Arb Sightings 11/12/09

Posted on November 12th, 2009 by

I think all of us in southern Minnesota can agree that the weather during this past week of November has been much more pleasant than any week in October. Earlier this week, temperatures here reached the mid-60’s, reminiscent of the warm, sunny weather of two months ago. The weird weather patterns we’re experiencing may be related to an El NiƱo event that began in early July; this periodic warming in the Pacific Ocean tends to create milder winters in the Midwest.

Due to the warm weather, there has been significantly reduced activity in the Bird and Butterfly Garden; instead of hanging around the seed feeders, most of the birds are elsewhere in the arboretum finding seeds, nuts, and even insects. Warmer weather means that the birds don’t have to work as hard to keep their core temperatures warm, and thus they don’t need to consume as much food. Squirrels have been busy as well on these warm days, caching their seeds and nuts for winter storage. Many of their leaf nests are visible at the tops of bare deciduous trees in the Arb, as nearly all of the non-oak leaves have fallen and are now cluttered on the still-green lawn.

The scenery behind the Interpretive Center, 11/12/09.

The scenery behind the Interpretive Center, 11/12/09.

Here are some other highlights from this week in the Arb:

– 4 Bald Eagles flying over Interpretive Center 11/8

– Cedar Waxwings feeding on highbush cranberries behind Interpretive Center 11/11

– Late Yellow-rumped Warbler foraging in highbush cranberry behind Interpretive Center 11/11

– Several small grasshoppers still present along walking trail near Borgeson Cabin 11/9


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