Carleton College's student newspaper since 1877

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

    Arb Notes

    <rb naturalists have been excited to see the migratory waterfowl moving through lately. Some of these birds are only around campus for as little as two weeks as they head north for the summer. Some highlights from our recent waterfowl expedition include: hooded mergansers (a personal favorite), common mergansers, lesser scaups, coots, redheads, canvasbacks, gadwalls, goldeneyes, buffleheads, ring billed gulls and a flock of about 40 pelicans! In the past few days the campus has also welcomed back cormorants, black sea birds that breed up north here. They’ve been spotted on Lyman Lakes—in the water they resemble the profile of a loon but swim with their head tilted back a bit. If you are trying to learn to identify birds by their voice, then cormorants will pose a problem—they are largely silent (unlike the Canada Geese that have come back as well) though they apparently make pig-like noises when nesting. Get out and see these birds before they leave! Good spots to look are the retention pond below the Rec, and the turtle pond in the lower arb.

    Another welcome spring arrival in the arb is the eastern bluebird. First spotted back about a week ago, these gorgeous thrush-like birds are easy to identify by their azure blue plumage and their orange-red breasts. The bird boxes in the arb are to encourage this bird to nest here, so good spots to look for them are around their boxes, in the prairie restorations in the lower arb. It’s worth the search; if you have missed seeing color for the past few months, bluebirds will be downright over-stimulating. If any of this excites you, join the naturalists for a tour this Friday! Meet at the kiosk in front of the Rec. at 4:00. There is a good chance if this warmth holds out that there will be some wildflowers blooming. In the mean time, get out there and enjoy the life-affirming weather!

    Leave a Comment
    More to Discover

    Comments (0)

    All The Carletonian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *