Spring brings many things to Prairie Ridge, not the least of which are lots of babies. From young plants sprouting from last season's seeds to baby bluebirds hatching from eggs, this is the season to look for new life.
We have noticed many new additions to Prairie Ridge. Through the NestWatch Project we have monitored 14 bird nests resulting in 61 eggs and 30 nestlings thus far this spring. These nests include those of Eastern Bluebirds, Carolina Chickadees, Purple Martins, Killdeer, and Northern Mockingbirds. We also saw four Canada Geese goslings making their way across the grass with their parents.
Birds aren't the only things hatching at the Ecostation. Insects have been emerging from their eggs to start life as nymphs and larva. We have found a proliferation of dragonfly nymphs in the pond and noticed Monarch caterpillars munching on the Swamp Milkweed in the Nature Neighborhood Garden. Some insects such as preying mantises have overwintered as hatchlings and are just now becoming active as tiny nymphs.
Last season's hatchling reptiles are also making their first appearances. Immature Black Rat Snakes can be found exploring their new home.
Prairie Ridge is also home to 13 species of frogs. Many of these have already began to go through metamorphosis and are changing into adults. Be sure to keep an eye out for both tadpoles and adult frogs by the many ponds and pools at Prairie Ridge.
Be sure to look for these and other young animals during your next visit to Prairie Ridge Ecostation.
Find out more about the natural happenings at Prairie Ridge at our What Time Is It In Nature Archive.