Critter Corner

Critter Corner No. 10 – The River Otter

By George Sly Goose Pond FWA has gained a well-deserved reputation as a site for spotting rare birds. Now we can add a mammal to the category of rarities. On Dec. 17th, 2015, during the GPFWA Christmas Bird Count, Sandy and Jeff Belth of Bloomington spotted a river otter on the property. CBC compiler Lee…
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Critter Corner No. 9 – Eastern Cottontail

For this edition of Critter Corner, I’d like to shift gears and return again to consideration of Goose Pond mammals. Since the fall hunting season is well upon us, it seems appropriate to ponder the habits of one of the state’s most popular game animals – the eastern cottontail rabbit. This very familiar animal belongs…
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Critter Corner No. 8 – Common Water Snake

By George Sly With the beginning of fall, and the anticipation of the frosty weather to come, this edition of Critter Corner is devoted to a common denizen of the Goose Pond wetlands who will soon enter its long winter nap. Normally by late October we will have seen the last of the Common Water…
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Critter Corner No. 7 – The Bullfrog

By George Sly As all of us know, a visit to Goose Pond FWA can present us with an extraordinary visual banquet. The sight of thousands of Sandhill Cranes descending into their evening roost, the stately soaring of a group of American White Pelicans, or the blizzard of Snow Geese departing on a feeding foray…
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Critter Corner No. 6 – The Striped Skunk

By George Sly On a recent drive through Goose Pond FWA, I saw a sad but all too common sight along the highway. Lying at the side of the road was the lifeless body of one of GPFWA’s most interesting mammals – a striped skunk. After spending the harsh winter in a prolonged state of…
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Critter Corner No. 5 – Meadow Jumping Mouse

By George Sly In previous editions of Critter Corner I have dealt with Goose Pond FWA’s larger and more economically important mammals. Most of these (muskrat, mink, and beaver) are typical wetland mammals. However, we should recall that GPFWA contains habitats other than wetlands. Much of the property supports restored prairie and old-field habitats. The…
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Critter Corner No. 4 – The Beaver (Castor canadensis)

By George Sly Like the previously discussed muskrat and mink, the American beaver is another mammal most everyone associates with wetlands. Chances are, if you spend much time afield, you have seen evidence of the presence of beavers in the form of gnawed trees, dams, or lodges. Perhaps you have been lucky enough to see…
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Critter Corner No. 3 – White-tailed Deer

By: George Sly In the first two installments of Critter Corner we looked at mammals quite typical of the wetland habitat which comprises much of the Goose Pond Fish and Wildlife Area. These were the muskrat and its arch nemesis the mink. This time let’s look at a mammal which, at first consideration, would seem…
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Critter Corner No. 2 – The Mink

By George Sly You may recall that, in our first edition of Critter Corner, we dealt with one of the Goose Pond wetland’s most characteristic mammals – the muskrat. It seems appropriate then to follow up with a mammal whose life is closely linked with that of the muskrat. The mink is a member of…
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Critter Corner No. 1 – The Muskrat

By George Sly When most people think of Goose Pond Fish and Wildlife Area, they automatically picture birds. It is true; the restoration of the Goose Pond wetlands has resulted in the creation of some of the finest bird habitats in the eastern United States. The opportunity to see the evening influx of thousands of…
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