Sightings grid

Observer: April Forsman

Observation Date: 9/24/10

Observation Time: 10:15 a.m.

Observation Location: DPW

Common Name: Black and Yellow Garden Spider

Scientific Name: Argiope aurantia

Comments: Males range from 5 to 9 mm; females from 19 to 28 mm. Like other members of Argiope they are considered harmless to humans.The female of the species grows much larger than the male. Females have large rounded bodies that may grow to 40 mm (1 1/2 inches), excluding the legs. If the length of the legs is added, the female can reach 75 mm (3″) in diameter. Males are thin-bodied and only 20 mm (¾”) long. Garden Spiders often build webs in areas adjacent to open sunny fields where they stay concealed and protected from the wind. The spider can also be found along the eaves of houses and outbuildings or in any tall vegetation where they can securely stretch a web. The circular part of the female’s web may reach two feet in diameter. Webs are built at elevations from two to eight feet off the ground. Female Argiope aurantia spiders tend to be somewhat local, often staying in one place throughout much of their lifetime. After mating, the male dies, and is sometimes then eaten by the female. She lays her eggs at night on a sheet of silky material, then covers them with another layer of silk, then a protective brownish silk. She then uses her legs to form the sheet into a ball with an upturned neck. Egg sacs range from 5/8″ to 1″ in diameter. She often suspends the egg sac right on her web, near the center where she spends most of her time. Each spider produces from one to four sacs with perhaps over a thousand eggs inside each. She guards the eggs against predation as long as she is able. However, as the weather cools, she becomes more frail, and dies around the time of the first hard frost. (from Wikipedia)

More Information: Animal Diversity Web

Black and Yellow Garden Spider

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 8/5/11

Observation Time: 6:40 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond

Common Name: Black Crappie (Calico Bass)

Scientific Name: Pomoxis nigromaculatus

Comments: Crappies are a popular sport fish, as they are easy to catch when they are feeding. As with other freshwater species in Massachusetts, crappies accumulate mercury in their tissues as a result of environmental pollution from power plants.

More Information: All About Fishing

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/31/20

Observation Time: 5:15 p.m.

Observation Location: Trustees of Reservations’ Moose Hill Farm

Common Name: Black Gum Tree

Scientific Name: Nyssa sylvatica

Comments: Also known as black tupelo, this is one of the most attractive native trees around. Summer leaves are a dark green with a high-gloss appearance, but the most spectacular part of this tree is the fall foliage with many shades of yellow, orange, bright red, purple or scarlet that may appear on the same branch. Bark resembles alligator hide. Fruit is bluish-black and is loved by many birds. Grows 30′-50′ high, with a 20′-30′ spread. Prefers well-drained, acid soils, and full sun to partial shade.

More Information: Arbor Day Foundation

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/27/19

Observation Time: 4:20 p.m.

Observation Location: Beneath high tension wires near So. Walpole St.

Common Name: Black Huckleberry

Scientific Name: Gaylussacia baccata

Comments: These are the distinctive bright red unopened flower buds of black huckleberry, Gaylussacia baccata. They are typically no more than waist-high. They often form a near-continuous shrub layer in dryish oak woods. In moister soils they tend to be replaced by dangleberry, Gaylussacia frondosa. 

Blueberry bushes are similar, but have green rather than blackish second-year twigs. The berries of huckleberries are very similar to the berries of blueberries, except the latter usually contain more seeds (8-20) that are smaller in size. The foliage and woody stems of Black Huckleberry are quite similar to those of low-bush blueberries (particularly Vaccinium pallidum), except the leaf undersides of the former shrub are covered with resinous yellow dots, while the leaf undersides of blueberries lack such resinous dots.

More Information: Illinois Wildflowers

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/30/15

Observation Time: 3:30 p.m.

Observation Location: near Gavins Pond

Common Name: Black Locust tree

Scientific Name: Robinia pseudocacia

Comments: The blossoms of black locust trees are good to eat, but beware of the thorns.

