Today was my only day off this week, and I had planned to do my Blogger BioBlitz survey today, trying to find how many of each different species — plant, animal, fungi and anything in between — live within the small area I chose to survey (the garden at First Unitarian in New Bedford). We had heavy downpours most of the day, so I had to cut the survey short. In between rain squalls, I took as many photos of living things as possible; I also relied on photos and notes I had taken earlier in the week when I was surveying the area. Unfortunately, the weather meant that I didn’t have time to search out many animals (e.g., I wasn’t able to dig up some soil and look through it for invertebrates, etc.).
My identification of many plants was hampered because it’s still early in spring and many plants have just begun to emerge from dormancy or sprout from seeds; and only a few of the flowering plants were actually in flower. I’m thinking I may continue with this survey of living things over the course of the summer, to see if I can do additional identifications.
I’ve included my list of organisms below, arranged in rough taxonomic order. Over the next week, I’ll be working on further identifications as well as filling in the taxonomic order, and when done I’ll update this entry. (Final update, 28 April, link to final data sheet included.)
Living organisms found in the garden at First Unitarian in New Bedford, Massachusetts, during Blogger BioBlitz week.
Latitude: 41.634Â°N — Longitude: 70.930Â°W
Approx. area covered: 0.2 hectare.
Field work was done: 23 April, 4-5:30 p.m. EDT; 27 April, 3:00-4:00 p.m.
Weather: 23 April, Sunny, 15 C. — 26 April, heavy rain, 11 C.
All field work done by Dan Harper. Total observer hours: 2.5.
Obviously cultivated plants not included (i.e., daffodils, tulips, flowering trees and shrubs, etc., were not included).
An asterisk * indicates that a photo is available.
Download the final data sheet as an Excel file: Link.
Family: Hominidae Homo sapiens (Human Being)
Family: Sciuridae Sciurus carolinensis (Eastern Gray Squirrel) *
Family: Larinae Larus argentatus (Herring Gull) *
Family: Columbidae Columba livia (Rock Pigeon) *
Zenaida macroura (Mourning Dove)
Family: Turdidae Turdus migratorious (American Robin)
Family: Sturnidae Sturnus vulgaris (European Starling)
Family: Fringillidae Carpodacus mexicanus (House Finch)
Family: Passeridae Passer domesticus (House Sparrow) *
Family: ? Woodlouse, sp? *
[With over 10,000 species of woodlice, I don’t expect to ID genus, let alone species!]
Family: Formicidae Ant, sp? *
Ant, sp? *
Ant, sp? *
[My field guide to insects does not go below the family level on ants.]
Family: ? Fly, sp? *
Family: ? Unknown insect *
Kingdom: Protista or Plantae
Green algae, sp? *
Family: Physciaceae Phaeophyscia ciliata? (lichen) *
Unidentified crustose lichen *
Unidentified fruticose lichen *
Family: Dicranaceae Dicranum scoparium (Dicranum moss) *
Family: ? Moss, sp? *
Family: Huperziaceae Huperzia porophila/Lycopodium lucidulum (Rock Clubmoss) *
Family: Poaceae 3 unknown grasses *
Subfamily: Panicoideae Digitaria ischaemum (Smooth crabgrass)? *
Family: Fagaceae Quercus rubra (Red Oak) *
Family: Malvaceae Tilia americana (Basswood or Linden) *
Family: Sapindaceae Acer saccharinum (Silver Maple) *
Family: Simaroubaceae Ailanthus altissima (Chinese Sumac) *
Family: Compositae/Asteraceae Taraxacum officinale (Common Dandelion) *
Taraxacum erythrospermum? (Red-seeded Dandelion) *
Hypochoeris radicata? (Cat’s ear) *
Family: Leguminosae/Fabaceae Trifolium incarnatum (Crimson clover)? *
Family: Solanaceae Solanum dulcamara (Bittersweet)
Family: Violaceae Viola sororia (Common Blue Violet) [N.B.: Peterson Field Guide and others have this as Viola papilionacea.]
Family: Liliaceae Allium vineale (Wild Garlic) *
Family: Caryophyllaceae Stellaria media (Common Chickweed) *
Family: Hyacinthaceae Muscari botryoides (Grape hyacinth — not found in any cultivated areas, so I’m counting this as an escaped species.)
Unknown plant in flower *
Mammals: Mammals of the Eastern United States, Whitaker and Hamilton. 3rd ed. Cornell Univ, 1998.
Birds: AOU Checklist and Birds of Eastern and Central North America, Peterson. 5th ed. Houghton Mifflin, 2002.
Insects: Insects, Borror and White (Peterson Field Guide Series). Houghton Mifflin, 1970. This guide proved to be less than adequate, since it generally identifies only down to the Family level.
Dicranum mosses: http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=DICRA8
A Field Guide to the Ferns and their Related Families, Cobb. Houghton Mifflin, 1956.
A Field Guide to Wildflowers of Northeastern and North-central North America, Peterson and McKenny. Houghton Mifflin, 1968.
The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Wildflowers: Eastern Region, Niering and Olmstead. Knopf, 1979.
Common Weeds of the United States, USDA. Dover, 1971. Original title: Selected Weeds of the United States.
Trees of the Eastern United States and Canada, Harlow. Whittlesey House, 1942.