Sightings – Animals

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/19/19

Observation Time: 2:45 p.m.

Observation Location: Billings Loop Botanical Trail

Common Name: Amber Snail

Scientific Name: family Succineidae

Comments: This terrestrial snail was one of many crawling on a skunk cabbage leaf beside the trail.

More Information: Terrestrial Mollusc Tool

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 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

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

Comments: Bullfrogs are voracious, opportunistic, ambush predators that prey on any small animal they can overpower and stuff down their throats. Bullfrog stomachs have been found to contain rodents, small reptiles, amphibians, crayfish, birds, and bats, as well as the many invertebrates, such as insects, which are the usual food of ranid frogs. These studies revealed the bullfrog’s diet to be unique among North American ranids in the inclusion of a large percentage of aquatic animals, such as fish, tadpoles, ram’s horn snails, and dytiscid beetles. Bullfrogs can capture large, strong prey because of the powerful grip of their jaws after the initial ranid tongue strike.

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: 12/12/09

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

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/13/15

Observation Time: 9:35 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: American Goldfinch

Scientific Name: Spinus tristis

Comments: One of Sharon’s most striking – and most common – songbirds. Goldfinches are frequent visitors to bird feeders.

More Information: Audubon Guide to N. American Birds

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/15/20

Observation Time: 9:35 a.m.

Observation Location: Flume house near the Lake Massapoag boat ramp

Common Name: American Goldfinch (male)

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: 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: 5/19/19

Observation Time: 6:55 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: American Goldfinch (male)

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: 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: 5/26/19

Observation Time: 1:15 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm (formerly the Kendall Estate)

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 visiting a mud puddle, but it flew off before I could get a better photo.

More Information: BugGuide

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/27/19

Observation Time: 5:20 p.m.

Observation Location: under the high tension wires across the street from Ward’s Berry Farm

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 visiting a mud puddle, but it flew off before I could get a better photo.

More Information: Butterflies and Moths of North America

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: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 8/18/20

Observation Time: 11:40 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm (formerly the Kendall Estate)

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 blossom of a Joe Pye weed.

More Information: Butterflies and Moths of North America

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: 5/17/20

Observation Time: 9:00 a.m.

Observation Location: wooded trail near Gavins Pond

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

Observer: Josh Simons

Observation Date: 5/31/20

Observation Time: 2:15 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill area

Common Name: American Robin

Scientific Name: Turdus migratorius

Comments: Robins eat different types of food depending on the time of day: more earthworms in the morning and more fruit later in the day. Because the robin forages largely on lawns, it is vulnerable to pesticide poisoning and can be an important indicator of chemical pollution.

Although robins are considered harbingers of spring, many American Robins spend the whole winter in their breeding range. But because they spend more time roosting in trees and less time in your yard, you’re much less likely to see them. The number of robins present in the northern parts of the range varies each year with the local conditions.

Robins eat a lot of fruit in fall and winter. When they eat honeysuckle berries exclusively, they sometimes become intoxicated.

More Information: All About Birds

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: Wikipedia

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: Richard Mandell

Observation Date: 5/24/19

Observation Time: afternoon

Observation Location: 580 Mountain St.

Common Name: American Woodcock

Scientific Name: Scolopax minor

Comments: Woodcocks are also called timberdoodles. They nest on the ground, and are very well camouflaged.

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: Richard Kramer

Observation Date: 6/4/19

Observation Time: noon

Observation Location: Lake Massapoag

Common Name: Bald Eagle

Scientific Name: Haliaeetus leucocephalus

Comments: Bald eagles can live a long time. The oldest recorded bird in the wild was at least 38 years old when it was hit and killed by a car in New York in 2015. It had been banded in the same state in 1977.

The largest bald eagle nest on record, in St. Petersburg, Florida, was 2.9 meters in diameter and 6.1 meters tall. Another famous nest—in Vermilion, Ohio—was shaped like a wine glass and weighed almost two metric tons. It was used for 34 years until the tree blew down.

More Information: All About Birds

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: 5/30/20

Observation Time:  4:30 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm (TTOR)

Common Name: Bald-faced Hornet

Scientific Name: Dolichovespula maculata

Comments: The bald-faced hornet is related to yellowjacket wasps, and is not a true hornet. Its colloquial names include bald hornet, white-faced hornet, white-tailed hornet, spruce wasp, blackjacket, and bull wasp.

Bald-faced hornets are social insects and are most active during the day. They live in colonies of up to 700 members. Bald-faced hornets build paper carton nests in the area of the queen’s choosing, typically three or more feet off the ground, and usually in trees, shrubs, on overhangs, utility poles, houses, sheds or other structures. These nests can be as large as 14 inches in diameter and more than 24 inches in length. The individual in the photos below seemed to be chewing at the dead wood – perhaps to make nest-building wood pulp.

Bald-faced hornets usually appear in late summer. Males emerge from unfertilized eggs and impregnate the new females for the next season at the end of the summer. The inseminated insects are the only ones that overwinter, while the remaining members of the nest die off, and the process repeats the next spring and summer. Unlike other stinging insects, bald-faced hornets do not reuse their nests season after season. The new colony members rebuild them each year from new materials.