More Information: The Foraged Foodie 

Black locust blossoms

Black locust thorns

Observer: Marcia Tranavitch

Observation Date: 1/11/20

Observation Time: mid-day

Observation Location: on top of Pierce’s Hill on the Warner Trail (which is also the Bay Circuit Trail at this point)

Common Name: Black racer

Scientific Name: Coluber constrictor

Comments: Reptiles are cold-blooded so they warm themselves by basking. This black racer was seen sunning itself on a warm winter day. It didn’t stretch out for me but I would estimate it was about 2 feet long. This must be a young one because lack racers can reach 5 feet in length.

Although they are not venemous, black racers are fast (hence their name) and can be aggressive toward humans.

More Information: Snakes of Massachusetts

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/7/18

Observation Time: 8:15 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Black racer

Scientific Name: Coluber constrictor

Comments: This black racer was sunning itself in the cool of the morning, and continuously monitoring its surroundings by “tasting” the air with its forked tongue.

More Information: Snakes of Massachusetts

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/14/09

Observation Time: morning

Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm, Trustees of Reservations land

Common Name: Black Racer

Scientific Name: Coluber constrictor

Comments: Photos taken on Sunday, 6/14/09 at SFOC’s Biodiversity Day event at Trustees of Reservations on Moose Hill.

More Information: UMass Amherst Natural Resources & Environmental Conservation

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/30/20

Observation Time: 2:25 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm (The Trustees of Reservations)

Common Name: Black Swallowtail butterfly

Scientific Name: Papilio polyxenes

Comments: The big pasture at Moose Hill Farm is a good place to find black swallowtail butterflies (and other butterfly species as well). You can sometimes find bobolinks there as well.

Black swallowtail butterflies look a lot like spicebush swallowtail butterflies. You can learn how to tell the difference between a black swallowtail and a spicebush swallowtail at: http://www.naba.org/chapters/nabambc/frames-2species.asp?sp1=Papilio-polyxenes&sp2=Papilio-troilus

There is also a good discussion of how to tell the differences among four black butterfly species at: http://louisiananaturalist.blogspot.com/2009/06/four-dark-swallowtails.html

More Information: Butterflies and Moths of North America

I took this photo the following day in the same location:

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/26/19

Observation Time: 12:20 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm (The Trustees of Reservations)

Common Name: Black Swallowtail butterfly

Scientific Name: Papilio polyxenes

Comments: The big meadow at Moose Hill Farm was alive with pairs of black swallowtails chasing each other on this glorious spring day. Black swallowtail butterflies look a lot like spicebush swallowtail butterflies. You can learn how to tell the difference between a black swallowtail and a spicebush swallowtail at: http://www.naba.org/chapters/nabambc/frames-2species.asp?sp1=Papilio-polyxenes&sp2=Papilio-troilus

There is also a good discussion of how to tell the differences among four black butterfly species at: http://louisiananaturalist.blogspot.com/2009/06/four-dark-swallowtails.html

More Information: Butterflies and Moths of North America

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/2/19

Observation Time: 2:15 p.m.

Observation Location: rocky bluff under power lines along S. Walpole St.

Common Name: Black Swallowtail butterfly

Scientific Name: Papilio polyxenes

Comments: Black swallowtail butterflies look a lot like spicebush swallowtail butterflies. You can learn how to tell the difference between a black swallowtail and a spicebush swallowtail at: http://www.naba.org/chapters/nabambc/frames-2species.asp?sp1=Papilio-polyxenes&sp2=Papilio-troilus

There is also a good discussion of how to tell the differences among four black butterfly species at: http://louisiananaturalist.blogspot.com/2009/06/four-dark-swallowtails.html

More Information: Butterflies and Moths of North America

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/2/15

Observation Time: 2:00 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm (The Trustees of Reservations)

Common Name: Black Swallowtail butterfly

Scientific Name: Papilio polyxenes

Comments: This is one of my favorite photos for three reasons. First, it’s a good photo that shows clearly what this beautiful butterfly looks like. Second, black swallowtails are much less common in Sharon than similar spicebush swallowtails. And third, I had to try long and hard to find and photograph this specimen. You can learn how to tell the difference between a black swallowtail and a spicebush swallowtail at: http://www.naba.org/chapters/nabambc/frames-2species.asp?sp1=Papilio-polyxenes&sp2=Papilio-troilus

