Nature on Campus, 11/15-12/15

Compiled by Eamon Corbett

IMG_3226We have one last Nature on Campus update for the end of the semester, covering the second half of November and the first half of December. Some highlights from late Fall at Harvard:

There were a number of reports of Northern Raccoons, including one seen by Richard He outside Kirkland on December 8th.

The Harvard Wild Turkey(s) seem(s) to have made it safely through Thanksgiving, with a sighting near Adams house also on the 8th of December, among other scattered sightings in the southern part of the Yard and between Mass Ave and Mt. Auburn. Christian Perez also took a video of it flying out of Lev courtyard on the 9th.

Amir Bitran saw a Great Blue Heron on the Charles on November 16th, and Corey Husic reports a Black-crowned Night-Heron flying over the Quad on November 20th.

Some common but colorful bird sightings: there was a bright red male Northern Cardinal on Winthrop Street on December 11th, a Blue Jay outside the science center on November 16th (and occasionally around Kirkland as well), and a Downy Woodpecker outside Northwest Labs on December 9th.

Harold Eyster had a rare Red Crossbill at the Arnold Arboretum on December 9th, which isn’t actually on campus but is Harvard property so it’s worth a mention.

The Eastern Gray Squirrel is the common squirrel species on campus and is, as the name suggests, usually gray. But some “gray squirrels” have black fur, and Corey Husic found one of these unusual melanistic squirrels in the Quad on December 9th.

Finally, on the fungi side of things, I found a mushroom on a tree next to the MAC, and with Tristan Wang’s help have tentatively identified it as member of the genus Pholiota. It’s been there for a couple weeks now, on the corner of Dunster St. and Winthrop St. 

Happy Holidays, and hope you all have lots of cool wildlife sightings over break!


Pholiota(?) sp.

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