It’s All About Procreation

Top Photo: Fledgling eastern phoebes huddle together as they await feeding from parent. Spring keeps chugging along, and with it the lives of many different creatures. Below are photos of some of our local residents rolling with the flow. A nestling blue-gray gnatcatcher waits for one of its parents to deliver protein. The lichen covered nest is in a maple tree on an island in our parking lot. It was spotted by sharp-eyed Ranger Dakota. Unlike gnatcatchers, brown-headed nuthatches nestRead more

Creepers

Top Photo: Brown creeper from (February 2015). Though they’re members of different families, brown creepers are often depicted in bird field guides on the same page as are the nuthatches. Let’s face it, their behavior is similar. While nuthatches, especially white-breasted nuthatches, work their way down tree limbs and trunks in search of insects and their larvae and eggs, creepers climb up and out on trunks and limbs doing pretty much the same thing. They’re gleaning food from under barkRead more

Feeder Wishes

Top Photo: Pine siskins at an older feeder here at museum, February 2013. I’ve been waiting patiently for winter birds to show up at the feeders here at the museum. Oh, I’ve seen red-breasted nuthatches, white-throated sparrows, dark-eyed juncos, (it’s always good to see them each year) and of course, all the local characters, like chickadees, titmice, white-breasted and brown-headed nuthatches, and so on. What I’m waiting to see is pine siskins and evening grosbeaks. Those two birds are irregularRead more

February

Despite the 70 degree temps we’re experiencing, it’s February. And, what happens every February here at the Museum of Life and Science? Hazel alder blooms. The golden flecks of wind-borne pollen sail through the air from the male catkins to the upright reddish female flowers (photo above). Look for the alders on the north side of the wetlands in Explore the Wild. Each February, brown-headed nuthatches pound away on the soft wood of some recently expired black willow in ourRead more

Reddish

When asked to describe a male cardinal, there’s little doubt in anyone’s mind what color the bird is, red. It’s not so clear-cut when describing some of our other local fauna. The red-bellied woodpecker in the above (and below) photos certainly has red on its head, but the red on it’s belly, the derivation of its common name, is not often seen. The bird, more often than not, perches with its belly against a tree trunk or branch making itRead more

February

It’s February, and what happens in February besides the Super Bowl and, this year, the Olympics? Spring! Well, not quite, but we’re getting there. To prove it, hazel alder is blooming (happens here at the Museum in Feb.), brown-headed nuthatches are excavating nest holes, and the red wolves are feeling amorous (sort of). The wind-borne pollen of the long, pendulous male flowers of the alder are now attempting to pollinate the small reddish, upright female flowers of the wetland growingRead more

It’s February

You don’t need a calendar to know that it’s February, just take a hike around the Wetlands here at the Museum. If you see two Canada Geese, it’s February. These two geese drop in every February, very often its within a few days of the first of the month. The geese are absent during summer through winter, spending only late winter and spring with us. I guesss their arrival could be termed as a harbinger of spring. It may beRead more

Feeder Watch

Slow and steady is the best way to describe the activity at the bird feeders in Catch the Wind. The local residents are visiting the feeders as usual but there have been few winter birds yet. Our first Pine Siskin didn’t show up until the second week in January last winter and I don’t often see Fox Sparrows until sometime in January, so there’s no need to sound the alarm. That’s not to say that there are no winter species hereRead more

Bluebird Update 4.9.13

Lots of news to report today. We’ll start at the “Cow Pasture.” Last week this nest box contained a completed nest but lacked eggs. It now has 3 beautiful blue eggs. The nest box at the meadow next to the “Take Off” which was empty last week now has a completed chickadee nest with eggs. The bird was incubating when I approached the nest, flew out of the entrance hole and scolded me from a nearby tree while I openedRead more

Siskins, others, and a sign of the season to come (maybe)

The cold weather following the cold front last Wednesday night brought with it increased activity at the bird feeders in Catch the Wind. There had been one Pine Siskin hanging around for a couple of weeks and Ranger Kristin reported 6 siskins at the feeders on Sunday (1/27) but it took the cold to bring in a group of 18 of the little finches. The birds had nearly cleaned out the thistle feeder, it was getting very low on seed,Read more