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Marvin Bouknight, Charlotte Nature Museum director, names the Eastern Screech Owl as his favorite Museum resident.

Maybe you can't ask a mother to choose her favorite child, but you can ask a naturalist to choose a favorite animal!

Although we don't play favorites when it comes to caring for the animals that live at Charlotte Nature Museum, certain animals hold a unique appeal for our equally unique staff members.

Marvin Bouknight, director
I have been interested and excited about any and all wildlife as long as I remember. When I was 13 years old, I saw a film in school about owls and became fascinated by them and the ornithologists that were studying them. Knowing that I was interested in birds and owls, my mother picked up a cassette tape of Roger Tory Peterson's Audio Field Guide to Eastern Birds. From that cassette tape, I learned how to mimic an Eastern Screech Owl call. One night, I went … Keep reading.

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A visitor found this crow skull and exchanged it as part of our Nature Trading Project.

Our newest program at Charlotte Nature Museum is our Nature Trading Project.

It has been a lot of fun seeing visitors get excited about the interesting natural materials they find outside. There have been some pretty neat objects brought in.

So how exactly does it work?

Our Coordinator Gail stocked a cart completely full with oddities we found in our Museum, as well as around the grounds. Three times a month, the Trading Post opens for business. You can find out dates and time by looking at our Upcoming Events.

Come in with your object and either start an account to accrue as many points as you can, or trade your object for something else right then and there.

The hardest part is finding natural objects that are worth a lot of points. Here are some tips to help you find an … Keep reading.

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The newly crowned Queen Charlotte saw her shadow today, predicting six more weeks of winter for the Charlotte area.

Don't pack up your coats and gloves yet.

The newly crowned Queen Charlotte saw her shadow today, predicting six more weeks of winter for the Charlotte area.

Our preeminent prognosticator carried out her royal duty in a private ceremony with members of the local media. The Museum is typically closed on Mondays.

The latest groundhog to hold the title, Queen Charlotte is less than a year old and is continuing to brush up on her regal manners in preparation for next year's public ceremony.

Stop by the Museum's Creature Cavern Tuesday-Sunday to welcome Queen Charlotte in her new role. We will be celebrating Groundhog Day throughout the month of February with a variety of weather-themed activities and a special Puppet Show.… Keep reading.

Filed Under: In the Museum
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This year, the title of Queen Charlotte has passed to a new young groundhog, who will make a weather forecast from the privacy of her royal chambers and continue brushing up on her regal manners for next year's public event.

Groundhog Day is approaching and all around the United States, people eagerly await the proclamation of more wintry weather or the promise of an early spring.

Here at Charlotte Nature Museum, we recently coronated a new Queen Charlotte. As with any young royal, the process of learning what it takes to be a queen and to represent the city of Charlotte can be a daunting challenge, especially for a groundhog who is less than a year old!

So what does it take for a new groundhog to become Queen Charlotte, or for any of our animal residents to become a program animal?

For Queen Charlotte, her training has started very simply, with a goal to get her acclimated to the behaviors and manners we expect from a queen.

The first step was to get settled in her private chambers. From there, sh… Keep reading.

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Meet all of our animal friends at Petapalooza this Saturday from 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

We had a great time talking with Colleen and Eugene about traditional and non-traditional pets on WCNC yesterday.

Check out the video below and meet all of our animal friends at Petapalooza this Saturday from 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Keep reading.

Filed Under: In the Museum
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The groundhog is probably the most commonly known mammal in our region that goes through a true hibernation. Hibernating is what certain animals do to survive extreme weather.

Winter is approaching fast. Many animals have migrated or acquired a thicker coat to prepare for the cold, while others animals are getting ready to hibernate.

What does hibernate mean? Hibernating is what certain animals do to survive extreme weather. It's an interesting adaptation that is a state of inactivity. The animal's heart and breathing rates go down as well as their body temperature. This allows the animal to use very little energy through the cold months.

Why is this beneficial for the animal?

During the winter, food can be very hard to find. It becomes more stressful and draining for the animal to constantly forage or search, usually coming up empty handed. Because of this, spending more time asleep or in a state of hibernation gives the animal a higher chance of su… Keep reading.

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