Category Archive: Animals

Red Fox Den

A friend took me to see an active red fox den off of Trotter Road in my home town of Clarksville, Maryland. I met the landowner and gained permission to take photos. Once… Continue reading

What Do Bluebirds Eat?


Black Bear Sighting

While on vacation to Nags Head, North Carolina, we did an inland day trip to allow our sun burns to mellow.  We made an appointment for a select guided tour of the 152,000-acre,… Continue reading

OBX Crabbing & Shrimping

It’s vacation week for the Burchick’s, renting a five bedroom house on the Outer Banks (Kitty Hawk-Nags Head) for twelve.  The week was hot and mostly sunny.  One of the highlights for the… Continue reading

The Grass is Greener on the Other Side of the Fence?

I observed a juvenile snapping turtle at a land development site in Wheaton/Layhill, Montgomery County, Maryland.  The turtle was climbing a fence to get into a stormwater management pond, and was coming from… Continue reading

A Nighttime View of the Bee Hive

A Nighttime View of the Bee Hive I took two photos of three of six of our bee hives at 8:30 PM using a FLIR Scout, thermal night vision camera that detects “hot”… Continue reading

Fight Club

Dominance Hierarchies at Bird Feeders The following article provides an animated scale of birds based on “successful displacement,” whereby a bird can scare away other birds at feeders.  The most alpha bird of… Continue reading

Blackwater Wildlife Refuge

Tom and Jennifer D’Asto, my wife Michelle and I spent the day at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife, Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge in Cambridge, Maryland. We arrived in the morning and the air… Continue reading

Timber Rattlesnake Documented in Howard County, MD

The Maryland Amphibian and Reptile Atlas (MARA) was a 5-year survey (2010-2014) to systematically document amphibian and reptile distributions throughout Maryland.  The MARA mapping now complete, documents the distribution of amphibians and reptiles,… Continue reading

Red-Shouldered Hawk

With the sun very low in the sky and quickly setting, my wife noticed a hawk in our garden. The hawk was perched on a bluebird box and was intensely staring at the… Continue reading

Wood Turtle

While working much of last week at a 15,000-acre job site doing environmental studies, in the mountains of Lebanon County, Pennsylvania, Jim and I came across two separate wood turtles.  Having never seen… Continue reading

Mid-August Wildflowers and Things Nearby

Natural History Observations for mid to late August. Slaty Skimmer (Libellula incesta). Blue Dasher (Pachydiplax longipennis). Blue Dasher (Pachydiplax longipennis), alternate view. Silver-Spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus) on a monarda. Sachem (Atalopedes campestris) feeding… Continue reading

Sabotage By Raccoon

It was planned well ahead of time that Joshua would have his annual summer day of crabbing on the Chesapeake Bay.  Coming off of last year when he caught two bushels of crabs… Continue reading

Flushed Fawn

I was on a job-site along the Patuxent River in Laurel, Maryland, and came upon a baby whitetail deer fawn. I’ve encountered this several times over many years in the woods, but never… Continue reading

Walnut Creek

Dave Knorr and I were investigating a site for suitability as an area for compensatory wetland creation.  Important for consideration are non-forested locations that have positive hydrology indicators. Arriving to the site in… Continue reading

Memorial Day Fishing

    Tom D’Asto, his son Nick and I spent the morning fishing on the Potomac River.  We launched out of Slavin’s on the Mattawoman and made our way over to the Chicamuxen.… Continue reading

True Forget-Me-Not

While working on my Saturday “honey-do” list, I was trimming invasive vines (Oriental bittersweet and multiflora rose) along a section of stream that runs through our property, and took a break for some… Continue reading

What’s With The Cicadas?

Why the appearance of cicadas (the 17-year locust) in the greater Washington D.C. area? Perhaps it’s climate confusion.  Maybe it’s just really hard for a 17-year cicada to count down the years while he’s… Continue reading

Thug Life – The Opossum

Research led by scientists at the Carey Instituter of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook Illinois placed different species into cages and covered them in ticks and waited.  The opossum ate 96% of the ticks!… Continue reading

Trapped Turtle in Trouble

While on a job-site with two other gentlemen, we all noticed a male eastern box turtle stuck in between a super silt fence.  His claws were embedded in the fabric, and the turtle… Continue reading


As Observed in the Field The 4-Poster Tickicide device is a passive feeding station designed to control ticks that utilize white-tail deer as a primary host.  As deer feed on bait corn at… Continue reading

St. Patrick’s Day Guided Fishing

Dan and I took off from our respective places of employment Friday, March 17, 2017, St. Patrick’s Day, to take a guided fishing trip on the Potomac River.  Our guide for the day… Continue reading

Cooper’s Hawk

I am working at a Potomac River waterfront job site and I stopped off at Roy Rodgers for lunch at Belle Haven in Alexandria (Dyke Marsh).  Coming out of the restaurant, I saw… Continue reading

Blessing of the Hounds

Opening Day for Fox Chasing Thank you to the McMakin Family for the invitation to attend Opening Day and Blessing of the Hounds, for the 2016/17 fox hunt season. Please remember that you… Continue reading

Fishing With The Gulls

Tom and I went fishing early this morning, launching out of Smith’s Marina in Crownsville, Maryland, and then out onto the Severn River and the Chesapeake Bay, south of Annapolis. The morning was… Continue reading

