Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Birding Nature Experienceship with Merrill Webb

Getting up at the crack of dawn on a Saturday morning may be crazy to some, but for those interested in birding in the chilled Utah winters, it's a must. This is even more important, since some of the migrant birds are also early risers. We met at 7 am at the Monte L. Bean Life Science Museum and stuffed two 12 passenger vans and an additional car with people and equipment, then headed out to meet up with Dr. Merrill Webb.
We drove out to the southeast part of Utah lake in the community known as Lakeshore and it was there that we spotted our first eagles. We first noticed them flying in the air above us, then we spotted their nest. We quickly and quietly got over to the roost, where the educators distributed binoculars. Using his spotting scope, Dr. Webb had it focused on the eagle in seconds. These birds are only visitors to Utah, coming here during the winter to feed on carp, waterfowl, and carrion. Once the warm weather starts to hit, however, these guys migrate north once more. In the large cottonwood, there must have been at least 6 eagles, but as soon as we arrived, they scattered from their roost in search for some breakfast. We drove off, in search for more birds.
As we drove, passengers would point out different birds they spotted. Each vehicle had a walkie-talkie that they would use to communicate with the other cars about the birds they were seeing. After spending time in Lakeshore, we drove out to Salem Pond to view the waterfowl that reside there. There were fewer birds than normal because of some disturbance from local workers taking down holiday lights, but we were still able to spot some common mergansers, lesser scaups, buffleheads, and commone goldeneyes. There was even anothe bald eagel perched at the top of a cottonwood tree, surveying the scene.
Our final stop for the morning was at the East bay Golf Course in Springville where we spotted black crowned night herons - two parents and their year-old chicks - and double crested cormorants. Dr. Webb took some time after the outing to discuss with everyone different opportunities for bird watching. Birding groups can be found in every county, so there are more opportunities if you are interested in adventures like these. You can also always check out the Monte L. Bean Life Science Museum's website if you are interested in future experiences like this one!

Overall, we had great success and saw a large diversity of birds, 27 species in total. The total list of species can be found below

Canada Goose
American Wigeon
Cinnamon Teal
Northern Shoveler
Lesser Scaup,
Common Goldeneye
Ring-necked pheasant
California Quail
Double Crested Cormorant
Black-crowned Night-Heron 
Bald Eagle
Coopers Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Rough-legged Hawk
American Kestrel
American Coot
Eurasian Collared Dove
Downy Woodpecker
American Robin
European Starling
Song Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Great-tailed Grackle
House Sparrow

Check out our YouTube video for more pictures from the event! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LVzye8QtgQ4

Monday, January 30, 2017


Here at the Bean Museum, we have been greatly blessed with some fantastic team members. Our educators, animals, and full time staff members work so hard to make the museum as awesome as it is. Today, we want to highlight one of our newest additions to our team: Reggie the Corn Snake! Named after Jock Lindsey's pet snake in Raider's of the Lost Ark, Reggie is an adventurous, active little reptile. Similar to albinism, Reggie is amelanistic, which means his body doesn't produce pigments called melanins. This creates the pink, orange, and red coloration of his scales. In the wild, these snakes are often found in corn fields in the Eastern and Central United States where they prey on the mice that live there. Reggie's favorite place though is right here at the Bean Museum, under his favorite log. 

Welcome to the family, Reggie!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Date Night Fall 2016

Breaking News!
At our annual Clue date night, somebody murdered Mr. Bean! Nobody had seen who did it or how it was done. The crowd of detectives who assembled were the best in the business, however, and caught the culprit red handed! Or should we say... White handed? Mrs. White had committed the crime in Mr. Bean's own billiard room with a feather! The disappearances of her previous nine husbands are under current investigation. If you missed out on all the excitement, join us next semester for our winter date night! You never know what mysteries might ensue...

Friday, November 4, 2016

Halloween Family Night

Thanks to all the princesses, pokemon, jedi knights, sith lords, monsters, superheroes, wild animals, and 80's rock stars that joined us for our Halloween family Night!
We sure had a lot of fun with you guys this year! We made animals out of pipe cleaners, monsters out of paper bags, won prizes, took pictures in our photo booth, drew caricatures, and met the Conservation Kids, Katy and Ken! We even had some live animals join us throughout the evening at our Spooky live animal shows. Special thanks as well to Jim Fowers for sharing those beautiful owls with us that evening!

And hey, if you missed out, there's always next year...