The Yellow-Crowned Night Heron

Chrissy Bowker of Texas asks, “What’s this animal?” COMMON NAME: Yellow-crowned Night Heron SCIENTIFIC NAME: Nyctanassa violacea; ORDER, Pelecaniformes DIET: Mainly crustaceans, insects, and some types of fish. Occasionally, it may feed on small lizards, rodents, or other small birds. SIZE: Average height, 25 inches; Wingspan, 44 inches WEIGHT: Average weight, 1.65 pounds HABITAT: Wetlands, marshes, bayous, shallow lake shores, mangroves, and [...]

The Forest Tent Caterpillar

Species: Malacosoma disstria      Chrissy Bowker of Texas asks, “What’s this animal?” The caterpillar in the picture above is none other than the Forest Tent Caterpillar, Malacosoma disstria. They are commonplace in the eastern regions of US and Canada. Down in Texas, populations are sure to be booming this spring due to the warmer than average [...]

The Northern Cardinal

Species: Cardinalis cardinalis                     Order: Passeriformes Chrissy Bowker of Texas asks, “What’s this animal?” The bird in the picture above is none other than a young Northern Cardinal, Cardinalis cardinalis. This one in particular is very young, presumably a recent fledgling from the nest. Hatchlings leave the [...]

The Spotted Apatelodes

That's the Spotted Apatelodes, Apatelodes torrefacta, a beautiful moth of the Bombycidae (Silkworm Moths) family which is commonly mistaken for the somewhat similar looking Sphinx Moth.

The Tree Swallow

Species: Tachycineta bicolor                      Order: Passeriformes Chrissy Bowker of Texas (who, yes, also happens to be my mother) asks, "What's this animal?" The bird in the picture above is none other than the Tree Swallow, Tachycineta bicolor. The Tree Swallow is an insectivorous, migratory passerine bird that breeds in [...]