Friday, May 31, 2013

Carrion Beetles

I visited Waseeka Wildlife Sanctuary this morning.   Ovenbirds were singing "teacher teacher" as I walked down Cart Path Trail toward the dam.  A Pileated Woodpecker gave a loud warning call and then flew towards Pitch Pine Trail.  Instead of rushing to take a picture, I just enjoyed watching it.

Bullfrogs were creating quite a morning chorus at the edge of the water.  The Ospreys were visible on or near the nest, although neither one was sitting on the nest.  This may be a sign that the chicks have hatched.  You'd need a scope or high powered binoculars in order to see them.

The Red-Breasted Nuthatch peeked out of its nest hole as I walked past.  Baltimore Orioles flew into the trees at the edge of the water.  Two Great Blue Herons flew and squawked at each other on the far side of the water.   A female Hooded Merganser swam alone in the water.

Pearl Crescents, American Coppers, and Common Ringlets flitted among the grasses at the edge of the dam.

The most interesting, albeit disgusting, sight was what appeared to be a dead frog in the trail on the dam.  It was swarming with Carrion Beetles.  I forced myself to stop long enough to take a photo, although it is not my idea of a great subject matter at all!

The Carrion Beetle is oval-shaped with a cream colored head with a black spot in the middle of it.  I think the smaller ones on the neighboring leaves are younger versions of the same insect.  Ick.  It made my skin crawl, and I hoped nothing would get on me as I walked past!

Depending on when you visit next, I am guessing these beetles will have removed all traces of this dead body.  I understand their purpose and know that we benefit from their work, but they are disgusting to see!

Pearl Crescent


Baltimore Oriole

Hooded Merganser (female)
Water lilies are coming back.

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