Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Spy on Nature...

Time to experiment!
In early July lucky Tifft campers focused on art in nature, and sharpened their artistic skills with sketching, watercolors, and photography during our “Spy on Nature” camp. Campers drew inspiration from nature to help them create one of a kind drawings and photographs. While hiking on the trails, they worked on photography techniques to help capture the landscape and wildlife of Tifft. The results were great! Every camper walked away a better naturalist, and a better artist! Who knows, perhaps in a few years from now one of our former campers will be running their own photo blog!

Hunting for bugs to sketch on the Mounds! 

Trail up the grassy Mounds

Finding inspiration from Lake Kirsty 

Friday, June 21, 2013

Full Swing Spring!

Tifft Nature Preserve is in full swing! Our staff and volunteers have been busy taking school groups through the preserve. I can't think of a better way to end the school year than with a field trip at Tifft! Along with school tours, we've also been working on fun public programs like our outreach at Canalside! We've teamed up with the Buffalo Museum of Science to offer free science activities for all ages every Tuesday from 3-6pm. Find us underneath the colorful tents on 44 Prime Street, Buffalo, NY. Stop by to say hello, and learn some cool science facts!

If you've ever wanted to become a citizen scientist, now's your chance at Tifft! We've installed a post in the cattail marsh to help determine the water level. The sign can be easily read from Heritage Boardwalk, once you've spotted it text the water level to the number listed. Your data will help us learn more about the marsh, and you can officially call yourself a scientist! 

Text the water level from Heritage Boardwalk! 
Keep Tifft in mind when you're making your summer plans this year. Check the Buffalo Museum of Science website for a list of all our upcoming events. See you on the trails!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Spring Updates

The preserve has really greened up in the last couple of weeks, and there are lots of new arrivals on the trails! Last Sunday was especially exciting for our local birders as a Summer Tanager was spotted on the preserve, a pretty rare sighting for Tifft! While I don’t have any pictures of the bird (a male bird to be exact) I do have some pretty cool facts about the Summer Tanager:
-It’s the only entirely red bird in North America
-Males are all red, while females usually have yellow/olive coloration. Although it is rare, females can be entirely red as well.
-They are specialized wasp and bees eaters. 
-They can catch an insect midflight, and will beat it against a branch to kill it. Tanagers will also rub the bee or wasp stinger off on a branch before consuming it.
-They spend most of their time in southern forests, and winter in northern South America.

If you have any pictures of the Summer Tanager that you’d like to share, please email me at nature.tifft@gmail.com. Be sure to include your full name so I can give you photo credit! Thanks in advance see you on the trails! 

Northern Flicker

Cherry blossoms near the Vistor Center

Barn swallows have already started on their nest for this season
Our Oriole feeder is open for business,  complete with oranges and grape jelly!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Finally, it's Springtime!

It’s the moment we've  all been waiting for…spring has sprung at Tifft! Monday was a gorgeous day, and lots of animals were spotted making their first appearance after this cold, long winter. Along with the animals featured in the blog, I also spotted two snapping turtles sunning themselves on a rock near Lake Kristy. Our resident Osprey pair has made their returned to Tifft, we’re hoping they have a successful clutch this spring! Stop by Tifft to see all the action! See you on the trails! 

Keep the green coming!

Red-winged Blackbird

Dekay's Brownsnake

Garter snakes sunning themselves on the bridge

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

How Egg-citing!

In honor of Eggstravaganza this Friday, we decided to do a little "egg-speriment"...hatching chicken eggs! We received 12 eggs and placed them in our incubator to develop, which takes around 21 days for chickens. 

About a week ago we candled the eggs to see which ones were developing. Turns out all 12 had growth, meaning we could potentially have 12 chicks on our hands! 

Early this morning our first chick hatched! A couple of other eggs have pipped, meaning the chick has begun to hatch, but so far no new chicks are here yet. In the meantime we are enjoying this little gal/guy (not sure which sex yet). 

Be sure to join us and the chicks at Eggstravagnza, March 29th 10am-2pm. This drop-in program is a celebration of all animals that hatch from eggs, including chickens! There will be indoor crafts, outdoor walks, and live animals. Remember to bring 6 hard boiled eggs to dye with our natural Easter egg dyes! For more information call 825-6397. The program is $7 per person, children under two are free!
See you on the trails!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Duck, Duck, Goose!

I captured this trio of winter waterfowl on Lake Kirsty.  

"Duck, Duck, Goose" or Female Mallard (left) Male Mallard (right) and a Canada Goose!

Canada Goose dabbling for food in Lake Kirsty 

Going Under!

Still looking for a frosty treat...