Balaji Devarajan, Class of 2022 – A Yellow-bellied Sapsucker made a few cuts on the Willow tree to consume the tree sap. It was perched at the same spot for more than two hours. At some point it had enough sap and decided to move on; and almost immediately an Orange-crowned Warbler came out of nowhere to the holes made by the Sapsucker.
Barbara Hibberd, Class of 2023 – “Starting in the fall (usually between Halloween and Thanksgiving) several other species of ducks arrive to spend the winter. I am fortunate to live by Big Lake Park in Plano which is home to many interesting ducks. My husband and I also often picnic at Bethany Lakes Park in Allen where we can find several species that don’t come to the creek by our house.”
Sam Crowe, Class of 2021 – For years, I have been trimming shrubs and pulling out vines that have been determined to take over everything in my yard. That changed a little this year.
One day, I glanced out the window and saw what looked like a Gulf Fritillary laying eggs on one of the vines. For the next few days, I paid more attention to the area, and every day, Gulf Fritillary would stop by.
Meet the Loggerhead Shrike, photo by Blackland Prairie Master Naturalist Lorrie Mathers, captured at Hagerman National Wildlife Preserve.
These predatory songbirds are found here in all seasons, and their population is declining. Their winter diet focuses on vertebrate prey. These include lizards, snakes, frogs, turtles, sparrows, goldfinches, ground squirrels, voles, mice, and shrews, to name just a few.