Wood Duck – 3/31/21

Observer: Josh Simons Observation Date: 3/31/21 Observation Time: 11:00 AM Observation Location: Moose Hill area Common Name: Wood duck Scientific Name: Aix sponsa Comment: “sponsa” means “betrothed” — dressed for a wedding – a comment on the beauty of the male plumage. More Information: All About Birds

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Wolf Spider – 4/1/21

Observer: Josh Simons Observation Date: 3/26/21 Observation Time: 4:30 p.m. Observation Place: Moose Hill area Common Name: Wolf spider Scientific Name: Gladicosa gulosa Comments: I would have been happier finding this wolf spider outside rather than in our mudroom. I captured it and deposited it outside — before reading that some wolf spiders can be aggressive towards humans, that their bite can take a few weeks to […]

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Fisher – 2/26/21

Observer: Kurt Buermann Observation Date: 2/26/21 Observation Time: 7:43 p.m. Observation Location: Furnace St. Common Name: Fisher Scientific Name: Martes pennanti Comments: Kurt Buermann mounted a motion-activated animal cam in his yard and got this video of a fisher: https://youtu.be/FbpcRP6W3D8m. Fishers are omnivorous. You can see the fisher eating raisins near the end of the video. Fishers are sometimes referred to as fisher cats, but they […]

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Pine Warbler – 12/30/20

Observer: Josh Simons Observation Date: 12/30/20 Observation Time: 1:30 p.m. Observation Location: Moose Hill area Common Name: Pine Warbler Scientific Name: Setophaga pinus Comments: Pine warblers are typically found in pine groves. Many warbler species migrate through Sharon in May on their way to nesting areas farther north, but pine warblers nest here in Sharon, and can be found here all summer. Although they typically migrate south in winter, some of […]

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Dark-eyed Junco – 12/18/20

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 12/18/20 Observation Time: 8:35 a.m. Observation Location: Gavins Pond Rd. (our back yard) Common Name: Dark-eyed Junco Scientific Name: Junco hyemalis Comments: Juncos are a type of sparrow commonly seen around Sharon in winter. They head north in spring and don’t return until fall. More Information: Cornell Lab of Ornithology “All About Birds”

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Northern Cardinal – 12/18/20

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 12/18/20 Observation Time: 8:30 a.m. Observation Location: Gavins Pond Rd. (our back yard) Common Name: Northern Cardinal (female) Scientific Name: Cardinalis cardinalis Comments: One of the most common birds in Sharon, cardinals have a whistle-like voice, and sing strongly. Learn to recognize their various vocalizations at: http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/northern_cardinal/sound Cardinals typically travel in pairs. The male is bright red and the female is mostly tan. […]

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Springtails – 11/29/20

Observer: Kurt Buermann Observation Date: 11/29/20 Observation Time: 10:00 a.m. Observation Location: 45 Furnace St. Common Name: Globular Springtails Scientific Name: Sminthuridae Comments: I have often seen these brown dots floating in water, ponds or birdbaths. Today I got really curious. With the naked eye they seem like some sort of pollen. If you scoop a few onto your finger tip they jump off so they are […]

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Northern Cardinal – 11/27/20

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 11/27/20 Observation Time: 12:30 p.m. Observation Location: Gavins Pond Rd. (my back yard) Common Name: Northern Cardinal Scientific Name: Cardinalis cardinalis Comments: One of the most common birds in Sharon, cardinals have a whistle-like voice, and sing strongly. Learn to recognize their various vocalizations at: http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/northern_cardinal/sound Cardinals typically travel in pairs. The male is bright red and the female is mostly tan. More […]

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Tufted Titmouse – 11/27/20

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 11/27/20 Observation Time: 12:20 p.m. Observation Location: Gavins Pond Rd. (my back yard) Common Name: Tufted Titmouse Scientific Name: Baeolophus bicolor Comments: Tufted titmice are abundant in Sharon. They are often encountered in the company of chickadees. More Information: All About Birds

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Eastern Gray Squirrel – 11/27/20

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 11/27/20 Observation Time: 12:10 p.m. Observation Location: Gavins Pond Rd. (my back yard) Common Name: Eastern Gray Squirrel Scientific Name: Sciurus carolinensis Comments: The eastern gray squirrel hoards food in numerous small caches for later recovery. Some caches are quite temporary, especially those made near the site of a sudden abundance of food which can be retrieved within hours or days for […]

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House Finch – 11/27/20

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 11/27/20 Observation Time: 12:05 p.m. Observation Location: 4 Gavins Pond Rd. (my back yard) Common Name: House Finch Scientific Name: Setophaga discolor Comments: Male house finches have reddish coloration on their head and breast. Females are streaked brown. Both have a heavy, conical beak for cracking seeds open. More Information: All About Birds

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Pileated Woodpecker – 10/24/20

Observer: Faith Berkland Observation Date: 10/24/20 Observation Time: 3:55 p.m. Observation Location: 302-296 Mansfield St., Sharon Common Name: Pileated Woodpecker Scientific Name: Dryocopus pileatus Comments: Unfortunately I did not get a picture. However, this was very recognizable for the loud call, the large white spot under its wings when it flew from tree to tree and its pointy crest. I only briefly made out the coloring […]

