Category: wild animals

Follow the Fur

Most Eastern Gray Squirrels don’t have the brown face and back stripe that this one, seen under the feeders at Wachusett Meadow, does. That makes it easily identifiable, and a perfect candidate for following this winter. I’ll be noticing how much time it spends under the feeders, how far it travels along the nearby stone walls and trees, its feeding habits, and its social interactions.


Friends of Mass Audubon Wachusett Meadow

Just a few of the “friends” I’ve had the pleasure to see these past months at the Audubon Sanctuary in Princeton, MA.

Barred Owl
Red Squirrel
Phoebe
Sheep
Bobolink
Red-tailed Hawk
American Turkey
Black Bear
Red Fox
White-tailed Deer
Juvenile Raccoon
Great Blue Heron
Painted Turtles
Mallard Duck
Canada Goose
Black-capped Chickadee

Beaver Wetlands

One of several beaver lodges partially covered with snow.
Last Summer, this beaver could be seen munching on plants most evenings.
Boardwalk at the edge of the wetlands with the snow just melting.
The long expanse of reeds. Benches give visitors a chance to immerse themselves in the landscape.
A wood duck box. I was fortunate to view this shy species of duck last summer.
The wind-blown reeds close-up.
A Great Blue Heron visits the main pond most Summer afternoons.

Nike Up Close

A few days ago, I highlighted a beautiful Canada goose I named Nike in honor of its incredible wings. Yesterday, I was able to consider in more depth features of this prevalent New England bird.

Canada geese arrive at this pond at the Wachusett Meadow Audubon Sanctuary in early Spring and raise families before leaving in the Fall. Likeable and easy-going, they are comfortable co-existing with human visitors. I was able to easily photograph their famed “goose necks”, intricate layers of feathers, startling dark eyes, and bills that are perfectly attuned to their habitat. Because of my intimate visits with them, I no longer consider these engaging and attractive birds “just ordinary geese”!

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Make Way For Mallards

Robert McCloskey’s “Make Way For Ducklings” (1941) is a classic children’s story of a mallard couple who raise a family in a park in Boston, Massachusetts. When I was a primary school teacher, I read this imaginative book dozens of times to my students.

It was wonderful to pass a peaceful hour observing a real mallard couple at the Audubon. Their vibrant colors, patterns and serene presence were delightful. It was easy to understand why McCloskey chose to feature these creatures in his story.

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