May Calendar of Wildlife & Habitat Happenings
Opportunities to experience natural North Carolina are as diverse as our state’s spectacular landscape. And there’s no shortage of things to do, see and hear this month – from blooming spider lilies to nesting turtles to emerging moths. Take a look at the May calendar below and explore NCWF’s upcoming events.
May 1: It’s National Photography Month and the first day of our 4th Annual Wildlife Photography Contest. Open to professional and amateur photographers.
May 2-7: National Wildflower Week. NCWF’s custom Butterfly Highway seed packets include seeds for up to seven native plants that support pollinators and other wildlife.
May 3: Eastern bluestar, blue false indigo, green and gold and dwarf crested iris are blooming.
May 4: National Bird Day.
May 10: National Shrimp Day.
May 12: Virginia spiderwort is in bloom.
May 16: National Love a Tree Day—the perfect day to plant a native one! Passion vine, Eastern prickly pear and goat’s-rue are in bloom. Longnose gar are spawning. Pine-devil moths are flying. Common nighthawks are nesting.
May 17: Our smallest native reptile, the ground skink, is nesting. Unlike our other four skinks, this species does not attend to its eggs during incubation.
May 18: Least terns are nesting, mostly on our more remote beaches and barrier islands.
May 19: Diamondback terrapins, the world’s only uniquely estuarine turtles, are nesting in our salt marshes. Southern beardtongue and Small’s ragwort are blooming.
May 21: Grassleaf roseling, tread-softly, sandhills dawn flower and Pickering’s dawn flower are in bloom in the Sandhills.
May 22: Snakemouth orchid, white colic-root, fly poison and yucca are in bloom in the Coastal Plain. International Biodiversity Day.
May 23: World Turtle Day—a day for celebrating North Carolina’s 21 native species. Purple pitcher plants are in bloom.
May 24: Spider lilies are in bloom in the Coastal Plain. National Scavenger Hunt Day.
May 25: Coal skinks are nesting in the Mountains and Foothills. Like most of our more familiar skinks, these uncommon and poorly known lizards attend their eggs during incubation.
May 26: Loggerhead sea turtles have begun nesting. Coral hairstreak butterflies are flying.
May 27: Common mullein and queen’s-delight are in bloom. Breeding is well underway for most treefrog species. Fragrant white water lily is in bloom.
May 28: Snapping turtles are nesting. Larvae of our official state salamander—the marbled salamander—are transforming; juveniles disperse from ephemeral wetlands into terrestrial habitats on rainy nights.
May 29: National Learn About Composting Day. Cecropia moths are emerging and mating. This single-brooded species is our largest moth.
May 30: Wild turkey and ruffed grouse eggs are hatching. Littleleaf sensitive-briar is blooming. National Water a Flower Day.
May 31: Our state reptile—the Eastern box turtle—has begun nesting. Some females may nest more than once during a season. Several dusky salamander species are also nesting. Mountain laurel is in bloom.