New Bear, Rose Hips, and an At Home Mockingbird

Top Photo: A panoramic view of the wetlands from the boardwalk. We have a new black bear in our Black Bear Enclosure which brings the number of ursine occupants at the museum to four. That includes Mimi, Gus, Little, and now an approximately 9 month old male cub (not yet named) in residence. You may see him pacing back and forth in front of the overlook in Explore the Wild. Don’t fret, there’s always a period of anxiety when newRead more

A Dropped Feather

Top Photo: What bird’s feather? I found the feather (above) on the path, not far from the Dinosaur Trail. I knew it was a primary feather, one of the last primaries, furthest out on the wing. The outer primaries tend to be long and narrow in comparison to the inner primaries and secondaries. This feather was about 87 mm long. A primary feather that long would probably belong to a bird about the same size of a robin, or aRead more


Top Photo: Northern mockingbird surveys its domain atop small tree in Butterfly House Garden. The common name northern mockingbird comes from the fact these birds are the northernmost occurring species of mockingbird. Other mockingbird species are resident from Central to South America. The genus name Mimus means mimic. The specific Latin name, polyglottos, means “many-tongued or languaged.” Mimus polyglottos, this bird’s Latin name, means “many tongued mimic.” Mockingbirds prefer open areas with shrubs, hedges and small fruiting trees and shrubs. They’re territorial and won’t hesitate toRead more

A Four Hawk Week

Top Photo: A hawk passes over. This past week I saw four hawk species pass overhead here at the museum. In case you would like to have a try at identifying the hawks yourself, I’ll wait several days before filling in the captions with the correct species names. The hawks pictured are not to scale.Read more

Catbird singing

Catbirds have been back for over a month but they’re more obvious now than they had been, they’re singing. Gray Catbirds are mimic thrushes. They’re in the same group of birds as Northern Mockingbirds and Brown Thrashers. They sometimes imitate other birds or sounds in their local area. One catbird here at the Museum does a very good job of imitating the “police” whistles used by the Animal Keepers to call in the bears. But what ever the catbird imitates,Read more

Let’s not forget the others

With so much talk about herons lately I don’t want to forget the other residents of the Museum’s wild parts. Here’s what some of them have been up to. A few birds… Several turtles… And the heat goes on… And something left over from summer… It wouldn’t be out of the question for those eggs to have hatched. It is very much like spring on this last week of January. The Red-shouldered Hawks were up performing their aerial courtship displays,Read more