Nature Notebook, March 25, 2021


The full moon rises on Sunday, March 28, and it will appear larger and brighter than usual should the fog permit us to see it. It is a super moon, closer than usual to the earth; the official astronomical term is perigean full moon, when the moon is in perigee. The Farmers’ Almanac refers to this month’s moon as the “worm moon,” when earthworms come to the surface.

The Northern elephant seal population continues its return to the ocean. After brief spells of seafood foraging, smaller numbers will return to shore again as they molt, or lose fur. The seals may look distressed, with patchy mottled fur, but molting is a normal process as they grow a new outer layer.

If you are wondering about brushy park trails, this time of year is bird nesting season. Park staff must survey areas for nests, which limit mowing activity until any fledglings have moved out. Red-winged blackbirds have returned to Olema Marsh to nest; you may see the males with their bright red shoulders singing to ward off other males and draw in females.