More Information: Butterflies and Moths of North America

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/7/18

Observation Time: 12:00 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm (The Trustees of Reservations)

Common Name: Black Swallowtail butterfly

Scientific Name: Papilio polyxenes

Comments: Black swallowtail butterflies look a lot like spicebush swallowtail butterflies. You can learn how to tell the difference between a black swallowtail and a spicebush swallowtail at: http://www.naba.org/chapters/nabambc/frames-2species.asp?sp1=Papilio-polyxenes&sp2=Papilio-troilus

More Information: Butterflies and Moths of North America

Observer: Deb Radovsky

Observation Date: 5/18/18

Observation Time: 6:20 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary (boardwalk)

Common Name: Black-and-white Warbler

Scientific Name: Mniotilta varia

Comments: Unlike many other warbler species that migrate through Sharon on their way north, black-and-white warblers stick around all summer. They are typically seen scurrying up and down tree trunks. Their high-pitched song sounds like a squeaky wheel.

More Information: All About Birds

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/3/20

Observation Time: 10:05 a.m.

Observation Location: woods near Gavins Pond

Common Name: Black-and-white warbler

Scientific Name: Mniotilta varia

Comments: Black and white warblers make a high-pitched squeaking sound like a turning wheel that needs to be oiled. They are most often found scurrying up and down tree trunks and branches looking under the bark for insect larvae.

More Information: All About Birds

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/14/15

Observation Time: 7:00 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Black-billed Cuckoo

Scientific Name: Coccyzus erythropthalmus

Comments: We heard this cuckoo before someone in our group spotted it. They tend to sit quietly on a branch, so the absence of movement makes them hard to find. Black-billed cuckoos have distinctive red eyes.

More Information: All About Birds

cuckoo

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/27/14

Observation Time: 8:05 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Black-billed Cuckoo

Scientific Name: Coccyzus erythropthalmus

Comments: We heard this black-billed cuckoo before we finally spotted it. Even though cuckoos are relatively large birds, they typically don’t move around much, so they are hard to find unless you know what their call sounds like.

More Information: All About Birds

Black-billed Cuckoo

Black-billed Cuckoo

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/14/15

Observation Time: 6:05 p.m.

Observation Location: in the trees between the back soccer field and Gavins Pond

Common Name: Black-billed Cuckoo

Scientific Name: Coccyzus erythropthalmus

Comments: We heard this black-billed cuckoo before we finally spotted it. Even though cuckoos are relatively large birds, they typically don’t move around much, so they are hard to find, unless you know what to listen for.

More Information: All About Birds

Observer: Will Sweet

Observation Date: 2/15/09

Observation Time: 11:00 a.m.

Observation Location: Backyard

Common Name: Black-capped Chickadee

Scientific Name: Poecile atricapillus

Comments: The chickadees were knocking the Pine Siskins off of the thistle feeders.

More Information: Whatbird.com

Black-capped Chickadee

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 2/25/20

Observation Time: 12:30 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Black-capped Chickadee

Scientific Name: Poecile atricapillus

Comments: Chickadees are one of Sharon’s most common birds. They often travel in groups that sometimes include tufted titmouse. With patience, chickadees can be trained to eat sunflower seeds out of your hand!

More Information: All About Birds

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 4/26/13

Observation Time: 4:30 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Black-capped Chickadee

Scientific Name: Poecile atricapillus

Comments: Chickadees are one of Sharon’s most common birds. They often travel in groups that sometimes include tufted titmouse. With patience, chickadees can be trained to eat sunflower seeds out of your hand!

More Information: All About Birds

Observer: Will Sweet

Observation Date: 6/4/10

Observation Time: 4:30 p.m.

Observation Location: 4 Gavins Pond Road

Common Name: Black-capped Chickadee

Scientific Name: Poecile atricapillus

Comments: This chickadee family was crowded into a nesting box.

More Information: Whatbird.com

Black-capped Chickadee

Black-capped Chickadee

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/12/20

Observation Time: 6:50 p.m.

