Prince William Conservation Alliance

Students Discover Nature Close to Home at Merrimac Farm!
Contact us at alliance@pwconserve.org or 703.499.4954 to find out how your school or community group can participate!
Click here to return to the Chesapeake Bay Field Study Program... click here to read more about Merrimac Farm.

Discover nature close to home!April 2008 - Marsteller Middle School seventh grade science students joined PWCA naturalists at Merrimac Farm to explore local habitats and wildlife.

Spring is an exciting time and Merrimac Farm is a great place to watch wildlife. During our April programs, we saw several species of frogs and some students were lucky enough to observe mating American Toads lay eggs in the pond. In all, our catch-and-release activity turned up 23 different animals in the pond. We also observed a variety of plants and animals in upland areas, and had a great time.

We collected information over three days - April 22 through 24. During this time, the heavy rains from April 20 and 21 moved out of the area, cloud cover cleared and temperatures were progressively warmer, reaching 75° by the 24th.

AQUATIC CATCH-AND-RELEASE
April 22 2008
April 23 2008
April 24 2008
TOTAL
16 Species
17 Species
17 Species
23 Species
Water Strider
2
2
7
11
Fishing Spider
9
5
4
18
Water Scorpion
10
3
2
15
Water Boatman
100
86
34
220
Diving Beetle, Adult
13
2
3
18
Whirligig Beetle, Adult
5
5
6
16
Crawling Water Beetle
0
0
1
1
Toad Bug
0
1
0
1
Pouch Snail
2
0
1
3
Crayfish
14
5
8
27
Scud
2
0
1
3
Aquatic Isopod
4
2
7
13
Cranefly, Larvae
0
1
1
2
Dragonfly Nymph
17
32
19
68
Salamander, sp
3
0
0
3
Tadpoles Bullfrog
3
1
2
6
Tadpoles Am. Toad
0
1
0
1
Northern Cricket Frog
6
27
12
45
Pickerel Frog
0
2
0
2
Green Frog
0
1
0
1
American Toad
1
0
2
3
Painted Turtle
1
0
0
1
Blue Gill
35
98
29
162
TOTAL INDIVIDUALS
227
274
139
640
American Toads
American Toad Egg Mass
Students investigate aquatic ecosystems.
Water Scorpion
Students investigate local ecosystems.
Students investigate local ecosystems.
Students investigate local ecosystems.
The 2008 Field Program at Merrimac Farm is made possible with the generous support of Virginia American Water.
OTHER ANIMALS & PLANTS OBSERVED: APRIL, 22-24, 2008
Click here for the Preliminary Bird List for Merrimac Farm and here for the Preliminary Plant List.


BIRDS

BUTTERFLIES PLANTS
Cardinal Falcate Orange Tip White Oak
Blue Jay Question Mark Mockernut Hickory
Prairie Warbler Duskywing, sp. Pignut Hickory
Blue Gray Gnatcatcher Tiger Swallowtail Red Oak
Brown Thrasher Zebra Swallowtail Red Maple
Field Sparrow Eastern-tailed Blue Huckleberry
Eastern Tohee Mourning Cloak Arrowwood
White-eyed Vireo Cabbage White Maple Leaf Virburnum
Turkey vulture Sulphur sp. Tulip Poplar
Red Shouldered Hawk Pearl Crescent Dogwood
Ovenbird Spring Azure Redbud
Tufted Titmouse   Dogwood
Carolina Wren Black Cherry
Eastern Bluebird DRAGONFLIES Pink Azalea
Golden-crowned Kinglet Green Darner Jack in the Pulpit
White-throated sparrow Blue Dasher Garlic Mustard (invasive)
Great Crested Flycatcher Japanese Honeysuckle (invasive)
Common Yellowthroat
Red -tailed Hawk
Cowbird
American Crow
Black Vulture
Song Sparrow
Kildeer
Carolina Chickadee
Wood Thrush
Barn Swallow
Goldfinch

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