Owl pellet dissected to show the bones and fur of its prey

Owl Pellets

Museum Volunteer Ian Harvey writes: We’re all familiar with owls and for many people, they’re their favourite animal. And we know owls from literature; the owl and the pussycat, owl in Winnie the Pooh and the owls in the Harry Potter books. Owls are birds of prey or raptors meaning they feed on other animals. They have certain features making them great hunters; excellent eyesight … Continue reading Owl Pellets

Herbie the Hedgehog’s winter hidey hole

Matt Lowe, Collections Manager at the Museum of Zoology, writes: A couple of months ago my wife and I were tidying up the pots of herbs we keep next to kitchen door when we heard a shuffling noise and what sounded awfully like snoring. That was when I realised I had succeeded in giving an overwintering hedgehog a home. In 2019, not long after we … Continue reading Herbie the Hedgehog’s winter hidey hole

BioBlitz logo

BioBlitz 2020 at the Botanic Garden

We are excited to announce that this year’s BioBlitz will be taking place in the Cambridge University Botanic Garden from 5pm on Saturday 19 September to 5pm on Sunday 20 September. During this 24 hours we will be counting as many species as we can in the garden. You can take part by visiting the garden and adding your data to the Cambridge BioBlitz 2020 … Continue reading BioBlitz 2020 at the Botanic Garden

Photograph of a hoverfly hovering

An Insect A Day Part 11

Have you noticed some of the amazing insect life living around us this summer? Prof Bill Amos of the Department of Zoology has been keeping a photo diary of insects this year. Here it continues with some lovely metallic insects, a stone-like bush cricket, and some fabulous action shots: You can see more of Bill’s photographs on the blog: An Insect A Day for bee … Continue reading An Insect A Day Part 11

Barn owl close up

Owls

Did you know it was International Owl Awareness Day on Tuesday 4 August? To celebrate this week, here are some of the owls you might be lucky enough to see in the UK. These are truly fascinating animals, with some amazing adaptations for their way of life. So let’s go explore these night-time wonders… Silent Flight Have you every listened to the sound of a … Continue reading Owls

Nuthatch, Sitta europaea

Roz Wade, Learning Officer at the Museum, writes: It is always fun watching the birds coming to the bird feeders in the garden. We find the fat blocks prove particularly popular. It is lovely to see the robins and blue tits taking a morsel of food, particularly now with new fledglings come to feed, but I get particularly excited when a nuthatch comes to visit. … Continue reading Nuthatch, Sitta europaea

Basking Beetles

Sara Steele, Museum learning assistant says: With 400,000 named species of beetle found across the world and over 4,000 species in the British Isles, beetles are a diverse bunch even among invertebrates. They come in all shapes and sizes, from long and thin soldier beetles to rounded ladybirds. This diversity points in part to their distribution; being found in every habitat except the sea and … Continue reading Basking Beetles

Photograph of a peacock buttefly on a flower

Watching Summer Wildlife

This is the final Nature Classroom post before the summer holidays. We hope you have been enjoying exploring the natural world with us this term. We thought we would finish the term with some fun activities engaging with the wildlife on your doorstep. There is information about a fantastic citizen science project from Butterfly Conservation, as well as wildlife-watching activities as part of Summer at … Continue reading Watching Summer Wildlife

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

30 days wild, fenland. Credit Kate Howlett

Reflections: Wildlife Trusts’ 30 Days Wild

Kate Howlett, NERC-funded PhD student says: Back at the end of May, I set myself the challenge of taking part in the Wildlife Trusts’ 30 Days Wild initiative, so for every day in June I chose a ‘random act of wildness’ to complete. In a nutshell, I’m happy to report that all the hype and positive effects are true. I’ve spent a beautiful month, over … Continue reading Reflections: Wildlife Trusts’ 30 Days Wild

Photograph of a bat at night

Garden Wildlife After Dark

Join our Curator of Insects, Dr Ed Turner, as he explores the wildlife in his garden after the sun has set. Want to find out more about nighttime wildlife? Watch our Zoology Live broadcast with moth expert Annette Shelford and bat expert Henry Stanier: And find more activities related to nighttime wildlife on our post about Day 5 of Zoology Live. Observe the moths in … Continue reading Garden Wildlife After Dark

Photograph of a hoverfly

An Insect a Day Part 8

Prof Bill Amos of the Department of Zoology continues his insect photo diary with a beautiful longhorn beetle, a selection of fascinating flies, and a wonderfully camouflaged caterpillar. You can see more of Bill’s photographs on the blog: An Insect A Day for bee fly, orange tip buttefly and parasitic wasp. An Insect A Day continues for scorpion fly, shield bug and click beetle. An … Continue reading An Insect a Day Part 8

Photograph of a marmalade hoverfly in flight

An Insect A Day Part 7

Prof Bill Amos of the Department of Zoology continues his insect photo diary with a portrait of a beautiful pearly lacewing, butterflies, damselflies, hoverflies and more. You can see more of Bill’s photographs on the blog: An Insect A Day for bee fly, orange tip buttefly and parasitic wasp. An Insect A Day continues for scorpion fly, shield bug and click beetle. An Insect A … Continue reading An Insect A Day Part 7

Damselfly

Zoology Live! A Wonderful Week of Wildlife

Thank you to everyone who joined us for Zoology Live! last week. Your questions for our experts were wonderful, and we all really enjoyed sharing our love of wildlife with you. We would love to know what you thought of the event. Please do complete our online survey: Please note that the survey prize draw for a Wildlife Explorer Kit has already taken place. The … Continue reading Zoology Live! A Wonderful Week of Wildlife