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What’s New In Nature: Osprey

By ncfscience | September 9, 2015 |

Osprey, (Pandion haliaetus) Osprey, also known as fish hawks, are one of Nantucket’s most iconic birds of prey. They nest predominantly on platforms erected adjacent to beaches and ponds. Although dead trees can serve as naturally-occurring nest sites, this species seems to prefer artificial structures such as nest platforms, cell phone towers, channel markers and utility…

What’s New In Nature: New England Blazing Star

By ncfscience | September 2, 2015 | Comments Off on What’s New In Nature: New England Blazing Star

New England Blazing Star (Liatris scariosa var. novae angliae) Flowering August-September Native to the northeastern United States, New England blazing star is a showy wildflower with star-like clusters of brilliant purple florets arranged on an upright stalk. Found only in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island this globally rare plant is…

What’s New in Nature: Meadow Vole

By Jen Karberg | August 19, 2015 | Comments Off on What’s New in Nature: Meadow Vole

Meadow Vole, (Microtus pennsylvanicus) The meadow vole, or meadow/field mouse, is a common species of small mammal on Nantucket and across the northern United States and Canada. As the name implies, this species prefers open grassy habitats, but it can also be found in shrublands and forests. This little mammal is active during the day and night year-round.…

What’s New in Nature: Queen Anne’s Lace

By Jen Karberg | August 12, 2015 | Comments Off on What’s New in Nature: Queen Anne’s Lace

Queen Anne’s Lace (Daucus carota) Flowering July-August A colonist from Europe, Queen Anne’s Lace is a familiar sight in old fields and along roadsides and can be found throughout Nantucket.  Another name for this plant is “wild carrot”, because our garden carrots were bred from this species, which has tough white roots. The large flat…

What’s New In Nature: Turk’s Cap Lily (Lilium superbum)

By Jen Karberg | August 5, 2015 | Comments Off on What’s New In Nature: Turk’s Cap Lily (Lilium superbum)

Turk’s Cap Lily (Lilium superbum) Flowering July-August Turk’s cap lily is a rare but spectacular sight in the Polpis area of Nantucket, where it grows in shrubby edge habitat. The ornate flowers are bright orange or red, tinged with yellow and spotted with dark speckles near the center, rising above the surrounding vegetation, which affords…

What’s New in Nature: Grey Catbird

By Jen Karberg | July 29, 2015 | Comments Off on What’s New in Nature: Grey Catbird

Grey Catbird (Dumetella caroliniensis) To be seen and not heard, is certainly not part of the upbringing of these feisty chatterboxes.  As soon as you near, they are sure to alert you of their presence – perhaps by launching into a melodious cascade of sounds to rival a nightingale – or going on in a…

What’s New In Nature: Orange Milkweed

By Jen Karberg | July 22, 2015 | Comments Off on What’s New In Nature: Orange Milkweed

Flowering now! Orange Milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa), also known as  “Butterfly Weed,” attracts a wide variety of butterfly species with its showy flowers and abundant nectar. This gorgeous and unique plant is fairly rare on Nantucket but is a very important component of Nantucket’s sandplain grasslands.   Orange Milkweed has great wildlife value; the leaves are a…

Report Nantucket Bat Sightings!

By Danielle O'Dell | June 23, 2015 | Comments Off on Report Nantucket Bat Sightings!

GOT BATS? We want to hear of your sightings! Zara Dowling, a graduate student at UMass-Amherst, received a research grant from the Nantucket Biodiversity Initiative this spring to study and document the bat species on Nantucket. Zara has been working with the Nantucket Conservation Foundation’s Science and Stewardship Staff to record the calls of bats…

Welcome to NCF’s 2015 Seasonal Botany Field Assistants

By Danielle O'Dell | June 1, 2015 | Comments Off on Welcome to NCF’s 2015 Seasonal Botany Field Assistants

Each summer, the Nantucket Conservation Foundation hires two seasonal botany field assistants to help us collect data on a variety of projects throughout the field season. This year, we are very lucky to have Natalie Pawlikowski and Kaitlyn Evans joining our team! These two ladies will be helping us to locate populations of rare plants…

Four-toed Salamanders

By Danielle O'Dell | May 22, 2015 | Comments Off on Four-toed Salamanders

In 2009, Andrew Mckenna-Foster, Director of Natural Science at the Maria Mitchell Association, found the very first record of a four-toed salamander for Nantucket in the vicinity of Sesachacha Pond! Andrew was working on another project at the time and incidentally found the four-toed salamander underneath a plywood board meant to attract snakes. Up to…