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The Southern Leopard Frog is known for its bright, spotted skin, long, pointy face and quick, powerful jump. Go nose-to-nose with this native frog and more Outrageous Reptiles & Amazing Amphibians this Saturday at Charlotte Nature Museum.

One of the coolest amphibians around has to be the Southern Leopard Frog.

Awesome to look at for its bright, spotted skin, long, pointy face and quick, powerful jump, the leopard frog is one of the great gems of our region.

Usually sporting a brown and/or green back and leopard-like spots, they are distinguished from other similar species by a small white spot in the center of their eardrum.

Male leopard frogs also boast paired vocal sacs that look surprisingly similar to small balloons on their throat, most obvious as they call out to the gals. They can live an extended life — 8 to 1… Keep reading.

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A green anole shows off his bright pink dewlap.

Herp is the insider's term for a creature that falls in the realm of herpetology, the study of reptiles and amphibians.

If you go looking for these creatures, the act is called “herping,” which comes from the Greek word for crawling.

Before you go crawling through the woods looking for some new cold-blooded friends, we have a few friendly reminders:


Wear sturdy gloves, long sleeves and boots while looking for creatures, and avoid handling them as much as possible.
Leave all of these creatures in their homes. They’re much happier in their habitat!
Bring a camera to record the cr… Keep reading.

Filed Under: In the Museum
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Many birds that pass through the Charlotte area are migrating from much further up north, but many are also migrating from the Western North Carolina mountains to the south. 

Some migrate and pass through, while others may spend the winter here. 

Here are some of the birds to look for in the next few months:

Warblers – Many warblers move through the Carolinas to their destinations south. This may include warblers such as hooded warblers, prothonotary warblers, orange-crowned warblers, golden and blue-winged warblers, American Redstarts, etc. One of the most common warblers to come to … Keep reading.

Filed Under: Ask a Naturalist
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Different species of birds also migrate at different times of the day. Raptors migrate during the day to take advantage of rising thermals, or columns of warm air. A hawk can ride these thermals and travel quite a few miles without even flapping a wing!

Bird migration is often thought of as an event that happens in the spring and then again in the fall, but the truth is that migration can occur during a wide range, from mid-summer to late fall.

There are many factors that affect migration. The photoperiod, or length of daytime, triggers migration behaviors in many birds, but so do factors such as temperature, weather, food availability, maturity of offspring and even location.

Birds such as shorebirds that make the long trek from the arctic may start migrating as early as late July. Other birds such raptors (hawks, falcons, etc.) may mi… Keep reading.

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Charlotte Nature Museum naturalists recently set up a game camera on a well-worn trail in the wooded areas around the Museum. Check out the video footage of a young red fox coming and going, as well as a well-fed and large raccoon!

Many animals have adapted to the presence of humans, which is a necessity in an urban environment. You've probably seen birds, rabbits and squirrels in your own backyard, which are pretty common species of urban wildlife.

At Charlotte Nature Museum, we find evidence of a variety of urban wildlife in and around the Paw Paw Nature Trail, Fort Wild and the buffer zones between habitats.

We recently set up a game camera on a pretty worn trail in the wooded areas around the Museum and our camera captured footage of a young red fox coming and going, as well as a well-fed and large raccoon.

Keep reading.

Filed Under: The Wild Around Us
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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.

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