Spring Posts

Shoots by , Ranger

April 11th, 2014

Things are changing rapidly out of doors. Early blooming trees and flowers are doing just that, blooming, and leaves are shooting out of twigs and stems. The following photos were taken just a day or two ago. They look different already. You owe it to yourself to get out there and have a look around. […] Read the rest of this entry »

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288 Days Later! by , Ranger

April 11th, 2014

As I walked past the northeast corner of the Wetlands, the area near the Red Wolf Enclosure, I noticed a small hole in the ground a foot or so off the path. I pass this area numerous times during a typical day and I always look down at this same spot. Why? Because last June […] Read the rest of this entry »

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Snappers by , Ranger

April 10th, 2014

What are all of these people looking at? Why, it’s a tiny snapping turtle! Just minutes earlier the little snapping turtle was spotted crossing the macadam that makes up the path through Explore the Wild. With mud still caked onto its shell and body from the dig out of its underground nest, the turtle wasted […] Read the rest of this entry »

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Bluebird Update 4/8/14 by , Ranger

April 9th, 2014

The second week in April and we have eggs, chickadee eggs, seven chickadee eggs! All six nest boxes have complete nests within. Three chickadee nests and three bluebird nests. The nests at the Cow Pasture, Amphimeadow, and Picnic Dome all have bluebird nests but, as yet, no eggs. The chickadee nests are at the Bungee, […] Read the rest of this entry »

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Just Add Heat! by , Ranger

April 7th, 2014

All it took was a bit of warm sunshine and all of the critters came crawling out of the mud and from under logs, rocks and the leaf litter. The amphibians and reptiles made the news this week with new arrivals and increased numbers of previously seen species. Although I’d seen several Brown Snakes earlier in […] Read the rest of this entry »

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Bluebird Update 4/1/14 by , Ranger

April 3rd, 2014

The first thing to report is that there were no eggs in any of the nests this week. I had predicted there would be eggs in at least one of the boxes. Proof again that the birds know better than I when it comes to when and where to lay their eggs. A few of […] Read the rest of this entry »

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Waxwings, “Just stopping by.” by , Ranger

April 1st, 2014
Not a feather out of place.

Not a feather out of place.

The wandering nomadic flocks of Cedar Waxwings are always a pleasure to see. I usually hear them before I see them, their trill, high-pitched calls signaling their presence, either flying overhead or perched above in some tall tree staging for an assault of a nearby fruiting tree or shrub. Hearing high-pitched sounds is not as easy for me as it once was, so it was by sight that I first became aware of a flock here at the Museum last week.

The birds were flying to and from loblolly pines to a group of red cedar trees next to the Sail Boat Pond in Catch the Wind. They were laying bare the fruit of the cedars, as waxwings are known to do. The flocks spot a likely source of fruit, holly berries, Pyracantha, or fruit laden cedar tree, assault the tree or shrub for however long it takes to render it fruitless, then fly off to find a new source of berries.

I photographed the berries of this same group of cedars for a display case in Explore the Wild during late Fall of last year. The trees were loaded with fruit.

A close shot of the cedar, or juniper, berries,  from November.

A close shot of the cedar, or juniper, berries, from November.

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Red Wolf by , Ranger

March 31st, 2014

If you’re standing in front of the Red Wolf Enclosure when any of the Animal Keepers are in the vicinity, you may be lucky enough to get a close view of the wolves as they walk, or run, around the enclosure trying to get a glimpse of what the keepers are up to. You may […] Read the rest of this entry »

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Northern Rough-winged Swallow by , Ranger

March 28th, 2014

There was a considerable amount of flycatching going on in our Wetlands on Wednesday. Besides the local Eastern Phoebes and winter resident Yellow-rumped Warblers (butter butts) sallying forth from their willow branch perches to capture winged insects over the Wetlands’ water, two Northern Rough-winged Swallows showed up. They are aerial specialist, only perching to rest […] Read the rest of this entry »

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Bluebird Update 3/25/14 by , Ranger

March 26th, 2014

All six of our bluebird nest boxes are spoken for, three have been claimed by Carolina Chickadees and three by bluebirds. Although there was minimal work done on two of the bluebird nests in the past week, just a few needles added and moved around a bit, the chickadees have been working in earnest. The little […] Read the rest of this entry »

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