Spring took a long time to arrive at the Wetlands this year and now it is already summer! There is so much activity to report! My animal friends are a-buzz with stories about all the children that visited Discovery Center and participated in our Wetland Wonders tour.
During the tour, the children saw muskrats, which are herbivores, feeding on fresh green shoots of arrowroot and cattail. Nearby sleek otters playfully swam and dove for fish. Otters are carnivores; they rely on varying combinations of aquatic invertebrates, amphibians, fish, and other prey. Many species of mammals depend on wetland habitats for survival.
Plump tadpoles have emerged from layers of mud and young turtles swim upon the surface of the water in the Lily Pad Pond. A Frogs life cycle starts in the pond as an egg. The tadpole hatches out and stays in the pond, slowly growing back legs and then front legs. As it turns into an adult frog, its whole body slowly changes. Its mouth and tongue become better suited for catching insects and other living things. As adults, only two of our local frogs spend much time in the pond: the Bullfrog and the Green Frog.
Dragonflies sport brilliant blue and green coats as they flit about in the air and water snakes slither out to sunbathe on logs. Birdwatchers have reported sightings of cedar waxwings and hummingbirds. Soon the yellow-rumped warbler will announce its’ arrival. Recently a pair of American Wigeon rested here from their long migration. They are a rare sight as they mainly stay in the southwest. You can learn more about birds and migration with The Cornell Lab of Ornithology. (http://www.allaboutbirds.org)
How wonderful to see the Wetlands come awake after all these months! Come to Discovery Center and walk through the Wetlands to see what spring offers to those who love and connect to nature.
Experience the wetlands on a guided Wetland Walk, Citizen Science, and Nature Nuts. Find out more here!
Bill’s Brain Building Vocabulary
Wetlands: A wetland is a land area that is saturated with water, either permanently or seasonally. They include swamps, marshes and bogs. Wetlands are important because they contain more life than any other habitat in our area. Mosquitos, dragonflies, frogs, salamanders, and many other animals need wetlands as a key part in their life cycles. They also provide habitat for herons, ducks, and geese to live in and rest in as they migrate. Wetlands are the most diverse habitat in our area.
Learn more about wetlands . . . (http://www.nwf.org/Kids/Ranger-Rick/Animals/Mixture-of-Species/What-Is-A-Wetland.aspx)
Life Cycle: a life cycle is a series of changes in form that an organism undergoes. Check out these fun life cycle games from turtlediary.com (http://www.turtlediary.com/kids-games/science-topics/life-cycle-games.html)
Migration: For animals, migration means to move from one area to another at different times of the year.