22 de maio de 2020

Field Ornithology Day 5

May 22nd, 2020
7am-12pm
Weather: Sunny, 70 degrees Fahrenheit
Charlotte Park and Wildlife Refuge, Charlotte VT

Habitat: Lots of shrubby habitat mixed with oaks, maples and eastern red cedar. Further up the trail the habitat was more shrubby except for some eastern white pines. At the end of the trail there were two adjacent fields separated by shrubs. Both the trails and the fields were muddy and wet.

Wood Thrush (6)
Mourning Dove (1)
Chestnut-sided Warbler (6)
Eastern Phoebe (2)
Black-throated Green Warbler (3)
Common Yellowthroat (3)
Gray Catbird (4)
Northern Cardinal (2)
Pileated Woodpecker (1)
American Redstart (5)
American Goldfinch (3)
Hermit Thrush (3)
Great Crested Flycatcher (1)
Red-bellied Woodpecker (2)
Black-and-white Warbler (3)
Yellow Warbler (3)
Ovenbird (5)
Brown Thrasher (2)
Blue-winged Warbler (5)
Least Flycatcher (1)
Canada Goose (4)
Eastern Towhee (3)
Ring-billed Gull (1)
Blue Jay (4)
Eastern Wood Pewee (1)
Black-capped Chickadee (5)
Red-winged Blackbird (6)—saw a male and female perched on a tree. The male was bobbing his tail at her. She eventually flew off but he followed her.
Bobolink (6)
Turkey Vulture (1)—soaring above the open field
Song Sparrow (3)
Scarlet Tanager (3)
Savannah Sparrow (2)
Field Sparrow (1)
American Crow (2)
Brown-headed Cowbird (2)
Rose-breasted Grosbeak (1)
Common Grackle (1)
Hairy Woodpecker (1)
Nashville Warbler (1)

Publicado em 22 de maio de 2020, 10:18 PM por nlay4185 nlay4185 | 39 observações | 0 comentários | Deixar um comentário

21 de maio de 2020

Field Ornithology Day 4

May 21st, 2020
7am-12pm
Weather: Sunny, 65 degrees Fahrenheit
Geprags Community Park, Hinesburg VT

Habitat: a mixture of grasslands, shrubs, and understory trees. The grasslands were also fragmented by powerlines. The Bobolinks I saw flew low above the open field and chased each other. They landed in the grass to feed and their yellow heads blended in with the dandelions. The shrubs were filled with warblers and the forest had an abundance of Wood Thrushes and Ovenbirds.

Song Sparrow (5)
Gray Catbird (5)
Ring-billed Gull (4)
American Goldfinch (2)
Blue-winged Warbler (10)
White-throated Sparrow (2)
Common Yellowthroat (5)
Red-winged Blackbird (3)
American Tree Sparrow (4)
Yellow Warbler (3)
Eastern Phoebe (2)
Blue Jay (4)
Willow Flycatcher (1)
Bobolink (8)
Warbling Vireo (3)
Eastern Kingbird (1)
Brown Thrasher (1)
Baltimore Oriole (1)
Indigo Bunting (1)
Chestnut-sided Warbler (6)
Great Crested Flycatcher (2)
Common Grackle (1)
Black-throated Green Warbler (1)
Pileated Woodpecker (1)
Ovenbird (8)
Scarlet Tanager (3)
Eastern Wood Pewee (1)
Wood Thrush (7)
Turkey Vulture (1)
Eastern Towhee (1)
Northern Cardinal (2)—a pair
Blackburnian Warbler (1)
Red-tailed Hawk (1)
American Crow (2)
Eastern Bluebird (1)
Black-and-white Warbler (3)

Publicado em 21 de maio de 2020, 11:28 PM por nlay4185 nlay4185 | 36 observações | 0 comentários | Deixar um comentário

20 de maio de 2020

Field Ornithology Day 3: Forest Birds

May 20thth, 2020
7am-12pm
Weather: Sunny (not a cloud in the sky), 60 degrees Fahrenheit
Green Mountain Audubon Center, Huntington VT
Habitat: On the left side of the road (West) was a forested area with many understory trees. There was a mix of coniferous and deciduous vegetation. The ground was scattered with leaves, twigs and downed logs. This area is where I heard the different warblers and thrushes. I also saw my first Scarlet Tanager and my first Red-breasted Nuthatch. On the right side of the road (East) the elevation dropped a little bit. The area was still forested, but there were more patches of open habitat that were close to water. There were some streams, vernal pools, and a body of water that was something between a swamp and a pond. This area is where I saw my first Brown Thrasher. I also saw some of the more general birds in this area, such as Common Grackles and Red-winged Blackbirds.

