Animal Corner

Meet native animals you rarely see. Several have come out of hiding to live in the Animal Corner building on the museum’s Lower Courtyard.

Animal Corner Residents:

Flying Squirrels

The EcoTarium’s two resident squirrels are named Barb and Nancy. They are most active in their Animal Corner habitat at night, as this species of squirrel is nocturnal. Did you know…

  • Flying squirrels cannot actually fly, but instead use a flap of skin called a patagium to glide short distances. For every foot a flying squirrel climbs vertically, they can jump and glide three feet horizontally.
  • Flying squirrels will eat a variety of foods as omnivores, including insects, eggs, nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables.
  • Flying squirrels live very high in trees and are not often found on the ground in the same way gray or red squirrels are.
American Kestrel

Outside of Animal Corner, you can find our American kestrel, Newton. Newton is with us due to a wing injury that prevents him from flying. Similarly, he was found injured at such a young age that he imprinted on humans and doesn’t have the skills needed to survive alongside other kestrels. Did you know…

  • American kestrels are North America’s smallest falcon. They range in weight from about 90 to 150 grams and only have a wingspan of about 20 to 24 inches.
  • American kestrels are sexually dimorphic, which means there are visual differences in size and coloration between males and females. Male kestrels are about 1/3rd smaller than females and have slate-blue coloring on their wings, while females are larger and have brown and black wings.
  • American kestrels are excellent flyers, capable of diving at fast speeds and hovering in place in order to hunt their prey, which includes insects, small songbirds, and rodents.
Eastern Screech Owl 

Outside of Animal Corner, you can find the Eastern screech owl, Marvin. Marvin has an eye injury that prevents him from thriving in his natural environment. Did you know…

  • Eastern screech owls are found throughout the United States and are a widespread owl species in Massachusetts.
  • The Eastern screech owl comes in two color morphs, gray and red. Marvin is a gray morph screech owl.
  • You can help local screech owls by putting up screech owl boxes in large trees around your house. Screech owls in turn will eat garden pests like mice!
Woodchuck

Cornelia is Animal Corner’s resident woodchuck. Cornelia became imprinted on humans after being found orphaned and injured in Ohio. Because she is imprinted on humans, she is unable to survive in her natural environment. Did you know…

  • Woodchucks are true hibernators, hibernating between October and March. 
  • Woodchucks are the largest species of ground squirrel in most of the United States.
  • Woodchucks have incisors that grow 1/16 inch per week and need to constantly chew on grasses, clovers, and flowers to wear down their teeth!

While all enclosures have been specially designed to meet the natural needs of the species as well as to accommodate any physical limitations of the individual animal, animals need novel experiences to use their natural instincts on a regular basis. This is called “enrichment” and it is a regular part of good husbandry (care of animals by humans).

You can support a variety of our enrichment programs by purchasing items from our Amazon Wish List which will directly get your items to our resident wildlife. Click on the button below to see how you can help:

Wildlife Wish List