|Foxes, Turtles, and Bugs Oh My!: A Hello to our Non-Feathered Friends here at the Sanctuary!|
|Written by Ashely Adams|
|Monday, 30 September 2013 20:22|
Obviously, our diversity of birds is one of the great draws of the Sanctuary. However, even a bird brain like me can see that there’s more to the Kellogg Bird Sanctuary than its namesake. Feathered, furred, or exoskeletoned, the Sanctuary has an amazing wealth of animal life.
If you are looking for mammals, you’ve certainly picked a fine spot to find them. It’s not unusual to stumble upon deer early in the morning out on the grounds. I’ve also had the privilege of admiring a skunk wandering near the woods (from a respectable distance, of course). If you visit now, you’ll see fox and gray squirrels preparing for the fall, stowing away acorns. It makes it almost hard to believe that gray squirrels were almost wiped out by settlers and were reintroduced here. Muskrats are a well-known visitor to our waters. Foxes and raccoons can be seen darting amongst the trees, as well as the occasional weasel. The Sanctuary has even had the privilege of hosting a badger pair in the past!
A badger captured on a trail cam in 2010.
Like your critters a little more on the cold-blooded side? There’s no lack of reptiles and amphibians here. Even as summer slips by, you can catch green frogs out on a lily pad or painted turtles on a log catching some rays. Garter snakes are a fairly common sight in sunlit areas. If you’re lucky, you may even see a Blanding’s Turtle, a species listed as threatened or endangered in much of its range and protected as a species of concern here in Michigan. Our aquatic cold-blooded friends can also be seen on clear water days. You may see some bluegill and other sunfish trying to snap some food away from a messy Swan.
Perhaps you enjoy our invertebrate friends, leaving some of your more squeamish friends in a state of befuddlement. Fear not, for your daring soul is welcomed here at the Sanctuary. A variety of insects call this place home. Grasshoppers, dragonflies and damselflies are common on the Lake Loop. Butterflies, moths, and bees accompany hummingbirds in the pollinator garden. In fact, our pollinator garden is an official Monarch Butterfly Waystation!
Dragonflies are notorious hunters. This picturesque scene is a mosquito’s worst nightmare.
Even if the phrase, “I don’t like birds.” was to profane thy lips, that’s no excuse to pass up a visit to the Sanctuary. Our incredible diversity in wildlife will make for a memorable trip for all!