Sightings – Animals

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: 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: 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: 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: 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

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/4/13

Observation Time: 8:30 a.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond area

Common Name: Band-winged Meadowhawk dragonfly

Scientific Name: Sympetrum semicinctum

More Information: Wikipedia

Band-winged Meadowhawk Dragonfly

Band-winged Meadowhawk Dragonfly

Band-winged Meadowhawk Dragonfly

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/26/15

Observation Time: 4:30 p.m.

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

Common Name: Banded Hairstreak butterfly

Scientific Name: Satyrium calanus

Comments: This small butterfly was feeding on milkweed blossoms. Banded hairstreaks are very similar to striped hairstreaks. The blue marginal spot on the hind wing is capped with orange in the striped hairstreak but not in the banded hairstreak.

More Information: Massachusetts Butterfly Club

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 8/6/11

Observation Time: 8:10 a.m.

Observation Location: 4 Gavins Pond Road (back yard)

Common Name: Banded Net-Winged Beetle

Scientific Name: Calopteron discrepans

Comments: This colorful beetle is found throughout the eastern U.S. Its bright color and contrast warn predators that they taste bad if eaten.

More Information: University of Florida

Banded Net-Winged Beetle

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/29/14

Observation Time: 12:35 p.m.

Observation Location: stone hut by Upper Leach Pond at Borderland State Park

Common Name: Barn Swallow

Scientific Name: Hirundo rustica

Comments: Barn swallows are passerine birds, which includes more than half of all bird species. A passerine bird has three toes pointing forward and one back. This facilitates perching. The passerines form one of the most diverse terrestrial vertebrate orders, with over 5,000 identified species.

More Information: All About Birds

Barn Swallow

Barn Swallow

 

Observer: Randi Simons

Observation Date: 11/14/08

Observation Time: Mid-afternoon

Observation Location: Moose Hill Parkway, Mass. Audubon conservation land

Common Name: Barred Owl

Scientific Name: Strix varia

Comments: This owl sat on a branch close to the road for an hour or more, not bothered by people watching close by or by chickadees constantly scolding.

More Information: Cornell Lab of Ornithology “All About Birds”

Barred Owl

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/24/18

Observation Time: 6:30 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Bay-breasted Warbler

Scientific Name: Setophaga castanea

Comments: Bay-breasted warblers migrate through Sharon in May en route to their summertime breeding areas in Canada. They eat insects and spiders to keep up their energy during the long flight.

Even for experienced bird watchers, bay-breasted warblers are an unusual find. They are typically seen high up in tall trees, making good photos of them especially challenging. Populations of bay-breasted warbler appear to be decreasing throughout their range. The U.S. has seen a decline of almost 3% per year between 1966 and 2014, resulting in a cumulative decline of 74%, according to the North American Breeding Bird Survey.

More Information: All About Birds and American Bird Conservancy

Observer: Deborah Radovsky

Observation Date: 11/24/18

Observation Time: 8:30 a.m.

Observation Location: in a tree at the edge of Lake Massapoag, near Beach St.

Common Name: Belted Kingfisher

Scientific Name: Megaceryle alcyon

Comments: Kingfishers have also been sighted near the boat launch area and in the Gavins Pond area. They dive for small fish. They nest in burrows.

More Information: All About Birds

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 8/3/10

Observation Time: 9:30 a.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond

Common Name: Belted Kingfisher

Scientific Name: Megaceryle alcyon

Comments: A pair of belted kingfishers were diving simultaneously several times into Gavins Pond. The bottom photo shows the splash of the kingfisher diving in.

Kingfishers nest in burrows on the banks of ponds and rivers.

More Information: University of Massachusetts

Belted Kingfisher

Belted Kingfisher

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 9/9/13

Observation Time: 2:05 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond Dam

Common Name: Belted Kingfisher

Scientific Name: Megaceryle alcyon

Comments: These charismatic birds dive for fish. Believe it or not, they nest in burrows on the banks of streams and ponds.

More Information: University of Massachusetts

Belted Kingfisher

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 11/12/12

Observation Time: 5:30 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond Dam

Common Name: Big Brown Bat

Scientific Name: Eptesicus fuscus

Comments: New England has little brown bats and big brown bats. Little brown bats are only found in New England in summer. Since these bats were observed in mid-November, they are presumably big brown bats. Bats fly fast, so getting these photos was not easy!

More Information: Mass Audubon

Big Brown Bat

Big Brown Bat

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/13/14

Observation Time: 7:35 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Black and White Warbler

Scientific Name: Mniotilta varia

Comments: Black and white warblers are usually seen moving up and down tree trunks looking for bugs under the bark.

More Information: All About Birds

Black and White Warbler

Black and White Warbler

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/3/18

Observation Time: 8:40 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Black and White Warbler

Scientific Name: Mniotilta varia

Comments: Black and white warblers are usually seen moving up and down tree trunks looking for bugs under the bark.

More Information: All About Birds

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/16/13

Observation Time: 7:30 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Black and White Warbler (female)

Scientific Name: Mniotilta varia

Comments: Black and white warblers creep along tree trunks and branches foraging for insects. Their high-pitched squeaky song sounds like a wheel turning that needs to be oiled.

More Information: https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Black-and-white_Warbler/overview

Black and White Warbler (female)

 

Observer: Regen Jamieson

Observation Date: 8/11/09

Observation Location: Moose Hill in the meadow at the end of the “unnatural trail”.

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

Black and Yellow Garden Spider

 

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: 5/7/18

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: 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: 5/14/15

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: 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: 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: 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

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