Critter Corner

An inside look at some of the critters that inhabit Goose Pond FWA. Written by George Sly

February 2018
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Critter Corner No. 15 – The Eastern Mole by George Sly

By George Sly | October 2, 2016 |

Most of the mammals which make Goose Pond FWA their home are secretive and seldom seen. The subject of this edition of Critter Corner is no exception. In fact, the Eastern Mole is made even more elusive by the nature of its fossorial (burrowing) behavior. Certainly we see the mounded earth and raised tunnels of…

Critter Corner No. 14 – The Chorus Frog & Spring Peeper by George Sly

By George Sly | May 4, 2016 |

 Critter Corner No. 14 I unabashedly love the spring season here in Indiana. The steady progression of natural events – from the first leaf buds and flowers to the onset of morels and the return of Neotropical migrants – leaves me fascinated, entertained, and in awe of Nature’s annual power of rejuvenation. But, if I…

Critter Corner No. 13 – The Virginia Opossum by George Sly

By George Sly | February 11, 2016 |

  (image courtesy of Wikimedia)   In the last edition of Critter Corner I spoke of the coyote as a Goose Pond mammal which doesn’t garner the respect it deserves. To this list of unappreciated mammals I now add the Virginia opossum. Hardly anyone I encounter seems to have a good word for this curious…

Critter Corner No. 12 – The Coyote by George Sly

By George Sly | December 7, 2015 |

I must say, this is the first edition of Critter Corner I have had to begin by offering a disclaimer. But the fact is that few other animals generate the polarized love or hate sentiments engendered by Canis latrans. So, I have to begin by professing a degree of sympathy and admiration for this much…

Critter Corner No. 11 – The Common Snapping Turtle By George Sly

By George Sly | October 17, 2015 |

I ran across one of these fellows on a recent trip to GPFWA. With water levels at their lowest, I espied a large animal moving across a small island between two shallow pools in the GP 11 basin. Training my binoculars on the movement, a huge common snapping turtle was revealed. Much like the image…

Critter Corner No. 10 – The River Otter by George Sly

By George Sly | October 17, 2015 |

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 Sterrenburg noted that…

Critter Corner No. 9 – Eastern Cottontail by George Sly

By George Sly | October 17, 2015 |

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…

Critter Corner No. 8 – The Common Water Snake by George Sly

By George Sly | October 17, 2015 |

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 Snake until its…

Critter Corner No. 7 – The Bullfrog by George Sly

By George Sly | October 17, 2015 |

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 are the kinds…

Critter Corner No. 6 – The Striped Skunk by George Sly

By George Sly | October 17, 2015 |

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 inactivity, these strikingly…