Calendar of Natural Events

January

  • Deer start losing antlers
  • Great blue herons check out nests
  • Great horned owls and bald eagles start nesting
  • Waterfowl feed in Aikens swamp and the tidal wetlands

February

  • Bluebirds check out nesting cavities
  • Buds on red maples start to swell
  • Herons sit on nests
  • Song sparrows and cardinals start their spring songs
  • Spotted salamanders return to vernal pools
  • Spring peepers and chorus frogs start calling
  • Waterfowl still active in the swamp and wetlands
  • Wood ducks check out nesting cavities

March

  • Alders bear catkins
  • Azure and cabbage moths start flight
  • First wildflowers bloom such as bluets, mustards, Whitlow grass, chickweed, violets
  • Green sprigs of cattails and arrow arum appear in the wetlands
  • Osprey return to nests
  • Pickerel frogs start calling
  • Redbuds, spicebush and serviceberry bloom
  • Some early neotropical migrants return (such as the yellow-throated warbler and green tree swallows)
  • Swarms of midges appear
  • Turtles start to bask on logs on warm days
  • Waterfowl start migration north
  • Zebra swallowtails, falcate orangetips and mourning cloaks flutter along the trails

April

  • Big push of neotropical birds head south. Prothonotaries, gnatcatchers, yellow warblers arrive.
  • Bullfrogs and green frogs calling
  • Dogwood blooms
  • More flowers bloom such as black locust, cross vine, garlic mustard, spring beauties, etc.
  • Ruby-throated hummingbirds return
  • Shad start migrating
  • Turkeys begin nesting

May

  • Beaver kits are born
  • Blackberries and may apples bloom
  • First bluebird brood are fledged
  • Turtles move out of wetlands to lay eggs
  • Vireos, tanagers, kingbirds and orioles return

June

  • Fawns are born
  • Lizard tail starts to bloom in wetlands
  • Turkeys hatch

July

  • American lotus bloom in the wetlands
  • Black rat snake lay eggs
  • Butterflies and dragonflies are abundant

August

  • Dogwoods and sumacs are fruiting
  • Monarch butterflies migrate
  • Purple martins start migration south
  • Squirrels start cutting nuts
  • Winged sumac and black gum show first fall colors

September

  • Blue-winged teal migrations start
  • Bucks start to rub off velvet
  • Fall mushrooms appear
  • Hummingbirds migrate south
  • Night migration of songbirds
  • White-throated sparrow and juncos start arriving

October

  • Beavers rebuild lodges and food caches
  • Fall colors peak

November

  • Blackbirds start to flock
  • Waterfowl return to wetlands

December

  • Waterfowl still arriving in wetlands