Red-eyed Vireo (5)
Wood Thrush (7)
Mourning Dove (2)
Blue-headed Vireo (2)
Scarlet Tanager (6)
Black-throated Blue Warbler (3)
Great-crested Flycatcher (2)
Black-throated Green Warbler (7)
Hermit Thrush (5)
Chestnut-sided Warbler (3)
Black-capped Chickadee (8)
White-breasted Nuthatch (1)
Ovenbird (3)
American Goldfinch (2)
Red-breasted Nuthatch (2)
Blue Jay (4)
Eastern Towhee (2)
American Redstart (3)
White-throated Sparrow (1)
Hairy Woodpecker (2)
Eastern Phoebe (4)
Gray Catbird (2)
Pileated Woodpecker (1)
Golden-crowned Kinglet (1)
Yellow Warbler (6)
Veery (3)—I didn’t hear its song so it was difficult to identify at first. I heard its call and then I saw it in the trees. It then landed on the ground and started scurrying across logs. Its warm, reddish-brown back feathers and distinct call gave it away.
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (1)
Red-winged Blackbird (5)
American Robin (5)
Common Grackle (4)
Brown Thrasher (2)
Rose-breasted Grosbeak (1)
Winter Wren (1)

Publicado em 20 de maio de 2020, 10:56 PM por nlay4185 nlay4185 | 33 observações | 0 comentários | Deixar um comentário

19 de maio de 2020

Grassland and Shrubland Birds: Field Orno Day 2

May 19th, 2020
6:45am-11:40am
Weather: Sunny, 50 degrees Fahrenheit
Colchester Pond, Colchester VT
Habitat: large pond, surrounded by shrubs. Open fields in to the southwest and southeast, coniferous forest to the northeast.

15 Red-winged Blackbirds—saw males only. Most were singing on high perches.
4 Yellow Warblers
3 Eastern Kingbirds—they all were fighting on the ground in a shrubby area close to the parking lot.
1 Hooded Warbler
1 Eastern Phoebe
8 Gray Catbirds
1 House Wren
13 Canada Geese—two couples swam together with their goslings.
21 Song Sparrows—it’s possible that some of these were Savannah Sparrows. I need to get better at Sparrow songs.
8 Black-capped Chickadees—there was a chickadee nest in a low tree cavity near the water. Another birder told me the nest has been there for years!
1 Baltimore Oriole
1 American Redstart
1 Northern Cardinal
1 Mourning Dove
1 Swamp Sparrow
1 Osprey—flying above the pond
2 American Robins
4 American Goldfinches
1 Downy Woodpecker
1 Black-and-white Warbler
5 Common Yellowthroats
1 Blue Jay

Publicado em 19 de maio de 2020, 09:54 PM por nlay4185 nlay4185 | 22 observações | 0 comentários | Deixar um comentário

18 de maio de 2020

Water Birds: Field Orno Day 1

May 18th 2020
6:45am-11:45am
Delta Park, Colchester VT
Weather: mostly sunny, 52 degrees Fahrenheit
Habitat: shrubs, marsh, open water-- Winooski River and Lake Champlain

12 Canada Geese-- 6 of them were a family of a pair + 4 goslings
2 Wood Ducks-- males only
2 Baltimore Orioles
1 American Goldfinches
5 Common Yellowthroats
1 Red-bellied Woodpecker-- first one I've ever seen!
4 Blue Jays
1 Yellow Warblers
12 Red-winged Blackbirds
5 Common Mergansers
6 Barn Swallows
70 Double-crested Cormorants-- all landing in the water together
5 Gray Catbirds
1 White-breasted Nuthatch
1 Eastern Phoebe
10 Northern Cardinals
1 Eastern Screech Owl-- female nesting in a snag by the river
6 Great Egrets
4 Common Goldeneyes
1 Pileated Woodpecker
1 Swamp Sparrow
1 White-throated Sparrow
3 Downy Woodpeckers
1 Hairy Woodpecker
3 Cedar Waxwings
2 Common Grackles
1 Turkey Vulture
13 Ring-billed Gulls

