Thursday, April 4, 2013

Tryon Creek

 Wednesday was the last dry day of the week, so Sarah and I took a walk through Tryon Creek State Park.

We had hoped to find some Barred Owls, but we settled for dozens of singing Pacific Wrens, mats of waterleaf, and a few tiny mushrooms. Plenty of birds were active high in the trees, but the most memorable sighting was on the ground. Sarah found a dead shrew on the trail and it appeared to be moving. Either it was a tiny zombie or something under it was was trying to carry it away.

I rolled the carcass and found a burying beetle, the first one we've ever seen in Oregon. We moved the body to the side of the trail where the beetle can cover it with leaves and store it for the next generation.

4 comments:

  1. Hi there! I came here by way of Murr Brewster, and am so excited about your finding a burying beetle at Tryon! I saw one of these beetles years ago (before that I didn't know they existed), and would love to encounter another sometime. I hope you don't mind me adding this link to a post I wrote about them, which talks about their odd lifestyle: http://www.patriciaklichen.com/2011/05/burying-beetle-wants-to-know-are-you.html

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  2. Wow, very cool beetle! Though I do like the idea of you finding a shrew zombie. I am actually going to Tryon today to also try to find some owls and/or zombies...

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  3. That beetle is cool! It looks like a wind-up toy. I will turn over more dead things now. I was in a similar habitat Monday and also heard so many Pacific Wrens. Loving all the birdsong these days!

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