Above, thousands of gulls, Brant geese and Scaup, gather between the waters off the shores of Stamford and Darien, a feeding and resting place on their way to points north. Most of these birds will end their spring migration in the Arctic to raise their chicks on the billions of mosquitos and other insects soon to hatch in the tremendous pools of melt water.
Above, a Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator). Another hold-over from winter, he too will head north to the fresh water wetlands of Canada to breed.
Above, Harbor Seals (Phoca vitulina). These seals, photographed in Stamford Harbor this winter, have likely recently left for points north. After giving birth they will migrate back to Long Island Sound in late fall.
Above, a Wood Duck (Aix sponsa). These shy birds are difficult to photograph in our area wetlands. As they are cavity-nesting birds, you can encourage them to come to a freshwater wetland near you by building or purchasing a wood duck nesting box. Information about the boxes, how to build them and where to put them is easy to find online.
Above, a Spring peeper (Pseudacris crucifer). Thousands of tiny but vocal frogs migrate to area wetlands to lay many thousands of eggs. Lack of parental care necessitates large numbers of offspring to ensure the survival of the species The smallest of the frog species in Connecticut and New York, this little tree frog migrates yearly to local ephemeral wetlands. He attracts the female with his resonant peep.
Above, Spotted salamander (Ambystoma maculatum). Without calendars, blackberries, and cell phones, many animals depend on temperature, humidity and lunar cycles to coordinate breeding efforts. Spotted salamanders visit vernal pools once a year. Their activities are typically triggered by 45 degree temperatures associated with a night-time rain event. The Spotted salamander is the animal that is depicted in Animal Embassy's logo. Their fascinating life cycle, prominent colors and local habitat makes the Spotted salamander the perfect wildlife representative for Animal Embassy.