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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The Pace Quickens by , Ranger

March 24th, 2014

As the days pass, more and more species step in line. Plants and animals that have been waiting out the cold spring to life as the daytime temperatures hit the 70s and the nights level off in the fifties. A couple more days of chilly (not cold, but chilly) weather and it will all be […] Read the rest of this entry »

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Spring Too by , Ranger

March 21st, 2014

Spring progresses, interupted occassionally by sleet, snow and freezing rain, but still progresses. In between the bouts of the above mentioned weather I’ve photographed proof that spring is here and that it can’t be reversed. And finally, not necessarily a sign of spring but just a nice portrait of Red Wolf 1414 as he surveys […] Read the rest of this entry »

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Bluebird Update 3/18/14 by , Ranger

March 19th, 2014

With tree limbs sheathed in ice and icicles dangling from the roof of the nest boxes, it may not seem like bluebird time, but it is. I did a check of the six nest boxes here at the Museum and all save one has seen activity in the last week. Only the nest box behind […] Read the rest of this entry »

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