While we’re all waiting…

…for 1287 (the wolf) to have her liter, a Green Heron dropped into the swamp across from the wolf exhibit. It’s good to see one of these little herons back in our midst from wherever it was for the past six months, presumably someplace warmer and with more fish, insects, and tadpoles to eat.

This Green Heron, in high breeding plumage (note red legs), perches on a willow branch in the Wetlands (4/13/11).
Great-crested Flycatchers are large flycatchers that nest at the Museum. (Photo from 6/19/10)

Also in our midst yesterday (4/13) was a Great Crested Flycatcher. I heard the loud WEEP call of the bird but couldn’t locate it visually. Unlike the Eastern Phoebe, another fly-catching bird, great cresteds leave our area during winter. This myiarchus flycatcher makes three flycatchers seen, or heard, this month. I saw an Eastern Kingbird last week.

And, as I was walking down the boardwalk towards the Black Bear Exhibit I heard a faint, and familiar, squeaky sound coming from the woods to my left. What else could it be but a Gray Catbird!

I didn’t get a good look at the bird, and its song wasn’t at full volume yet, but it was exciting to hear and get a glimpse of one of my favorite birds after so long. I hadn’t seen a catbird since October.

Gray Catbirds are a common sight and sound here at the Museum from April to October. (Photo from 6/19/10)

Yesterday was the first of the season Common Baskettail (Epitheca cynosura). I typically see Common Baskettails before I see Common Whitetails in each spring. Were the whitetails a little early this year, the baskettails a bit late, or both? Whichever is the case, they are both flying now and available for us to marvel at as they zip about on their partols over the paths and water in Explore the Wild.

A Common Baskettail hovering over the Wetlands. (Photo from 4/8/10)

It’s a great time of year for a walk…

2 responses to While we’re all waiting…

  1. Erin Brown says:

    I was telling you about that bird I saw the other day that I thought was a Great Crested — it was definitely a Gray Catbird. It was beautiful!

    • Greg Dodge says:

      The Gray Catbird, one of my favorite birds. Remind me to tell you a story about catbirds and poke berries.

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