November phenology (Beaver Moon)

Holy Wisdom Monastery Care for the Earth, Friends of Wisdom Prairie, Phenology Leave a Comment

By Sylvia Marek


Flock of mallard ducks


Phenology is a science focused on observing and recording biological events from year to year and their relationships to the change of seasons and climate.

These are the “normal” phenology events we expect to see here and in the Madison area in November. We would love to hear about what you are seeing on the grounds of Holy Wisdom Monastery. Please comment on this post with what you are observing, where at Holy Wisdom and the date you observed the event.

  • Peak bald eagle migration
  • Peak sandhill crane migration
  • Geese migration
  • Coots, tundra swan, bufflehead, loons and waterfowl leave when ice forms on lakes
  • Flocks of crows gather at dusk and form communal sleeping roosts
  • Resident owls call—great horned and barred
  • Owls from the north show up—look for saw-whet, snowy, short-eared and long-eared
  • Northern shrike show up
  • Look for white-throated sparrows, fox sparrows, tree sparrows, juncos and brown creepers
  • Flocks of robins and bluebirds depart – some spend the winter here
  • White-tailed deer mate—look for “buck rub” on small trees and “scraps” on the ground
  • Indian Summer—look for wooly bear caterpillars, overwintering butterflies such as mourning cloak, red admiral and angel wings
  • Listen for soft “purring” of crickets
  • Asian ladybugs as well as box elder bugs form large aggregations and overwinter as adults
  • Deer ticks—females look for a blood meal
  • Fall mushrooms—shaggy mane
  • Colorful fruits and berries
  • Tamaracks (larch) turn smoky gold
  • Oak leaves (earthy colors)
  • Last of colorful leaves fall
  • Witch hazel displays pale yellow flowers (last native shrub to bloom in Wisconsin)
  • Milkweeds release floss-borne seeds
  • Hoarfrost
  • Leonid meteor shower
  • Glittering stars against bare branches
  • Expect snow

Sylvia Marek is a highly trained and experienced naturalist. She works for the University of Wisconsin Arboretum and is a first rate birder.

Please share the biological events you notice while at Holy Wisdom Monastery below (remember to include what you see, where and when).

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