Monday, August 12, 2019,
Friday, August 9, 2019,
This is a pair of photos of a Great Black-backed Gull earning an honest living. All too often I see these and other gulls dumpster diving or stealing the catches of other birds. It’s nice to see one working for a change. Of course, this particular crab may not feel the same way. JK
Wednesday, August 7, 2019,
About a month ago, I posted a pair of photos of a female Sand Fiddler Crab. I see them quite often at certain shorelines. The crab pictured here is new to me. Its coloration is completely different than the Fiddler Crabs I usually see. This is a male Atlantic Mud Fiddler Crab of the species Uca pugnax. When I first took these pics, I was unsure of what I had so I did some online research. That led me to believe that this was a Mud Fiddler. Then, I emailed my friend Patricia, who used to be an educator at the Long Island Aquarium, and she confirmed my guess. It’s good to have informed friends. Patricia has a photo blog of her own, which is downright stunning. You should check it out. JK
Tuesday, August 6, 2019,
This is an Eastern Box Turtle. I encountered this little lady at Sweetbriar Nature Center. She’s not quite a full-grown adult yet. While no longer a baby, she still has at least an inch to grow.
I was able to discern her gender using two methods. The first, which is not foolproof, concerns the color of the eyes. Males tend to have bright red or orange irises, whereas females usually have brown eyes. A more certain method of determining the sex of a Box Turtle is to pick the turtle up and have a good look at the plastron, or bottom shell. The plastrons of the males are concave which comes in handy during mating.
There are a few more methods that can be used to differentiate between male and female Box Turtles but, judging by the look she’s giving me here, perhaps enough is enough. Maybe that conversation can wait for another day. JK