Wildlife on Campus: A Field Guide

It is hard not to notice the many creatures who live at, or come to visit, Brescia every day. The natural beauty all around campus makes a great environment for people and alike. However, there are so many different critters all around that it is hard to keep track of them all! Thankfully, the Buzz has put together this quick field guide of wildlife on campus.

Of course, the most talked-about creatures on this and any Western campus are the Canadian geese. They certainly get on people’s nerves, especially drivers who are forced to wait as they cross the road. They are also pretty aggressive, so it is a good idea to give them their space- and watch where you’re walking on the sidewalk. They migrate south for much of the school year, so at least they are only seasonal visitors.

There are also plenty of furry critters on campus, too; there are gopher burrows all over the hill in front of Ursuline Hall. Some have moved along with many Brescia classes, and are now living in front of the Marie Rosier Wing. The whitetail deer, who were known to visit the field behind the St. James building, also seemed to have moved, likely due to the construction on campus. Not to worry, there are still plenty of deer on campus on the fields leading to Medway Forest.

Medway is its own ecosystem, with plenty of biodiversity. Beside the more common animals on campus, among them the grey and black squirrels, you may be lucky enough to spot some waterside animals- snapping turtles, leopard frogs, or even the occasional beaver! The marshes near Brescia’s lower parking lot features some smaller water animals among the cattails; on damp days, you may spot some frogs near the sidewalk up to the St. James Building. Nearby in the hedges there must be a rabbit burrow, because on quiet days some eastern cottontail rabbits have been known to come out and hop about.

Like most wild animals on campus, they are very shy, so it is best to admire them from a distance. However, there are often very friendly dogs on campus. Whether they are just passing through on a walk or stopping in for a visit, they are a delight to see around! In fact, St. John’s Therapy dogs come to Brescia for events from time to time, too. As always, it is best to ask the dog’s owner before petting, and please be conscious of the service animals on Brescia’s campus, they are assisting their owners and should not be distracted.

Brescia is surrounded by natural beauty, and is lucky to be home to so many different animals. The best way to appreciate them all is to respect their space, and the campus where they live. Be sure to give Brescia’s animals the love they deserve!

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