|  Home  |   About us  |   Programs & Projects  |   Calendar  |   Birding  |   Blog  |   Get Involved  |

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

November 25, 2008

An Adamant resident called today reporting a Spotted Salamander walking atop the snow. Although rare, sightings of this species can occur in late November as long as the ground is not completely frozen.

Monday, November 24, 2008

November 24, 2008

Under the parking lot light post, a lone moth was fluttering about. After catching the moth, it was discovered to be a Bruce Spanworm(Operophtera bruceata). A mating pair of these late-flying moths were seen last year on November 14th (see previous e-news entry for photos).

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

November 19, 2008

While observing one of the beaver ponds, ice could be seen breaking on the surface, signaling that something was swimming underneath. When the creature reached an opening in the ice and surfaced, it turned out to be a muskrat. What made this sighting peculiar was that this muskrat was carrying something large behind it. It set the mystery object, which was nearly as big as the muskrat itself, down on the beaver dam. As it dragged the object over the dam, it was clear as day that there were two tails slipping out of sight; the mystery object was a dead muskrat!

It turns out that "Although few people seem to realize it, the muskrat, although rodent, eats a quantity of animal foods. He will eat clams, snails, crayfish, fish, frogs, reptiles, young birds, and carrion, including other muskrats." (source: North American Mammals by Roger A. Caras)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

November 13, 2008

A dreadful 'thud' was heard this morning, from a bird striking a window (a rare event at NBNC). We're not sure what species, since it flew off unharmed directly afterwards, but this prompted the idea to post some tips to keep birds from striking your windows:

* Placing feeders and baths at least 25 feet from windows, or no more than 1-3 feet (so impacts will be at low-velocity) from windows.
* Draping a thin netting or soft fabric screen over the outside of the window. This is supposedly 100% effective, and netting shouldn't obstruct your view too much.
* Making sure windows are shaded to reduce reflections which can trick birds.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

November 11, 2008

It seems that the unseasonable weather has come to an end, with snow falling here at the Nature Center. Many amphibians and reptiles had been sighted during the past week's warm spell. Larry observed a Common Gartersnake on 11/2 in Winooski, Painted Turtles on 11/6 in Shelburne, and a Green Frog on 11/8 in Essex. Also seen on that date in Essex was a lone female Monarch butterfly!