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If you like to go to the pool when the weather heats up, you're not alone. Bees often take a swim after a long, hot day of collecting nectar.

Whew, is it hot!

When we feel too warm outside, many of us can scoot inside into the chilly air conditioning. But what about all the wild critters? How do they manage to stay cool in the blistering Carolina summer?

Fear not — animals have adapted all sorts of behaviors and physiological mechanisms to help them keep cool on even the hottest of days. Let’s take a look at some local creatures that have learned to beat the heat in surprising and incredible ways.

Take, for example, the bee. Have you ever thought that a bee might get a bit hot after working hard all day collecting nectar? B… Keep reading.

Filed Under: Ask a Naturalist
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Volunteers from Audubon NC, Wells Fargo, Mecklenburg Audubon Society and Mecklenburg Country recently installed almost 100 bird-friendly native plants, including 17 different varieties, at the entrance to Charlotte Nature Museum. The project was completed thanks to a generous grant from Wells Fargo's Environmental Solutions for Communities program.

Volunteers from Audubon NC, Wells Fargo, Mecklenburg Audubon Society and Mecklenburg Country recently gathered to install native plants at the entrance to Charlotte Nature Museum to attract birds and pollinators.

"Our native wildlife, our native flowers and our native plants are just as beautiful as a lot of the ornamentals," said Museum director Marvin Bouknight. "So by teaching people that they can make their yard look nice, look landscaped, but can also be beneficial to wildlife, that's one of the big goals of having a garden like this out here."

The garden features almost 100 bird-fr… Keep reading.

Filed Under: The Wild Around Us
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Fireflies are a sure sign of the approaching summer. These amazing bugs light up the night using an incredible ability called bioluminescence, which means

Have you ever spotted a firefly? Fireflies are a sure sign of the approaching summer season.

These amazing bugs light up the night using an incredible ability called bioluminescence, which means “living light.” But that’s not the only thing fascinating about fireflies…

What is a firefly?

Firefly is a common name for a very large group of beetles. There are more than 2,000 species of beetles with similar glowing abilities and behavior all over the world. Around Charlotte, you’ll hear them called lightning bugs or fireflies. There are over 40 species of firefly native to our area alone!… Keep reading.

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After migrating to warmer climates for the winter, hummingbirds have returned to Charlotte and recently were spotted in front of Charlotte Nature Museum.

Director Marvin Bouknight used a slow-motion camera to capture this hummingbird as it approached a feeder.



 

Want to feed the hummingbirds in your backyard?

Make a nectar with 4 cups of water and 1 cup of sugar. Use only white table sugar (granulated sugar). Do not use powdered sugar, honey, molasses, or other sweeteners. Red food coloring is not necessary to add to nectar. Research has shown that red nectar solutions do not i… Keep reading.

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Celebrating a job well done during Earth Month.

In celebration of Earth Month, Earth Share North Carolina gathered organizations from all around the city for Charlotte’s first Corporate Challenge.

Under the guidance of the North Carolina Audubon and Mecklenburg Audubon, volunteers from Carolinas HealthCare System and Recover worked at Charlotte Nature Museum to improve native bird habitats by removing invasive plants. Their work will help encourage native plants to grow to benefit local and migratory birds.

This project supports the Audubon Bird-Friendly Communities initiative that urges citizens in cities and towns to plant with bird… Keep reading.

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Despite its small size, this young gray squirrel is ready to be on its own. Most mammals have a very short childhood.

Spring is the season of new life. Around Charlotte, there are lots of new babies arriving every day. Many animals start the next generation in this season of plentiful resources.

While a baby might look too young to be on its own, many animals — especially mammals — have a relatively short childhood. It’s important to leave these youngsters where they belong so they can establish territories and grow into adults.

What animal babies can we expect to encounter in Charlotte? How can we tell if they’re safe to be out on their own? The answer varies by species.

Grey squirrels (Sciurus caro… Keep reading.

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