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Bio-Diversity in Minnesota. By: Katie Osmundson. Merlin ( Falco Columbarius ).

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bio diversity in minnesota

Bio-Diversity in Minnesota

By: Katie Osmundson

merlin falco columbarius
Merlin (FalcoColumbarius)

Description: Body length is 10-13 in. Wingspan is 20-26 in. Weighs 5-9 lbs. Female merlinsare dark brown with a streaked neck. The male is gray-blue to purple. A merlin's tail has light and dark bands and a white tip.

Habitat: Open country and coniferous forests. Northeastern and North central part of the state. Nest and hunt along lake shores.

Food: 90% birds- insects, small mammals, lizards, and snakes.

Predators: Hawks, Falcons and Eagles.

Population: Merlins are not common in MN, but they don’t have a protected status.

Reproduction: Lays 1-8 eggs. Mates in late winter.

Hunting: Hunted by larger non-bird species.

Fun Facts: 1) Will catch prey in flight, smacks it with it’s feet to knock it out.

2) Does not build new nests, will take over old nests

3) Rests on Magpie nests

river otter lontra canadensis
River Otter (Lontra Canadensis)

Description: Long, short legs, webbed feet, long tapered tail. Fur is rich brown, short and dense. 4-5 in length. 18 in tail. 15-19 lb average.

Reproduction: After adult females have a litter of one to five babies they’tbred and become pregnant for close to a full year. The embryos do not start growing until about eight months later, and 50 days later the cubs are born. The cubs will remain with the parents through the first winter, but separate in spring.

Food: clams, fish, muskrats, turtles, chipmunks, mice and young rabbits.

Predators: Bobcats, coyotes and wolves.

Habitats: common all over the state, near bodies of water.

Population: Fur is valuable – easy to trap

Hunting: Trapping is carefully controlled, each pelt must be registered with the DNR.

Fun Facts: 1) River Otters can travel up to 25 miles in a week.

2) They enjoy wrestling and sliding in mud.

3)Despite their size they are skilled in hunting small mammals.

freshwater drum aplodinotus g runniens
Freshwater Drum (AplodinotusGrunniens)

Description: Small tail and a silver cast to its scales. Its mouth is located toward bottom of its face. It's the only freshwater fish on which the lateral line, a sense organ used to detect motion.

Reproduction: The males and females meet at the surface of the water, where the female releases up to 300,000 eggs at a time.

Food: Insect larvae, crayfish, clams, snails, and small fish. Drum feed near the bottom of the lake or river.

Predators: Walleyes, muskellunge and northern pike and humans.

Habitat: Everywhere in Minnesota except in the Lake Superior. They like shallow water in lakes and rivers. They like to hang out at the bottom but stay less than 40 feet deep.

Population: No danger, all over the place.

Hunting: Humans fish for the Drum because of the rich flavor.

Fun Facts: 1) Drum’s eggs float making it easier to spread thought water systems

2) Otolithshave been used by humans for currency, jewelry, and good luck charms, which are found near the Drum’s ear.

3) Drum grunts when it sees something it would like to eat.

common garter snake thamnophis sirtalis
Common Garter Snake (Thamnophissirtalis)

Description: Black with three yellow stripes on their back and sides, reaching up to 3 feet in length.

Reproduction: Give birth in August or September. Baby garters live on their own after birth.

Food: Frogs, small mammals, earthworms and insects.

Predators: Crows, ravens, weasels, mink, raccoons, foxes, ground squirrels, skunks, hawks, owls.

Habitat: Normally found in a rock crevice, an ant mound or a tunnel made by a burrowing animal. Many are found in road ditches. These winter dens are used by garter snakes for years.

Hunting: No one kills them because they are used for getting rid of rodents.

Population: There are many around to kill animals and insects that no one wants.

Fun Facts: 1) They may defecate on the person holding them, releasing a foul smelling odor.

2) Almost half of baby garter snakes die after birth.

3) Indians would use the snake as a type of hazing for new members.

green ash fraxinus pennsylvanica
Green Ash (Fraxinuspennsylvanica)

Description: 40' to 60', up to 24" in diameter, topped with skinny spreading branches.

Bark: Dark brown or gray, tintedwith red.

Leaves: Pointed and slightly toothed in the middle, bright green or yellowish-green on both sides, turning yellow in the fall.

Seeds: Wide part spreads out down past middle part, slightly notched at outer end.

Economic: Decoration, landscaping.

Fun Fact: Most commonly used to make baseball bats.

jack in the pulpit arisaema triphyllum
Jack-in-the-Pulpit (Arisaematriphyllum)

Description: Striped green/purple, two leaves, divided into 3 leaflets each.

When it flowers: May- June

Uses: May be eaten by birds and animals, but poisonous to humans.

Fun Facts: Also called the Indian turnip.

bibliography
Bibliography

All About Birds. The Cornell Lab of Orinithology, n.d. Web. 28 Sept. 2012. .

American Hikers. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Oct. 2012. .

Bird Siteings. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Oct. 2012. .

Blurt It. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Oct. 2012. .

Home Garden Lanscaping. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Oct. 2012. .

“Merlin.” The Peregrine Fund. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Sept. 2012. .

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Sept. 2012. .

Minnesota DNR. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Oct. 2012. .

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Minnesota DNR. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Oct. 2012. .

Minnesota DNR. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Oct. 2012. .

Minnesota DNR. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Oct. 2012. .

MN Home Town Locator. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Sept. 2012. .

National Geographic. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Oct. 2012. .

Texas and Beyond. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Oct. 2012. .

Wild About Birds. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Oct. 2012. .

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