Observation Location: along Gavins Pond Road

Common Name: Black-eyed Susan

Scientific Name: Rudbeckia hirta

Comments: Related to cone flowers, this native biennial forms a rosette of leaves the first year, followed by flowers the second year. It is covered with hairs that give it a slightly rough texture.

More Information: USDA and wildflower.org

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/23/09

Observation Time: 9:30 a.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond Road

Common Name: Black-eyed Susans

Scientific Name: Rudbeckia hirta

Comments: The genus name honors Olaus Rudbeck, who was a professor of botany at the University of Uppsala in Sweden and was one of Linnaeus’s teachers. The specific epithet “hirta” refers to the trichomes (hairs) occurring on leaves and stems.

More Information: USDA

Black-eyed Susans

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/5/13

Observation Time: 6:15 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond area

Common Name: Black-eyed Susans

Scientific Name: Rudbeckia hirta

Comments: A type of daisy, these were growing wild in the field near Gavins Pond Dam.

More Information: USDA

Black-eyed Susans

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/11/19

Observation Time: 9:45 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Black-throated Blue Warbler

Scientific Name: Setophaga caerulescens

Comments: Black-throated blue warblers pass through Sharon in early May on their northward migration. Learn to recognize their buzzy “zreezreezreeeee” song to improve your chances of seeing one. Check it out at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lPKuQB1bEqs.
You can monitor the bird migration in spring by keeping an eye on the live radar map at: http://birdcast.info/live-migration-maps/

More Information: All About Birds

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/13/19

Observation Time: 7:45 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Black-throated Blue Warbler

Scientific Name: Setophaga caerulescens

Comments: Black-throated blue warblers pass through Sharon in early May on their northward migration. Learn to recognize their buzzy “zreezreezreeeee” song to improve your chances of seeing one. Check it out at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lPKuQB1bEqs.
You can monitor the bird migration in spring by keeping an eye on the live radar map at: http://birdcast.info/live-migration-maps/

More Information: All About Birds

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/13/15

Observation Time: 11:10 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Black-throated Green Warbler

Scientific Name: Setophaga virens

Comments: The call of this warbler sounds like: “zee-zee-zee-zoo-zee.”  It migrates through Sharon in May. I got these photos standing underneath a flowering crabapple tree. The blossoms attracted insects, which in turn attracted insectivorous warblers.

More Information: All About Birds

Observer: Faith Berkland

Observation Date: 9/26/17

Observation Location: 302 Mansfield Street Sharon

Common Name: Black throated green warbler

Scientific Name: Setophaga virens

Comments: A nice collection of photos of black-throated green warblers can be found at: The Internet Bird Collection

More Information: All About Birds

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/15/15

Observation Time: 7:15 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Blackburnian Warbler

Scientific Name: Setophaga fusca

Comments: This photo does not do justice to these gorgeous warblers, which overwinter in South America. They tend to flit about high in tall trees, making them a challenge to photograph.

More Information: All About Birds

blackburnianwarbler

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 4/3/14

Observation Time: 2:45 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond area

Common Name: Blister Beetle

Scientific Name: Tricrania sanguinipennis

Comments: Blister beetles receive their common name from the ability of their hemolymph to produce blistering on contact with human skin. Hemolymph is often exuded copiously by reflexive bleeding when an adult beetle is pressed or rubbed. Blisters commonly occur on the neck and arms, as the result of exposure to adult beetles attracted to outdoor lights at night.

The blistering agent is cantharidin, an odorless terpene (exo-1,2-cis-dimethyl-3,6-ep- oxyhexahydro-phthalic anhydride) occurring elsewhere only in beetles of the family Oedemeridae (Arnett 2008). Cantharidin or cantharides (dried, pulverized bodies of adult beetles) was once employed extensively in human and veterinary medicine, primarily as a vesicant and irritant and is still used in the U.S. as the active ingredient in a proprietary wart remover (Epstein and Epstein 1960, Kartal Durmazlar et al, 2009). Taken internally or absorbed through the skin, cantharidin is highly toxic to mammals. There is an extensive literature dealing with its reputed aphrodisiacal properties and numerous reports of human poisonings, both accidental and deliberate. Source: http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/urban/medical/blister_beetles.htm

More Information: PBase

Blister Beetle

Blister Beetle

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/1/18

Observation Time: 10:30 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Bloodroot

Scientific Name: Sanguinaria canadensis

Comments: Blood-root is an attractive spring ephemeral, traditionally used in cough remedies. However, it has been characterized as unsafe by the United States Food and Drug Administration because of the presence of the toxic alkaloid sanguinarine. This flower drops its petals within a day or two of blooming.

