Common blue, (c) S Steele

Zoology Live: your sightings on iRecord

Thank you to everyone who took part in our Zoology Live iRecord challenge. We asked you to send in wildlife sightings from where you live and we received over 100 entries, which included 86 different species. Our involvement with national insect week clearly struck a chord as 79 of these species were minibeasts and the most common sightings were hoverflies. We also had sightings of … Continue reading Zoology Live: your sightings on iRecord

Shieldbug found on beat-net

How to observe wildlife: beat-netting

Matt Hayes, research assistant writes: There are many ways to look for minibeasts that live around you and one easy method is to use a beat net. You don’t need any fancy equipment; a white sheet or tray will work just as well as a store-bought net. An upside-down pale umbrella also makes the perfect substitute. A pale white colour works best as it helps … Continue reading How to observe wildlife: beat-netting

Kate climbing over a fallen tree

Why I’ll be taking part in the Wildlife Trusts’ 30 Days Wild this June

Kate Howlett, NERC-funded PhD student says: Have the lockdown restrictions been changing the way we interact with and value nature? It certainly feels that way at the moment: social media is filled with photos people have snapped on their daily walk, along with captions expressing gratitude for their local green patch; a new-found joy in bird watching or a rekindled appreciation for the beauty of … Continue reading Why I’ll be taking part in the Wildlife Trusts’ 30 Days Wild this June

Photograph of a southern hawker dragonfly

An Insect a Day part 3

The close-up photographs of insects from Prof Bill Amos of the Department of Zoology have given us a wonderful view we don’t usually see of the natural world. Scroll down for the latest batch from his insect photo diary. These beasties are beautiful with fascinating stories too – from wasp mimics to mayflies to an aphid giving birth on camera. Why not have a go … Continue reading An Insect a Day part 3

Close up of the head of a green-veined white butterfly

An Insect A Day continues

It’s been a treat every Friday to share with you some of the wonderful close-up photographs of insects from Prof Bill Amos of the Department of Zoology. Scroll down for the latest batch from his insect photo diary. These beasties have some pretty amazing stories to tell! Why not have a go yourself? We would love to see your photos of wildlife where you are. … Continue reading An Insect A Day continues

Weevil by Geoff Oliver - with permission Sticky post

Community Gallery: #OpenYourWindowBingo & more

We’re noticing the wildlife around our homes, gardens and during our daily exercise more and more. As the seasons change there are many opportunities to see the creatures that live around us. We’ll be updating this page with wildlife sightings, Crafty Creature makes and creations from the Museum of Zoology staff and volunteer team, as well as your submissions, all sent in from home. Check … Continue reading Community Gallery: #OpenYourWindowBingo & more

Photograph of a male blackbird

Song of the Blackbird

Academic in the Department of Zoology, and one of our visitor engagement volunteers in the Museum, Dr Tony Fulford writes: ‘How many people don’t recognise one of the nation’s favourite birds?  For those unfamiliar with the blackbird, the male is jet black with a bright yellow bill and yellow ring around his eye.  The female is similar-looking but is dark brown, often with a few … Continue reading Song of the Blackbird

Linyphiidae spider on leaf

Your friendly neighbourhood British spiders

Michael Pashkevich, PhD Student, writes: One of my favourite traits of spiders is that they are widespread in distribution. This means that they live nearly everywhere that humans do, including within and around our homes. This is particularly good news for Britons, because none of the 650+ spider species in the UK are dangerous to healthy humans. Right now, many of us are being asked … Continue reading Your friendly neighbourhood British spiders

taxidermy blue tit at the Museum of Zoology

Birds: Blue tits and their relatives

Are you playing our Open Your Window Bingo? Discover more about some of the colourful garden birds that feature on it: blue tits, great tits and long-tailed tits. A flash of yellow, blue and green in the air – blue tits are colourful little birds often seen on bird feeders. They eat insects, caterpillars and seeds. We see bright colours and patterns when we see … Continue reading Birds: Blue tits and their relatives

Insect hotel with three sections

A warm welcome for minibeasts

Even a small garden can provide a home for several thousand species of insects and other minibeasts. Although a very small minority may not be popular guests, the vast majority will undertake important natural processes and improve the health of your garden. Many will pollinate your plants, break down decaying material to fertilise your soil and even eat the few ‘pests’ that may be causing … Continue reading A warm welcome for minibeasts