Butter-Butt Warbler

I was on a job-site a few weeks back that included a substantial marsh area in Laurel, Maryland, and while I was there, I saw a cacophony of great bird species.  Expecting to… Continue reading

Chimney Swift Communal Roost

I saw on Facebook this morning that the Baltimore Bird Club was sponsoring an evening field trip to Baltimore to observe a known chimney swift communal roost. I’ve never observed a communal roost,… Continue reading

Carolina Sphinx Moth

I have the summer evening flowering moon flower at several locations in my landscape.  One moth that really likes moon flower is the Carolina Sphinx Moth (Manduca sexta).  The large all-green caterpillar is… Continue reading

The Natural Communities of Maryland

In August of 2016, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife and Heritage Service, Natural Heritage Program released The Natural Communities of Maryland, 2016 Natural Community Classification Framework (Publication #03-662016-597).  The purpose of… Continue reading

Dawn Search For Black Bear

Mark, Jena, Michelle and I booked a private driving tour of Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge, located in Manteo, North Carolina, with two U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) biologists.  Our obligation was… Continue reading

Ruby-Throated Hummingbird

Wow, am I happy with my new telephoto lens! Please remember that you can click on an image to enlarge it, and then click your back-button to go back to the article. This… Continue reading

Bodkin Creek

It was a beautiful morning for fishing, and Steve and I headed out on Route 100 to launch from Fort Smallwood in Pasadena, Anne Arundel County, which is new water for me, having… Continue reading

Clarksville to Crofton with a Gray Tree Frog

While driving into work this morning I noticed a common gray tree frog (Hyla versicolor) on the hood of my truck.  The faster I drove, the more the frog would hunker down in… Continue reading

The Fence Line

It’s time to band the bluebirds, for the second clutch of this growing season.  With all of August and September yet to come, maybe our local bluebird population will try for a third… Continue reading

Flying Through the Wetlands

Howard and Anne Arundel County, MD. Leslie, who did a fantastic job with the initial design, and I, are the process of building a seven-acre created wetland (compensatory mitigation) abutting the Patuxent River,… Continue reading

MD DNR Fish Tag

Dave, Steve and I went fishing this morning, and were on the water by 7:30 AM, launching from Smith Marina and onto the Severn River. Passing by many a crabber, we headed out… Continue reading

Purple Martins About To Fledge

This blog entry is just as much about a lens test, as it is about migratory Purple Martins. I have had three, 14-cavity nesting boxes in my back field for 15 years now,… Continue reading

Gray Treefrog Morph

While working at a jobsite in Hampstead, Carroll County, Maryland, performing year-1-of-5 wetland mitigation monitoring, Will and I observed a juvenile Eastern Gray Treefrog (Hyla versicolor). The metamorphosis of a gray treefrog from… Continue reading

Camo Moth

When I went out to my truck this morning to go to work, I noticed a rather large moth on the door.  Because it was so way cool looking, I had to take… Continue reading

The Swarm

So, I’m working in my front yard, trimming landscape bushes and I see my neighbor Tom D’Asto, driving down my driveway with purpose.  I can see too, that he was fully gowned in… Continue reading

The Black Gray Squirrel

Where did Maryland’s black squirrels come from? I took these two photos of a black eastern gray squirrel at a location on Foxhall Road, in northwest Washington, DC. on May 27, 2016.  I… Continue reading

Brownish-Gray Fishing Spider

Brownish-Gray Fishing Spider ( Dolomedes tenebrosus ) The brownish-gray fishing spider, Dolomedes tenebrosus, is often found near or in water, but they also hunt in forests.  Dolomedes do not build webs to capture prey.… Continue reading

Deer Preferences Promote the Spread of Non-Native Invasive Plants

Selective browsing by white-tailed deer likely is promoting the spread of some invasive plant species in northeastern U.S. forests, as deer avoid eating vegetation they find unpalatable. This study provides evidence that deer… Continue reading

16 Days of Rain!

We have had sixteen days of rain, with the likelihood of two more days, before it all clears out.  According to Washington, DC weather records, it’s been one of the coolest and rainiest… Continue reading

What’s in Flower this Week?

I like when I have more field days than office days, in any given week, which was the case this week.  I therefore had a chance to see a goodly number of plant… Continue reading

Church Creek

It has been a very cold late March and early April, which in turn has been suppressing wildflower development.  I had a job on a nontidal reach of stream that flows to the… Continue reading

Holy Saturday Fishing

I have taken-off from work to go fishing every Good Friday for many years, but this year it rained, shifting Good Friday to Holy Saturday fishing. Dave and I went to Shad Landing… Continue reading

Eastern American Toad

Eastern American Toad  (Anaxyrus americanus) While performing forestry work at a job-site in Layhill, Montgomery County, Maryland, I observed an Eastern American Toad in the forested Northwest Branch floodplain. The toad allowed me… Continue reading

Mr. President and the First Lady

National Arboretum Bald Eagle High-Definition 24-7 Live Cam The eggs are expected to hatch tomorrow, 3/15/16, on my son Jeb Burchick’s birthday.  March 15 is the Ides of March, when Julius Caesar… Continue reading

First Day of Fishing for 2016

Last week had three days with temperatures in the upper 70’s, which like the spawn, would make any fisherman want to get out and fish.  It was time to de-winterize the boat.  My… Continue reading