Meteorologically, Fall

Top Photo: Green heron works the “turtle logs” in the wetlands. It is, according to climatologists and meteorologists, fall. I agree. Days are getting shorter. Trees that’ve been pumping water and nutrients from their roots to their leaves have slowed down production. And although it’s still mighty hot outside during the day, the night time temps seem to be moderating. Here’s some of the things that have been going on during the first week of Fall. Though they’ll be leavingRead more

Nest Box Update 7.19.22 (The Final Count)

Top Photo: Eastern bluebird nest with eggs. There has been no activity in any of our six nest boxes. Though there are partial bluebird nests in the nest boxes at Explore the Wild and the east side of the parking deck, they haven’t be tended to for over a month. Likewise, the house wren nest in the nest box on the west side of the parking deck hasn’t been touched since June. I tallied the total birds fledged for eachRead more

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

Nest Box Update 5.10.22

Top Photo: Eastern bluebird eggs. We currently have two nests with at least some activity. One nest is definitely house wren occupied, the other seems to be bluebird. The four remaining nest boxes appear to be stalled with either “old” abandoned nests or are where nestlings have recently fledged and are waiting for new occupants. The Cow Pasture nest box had recently fledged 4 bluebirds, had been cleaned and looks to be over-going a rebuild. The rebuilders are most likelyRead more

Masons, a Cob, an Anole, Tadpoles, and a Red Bat

Top Photo: Mason bee hangs at entrance to its nest in mud wall. There are simply too many things happening outdoors to sit idle. Everything and everybody is waking up, becoming more active, stirring, building nests, blooming, fruiting, whatever it is they do in spring, and I don’t want to miss any of it. If you’ve ever been to the museum and visited Into the Mist in Catch the Wind you’ve probably noticed a little hut in the back ofRead more

Purple Martin Update

Last fall the entire population of our largest species of swallow took flight to follow the summer south of the equator. They spent the past several months in South America. They are now making their way back north, some having already been spotted within North Carolina. Click the link below to see where. Once there, click on the + to zoom in. Click on the purple dots to get information on individual sightings across their range as they progress northward.Read more

A Spider and a Resting Monarch

Top Photo: Spider takes refuge under magnolia leaf. After my having walked through it’s partially deconstructed web, the architect and builder retreated to the underside of a sturdy southern magnolia leaf. It was an orb weaver which tells you what kind of web it builds and what family of spiders it belongs to, Araneidae. Araneidae build the stereotypical webs most people are familiar with. The webs are vertically oriented, circular webs placed across paths, roads, walkways, between shrubs and trees,Read 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

Nest Box Update for the Month of May 2021

We have six nest boxes on our bluebird trail. I inspect the nest boxes once per week following the same sequence each week; Cow Pasture, Explore the Wild, Into the Mist, Parking Deck East, Parking Deck West, and Butterfly House. This is a compilation of the nest box inspections for the month of May. May 5 There are currently three active nests, though no eggs. Two nest boxes have been taken over by house wrens. The house wren nest inRead more

Mergansers Arrive!

The first fall migrants have arrived. Today (10/28), I spotted three hooded mergansers, two female and one male, on the far side of the wetlands. One or two typically show up during the last week in October, sometimes a week or so earlier, but certainly by the first week in November. As in other years, the mergs usually get right down to the business of pair bonding upon arrival in their winter quarters. As other males arrive, and should theyRead more