Bald-faced hornets are aggressive and will attack anyone who invades their space, unlike other stinging insects that only rarely sting when they feel threatened. Removal of a bald-faced hornet nest is dangerous, and should be left to a professional. These hornets have smooth stingers, so they can sting repeatedly, whereas other stinging insects, like honeybees, are only able to attack once before their stinger falls off.

More Information: Wikipedia

Observer: Richard Mandell

Observation Date: November, 2018

Observation Time:  N/A

Observation Location: 280 Mountain Street

Common Name: Bald-faced Hornet

Scientific Name: Dolichovespula maculata

Comments: The bald-faced hornet is related to yellowjacket wasps, and is not a true hornet. Its colloquial names include bald hornet, white-faced hornet, white-tailed hornet, spruce wasp, blackjacket, and bull wasp.

Bald-faced hornets are social insects and are most active during the day. They live in colonies of up to 700 members. Bald-faced hornets build paper carton nests in the area of the queen’s choosing, typically three or more feet off the ground, and usually in trees, shrubs, on overhangs, utility poles, houses, sheds or other structures. These nests can be as large as 14 inches in diameter and more than 24 inches in length.

Bald-faced hornets usually appear in late summer. Males emerge from unfertilized eggs and impregnate the new females for the next season at the end of the summer. The inseminated insects are the only ones that overwinter, while the remaining members of the nest die off, and the process repeats the next spring and summer. Unlike other stinging insects, bald-faced hornets do not reuse their nests season after season. The new colony members rebuild them each year from new materials.

Bald-faced hornets are aggressive and will attack anyone who invades their space, unlike other stinging insects that only rarely sting when they feel threatened. Removal of a bald-faced hornet nest is dangerous, and should be left to a professional. These hornets have smooth stingers, so they can sting repeatedly, whereas other stinging insects, like honeybees, are only able to attack once before their stinger falls off.

More Information: Wikipedia

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: Josh Simons

Observation Date: 5/12/20

Observation Time: 3:00 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill area

Common Name: Baltimore Oriole

Scientific Name: Icterus galbula

Comments: The oriole’s flutelike call is quite distinctive, once you know what to listen for.

More Information: All About Birds

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

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: 5/26/19

Observation Time: 3:40 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm (formerly the Kendall Estate)

Common Name: Baltimore Oriole

Scientific Name: Icterus galbula

Comments: I heard this oriole’s flutelike call before I spotted it.

More Information: All About Birds

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: 5/13/19

Observation Time: 7:00 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Baltimore Oriole (female)

Scientific Name: Icterus galbula

Comments: Baltimore oriole females are much drabber than the bright-orange males. This acrobatic individual seemed to be eating the petals of this flowering crabapple tree.

More Information: All About Birds

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/16/20

Observation Time: 7:35 a.m.

Observation Location: parking area at Gavins Pond soccer fields

Common Name: Baltimore Oriole (female)

Scientific Name: Icterus galbula

Comments: I spotted this female oriole as I was about to get into the car and leave. Nature finds you if you spend time outside, especially in a town like Sharon with plenty of natural open spaces and trails.

The oriole’s flutelike call is quite distinctive, once you know what to listen for.

More Information: All About Birds

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/12/16

Observation Time: 7:50 a.m.

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: 5/19/20

Observation Time: 11:10 a.m.

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

Common Name: Baltimore Oriole

Scientific Name: Icterus galbula

Comments: The oriole’s flutelike call is quite distinctive, once you know what to listen for.

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: 5/15/20

Observation Time: 7:45 a.m.

Observation Location: conservation land near Lakeview & Morse

Common Name: Barred Owl

Scientific Name: Strix varia

Comments: A common owl in Sharon, the barred owl’s vocalization sounds like, “Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you all?”

Barred Owls don’t migrate, and they don’t even move around very much. Of 158 birds that were banded and then found later, none had moved farther than 6 miles away.

More Information: All About Birds

Observer: Nancy Mollitor

Observation Date: 5/8/16

Observation Time: morning

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Barred Owl (juvenile)

Scientific Name: Strix varia

Comments: A common owl in Sharon, the barred owl’s vocalization sounds like, “Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you all?”

Barred Owls don’t migrate, and they don’t even move around very much. Of 158 birds that were banded and then found later, none had moved farther than 6 miles away.

More Information: All About Birds

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: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 9/4/20

Observation Time: 2:15 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm (TTOR)

Common Name: Bee fly

Scientific Name: Systropus macer

Comments: This fly looks like a wasp. It was feeding on a late purple aster blossom beside the dirt road under the power lines.

More Information: Forestry Images and Bugguide.net

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: 9/18/14

Observation Time: 2:50 p.m.

Observation Place: near Lake Massapoag boat launching ramp

Common Name: Belted Kingfisher

Scientific Name: Megaceryle alcyon

Comments: Belted kingfishers nest in a burrow, usually in a dirt bank near water. Their call is a distinctive, scolding chatter. Check out the recordings at the link below.

More Information:  All About Birds

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: 5/11/19

Observation Time: 10:30 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

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. The one in the photo has caught its breakfast.

More Information: All About Birds

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