Sightings grid

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/22/18

Observation Time: 10:45 a.m.

Observation Location: Town-owned conservation land near Sandy Ridge Circle

Common Name: American Beech tree

Scientific Name: Fagus grandifolia

Comments: The American Beech is a shade-tolerant species, favoring shade more than other trees, commonly found in forests in the final stage of succession. Ecological succession is essentially the process of forests changing their composition through time; it is a pattern of events often observed on disturbed sites. Although sometimes found in pure stands, it is more often associated with sugar maple (forming the beech-maple climax community), yellow birch, and eastern hemlock, typically on moist well drained slopes and rich bottomlands.

More Information: Wikipedia

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 12/17/11

Observation Time: 11:40 a.m.

Observation Location: Sawmill Pond

Common Name: American Black Duck

Scientific Name: Anas rubripes

Comments: This pair of black ducks was mingled with some Canada geese and mallards. Shooting photos of this pair reminded me of my grandfather, who lived on Cape Cod and used to shoot black ducks for food during the first half of the twentieth century before I was born.

More Information: Avian Web

American Black Duck

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/16/10

Observation Time: 5:25 a.m.

Observation Location: Beaver Brook near tennis court

Common Name: American Bullfrog

Scientific Name: Rana catesbeiana

More Information: Wikipedia

American Bullfrog

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 4/19/15

Observation Time: 2:35 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: American Chestnut

Scientific Name: Castanea dentata

Comments: American chestnut was once very common in New England, but it has been practically wiped out by the chestnut blight, a pathogenic fungus. The fungus does not kill the roots, which continue to send up shoots for years. However, the fungus usually prevents the shoots from maturing into nut-bearing trees.

More Information: Wikipedia

This chestnut tree in the woods at Moose Hill has managed to survive despite being partially girdled by the blight. It has actually grown large enough to produce nuts.

Chestnuts on the ground:

This photo taken 8/6/10 shows what American Chestnut leaves look like:

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/24/10

Observation Time: 3:45 p.m.

Observation Location: Beaver Brook near tennis courts

Common Name: American Chestnut Tree

Scientific Name: Castanea dentata

Comments: The term “dentata” in the scientific name refers to the “teeth” around the edges of the leaves. American chestnut trees were decimated by chestnut blight. Remnant root systems continue to send up shoots such as those shown in the photos, but the blight prevents most of these shoots from getting large enough to produce nuts.

More Information: Wikipedia

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 10/18/12

Observation Time: 2:15 p.m.

Observation Location: 4 Gavins Pond Road (front yard)

Common Name: American Copper Butterfly

Scientific Name: Lycaena phlaeas

Comments: This small but colorful butterfly can be seen all summer and into the fall.

More Information: Butterflies and Moths

American Copper Butterfly

American Copper Butterfly

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/12/12

Observation Time: 6:00 p.m.

Observation Location: Furnace St. under high tension wires

Common Name: American Copper Butterfly

Scientific Name: Lycaena phlaeas

Comments: This individual was chasing another to mate.

More Information: Butterflies and Moths

American Copper Butterfly

American Copper Butterfly

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/21/14

Observation Time: 1:20 p.m.

Observation Location: field near Gavins Pond dam

Common Name: American Copper Butterfly

Scientific Name: Lycaena phlaeas

Comments: Like many small butterflies, the American copper
is a stunning sight when viewed up close.

More Information: Butterflies and Moths

American Copper Butterfly

American Copper Butterfly

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 12/14/09

Observation Time: 11:40 a.m.

Observation Location: Wolomolopoag Street (Ward’s Barry Farm)

Common Name: American Crow (mutant)

Scientific Name: Corvus brachyrhynchos

Comments: This mutant crow has a few white feathers mingled among the normally black feathers.

More Information: All About Birds: White Crow

American Crow (mutant)

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/23/16

Observation Time: 8:50 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: American Goldfinch

Scientific Name: Carduelis tristis

Comments: This common finch travels in groups. Its song sounds like “per-chick-o-ree, per-chick-o-ree” interspersed with an occasional mewing sound.