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Ringless Honey Mushroom – 9/17/20

Observer: Josh Simons Observation Date: 9/17/20 Observation Time: 3:00 p.m. Observation Location: Moose Hill area Common Name: Ringless Honey Mushroom Scientific Name: Armillaria tabescens Comments: These ringless mushrooms extended almost all the way around the tree. WARNING: This is NOT a beginner’s mushroom. Never eat any wild plant unless you are 100% sure that you have identified an edible species. More Information: The Foraged Foodie

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Pickerel Frog – 9/9/20

Observer: Josh Simons Observation Date: 9/9/20 Observation Time: 11:15 a.m. Observation Location: Moose Hill area Common Name: Pickerel Frog Scientific Name: Lithobates palustris Comments: The skin secretions of a stressed pickerel frog are known to be toxic to other frogs, as many a novice frog catcher has found when he finds only the pickerel frogs still alive in his bucket. These secretions can also be […]

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Goldrenrod Bunch Gall Midge – 9/9/20

Observer: Josh Simons Observation Date: 9/9/20 Observation Time: 11:00 a.m. Observation Location: Moose Hill area Common Name: Goldrenrod Bunch Gall Midge Scientific Name: Rhopalomyia solidaginis Comments: This peculiar insect makes a gall on goldenrod. More Information: iNaturalist

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parasol Mushroom – 9/9/20

Observer: Josh Simons Observation Date: 9/9/20 Observation Time: 11:00 a.m. Observation Location: Moose Hill area Common Name: Parasol mushroom Scientific Name: Macrolepiota procera Comments: iNaturalist says this is a parasol mushroom. I thought they had rounded caps, but I do see some flat tops when googling. This was large – maybe 5″ to 6″ in diameter. Very pretty. More Information: Mushroom-Collecting.com

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Brittle Gill Mushroom – 9/7/20

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 9/7/20 Observation Time: 5:45 p.m. Observation Location: conservation land near Lakeview & Morse Common Name: Brittle Gill Mushroom Scientific Name: Russula pulchra Comments: Wikipedia lists an enormous number of Russula species, so I am not certain of this identification. More Information: Mushroom Expert

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Chicken of the Woods – 9/7/20

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 9/7/20 Observation Time: 5:40 p.m. Observation Location: conservation land near Lakeview & Morse Common Name: Chicken of the Woods Scientific Name: Laetiporus sulphureus Comments: These relatively small specimens were growing on a dead oak tree. Chicken of the Woods can grow to very large size. They are edible, but it is wise to refrain from eating any wild-harvested food unless […]

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Wild Grapes – 9/7/20

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 9/7/20 Observation Time: 5:30 p.m. Observation Location: Conservation land at Morse & Lakeview Common Name: Wild Grapes Scientific Name: Vitis spp. Comments: Wild grapevines are native to eastern North America. I smelled these wild grapes before I saw the grapevine laden with purple fruit climbing a tree beside the trail. Be careful not to confuse wild grapes, which are edible, with Canadian Moon Seeds, which are […]

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White Banded Crab Spider – 9/7/20

Observer: Josh Simons Observation Date: 9/7/2020 Observation Time: 11:00 a.m. Observation Location: Moose Hill area Common Name: White-banded Crab Spider Scientific Name: Misumessus formosipes Comments: These spiders (also called flower spiders) can change color to match the flowers they are hunting in. Cool. More Information: iNaturalist

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Late Purple Aster – 9/4/20

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 9/4/20 Observation Time: 2:30 p.m. Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm (TTOR) Common Name: Late Purple Aster Scientific Name: Symphyotrichum patens Comments: Late purple aster looks similar to smooth aster — they both have purple rays and clasping leaves. Distinguish them by their stems — late purple aster has a rough, hairy stem; smooth aster has a smooth stem with a […]

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Bee Fly – 9/4/20

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

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Slender Bush-Clover – 9/4/20

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 9/4/20 Observation Time: 2:10 p.m. Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm (TTOR) Common Name: Slender Bush-Clover Scientific Name: Lespedeza virginica Comments: Slender bush-clover is a member of the pea family. Like other bush-clovers, slender bush-clover is preferentially browsed by mammalian herbivores such as deer and rabbits, as well as quail and other ground birds. Slender bush-clover is often found in man-made or […]

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Gray Hairstreak Butterfly – 9/4/20

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 9/4/20 Observation Time: 2:00 p.m. Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm (under power lines) Common Name: Gray Hairstreak butterfly Scientific Name: Satyrium melinus Comments: This Gray Hairstreak butterfly was feeding on Sweet Everlasting. More Information: Raising Butterflies

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False Hop Sedge – 9/4/20

Observer: Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program employees Observation Date: 9/4/20 Observation Time: 2:00 p.m. Observation Location: undisclosed location in Sharon Common Name: False Hop Sedge Scientific Name: Carex lupuliformis Comments: False Hop Sedge is an endangered species in Massachusetts. The NHESP observers said they saw only a few plants. As of 9/4/20, this species does not appear on the list of rare species that have been […]

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