Sightings – Animals

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: 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: 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: 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: 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

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

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/7/20

Observation Time: 9:30 a.m.

Observation Location: Conservation land at Lakeview & Morse Streets

Common Name: Blue-headed Vireo

Scientific Name: Vireo solitarius

Comments: The woods were pretty quiet this morning. After walking a long way along a trail, I heard this blue-headed vireo singing high in the treetops. These photos were taken with my new Sony RX-10 iv zoom camera.

Note the bold white “spectacles” around its eyes.

More Information: All About Birds

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/16/20

Observation Time: 7:10 a.m.

Observation Location: near the soccer field parking lot at Gavins Pond

Common Name: Blue-winged warbler

Scientific Name: Vermivora cyanoptera

Comments: The blue-winged warbler’s song sounds like, “bee-buzz.” Note the distinctive mask-like black line through its eyes.

More Information: All About Birds

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/19/14

Observation Time: 11:30 a.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond Road

Common Name: Blue-winged Warbler

Scientific Name: Vermivora cyanoptera

Comments: The blue-winged warbler’s song sounds like, “bee-buzz.”

More Information: All About Birds

Blue-winged Warbler

Blue-winged Warbler

Blue-winged Warbler

 

Observer: Jason Platt

Observation Date: 5/8/18

Observation Time: 8:45 a.m.

Observation Location: under power lines at Moose Hill

Common Name: Blue-winged Warbler

Scientific Name: Vermivora cyanoptera

Comments: The blue-winged warbler’s song sounds like, “bee-buzz.”

More Information: All About Birds

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/4/10

Observation Time: 11:45 a.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond

Common Name: Bluegill Sunfish

Scientific Name: Lepomis macrochirus

Comments: These sunfish were spawning on a sandy area near the shore.

More Information: Southshore Fishing

Bluegill Sunfish

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/4/10

Observation Time: 11:30 a.m.

Observation Location: Borderland State Park

Common Name: Bluegill Sunfish

Scientific Name: Lepomis macrochirus

Comments: This bluegill sunfish was guarding its eggs.

More Information: Wikipedia

Bluegill Sunfish

Observer: Marla Lonergan

Observation Date: 6/11/14

Observation Time: 6:00 p.m.

Observation Location: 5 Tisdale Road

Common Name: Bobcat

Scientific Name: Lynx rufus

Comments: Second bobcat sighting in Sharon in less than a week. See the NECN
report
.

More Information: Wikipedia

Bobcat

 

Observer: Suzy Levenson

Observation Date: 6/7/14

Observation Time: 8:15 a.m.

Observation Location: 155 Billings St

Common Name: Bobcat

Scientific Name: Lynx rufus

Comments: The bobcat was calmly sitting in my backyard looking at my housecat who was sitting in a window. There were three snapping turtles in the backyard at the same time. Then the bobcat quietly walked away into the woods.

More Information: Wikipedia

Bobcat

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/21/20

Observation Time: 9:30 a.m.

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

Common Name: Bobolink

Scientific Name: Dolichonyx oryzivorus

Comments: The big pasture at the Trustees of Reservations’ Moose Hill Farm is ideal breeding habitat for bobolinks. Meadow habitat is not nearly as prevalent in Massachusetts since industry replaced agriculture, and forests grew back in former pasture lands.

More Information: All About Birds

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/26/19

Observation Time: 2:00 p.m.

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

Common Name: Bobolink

Scientific Name: Dolichonyx oryzivorus

Comments: The big pasture at Moose Hill Farm is ideal breeding habitat for bobolinks. Meadow habitat is not nearly as prevalent in Massachusetts since industry replaced agriculture, and forests grew back in former farmlands.

More Information: All About Birds

Observer: Steven D’Addieco

Observation Date: 4/19/20

Observation Time: 7:15 p.m.

Observation Location: undisclosed location in Sharon

Common Name: Brook trout

Scientific Name: Salveninus Fontinalus

Comments: Pollution and dams have greatly reduced native brook trout populations in eastern Massachusetts. Brook trout are vulnerable to global warming because they cannot survive in warm water.

