The Hermit and The Hole

Top Photo: Hermit thrush perches on vine in Explore the Wild. There are three thrushes which regularly spend the winter at the museum, eastern bluebird, American robin, and hermit thrush. All are migratory to some extent, though our local robins and bluebirds stay put. Only one is exclusively a winter visitor. Hermit thrushes arrive in our area late September to October. By the middle of May they’re gone. Mostly insectivorous, they consume many berries during the colder, insect deficient winterRead more

Observations on a Woodpecker

What is the woodpecker on the right doing? It’s excavating a hole in a pine tree. At the moment the photo was taken it was looking inside the hole to see how the work was going, perhaps assessing what needs to be done next, or both. There were already four holes in this tree when work began, all above the hole currently being excavated. They, the other holes, looked to be unusable due to decay. In fact, the tree brokeRead more

Time to Nest

If there was any doubt as to whether or not winter is behind us, the cheerful singing of the cardinals, titmice, Song Sparrows and chickadees should belay those thoughts. Woodpeckers and nuthatches are working on drilling nest-holes, and titmice and chickadees, who are not as well equipped for drilling into wood, are hunting for old nest-holes left over from last year’s spring flurry of activity by the woodpeckers and nuthatches. The photo above is of a Carolina Chickadee giving the onceRead more

Aloft at the Museum

If you look skyward while walking the trails through Explore the Wild and Catch the Wind you’re likely to see one of five hawks or vultures which are regular visitors to the Museum. Turkey Vultures are a daily sight as they soar, dip and bank across the Museum’s airspace. The slightly smaller Black Vulture, while seen at least once a week here at the Museum, is not as frequently encountered as the Turkey Vulture. Hardly a day passes without seeingRead more

Excavations Underway, Visitors from the North

For the past month or more, a male Red-bellied Woodpecker has been excavating a hole near the end of a broken branch of a Loblolly Pine. The pine is just outside the entrance to the Lemur House. The bird will, presumably, use the hole to roost in during the cold winter nights, and perhaps to nest in later in the year. This industrious woodpecker is not always at the site, but is usually on the job from a little afterRead more