Tree Swallows Fledge

Top Photo: Two young tree swallows wait at entrance hole to nest box. The nest box pictured here was installed in the wetlands during the first half of March. Though the nest box was intended for either wood ducks or hooded mergansers, by the first week of April tree swallows were actively building a nest in the spacious structure. I’m happy to say that tree swallows have now fledged from the nest as of Saturday, the fourth day of June.Read more

Two Herps, Two Leps, Two Swallows, and Two Crows

Top Photo: Rat snake crossing path near Bird Viewing Exhibit. Rat snakes are common in our area so it’s not unusual to see one crossing the path at the museum, especially during spring when so much of the local wildlife is engaged in activities which make them vulnerable to predation. Birds are busy with nesting activities, frogs and toads are perhaps a little less cautious when in breeding mode, and if you have a chicken coop, you may have noticedRead more

Battle of the Bough

It was a struggle for home territory. A willow tree located on the northwest side of the wetlands was the site of the dispute. On one side, a resident pair of Carolina chickadees, the other, a pair of otherwise transient tree swallows. I occasionally see tree swallows passing through our area during migration. They dip into the wetlands, perhaps spend a few minutes to an hour hawking insects over the water, then they’re gone. They do, though, nest at someRead more

Purple Martins have arrived!!

No, no the martins have’t arrived here at the Museum, but elsewhere in North Carolina for sure. This from the local bird ListServ carolinabirds: From: Henry Link <> Date: February 22, 2012 1:24:04 PM EST To: Carolinabirds <> Subject: Guilford County Arrivals Guilford County’s “Martin Man”, Danny Royster called this morning to report seeing the first Purple Martin in his backyard north of Greensboro on Feb. 17. He had ten Purple Martins yesterday and a FOY [First of Year] TreeRead more

Bluebird Boxes

We’ve recently acquired five new nest boxes. The boxes are intended for Eastern Bluebirds but I think that Carolina Chickadees, House Wrens, or Tree Swallows (a long shot, but you never know) could use the boxes. I’d be happy with any of the above. The boxes were donated by Ken Kernodle, Steve McDaniel, and John Boone and installed by them with the help of Anne Baugh, Exhibits Research Specialist here at the Museum. Four of the boxes are in Catch theRead more

Mergs depart, Early Arrivals, and the Dreaded Cowbirds

I hadn’t seen a Hooded Merganser in the Wetlands since March. On the clear, cool morning of the 10th, there was a lone female swimming circles in the open water of the Wetlands. By mid-morning the bird took flight, circled the Wetlands once and headed off in a northwesterly direction. Will the mergansers return? My records suggest not. The third week in April (now) is four weeks later than these birds were observed last year. A buteo soaring across theRead more