Ten animals to spot around ARU

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Category: Student Blogs

25 June 2018

Our campus is home to a bevy of beasties, from bees and corvids to (whisper it) spiders. Here’s where to spot them.

Song thrush

These familiar garden songbirds can be spotted around the Mill Road Cemetery, but you’ll probably hear these little charmers long before you spot them. Listen out – they have a habit of singing the same song twice.

Two-spotted ladybird

You might have guessed, but you can tell these adorable critters apart by their twin black spots. Keep an eye out for them around campus or snoozing inside buildings over winter.

Buff tailed bumblebee

Think of a bee, and this is probably what comes to mind. You’ll see these bees around our campuses all year round, happily scooping up pollen and necking sweet nectar. Despite their name, it’s actually just the queen that has a buff coloured tail. Yas queen.

Check out PhD student Stephanie Maher’s awesome study on solitary bees.

Small tortoiseshell butterfly

A real tell that summer’s here. You’ll usually recognise them by their orange, black and white markings, sipping nectar with their curly, retractable tongues. Yum.

Ivy-leaved toadflax

We know, this one’s not an animal. But this plant is so common around campus, it’s definitely worth a mention.  It clings to places most other plants can’t reach, including brick walls with its strong roots.

Long-tailed tits

Oh, grow up. These noisy residents can be found in and around our Cambridge campus. Keep an eye out for their distinctive tails – they’re longer that the bird’s whole body. Show-offs.

Carrion crow

Crows are among the world’s cleverest animals. They’ve been known to use tools, can understand gravity, and even hold grudges. Spot them around Parker’s Piece, the birthplace of modern football.

Zebra spider

If you’re chill with spiders, then you’ll find these little guys adorable. They sneak up on their prey before leaping on their catch from up to ten centimetres away. Find them bouncing around near the Mill Road Cemetery.

Grey squirrel

These North American intruders are now a staple of almost every wooded space in the UK. See them scampering up trees across our Cambridge and Chelmsford campuses.

Dunnock

These tiny brown and grey birds are quiet and shy. They can often be seen shuffling apologetically near our campus flowerbeds and hedges.

Robin

Is it Christmas already? Actually, these red-breasted chaps can be seen all year round, snacking on seeds and berries. Make sure to say hi.




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