Village News

pileated woodpecker


Pileated woodpecker

January 22, 2021, Page A6


By Annie Reid
Westborough Community Land Trust

Who's out there? Take Westborough Community Land Trust's quiz

spotted turtle


Spotted turtle

yellowjacket/wasp nest


Yellowjacket/wasp nest

common elderberry


Common elderberry

Did you get outside more often during the pandemic in 2020? Did you walk local trails? Discover trails you hadn't known about – such as Westborough's Charm Bracelet trail or the Boroughs Loop Trail? Spend more time watching your birdfeeder? The doldrums of the pandemic prompted many of us to seek out nature, or explore our local natural environment, more than we'd done in the past.

Now it's a new year. Remind yourself who's out there by taking WCLT's annual Nature Notes quiz featuring local wild animals and plants from last year. And check out our 280 Nature Notes columns.

Choose your answers from the drop down lists. Check your answers by clicking the "Show Answers" button. The answer page will contain links to the 2020 “Nature Notes” columns so you can re-read them as a way of preparing to enjoy nature in 2021.

Match these descriptions with possible answers from the list below:

1.   I'm Massachusetts' state bird, but by the year 2100, I will have left for places farther north – that is, if climate warming continues on its current trajectory and makes Massachusetts' climate like that of the Carolinas today, as predicted.

2.   All our woodpeckers live here year-round, and I'm the biggest and loudest of them all – listen for my loud drumming!

3.   Hey, I'm a woodpecker too, and you'll see me pecking the ground for ants and hear my long, laugh-like call.

4.   I'm a warbler who can be easy to see in spring as I move up and down tree trunks and branches (much as a nuthatch does), so look around if you hear a sound like a squeaky gate or wheel – that's my song!

5.   I'm still rare, though no longer a Massachusetts “species of special concern,” and I'll come out of dormancy in March and lay eggs in sunny, sandy spots in May-June.

6.   Notice my large, flat clusters of small white flowers in June-July, and watch birds and other wildlife (but not people) feasting on my fruit in August-September.

7.   Approach in fall and winter, but keep your distance in spring and summer!

8.   I can be white-striped or tan-striped, and a recent variation of my song has “gone viral.

9.   If you hear a loud birdsong, look for me, and hope that this winter won't be too cold or too icy and snowy because that's not good for me – I came from the south only 100 years ago.

Possible answers:
- Black-and-white warbler (Mniotilta varia)
- Black-capped chickadee (Poecile atricapilla)
- Carolina wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus)
- Common elderberry (Sambucus nigra canadensis)
- Northern flicker (Colaptes auratus)
- Pileated woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus)
- Spotted turtle (Clemmys guttata)
- White-throated sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis)
- Yellowjacket/wasp nest

Nature Notes is printed in the Village News on behalf of WCLT (Westborough Community Land Trust). Report your own local nature sightings (or check out what others have seen) on WCLT's Facebook page! Find more information about enjoying nature in Westborough, including trail maps and a calendar of events, at the WCLT website

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