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Wear blue in honor of World Oceans Day and you'll receive a free marine animal toy this Saturday at Charlotte Nature Museum.

Join us Saturday, June 20, for a day chock full of ocean exploration!

Charlotte Nature Museum will Celebrate World Oceans as our June Creature Feature. We’ll be learning about the ocean and how we can become better stewards of these special waters.

Kids (and kids at heart) will receive a cool sea creature toy when they wear blue in honor of the ocean.

Get your eyes and hands on some cool ocean artifacts, see what it’s like to live like a cold water mammal with an interactive blubber glove, make a Facebook pledge to the ocean with our selfie station, play Under the Sea Bingo and even m… Keep reading.

Filed Under: In the Museum
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A pair of barred owls that has made its nest on the Paw Paw Nature Trail. The male owl, pictured, has come so close as to sit on the border of the Back Deck of the Museum.

A couple of feathered friends have recently returned to the Museum.

A nesting pair of barred owls (Strix varia) has been hanging out close to the Back Deck and on the boardwalk. They are less afraid of people than owls typically are and have caused quite a stir.

The male owl has come so close as to sit on the border of our Back Deck and was the only one we were seeing for quite some time.

One night while I was closing Fort Wild, I noticed another barred owl. I knew she was different because the plastic line of a transmitter was pointing out from her back. This device does not harm the… Keep reading.

Filed Under: Ask a Naturalist
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Copperheads have a distinct hourglass pattern on their skin. Young copperheads also have a bright green tail. Photo credit: Virginia Herpetological Society

We’ve recently had a number of visitors bring in or send our Naturalists pictures of snakes they have killed, mistakenly believing the snakes were copperheads when they were harmless rat snakes or racers.

These snakes are non-venomous and extremely beneficial. They prey on vermin such as mice, rats, squirrels and chipmunks, which can cause destruction to your home.

Copperheads eat rodents and also can be helpful. While you might not want them in your yard, they can be safely relocated by a trained professional.

The blog post below, originally published May 20, 2014, can help you ident… Keep reading.

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Charlotte Nature Museum volunteer Missy Moss, second from left, poses with naturalists Nikki Panos, Leslie Wilhoit and Mary Wells.

April 12-18 is National Volunteer Week!

In the past year, more than 300 volunteers have generously given their time, talent and energy to bringing science and nature to life at our Museums.

This week, we’re spotlighting one of our adult volunteers, Missy Moss. She has been volunteering at Charlotte Nature Museum for 3 years and 7 months and has clocked more than 350 hours.

Every Thursday, full of smiles and hugs, Missy truly brightens our day. Working in Butterfly Pavilion, watering the plants, feeding the butterflies and making up Texas Pete’s salad are her favorite tasks.

Not onl… Keep reading.

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Earth Day Play Date is this Saturday, April 18, at Charlotte Nature Museum.

Our April Creature Feature is this Saturday!

I am looking forward to Earth Day Play Date because it’s always a lot of fun as we learn about being green and helping the world around us. I am also excited because we have some very special opportunities for our guests this year.

We will be holding an electronic recycling drive in front of the Museum, thanks to our friends at Greentek Recylcing. Click here to view a list of recyclable items. If you donate even just one item, you will be entered to win a raffle for free equipment pickups or an iPad. What a great incentive for spring cleaning!… Keep reading.

Filed Under: In the Museum
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Amphibians such as salamanders are indicator species. They are sensitive to changes in their ecosystem and can alert humans to environmental issues.

Ecosystems are very delicate. We know that if we take too many tuna out of the ocean, it will cause problems in their habitat because everything will go off balance.

It is easier for us to put limits on fishing or hunting but sometimes there are issues we cannot see happening, such as too much acid rain or water pollution in an area.

This is why indicator species are incredibly important to humans. An indicator species is a living thing that tells us something is wrong with a habitat or ecosystem.

Usually they tell us by not growing or surviving. If a certain area all of the sudden do… Keep reading.

Filed Under: Ask a Naturalist
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