More Information: All About Birds

Observer: Josh Simons

Observation Date: 6/25/11

Observation Time: 1:00 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill area

Common Name: American Goldfinch

Scientific Name: Carduelis tristis

Comments: The first photo is of a female; the second a male.

More Information: All About Birds

American Goldfinch

American Goldfinch

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/4/11

Observation Time: 4:20 p.m.

Observation Location: Conservation land near Billings Street

Common Name: American Hornbeam

Scientific Name: Carpinus caroliniana

Comments: The common English name hornbeam derives from the hardness of the wood (likened to animal horn) and the Old English beam, meaning “tree” (cognate with German Baum). The American hornbeam is also occasionally known as blue-beech, ironwood, or musclewood, the first from the resemblance of the bark to that of the American beech Fagus grandifolia, the other two from the hardness of the wood and the muscular appearance of the trunk, respectively. Hornbeams are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species (i.e. butterflies and moths), including autumnal moth, common emerald, feathered thorn, walnut sphinx, Svensson’s copper underwing, and winter moth. 

More Information: Wikipedia

American Hornbeam

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 10/5/12

Observation Time: 3:55 p.m.

Observation Location: 4 Gavins Pond Road

Common Name: American Lady Butterfly

Scientific Name: Vanessa virginiensis

Comments: This American Lady butterfly was feeding on Nippon daisies blooming in our garden. There was also a Painted Lady butterfly, which looks very similar, but has four small spots on the undersides of its trailing wings instead of the American Lady’s two large ones.

More Information: BugGuide

American Lady Butterfly

American Lady Butterfly

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/12/12

Observation Time: 6:15 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond Road near Well #5

Common Name: American Lady Butterfly

Scientific Name: Vanessa virginiensis

Comments: American lady butterflies (V. virginiensis) have two large eyespots on the underside of the hind wing, whereas similar-looking painted lady butterflies (V. cardui) have four small eyespots.  This individual was feeding on a flowering shrub.

More Information: See Butterflies and Moths of North America.

American Painted Lady Butterfly

American Painted Lady Butterfly

American Painted Lady Butterfly

American Painted Lady Butterfly

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/24/11

Observation Time: 2:15 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond

Common Name: American Lady Butterfly

Scientific Name: Vanessa virginiensis

Comments: American Lady butterflies have two distinctive eyespots on the brown underside of the lower wings. The upper sides of the wings are orange and black.

More Information: See: http://bugguide.net/node/view/236368

American Painted Lady Butterfly

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/11/15

Observation Time: 2:35 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond

Common Name: American Lady butterfly

Scientific Name: Vanessa virginiensis

Comments: American Lady butterflies look a lot like Painted Lady butterflies. The American Lady has two large spots on the undersides of its trailing wings. The Painted Lady has four smaller spots instead. This Amerian Lady was feeding on a spotted knapweed blossom.

More Information: BugGuide

Observer: Josh Simons

Observation Date: 3/9/11

Observation Time: 8:00 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill area

Common Name: American Red Squirrel

Scientific Name: Tamiasciurus hudsonicus

More Information: http://www.nhptv.org/Natureworks/Redsquirrel.htm

American Red Squirrel

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/16/15

Observation Time: 8:30 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: American redstart

Scientific Name: Setophaga ruticilla

Comments: Redstarts are members of the warbler family. Their song is variable, and can be confused with the songs of some other warblers. See: http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/American_Redstart/id

More Information: All About Birds

redstart

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/2/10

Observation Time: 6:05 p.m.

Observation Location: 4 Gavins Pond Road

Common Name: American Robin (eggs)

Scientific Name: Turdus migratorius

More Information: All About Birds

American Robin

 

Observer: James Berkland

Observation Date: 6/20/14

Observation Location: 161 Upland Street

Common Name: American Robin (leucistic)

Scientific Name: Turdus migratorius

More Information: All About Birds: Color Variations

American Robin (Leucistic)

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/26/14

Observation Time: 11:50 p.m.

Observation Location: Borderland State Park

Common Name: American Toad

Scientific Name: Anaxyrus americanus

Comments: Toads eat insects, so whenever I find one, I release it in my garden.