Publicado em 18 de maio de 2020, 08:18 PM por nlay4185 nlay4185 | 29 observações | 0 comentários | Deixar um comentário

01 de maio de 2020

Field Journal 8

When: April 28th 2020, 4:30pm-6:30pm
Where: Shelburne Bay Park, Burlington VT. Trail adjacent to the bay.
Weather: Sunny, 55 degrees Fahrenheit
Habitat: Lots of Common Buckthorn (where I saw the Cedar Waxwings eating) and various conifers. Rocky next to the water (where a pair of Hooded Mergansers swam). Some very steep slopes (which is where I saw the Barred Owl sitting on the branch of a tall eastern white pine).

Species:
8 Cedar Waxwings
3 American Goldfinches
1 Barred Owl
2 Hooded Mergansers
1 White-throated Sparrow
1 White-breasted Nuthatch
1 Song Sparrow

Publicado em 01 de maio de 2020, 02:55 PM por nlay4185 nlay4185 | 7 observações | 0 comentários | Deixar um comentário

22 de abril de 2020

Field Journal 7: Reproductive Ecology and Evolution

April 20th, 2020
6:30am-8:15am
Derway Island Nature Trail
Sunny, 35°F

• 4 Mallards
• 5 Song Sparrows
• 10 Woodpeckers
• 1 Northern Cardinal
• 4 Canada Geese
• 1 Blue Jay
• 11 Black-capped Chickadees
• 1 Double-crested Cormorant
• 1 White-breasted Nuthatch
• 4 Tufted Titmice
• 1 American Goldfinch
• 3 American Robins

Some of the Robins I saw were sitting solo on a branch—usually of a tree with plenty of berries on it. When they were sitting alone, they made no sounds and just observed their surroundings vigilantly. It’s possible that these Robins were sitting on branches that were close to their nests. There were plenty of materials for nests covering the forest floor that they might have been looking around for. Later during my bird walk, I saw a Robin fly with amazing speed in a straight line across the Winooski River. Another Robin joined by its side. It’s possible that this was a pair flying off to their nest. They were flying too close to each other to not have some sort of relationship.

The Woodpeckers were everywhere. I saw a few, but was overwhelmed by the drumming that I heard in all directions. In contrast to the American Robin, Woodpeckers typically nest in cavities of snags. There were many snags throughout the area, but I didn’t see any evidence of nests. I did not want to be too nosy and scare anyone who was trying to set up a place for incubation. The woodpeckers I actually saw with my eyes were in close proximity to one another, but on separate trees. When one flew away, another one usually took its place, suggesting that they respect each other’s personal space but don’t mind sharing resources (at a distance). The frequent drumming I heard suggests that there were hundreds of Woodpeckers throughout the property trying to defend precious territory and/or attempting to find mates. In my opinion, the abundance of snags and diversity of the land suggests that there is a lot of prime territory. This might be why I saw Woodpeckers foraging relatively close to each other and not exhibiting aggressive behavior. It’s hard to say whether they had high fitness because of the plentiful resources. I wonder how they would do in a less ideal habitat.

The Mallards I saw were only in pairs. I didn’t get a great look at them because they flew away every time I got closer. They always landed together in the water after furiously quacking in the air. Their nest was probably on the ground on the other side of the river where there is less human activity. The other side of the river had a lot of marsh vegetation that would hide their nests well. It’s also probably a good place to easily pull pieces of shallow-root vegetation out of the ground without having he female having to leave her nest. I highly suggest this spot to anyone who wants to see a lot of birds and a diversity of great habitat!

Link to Mini Activity: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1qXdxtzLac7U49LNu6LZ-xLwENv_bm8dV0QoCDrUVzqY/edit

Publicado em 22 de abril de 2020, 06:37 PM por nlay4185 nlay4185 | 12 observações | 0 comentários | Deixar um comentário

15 de abril de 2020

Field Journal 6: Observations

April 15th, 2020
45 degrees Fahrenheit and partly cloudy
Wind direction: Northeast
Habitat: forest that passes near a river with many Eastern Cottonwoods, Boxelders, and different species of Maples. Shrubby dense habitat near the trail and marsh habitat closer to the floodplain areas.

