From Hummingbirds to Mushrooms

Top Photo: A lichen “pipe.” What appears at first to be some sort of corn-cobish kind of smoking pipe is actually a ruby-throated hummingbird nest. Ranger Dakota noticed it lying in the leaf litter adjacent to the Farmyard. As soon as I saw the object I knew it was a hummers nest, about 1 3/4” high, 1 1/2” across and covered with lichen. The nest must have fallen from a loblolly pine above us on the path. The delicate lookingRead more

Early Spring

Neotropical migrants won’t begin arriving on the scene for a month or more. However, our local year-round resident birds have the jump on those mainly insectivorous migrants. Some of the locals like cardinals, towhees, brown thrashers, Carolina wrens and others are in full song and some are building or investigating nest sites. American robin numbers are increasing, and keep an eye out for cedar waxwings on any shrubs or trees that still have fruit, like holly or red cedar. NorthernRead more

Cold Front

I was expecting big things after the passage of the cold front on Tuesday evening. The next morning I anxiously took a look around the grounds for any birds that may have come in behind the front. I was secretly hoping for a Northern Saw-whet Owl. I’ve looked for saw-whets every year here at the Museum during November and December. I’ve yet to find one. They’re small owls, about 7 or 8 inches and weigh 5 ounces or less. TheyRead more

Bluebird Update 3.26.13

As you can see in the above photo one our bluebird nests has eggs. We’ll have to wait to see if the female lays more eggs or starts incubating right away. I didn’t see a bird in the vicinity when I inspected the box so maybe she intends to add to the clutch. In other words, she wasn’t incubating when I inspected the box on Tuesday (3/26) and they typically don’t start incubating until all the eggs are laid, soRead more

Be careful out there little titmouse

I was sitting at the bird feeders at Bird Viewing in Catch the Wind. I was watching the titmice, chickadees, and other birds busily feeding in front of me when suddenly, they scattered. A whoosh of wings came at me, then abruptly turned and landed in a tree about 30 feet to my left, hidden in the shadows. In the midst of all this I heard a high pitched, shrill whistle come from somewhere over by the feeders. There, onRead more