Please do not dig up wildflowers!

More Information: Go Botany

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/19/10

Observation Time: 5:20 a.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond soccer field parking lot

Common Name: Blue Dasher dragonfly

Scientific Name: Pachidiplax longipennis

Comments: Female is brown with red eyes and yellow markings. Male is blue with green eyes.

More Information: Wikipedia

Female:

Blue Dasher Dragonfly

Male:

Blue Dasher Dragonfly

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/15/13

Observation Time: 4:15 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond area

Common Name: Blue Dasher dragonfly (female)

Scientific Name: Pachidiplax longipennis

Comments: The male has a blue abdomen, hence the name.

More Information: Wikipedia

Blue Dasher Dragonfly (female)

Blue Dasher Dragonfly (female)

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/8/13

Observation Time: 5:10 p.m.

Observation Location: near Gavins Pond Dam

Common Name: Blue Dasher dragonfly (male)

Scientific Name: Pachidiplax longipennis

More Information: http://www.cirrusimage.com/dragonfly_blue_dasher.htm

Blue Dasher Dragonfly (male)

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/31/11

Observation Time: 3:15 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond area

Common Name: Blue Flag Iris

Scientific Name: Iris versicolor

More Information: Wikipedia

Blue Flag Iris

Observer: Peter Higgins

Observation Date: 06/08/08

Observation Time: 6:55 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Blue Flag Iris

Scientific Name: Iris versicolor

Comments: This beautiful group of wild blue flag iris was growing in the field near the boardwalk.

More Information: LakeForest.edu

Iris

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/18/20

Observation Time: 9:30 a.m.

Observation Location: sandy high ground under high tension lines across the street from the Gavins Pond soccer fields

Common Name: Blue Ground-cedar

Scientific Name: Diphasiastrum tristachyum

Comments: Diphasiastrum tristachyum, commonly known as blue clubmoss, blue ground-cedar, ground pine, deep-rooted running-pine or ground cedar, is a North American and Eurasian species of perennial clubmoss. In North America, it has been found from Newfoundland west to Manitoba, and south as far as Georgia and Alabama. It grows from creeping underground stems which are often deeply buried at 5–12 cm deep. The above ground stems emerge at nodes from the underground stem.

More Information: Wikipedia and Go Botany

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 11/19/12

Observation Time: 10:25 a.m.

Observation Location: 4 Gavins Pond Road

Common Name: Blue Jay

Scientific Name: Cyanocitta cristata

Comments: Blue Jays are common in Sharon. They eat insects and nuts. They will also eat the eggs and nestlings of other birds if they get the chance. They can live up to 17 years.

More Information: All About Birds

Blue Jay

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/11/20

Observation Time: 7:30 a.m.

Observation Location: woods beyond Gavins Pond dam

Common Name: Blue Jay

Scientific Name: Cyanocitta cristata

Comments: Blue Jays are common in Sharon. They eat insects, nuts and seeds. They will also eat the eggs and nestlings of other birds if they get the chance. They can live up to 17 years. Their vocalizations are distinctive and varied.

Blue Jays have an astonishing array of vocalizations. If you learn to recognize them, you won’t be fooled into thinking you are hearing an exotic bird in the woods. Check it out at: https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Blue_Jay/sounds

More Information: All About Birds

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/3/20

Observation Time: 10:35 a.m.

Observation Location: woods near Gavins Pond

Common Name: Blue Jay

Scientific Name: Cyanocitta cristata

Comments: Blue Jays are common in Sharon. They eat insects, nuts and seeds. They will also eat the eggs and nestlings of other birds if they get the chance. They can live up to 17 years. Their vocalizations are distinctive and varied.