More Information: Wikipedia

American Toad

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/17/13

Observation Time: 4:15 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond Dam

Common Name: American Toad

Scientific Name: Anaxyrus americanus

More Information: Wikipedia

American Toad

American Toad

Baby toad nearby:

American Toad

American Toad

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/16/10

Observation Time: 9:55 a.m.

Observation Location: near Gavins Pond

Common Name: American Toad (juvenile)

Scientific Name: Anaxyrus americanus

Comments: Note toe of shoe in photo to get an idea of the small size of this toad.

More Information: Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

American Toad

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 9/13/09

Observation Time: 2:30 p.m.

Observation Location: Bay Circuit Trail near Gorwin Drive

Common Name: American Toad

Scientific Name: Anaxyrus americanus

Comments: Notice how well this toad is camouflaged.

More Information: Animal Diversity Web

American Toad

 

Observer: Vin Zollo

Observation Date: 5/30/13

Observation Time: 10:45 a.m.

Observation Location: Lake Massapoag

Common Name: American White Pelican

Scientific Name: Pelecanus erythrorhynchos

Comments: Originally spotted by Valerie White while canoeing on the lake. This is a rare bird in Massachusetts and a possible first record for Norfolk County. It was there for about a day and a half. Phone-scoped picture.

Another photo can be found on Flickr.

More Information: All About Birds

American White Pelican

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 3/11/10

Observation Time: 5:45 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond Road across the street from the soccer fields

Common Name: American Woodcock

Scientific Name: Scolopax minor

Comments: The “peents” began at 5:45. The spectacular mating flights began about 6:00 p.m. They will continue every evening at dusk (getting later as the days grow longer) for another month or so. Call me at 781-784-2986 for more particulars on when and where to observe the woodcock mating flight.

Youtube video of woodcock mating flight: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ta1fxy0MR2c&t=6s

Youtube video of woodcocks “waltzing”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eSh9Shgwc5o

More Information: All About Birds

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/19/13

Observation Time: 4:50 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond area

Common Name: Appalachian Brown Butterfly

Scientific Name: Satyrodes appalachia

Comments: Easily confused with Eyed Brown Butterfly (Satyrodes eurydice). See: http://www.naba.org/chapters/nabambc/frames-2species.asp?sp1=Satyrodes-eurydice&sp2=Satyrodes-appalachia

More Information: Mass Audubon

Appalachian Brown Butterfly

Appalachian Brown Butterfly

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/22/18

Observation Time: 9:35 a.m.

Observation Location: banks of Beaver Brook (upstream of the tennis courts)

Common Name: Atlantic White Cedar tree

Scientific Name: Chamaecyparis thyoides

Comments: Atlantic White Cedars live almost exclusively in freshwater wetlands and are considered an obligate wetland species. They prefer habitats where the soil is saturated with water at least during the majority of the growing season. Though this tree species is not listed as threatened, Atlantic White Cedar wetlands are considered a globally threatened ecosystem, and often serve as carbon sinks because of their peat-building abilities. Caterpillars of the Hessel’s Hairstreak butterfly feed exclusively on C. thyoides, where its green color helps keep it camouflaged.

Sharon’s 250-acre Atlantic White Cedar swamp naturally purifies and stores the rainwater that recharges the springs that feed Lake Massapoag and the aquifers that provide Sharon residents with drinking water.

More Information: Wikipedia

The bark of Atlantic White Cedars has a spiral pattern up the tree trunk:

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/21/10

Observation Time: 10:40 a.m.

Observation Location: Beaver Brook near tennis courts

Common Name: Aurora Damsel

Scientific Name: Chromagrion conditum

Comments: When perched, the aurora damsel keeps its wings spread, unlike other damselflies that fold their wings above their abdomens.

More Information: Visiting Nature

Aurora Damsel

Aurora Damsel

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 11/6/06

Observation Time: 2:10 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond Road

Common Name: Autumn Olive

Scientific Name: Elaeagnus umbellata

Comments: Autumn-olive is a hardy, prolific shrub that thrives in a variety of conditions, in part because it is capable of fixing nitrogen. Some varieties can produce up to 80 pounds (37 kilos) of bright red edible berries in a season, which ripen in October and give the plant its common name. Introduced from Japan in 1830 and widely planted in the 1940s to revegetate disturbed habitats, it is now invasive in many parts of North America. Birds (especially starlings) and mammals relish its copious fruits and spread it far and wide.

