Downy Woodpecker

The Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens) is the smallest woodpecker in North American and is distributed across much of the continent, where the species adapts to a variety of habitats. The small size, white back, and stubby bill distinguish the species. The male Downy posses a red “occipital” patch on the nape. Here in the northeast, […] Read more »

The Bufflehead

As we are experiencing the harsh winds and temperatures of the winter season, the waterfowl are embracing it day in and day out. One duck in particular, the Bufflehead, migrates to the coastal waters of southeastern Massachusetts each winter. The Bufflehead is one of the first winter waterfowl to arrive in this area. If you […] Read more »


The weather outside may be frightful but the view from the Osprey Room Observatory at the Lloyd Center for the Environment is delightful! This month, come and visit the top floor of the museum in search of the three types of seals we have in our area – the Gray, Harp and the Harbor seal. […] Read more »

Gastropod Mollusk

As I was perusing the Lloyd Center property on a mild autumn morning looking for the next installment of Creature Feature, I noticed a lot of slugs under fallen logs. I thought to myself that I hadn’t really studied or examined these critters before. With that being said, I give you November’s Creature Feature: the […] Read more »

Monarch Butterfly

You may have noticed while on your walks on the Lloyd Center property, the presence of butterflies, particularly the Monarch. Monarchs are one of the well known species with their vibrant colors, both as a caterpillar and butterfly. These colors advertise that they are poisonous to their predators, due to their diet as caterpillars, they […] Read more »

Freshwater leech (Macrobdella decora)

What has 5 pair of eyes and feeds on the blood of its prey!? This month’s Creature Feature, the freshwater leech! It is not the most popular or favorable organism, but that is because we only know part of their story. The freshwater leech, Macrobdella decora, lives in slow moving freshwater and feeds on the […] Read more »

Eastern Newt

Summer is in full swing, which means wetlands are teeming with life! July’s Creature Feature is the Eastern Newt, an amphibian that lives within the deciduous and coniferous forests and thrives in the freshwater ponds and marshes as an adult. The Eastern Newt is unique compared to other amphibians where they go through four life […] Read more »


Snakes are often depicted as evil and scary, but not all snakes are venomous or dangerous. There are only two poisonous snakes found in New England, the Copperhead and the Timber Rattlesnake, but they are not found in the Cape Cod region. There are about 8 different species of snakes found in New England and […] Read more »


Spring has sprung!! The weather has turned, the snow has melted and the perennials are starting to emerge – which means a lot of organisms are going to be poking their heads from their “winter siestas”. One organism in particular that will be hopping around the leaf litter will be the Springtails! Springtails are tiny […] Read more »

Callinectes sapidus

You can learn a lot about an animal by its scientific name; clues on how the animal behaves, relationship to other animals, or where the species is found. The Blue Crab’s scientific name, Callinectes sapidus, tells a lot about the creature. Callinectes means beautiful swimmer and sapidus means tasty; so if we put those two […] Read more »

Asterias vulgaris

Hello all! A new year has arrived and so has the Creature Feature. I will give you a couple of hints to try and figure out January’s Creature Feature. Your job is to grab a pencil and paper to draw what you think this month’s creature feature looks like. Okay – grab your drawing utensils […] Read more »

Pleuronectes americanus

When you visit the Lloyd Center this December you may have a tough time finding the creature featured. It is not because it is non-existent; it just happens to be that the winter flounder (Pleuronectes americanus) is great at blending in to its natural surroundings; we know this practice as camouflaging. When we think of […] Read more »

Araneus diadematus

Spiders – Our eight legged friends?? There tend to be many misconceptions when it comes to spiders; they are considered to be evil, scary, and a nuisance. Contrary to popular belief, the majority of spiders we have in New England, or in North America for that matter, are harmless to humans. The species to watch […] Read more »

Exotic or Introduced Species

Exotic species are organisms that live within an area that is not native to their original habitat and has been either accidentally or deliberately moved by humans. It may not seem like a big problem but over time the introduced species can change the whole structure of the ecosystem it lives in. Exotic species tend […] Read more »

Ilia Underwing

Hello boys and girls! I am an Ilia Underwing. Depending on when you are looking I may still be a caterpillar, or I could be in the midst of my life cycle (metamorphosis), where I can be in my chrysalis, or in my final stage – the moth. After my final transformation I travel very […] Read more »

Vernal Pools

Spring has sprung!  Now that we’re enjoying warmer and longer days, it’s the perfect time to explore vernal pools.  What are they?  The name says it all; vernal (meaning spring) pools are a unique type of temporary wetland.  They can be found anywhere in the U.S., most commonly near river flood plains. First formed in […] Read more »


As we are in the midst of the spring season, we have many things to look forward to: the warmer weather, birds chirping and of course the rejuvenation of the flowers and trees. And, who do we have to thank for the latter? Earthworms!! Earthworms are a key component to the ecosystem; they help break […] Read more »

Common Loon (Gavia immer)

Come and explore the coastal trails here at the Lloyd Center; it’s a great time to do some (sea)birding!  Now is a good time to get outside and enjoy the brisk weather (while it is still here) by the coast.  Here, you have the opportunity to find many different species of aquatic birds, including the common loon […] Read more »

American Holly (Ilex opaca)

When studying science, we quickly grow accustomed to putting everything into categories. By the time we are in junior high, we’ve probably heard something relating to this: “King Philip Came Over For Good Soup”; what does this truly mean? Literally, it looks as though Philip was a soup connoisseur, but figuratively it is referring to […] Read more »

Egg Cases

Winter is only days away (December 22), animals of all sorts are participating in the next step of the life cycle; the reproduction stage. A majority of animals have their young emerge during the warmer seasons, spring/summer, where food is more plentiful. Insects, arachnids, and gastropods lay eggs in the fall/winter months to allow the […] Read more »

Black and Yellow Garden Spider (Arigope aurantia)

Who am I and where do I live? Hello there! I am a friendly Black and Yellow Garden Spider. You can find me near gardens, fields and along trails! I love sunny areas amongst shrubbery, flowers, and other tall plants. I may look dangerous to people but that is just because of my coloration and […] Read more »