Please practice catch and release to help conserve these beautiful fish.

More Information: Massachusetts Wildlife

Observer: Deb  Radovsky

Observation Date: 4/23/18

Observation Time: 6:00 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary (Billings Loop)

Common Name: Brown Creeper

Scientific Name: Certhia americana

Comments: Brown Creepers are tiny woodland birds with an affinity for the biggest trees they can find. Look for these little, long-tailed scraps of brown and white spiraling up stout trunks and main branches, sometimes passing downward-facing nuthatches along the way. They probe into crevices and pick at loose bark with their slender, downcurved bills, and build their hammock-shaped nests behind peeling flakes of bark. Their piercing calls can make it much easier to find this hard-to-see but common species.

More Information: All About Birds

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/12/12

Observation Time: 5:00 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond area

Common Name: Brown Elfin Butterfly

Scientific Name: Callophrys augustinus

Comments: This brown elfin was found in the same meadow of wild indigo as a rare frosted elfin butterfly.

More Information: Butterflies and Moths

Brown Elfin Butterfly

 

Observer: Faith Berkland

Observation Date: 6/20/14

Observation Time: 10:30 a.m.

Observation Location: On one of the reflectors I have around my driveway.

Common Name: Brown Mantidfly

Scientific Name: Clineriella Brunnea

Comments: I first thought it was a praying mantis but none of the pictures showed one that small, or with the wasp-like abdomen. I decided to see if it was a type of wasp and voila! See this photo.

More Information: Wikipedia

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 8/31/18

Observation Time: 4:10 p.m.

Observation Location: Borderland State Park

Common Name: Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (4th instar)

Scientific Name: Halyomorpha Halys

Comments: Stink bugs molt several times before reaching maturity. Each phase is referred to as an instar.

More Information: Wikipedia

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/2/11

Observation Time: 4:20 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond Road near soccer field parking lot

Common Name: Brown Thrasher

Scientific Name: Toxostoma rufum

Comments: Brown thrashers are one of the three mimics. The other two are catbirds and mockingbirds. Brown thrashers repeat each vocalization twice. Mockingbirds repeat three or four times. Catbirds only make each vocalization once.

More Information: All About Birds.org

Brown Thrasher

 

Observer: Steven D’Addieco

Observation Date: 6/6/15

Observation Time: N/A

Observation Location: Massapoag Brook

Common Name: Brown trout

Scientific Name: Salmo trutta

Comments: I caught and released this small brown trout in the late spring of 2015. Please practice catch and release to help conserve these beautiful fish.

More Information: Wikipedia

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 4/7/14

Observation Time: 12:10 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond area near soccer fields

Common Name: Brown-headed Cowbird

Scientific Name: Molothrus ater

Comments: These Brown-headed Cowbirds were mating. Cowbirds parasitize other bird species. Female Cowbirds forgo building nests and instead lay their eggs in the nests of other birds, abandoning their young to foster parents, usually at the expense of at least some of the host’s own chicks. Once confined to the open grasslands of middle North America, cowbirds have surged in numbers and range as humans built towns and cleared woods.

More Information: All About Birds.org

Brown-headed Cowbird

Brown-headed Cowbird

 

Observer: Josh Simons

Observation Date: 5/10/20

Observation Time: 1:00 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill area

Common Name: Brown-headed Cowbird

Scientific Name: Molothrus ater

Comments: Cowbirds parasitize other bird species. Female Cowbirds forgo building nests and instead lay their eggs in the nests of other birds, abandoning their young to foster parents, usually at the expense of at least some of the host’s own chicks. Once confined to the open grasslands of middle North America, cowbirds have surged in numbers and range as humans built towns and cleared woods.

More Information: All About Birds

Observer: Faith Berkland

Observation Date: 9/22/15

Observation Time: 3:00 p.m.

Observation Location: Mansfield Street

Common Name: Brown-hooded Owlet Moth caterpillar

Scientific Name: Cucullia convexipennis

Comments: The moth flies from May to September depending on the location. The caterpillars feed on Aster, Solidago and Callistephus chinensis.

