Hoodeds Have Arrived!

  This past Tuesday, I suggested that our wintering hooded mergansers will arrive “any day now.” They have arrived! Well, one of them has arrived. A lone male was seen this morning (Sat. 10/31) on the far side of the Wetlands, and what an eyesome creature he is. Stay tuned, others can’t be far behind. Happy waterfowling! Update: As I walked through the Wetlands an hour after posting this, I noticed two more drakes for a total of three male mergansers. Also, sawRead more

2014-2015 Creeper Shot: In the Can

  Once again, the annual brown creeper shot is in the can. Each winter I happen across one of these birds that allows me a close enough approach so as to get a photo or two. Most of the time the shots are of the bird’s tail, a piece of the wing, or very much out of focus due to the bird’s frenetic behavior, and my camera’s slow reaction time. On Saturday, February 28, while standing at the Red WolfRead more

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker Time

  Yellow-bellied sapsuckers are woodpeckers. Unlike red-bellied, downy, hairy, and red-headed woodpeckers they’re not year round residents in our area. They typically arrive in the Piedmont in October and depart by April when they head north or retreat back into our mountains to nest. You might see one or two a bit earlier or later than October or April, but those individuals are the exception. Sapsuckers drill small, neatly aligned holes or wells into the bark of trees. The holesRead more

Annual Creeper Shot

Each year, I get at least one crack at a photo of a Brown Creeper, sometimes two. Most of the shots I manage to get of the stiff-tailed little birds are out of focus or too far away to tell what the bird is. The birds don’t sit still for long and their method of foraging on the trunks of trees makes it more difficult, they make a spiraling ascent of the tree. They appear, then they disappear, appear, disappear,Read more

Mall Gulls

We don’t see many gulls here at the Museum. The place to look for gulls is Jordan Lake, Falls Lake, Lake Crabtree, and mall and fast food restaurant parking lots. The vast majority of the gulls in our area are Ring-billed Gulls. Tens of Thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of the medium sized gulls arrive from the north each year sometime in November and depart in April. A few arrive early and some linger in the spring, but forRead more

Merganser Numbers Increase

On November 1st, I reported that a male Hooded Merganser arrived in our Wetlands. That bird was by itself until Saturday, two days later, when a female showed up. On Tuesday (11/6) when I made my rounds through Explore the Wild I saw five birds. There are now eight. According to most range maps, Hooded Mergansers are permanent residents in our area. Perhaps they are, but I don’t see them here after mid-April, and that’s usually a non-breeding individual thatRead more