Blue Jays have an astonishing array of vocalizations. If you learn to recognize them, you won’t be fooled into thinking you are hearing an exotic bird in the woods. Check it out at: https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Blue_Jay/sounds

More Information: All About Birds

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/5/18

Observation Time: 7:30 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Blue Jay

Scientific Name: Cyanocitta cristata

Comments: Blue Jays are common in Sharon. They eat insects, nuts and seeds. They will also eat the eggs and nestlings of other birds if they get the chance. They can live up to 17 years. Their vocalizations are distinctive and varied.

More Information: All About Birds

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/31/11

Observation Time: 4:05 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond area

Common Name: Blue Toadflax

Scientific Name: Nuttallanthus canadensis

More Information: Conn. Botanical Society

Blue Toadflax

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/9/20

Observation Time: 2:50 p.m.

Observation Location: meadow near Gavins Pond dam

Common Name: Blue Toadflax

Scientific Name: Nuttallanthus canadensis

Comments: These diminutive wildflowers bloom from April to September.

More Information: Conn. Botanical Society

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/11/15

Observation Time: 3:15 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond area

Common Name: Blue Toadflax

Scientific Name: Nuttallanthus canadensis

Comments: Flowers from April to September.

More Information: Conn. Botanical Society

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/30/20

Observation Time: 3:05 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm (TTOR)

Common Name: Blue-eyed grass

Scientific Name: Sisyrinchium angustifolium

Comments: Blue-eyed grass grows in fields, meadows and the edges of wetlands. This clump was growing along the dirt road under the high-tension lines. Except in spring when its small, blue flowers make it conspicuous, this plant is hard to pick out among other kinds of grasses.

Native Americans cooked and ate the greens, and used the plant medicinally to regulate the bowels.

More Information: Go Botany

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Contact Information:  lauenstein@comcast.net   (781) 784-2986

Observation Date: 5/1/18 at 8:15 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Blue-gray gnatcatcher

Scientific Name: Polioptila caerulea

Comments: A tiny, long-tailed bird of broadleaf forests and scrublands, the Blue-gray Gnatcatcher makes itself known by its soft but insistent calls and its constant motion. It hops and sidles in dense outer foliage, foraging for insects and spiders. As it moves, this steely blue-gray bird conspicuously flicks its white-edged tail from side to side, scaring up insects and chasing after them. Pairs use spiderweb and lichens to build small, neat nests, which sit on top of branches and look like tree knots.

More Information: All About Birds

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/11/16

Observation Time: 7:45 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Center

Common Name: Blue-gray gnatcatcher

Scientific Name: Polioptila caerulea

Comments: The blue-gray gnatcatcher is a tiny, long-tailed bird of broadleaf forests and scrublands. It makes itself known by its soft but insistent calls and its constant motion. It hops and sidles in dense outer foliage, foraging for insects and spiders. As it moves, it conspicuously flicks its white-edged tail from side to side, scaring up insects and chasing after them. Pairs use spiderweb and lichens to build small, neat nests, which sit on top of branches and look like tree knots. 

Note the tent caterpillars on the branch beside the bird.

More Information: All About Birds

blue-gray gnatcatcher2

blue-gray gnatcatcher

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/8/19

Observation Time: 9:15 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Blue-gray gnatcatcher

Scientific Name: Polioptila caerulea

Comments: The blue-gray gnatcatcher is the northernmost-occurring species of gnatcatcher, and the only truly migratory one. Most members of its genus are resident in Central and South America.

The nesting range of blue-gray gnatcatchers has been shifting northward since the early twentieth century. Over the last quarter of that century, the shift was about 200 miles, in concert with increasing average temperatures.

More Information: All About Birds

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/7/19

Observation Time: 8:28 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Blue-headed Vireo

Scientific Name: Vireo solitarius

Comments: Sorry about the poor picture quality. My challenge to you is to get out there and take a better one! Learn to recognize the song so you will know when you are near one. The best time to find one is in May as they migrate through Sharon on their way north.

More Information: All About Birds