Nature’s Art in the Museum Park

/ July 30, 2020
Green Heron

When you are a green heron, it’s easy to perch on a tiny limb and look intense! This beautiful wader made a surprise visit to the Pond on a recent Thursday. I’m not sure if he was foraging along the bank or if this was just a fly-by, but it was a treat to observe him.

Sometimes a green heron uses bait to catch its food. Don’t believe me? Here’s the video.

Praying mantis

This bright green praying (Chinese) mantis was minding its own business when I literally bumped into it in a patch of weeds. They are a bit ornery and give you “the look” if you try to pick them up.

These insects are fascinating! Did you know that they can catch small birds? According to a 2017 publication by Martin Nyffeler in The Wilson Journal of Ornithology, praying mantises catch and eat small birds on every continent except Antarctica. Nyffeler found no less than 147 documented instances of bird capture by praying mantises; wow!

Great horned owl
Great horned owl’s talons

On July 4 I was able to take a decent picture of a great horned owl. I had observed this exquisite bird in the same area a few weeks before but was unable to zoom in far enough. A great horned owl will eat just about anything that moves, including skunks, and even other birds such as red-shouldered hawks. How do they do that? Well, just look at those talons! Yikes, nothing escapes those claws!

If you’ve visited the Park lately, you may have noticed more turtles moving out of ponds and nearby woody areas. Turtle nesting season is in full swing, and eggs should be hatching soon. Homeschool Pop has an informative video for kids about turtles.

Turtle Sunbathing

If you’ve visited the Park lately, you may have noticed more turtles moving out of ponds and nearby woody areas. Turtle nesting season is in full swing, and eggs should be hatching soon. Homeschool Pop has an informative video for kids about turtles.

Belted kingfisher
Chantal Taunton
Chantal Taunton is a member of the NCMA's Park Police.

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