More Information: Wikipedia

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/9/11

Observation Time: 3:00 p.m.

Observation Location: Field near Gavins Pond

Common Name: Buckeye Butterfly

Scientific Name: Junonia coenia

Comments: This bedraggled specimen is showing a lot of wear and tear on its wings.

More Information: Wikipedia

Buckeye Butterfly

Buckeye Butterfly

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 11/19/13

Observation Time: 2:35 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond

Common Name: Bufflehead

Scientific Name: Bucephala albeola

Comments: Buffleheads are small, diving ducks. They nest in old woodpecker holes, particularly those made by Northern Flickers, in the forests of northern North America.

More Information: All About Birds

Bufflehead

 

Observer: Ilan Fisher

Observation Date: 3/8/20

Observation Time: 3:00 p.m.

Observation Location: Lake Massapoag (near Harding St. & Beach St.)

Common Name: Bufflehead

Scientific Name: Bucephala albeola

Comments: Shot a bit of video to go with previous days’ sightings at same location. See: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OdOIPxBSs1g

More Information: All About Birds

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 8/27/10

Observation Time: 3:45 p.m.

Observation Location: Beaver Brook near tennis courts

Common Name: Bullhead Catfish

Scientific Name: Ameiurus melas

Comments: I noticed a number of small black fish swimming near the dam, so I got a dipnet and caught this one (don’t worry, I released it alive!). It turned out to be a bullhead catfish. When the Department of Fish and Game sampled the fish in Beaver Brook on August 25, 2008 with electro-shocking equipment (which stuns fish but does not kill them) they found redfin pickerel, sunfish, bass and American eels, but they did not find bullhead catfish.

More Information: Wikipedia

Bullhead Catfish

Bullhead Catfish

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/29/10

Observation Time: 7:50 a.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond Road area

Common Name: Bumble Bee

Scientific Name: Bombus sp.

Comments: Bumblebees are important pollinators. There are many species of bumblebees.

More information: Bumblebees of the Eastern United States

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 3/17/11

Observation Time: 3:10 p.m.

Observation Location: vernal pool near Bay Road

Common Name: Caddisfly Larva

Scientific Name: Order Trichoptera

Comments: Caddisfly larva are aquatic. They build a protective case of silk around themselves, incorporating debris for camouflage and protection. Their presence is indicative of good water quality. Adult caddis flies emerge en masse for just a few weeks. After emergence, they do not eat, but they mate and the females lay eggs. Caddisflies are a preferred food of trout.

More Information: Watersheds.org

Caddis Fly Larva

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 8/30/10

Observation Time: 8:30 a.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond Road (bridge near soccer fields)

Common Name: Canada Darner dragonfly

Scientific Name: Aeshna canadensis

Comments: Canada darner dragonflies are very common in Massachusetts in late summer near sluggish marsh-bordered streams. They typically hang vertically at rest.

More Information: US Army Corps of Engineers: North Hartland Lake

Canada Darner Dragonfly

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/4/11

Observation Time: 12:45 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond

Common Name: Canada Goose

Scientific Name: Branta canadensis

Comments: Canada geese are quite common in Sharon, and can even become a nuisance, but these goslings sure are cute. If you are in the mood for a heartwarming movie, see “Fly Away Home” about a girl who adopts some orphaned goslings.

More Information: Mass Wildlife

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/17/14

Observation Time: 12:55 p.m.

Observation Location: Beaver Brook near tennis courts

Common Name: Canada Mayflower

Scientific Name: Maianthemum canadense

Comments: This common plant carpets the forest floor in many parts of Sharon.

More Information: Wikipedia

Canada Mayflower

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/21/18

Observation Time: 7:50 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Canada Warbler

Scientific Name: Cardellina canadensis

Comments: Canada Warblers migrate through Sharon in mid-May. They have a distinctive black collar and a white eye-ring.

More Information: All About Birds

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 3/12/09

Observation Time: 7:45 a.m.

