Thursday, May 24, 2007

Sangaree Intermediate School

Sangaree Intermediate School 5th graders visited the Audubon Center at the Francis Beidler Forest on a perfect day! The weather was in the low 70Fs and overcast with a slight breeze.

Besides seeing three of the five species of snakes in the swamp (Brown Water Snake (Nerodia taxispilota), Eastern Cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus), and Banded Water Snake (Nerodia fasciata)), the students observed several Yellow-crowned Night Herons (Nyctanassa violacea) hunting the shallow water for crayfish. One caught and ate a crayfish for all to see. The alligator put on a show by moving from its semi-obscure position on the far bank to a highly visible position on a log (see image). Additionally, students were able to observe Prothonotary Warblers (Protonotaria citrea) perched only a few feet away and three species of normally-secretive treefrogs (Squirrel (Hyla squirella), Green (Hyla cinerea), and Gray). One group even saw a fawn.

What a great way to end the school year!

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