Having a sweet and tart flavor when ripe, the berries can be eaten fresh or processed for jam, condiments, or fruit leather. When mature, the red berries contain carotenoids, including considerable amounts of lycopene, a substance also found in tomatoes, watermelon, pink grapefruit, pink guava, papaya, and rosehip.

More Information: Go Botany and Wikipedia

 

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/23/18

Observation Time: 9:10 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm (TTOR)

Common Name: Autumn Olive

Scientific Name: Elaeagnus umbellata

Comments: Autumn-olive is a hardy, prolific shrub that thrives in a variety of conditions, in part because it is capable of fixing nitrogen. Some varieties can produce up to 80 pounds (37 kilos) of bright red edible berries in a season, which ripen in October and give the plant its common name. Introduced from Japan in 1830 and widely planted in the 1940s to revegetate disturbed habitats, it is now invasive in many parts of North America. Birds (especially starlings) and mammals relish its copious fruits and spread it far and wide.

Having a sweet and tart flavor when ripe, the berries can be eaten fresh or processed for jam, condiments, or fruit leather. When mature, the red berries contain carotenoids, including considerable amounts of lycopene, a substance also found in tomatoes, watermelon, pink grapefruit, pink guava, papaya, and rosehip.

More Information: Go Botany and Wikipedia

Observer: Jeff Tatro

Observation Date: 1/19/09

Observation Time: 4:00 p.m.

Observation Location: Lake Massapoag shore, 100 yd SSE of Yacht Club Beach

Common Name: Bald Eagle

Scientific Name: Haliaeetus leucocephalus

Comments: Adult, big guy, plumage very clear. Perched 35 ft up in a tree, then took light toward Community Ctr. Positive ID!

More Information: Boidnoise: Adult Bald Eagle Call

Observer: Faith Berkland

Observation Date: 10/29/18

Observation Time: 8:00 AM

Observation Location: 302 Mansfield Street

Common Name: Bald Eagle

Scientific Name: Haliaeetus leucocephalus

Comments:

More Information: http://www.baldeagleinfo.com/

Observer: Todd Arnold
Observation Date: 11/30/18
Observation Time: 10:45 a.m.
Observation Location: Lake Massapoag
Common Name: Bald Eagle
Scientific Name: Haliaeetus leucocephalus
Comments: Large bird with white head and tail feathers spotted over Lake Massapoag. Unquestionably a bald eagle, it was seen riding the thermals before the clouds rolled in and covered the sun. Could this one be scouting a good spot to nest? Or was it just looking for something in the lake to eat?
More Information: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bald_eagle

Observer: Alison Siegel

Observation Date: 12/20/09

Observation Time: noon

Observation Location: Lakeview St.

Common Name: Bald Eagle

Scientific Name: Haliaeetus leucocephalus

Comments: While drinking hot chocolate after a morning of sledding, four of us clearly saw a bald eagle fly over our backyard. It was flying from Lake Massapoag toward the woods.

More Information: All About Birds: Bald Eagle

Observer: Bonnie Tate

Observation Date: 12/30/13

Observation Time: 3:00 p.m.

Observation Location: Massapoag

Common Name: Bald Eagle

Scientific Name: Haliaeetus leucocephalus

Comments: Eating carrion on the lake just beyond Pond St. on Massapoag Ave.

More Information: Boidnoise: Adult Bald Eagle Call

Observer: Ken Weiner

Observation Date: 2/19/10

Observation Time: 2:00 p.m.

Observation Location: Chessman Drive, Sharon

Common Name: Bald Eagle

Scientific Name: Haliaeetus leucocephalus

Comments: Definite ID from about 200 ft away. Eagle was flying. Possibly a second eagle further away. Did not get picture.

More Information: All About Birds: Bald Eagle

Observer: Ilan Fisher

Observation Date: 2/24/09

Observation Time: 3:00 p.m.

Observation Location: Lake Massapoag

Common Name: Bald Eagle

Scientific Name: Haliaeetus leucocephalus

More Information: All About Birds: Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle

 

Observer: Carol Moawed

Observation Date: 3/20/13

Observation Time: 11:15 a.m.