Observation Location: Soccer field by Gavins Pond Road

Common Name: Canada x Greylag hybrid goose

Scientific Name:

Comments: This morning I saw a strange goose among the Canada geese at the Gavins Pond soccer field nearest to Gavins Pond Road. It had a distinct white line all the way around the base of its dark beak, light gray cheeks with a dark head and neck, and dull orange legs (the Canada geese had black legs). The transition from the gray cheeks to the dark head was not as sharp as that of the Canada geese, and the gray cheek patch was quite a bit larger than the white “chin strap” of the Canada geese. The body and rump were very similar to the Canada geese. It looked like the some of the Canada x Greylag hybrids shown here except that it had a dark beak, and the white line around the base of the beak was more distinct.

I watched it fly in alone and land on the field among the Canada geese, which is why I noticed it in the first place.

This goose looked exactly like one photographed by Will Sweet earlier this winter. See:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/22560927@N04/3320242349/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/22560927@N04/3320241847/

More Information: Flickr: Hybrid Birds

Observer: Deb  Radovsky

Observation Date: 2/27/18

Observation Time: afternoon

Observation Location: Lake Massapoag

Common Name: Canvasback duck

Scientific Name: Aythya valisineria

Comments: The species name of the Canvasback, Aythya valisineria, comes from Vallisneria americana, or wild celery, whose winter buds and rhizomes are its preferred food during the nonbreeding period.

The oldest recorded Canvasback was a male and at least 22 years, 7 months old when he was shot in California in 1991. He had been banded in the same state in 1969.

More Information: All About Birds

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 9/12/09

Observation Time: 11:15 a.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond Dam

Common Name: Carolina Locust

Scientific Name: Dissosteira carolina

Comments: Diagnostic pronotum ridge is clearly visible in the photo.

More Information: e-Nature.com

Carolina Locust

Observer: Josh Simons

Observation Date: 1/1/09

Observation Time: 2:00 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Parkway

Common Name: Carolina Wren

Scientific Name: Thryothorus ludovicianus

Comments: This and the titmouse and junco photos were all taken with a Canon 50D and a Canon 500mm f4 lens from the comfort of my kitchen on Moose Hill Parkway. We have feeders that attract lots of birds who land on a nearby lilac bush while waiting for their turn at the feeders.

In terms of processing, I use very little. The images are cropped and very small
adjustments are made to exposure and contrast with sometimes a little extra sharpening applied.

That and the nice, slanting winter sunlight are all there is to it.

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

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 1/17/11

Observation Time: 3:40 p.m.

Observation Location: 284 Mountain Street

Common Name: Carolina Wren

Scientific Name: Thryothorus ludovicianus

Comments: Following the SFOC walk on Martin Luther King Day (January 17), while sipping hot cider at Vera Cross’s house at about 3:40 p.m., a pair of Carolina wrens appeared out the window. It was only 20 degrees outside. The wrens were flitting in and out of an old, unused flue, presumably trying to stay warm. When they perched on a nearby branch, they fluffed their feathers for better insulation.

The Carolina Wren is sensitive to cold weather, with the northern populations decreasing markedly after severe winters. Gradually warming winter temperatures over the last century may be responsible for the northward range expansion seen in the late-1900s and early 2000’s.

A pair bond may form between a male and a female at any time of the year, and the pair will stay together for life. Members of a pair stay together on their territory year round, and forage and move around the territory together.

More Information: All About Birds

Carolina Wren

Carolina Wren

Carolina Wren

Observer: Josh Simons

Observation Date: 1/30/11

Observation Time: 1:30 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill area

Common Name: Carolina Wren

Scientific Name: Thryothorus ludovicianus

Comments: For more than 70 years, no Carolina Wrens were recorded during a Christmas Bird Count in Vermont. Then, in 1975, two were spotted. After being observed sporadically on subsequent counts, the bird began making regular appearances in 1991, and its numbers increased steadily from 1999 to 2006. Once a southern species seen rarely during New England’s traditionally cold winters, the wren is now a regular. And it’s not alone. Milder winters and the earlier onset of spring have spurred a variety of species to spread their wings farther north, including Tufted Titmouse, Red-bellied Woodpecker, and Cape May Warbler.

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

Carolina Wren