A few days late, this report sees our bluebird trail with 9 eggs in two active nests. Three of those eggs are bluebird eggs, the rest belong to house wrens. The Cow Pasture nest now has 3 bluebird eggs. This nest box has already fledged 4 bluebirds. This, the second brood, is usually smaller in size than the first set of eggs. I don’t expect to see more eggs in this nest. The Explore theRead more

Aquatic Turtle Nesting Season

Top Photo: Yellow-bellied slider returning from early morning egg laying near Butterfly House. It’s aquatic turtle nesting season. Our sliders, musk, painted, and snapping turtles all come ashore during this season to dig nests and lay eggs. They may travel quite a distance from water to do this, from Hideaway Woods to Earth Moves and all points in between. If you happen to see one of these turtles digging a nest, or hiking across one of our paths, give itRead more

Nest Box Update 3.29.22

Top Photo: Bluebird nest with eggs. There are 10 eggs spread out along our six nest box trail. Seven of those eggs belong to bluebirds, three to chickadees. One nest, which had been started by bluebirds has been abandoned and reoccupied by chickadees. The Cow Pasture nest box, which last week held three bluebird eggs, now contains six. I saw neither parent while checking the box. There’s been work done on the bluebird nest in the box in Explore theRead more

What you might see

Top Photo: “New” frogs huddled together on floating log. All are bullfrogs recently morphed from tadpoles. Some still have tails. Here are photos of things you might see on our outdoor loop through Explore the Wild and Catch the Wind. Each fall there’s a flurry of Cape May warbler activity in the trees on the north side of the wetlands, whichever trees are infested with insects. This year, it’s the mimosas. The insect? Mimosa web worms. Grasshoppers become more evidentRead more

Eno, Ellerbe and the Bones

Top Photo: Ellerbe left and Eno. The animal keepers occasionally place deer legs into the Red Wolf Enclosure. The wolves appreciate the additional offerings of nutrition and behavioral enrichment, though it’s not always clear what is appreciated more. To further harmony, Eno finds his own leg bone to gnaw on. Entente.Read more

The Changing Environment and Chronolog

Top Photo: Wetlands in summer. If you haven’t been to the museum’s wetlands in a while (let’s face, not many people have since this past March) and you miss it, here’s a few shots of what it looks like now. Back in March the deciduous trees were just beginning to leaf and aside from the needles of the loblolly pines the scape was shades of grays and browns. Now it’s full of color with the black willows, redwoods, cypress, maples,Read more

Confusing Butterflies

Top Photo: Pearl crescents mate. There are two small, orange and black butterflies in our area that are very similar in appearance and may easily be confused with one another. I’ve gotten them mixed up on more than one occasion. As mentioned, both are orange and black, both fly low to the ground and both can be found in the same habitat, though one prefers wetter areas. First, a warning, the butterflies are variable in pattern and coloration. They don’tRead more

What’s Happening on the Outdoor Loop

Top Photo: The Wetlands in summer. If you’re familiar with the museum’s outdoor loop through Catch the Wind and Explore the Wild, you may be happy to know that life goes on as it always has in the past. There are, though, a few changes around the bend. Here, a few familiar sights and a few behind the scenes sneak previews. Shrubby St. John’s wort is in bloom, as it is each year at this time. The 4 foot tallRead more

Nest Box Update 6.9.20

An easy accounting of the nest boxes this week, there’s only one active nest. The nest box on the west side of the parking deck held four bluebird eggs last week. An adult male flew out of the box as I opened the side access door this morning. Presumably, the male had been incubating. There should be chicks by next week’s inspection. This may be a good time to clean out the old nests in the inactive nest boxes andRead more

Two Hoppers and Two Flies

Top photo: American bird grasshopper. Insects are with us throughout the year whether as eggs, pupa, or in some species, adults. But it’s spring and summer when we start seeing them in numbers. Many of the adults that you’re seeing now have spent the cooler months safely tucked away and are just emerging as adults after an entire season below ground, embedded in wood, or in eggs cases attached to last year’s plant growth. American bird grasshoppers (top photo) overwinterRead more