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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Arb Noted

<tony Phil predicted six more weeks of winter, this week in Minnesota seems to be defying his prediction and hints of spring abound if you look in the right places.

The Northern Cardinal has been heard and sighted around campus this week. While the cardinal does not mass migrate south for the winter, it will often vacate a territory due to extreme weather or lack of food (seeds) in the winter. While this winter has not been as extreme as some in Minnesota, and few cardinals have been sighted in the Arb, feasting on Buckthorn berries, very few have been seen perched and singing around campus! The males, who are bright red, can often be heard calling from the tops of trees around campus, and they will be quite abundant come May. Their call could be described as sounding like a squeaker toy or car alarm. Keep your eyes out for the American Robin as well returning from its winter residence in warmer climes (in Mexico and the Southern United States).

If you are interested in learning some bird songs headed into spring, try checking out:

While we are still weeks shy of our first wildflowers, the warm weather spell has many of us anticipating those first blooms! For many of our wildflowers, we have Professor Harvey Stork to thank. Pivotal in the creation of the arboretum back in the 1920s, Professor Stork, along with Superintendent of Grounds D. Blake Stewart, had the insight to include wildflowers in the first Arb Restoration, that of Stork Forest (on the far side of Bell Field, the location of Buckthorn Menace). At the birth of Stork Forest, restoration ecology was a novel field and Stork and “Stewsie” are considered to have been some of the first in the field. An example of the thoughtfulness of their restoration was their inclusion all components (not just the native tree species) of the Upland Forest ecosystem. Keep an eye on the floor of Stork Forest this spring for the amazing ground display!

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