Observation Location: Massapoag, near entrance to community
center

Common Name: Bald Eagle

Scientific Name: Haliaeetus leucocephalus

Comments: He was flying down near the edge of lake, it looked like he was going after something on the edge of the lake. I was shocked and thrilled to see him.

More Information: Boidnoise: Adult Bald Eagle Call

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 4/2/11

Observation Time: 4:15 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond soccer field parking lot

Common Name: Bald Eagle

Scientific Name: Haliaeetus leucocephalus

Comments: Adult with white head and tail. Very distinctive!

More Information: Boidnoise: Adult Bald Eagle Call

Observer: Ilan Fisher

Observation Date: 2/18/09

Observation Time: Early afternoon

Observation Location: Lake Massapoag across from Arboro Drive

Common Name: Bald Eagle & Deer

Scientific Name: Haliaeetus leucocephalus

Comments: A young bald eagle feeds on a deer carcass on the ice.

More Information: All About Birds: Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle & Deer

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/25/15

Observation Time: 2:00 p.m.

Observation Location: Town-owned land at Morse and Lakeview Streets

Common Name: Baltimore Checkerspot butterfly

Scientific Name: Euphydryas phaeton

Comments: This field experienced a population explosion of Baltimore Checkerspot butterflies. All phases could be found at the same time: eggs, caterpillars, chrysalises and adults.

More Information: Massachusetts Butterfly Club

Eggs:

Caterpillar:

Caterpillar weaving cocoon:

Chrysalis:

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/7/18

Observation Time: 2:35 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm (TTOR)

Common Name: Baltimore Checkerspot butterfly

Scientific Name: Euphydryas phaeton

Comments: I saw just one Baltimore checkerspot among other butterfly species feeding on dogbane blossoms.

More Information: Massachusetts Butterfly Club

Observer: Josh Simons

Observation Date: 11/21/12

Observation Time: 9:00 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill area

Common Name: Baltimore Oriole

Scientific Name: Icterus galbula

Comments: I’m told this is an immature male oriole. Unusual to see in November.

More Information: All About Birds

Baltimore Oriole

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/10/12

Observation Time: 7:00 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond Dam

Common Name: Baltimore Oriole

Scientific Name: Icterus galbula

Comments: First I heard the flutelike call, and then I spotted the brilliant orange oriole in an oak tree just pushing out its first leaves of spring. Even though it was 7:00 p.m. and the sun was low, the bird fairly glowed. I wonder how such a gaudy creature manages to escape the notice of hawks.

Orioles weave hanging nests, and feed on fruit, nectar and insects. They have a counterpart in the tropics called a troupial, which is slightly larger, but sings an uncannily similar song.

More Information: All About Birds

Baltimore Oriole

Baltimore Oriole

Baltimore Oriole

Baltimore Oriole

Baltimore Oriole

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/14/14

Observation Time: 2:20 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Baltimore Oriole

Scientific Name: Icterus galbula

Comments: Orioles weave a unique hanging nest.

More Information: All About Birds

Baltimore Oriole

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/14/15

Observation Time: 6:45

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Baltimore Oriole

Scientific Name: Icterus galbula

Comments: Baltimore orioles are among the most brightly colored birds found in Sharon. They weave remarkable hanging nests.

More Information: All About Birds

baltimoreoriole

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/30/10

Observation Time: 3:45 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Baltimore Oriole

Scientific Name: Icterus galbula

More Information: All About Birds.org

Baltimore Oriole

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/6/15

Observation Time: 2:30 p.m.

Observation Location: tree near Gavins Pond

Common Name: Baltimore Oriole

Scientific Name: Icterus galbula

Comments: I heard this oriole’s flutelike call before I spotted it. You can listen to a recording of an oriole’s song at: http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Baltimore_Oriole/sounds

 Oriole

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/12/16

Observation Time: 7:50

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Baltimore Oriole

Scientific Name: Icterus galbula

Comments: Baltimore orioles are among the most brightly colored birds found in Sharon. They weave remarkable hanging nests.

More Information: All About Birds

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