1 Mourning Doves
1 Belted Kingfishers
4 Tufted Titmouses
1 Hairy Woodpeckers
2 Song Sparrows
12 Black-capped Chickadees

Publicado em 15 de abril de 2020, 11:52 PM por nlay4185 nlay4185 | 6 observações | 0 comentários | Deixar um comentário

08 de abril de 2020

Field Journal 5: Migration

Location: Green Mountain Audobon Center in Huntington, VT
Day: 4/7/20, 1:40-3:30pm
Partly cloudy, 53°F, subtle wind

• 1 Winter Wren
• 3 American Robins
• 12 Black-capped Chickadees
• 1 Blue Jay
• 1 Canada Goose (nesting!)
• 1 Red-winged Blackbird

I had never been to the Audobon Center before and yesterday’s beautiful weather seemed like a perfect opportunity to go. When I pulled into the parking lot, I was overwhelmed by the loud calls of Spring Peepers in Beaver Pond. Around the marsh I could hear the songs of Red-winged Blackbirds, one of Vermont’s famous facultative migrants. Red-winged Blackbirds are short-distance migrants who only travel about 800 miles south in the winter. Males arrive early in the spring and females join them later. The females then build their nests in marsh vegetation. The males will sing on high perches to attract females. The other day I saw a male desperately singing on top of a tree. I later saw a female sitting in a lower shrubby area by the water. I couldn’t tell whether she was impressed by his song.
Another facultative migrant species I saw was the American Robin. I started seeing these guys almost two months ago feeding on berries, but yesterday I saw a Robin tussling with a caterpillar—another sure sign of spring! These birds are year-round residents, but some of them are probably also arriving in VT from the southern United States. As the weather warms up in Vermont, American Robins are probably driven by the abundance of worms, caterpillars, and other invertebrates.

As usual, I saw a bunch of Black-capped Chickadees. Some were doing their mating calls in trees where I couldn’t see them, but most of them were hopping around the shrubs and feeding on berries. Staghorn Sumac seems to be a favorite, I just hope they develop the mental capacity to stay away from Common Buckthorn.

Unfortunately, I did not see any obligate migrants. I decided to do some research on the Scarlet Tanager, a bird that apparently dwells in the forest protected by the Audobon Society where I was doing my bird-walk. This bird that travels across the Gulf of Mexico to winter in South America. The individuals who migrate furthest arrive at their breeding grounds later than the ones who migrate further north on the continent. According to Google Earth, a Scarlet Tanager that travels in a straight line from northern Vermont to Ushuaia, Argentina, flies almost 7000 miles. The birds that go further south migrate north in synchronized bursts rather than all at once. They also migrate mostly at night. I wonder what their main orientation method is. They probably move at night to avoid predators because their bright, colorful feathers make them stick out. The American Bird Conservancy calls them “the guardians of the oaks” because they travel through the treetops of tall, deciduous trees (especially oaks).

Publicado em 08 de abril de 2020, 06:36 PM por nlay4185 nlay4185 | 6 observações | 0 comentários | Deixar um comentário

25 de março de 2020

Field Journal 4: Social Behavior and Phenology

March 24th, 2020
9:30-11am
Burlington, VT
34 degrees Fahrenheit and cloudy

I started my walk on Pine Place. I walked up Pine Place, turned right on St. Paul St, and did a loop by walking down Howard St and making my way back to Pine Place via Pine Street. Starting at Pine Place, I saw four Ring-billed Gulls flying above the neighborhood. As the days have gotten longer and warmer, I have seen many more gulls in Burlington. About a month and a half ago I barely saw any. They squawked at each other in the air. Throughout my walk, the other Ring-billed gulls squawked predictably, even if they were flying solo. To me, all gull squawking sounds the same, but I wonder if what the solo bird is communicating is a different message than that of the birds flying together in a group. Total gulls that day = 10.

I saw a male and female Northern Cardinal in the same shrub. They were a respectful distance apart, but they were still definitely communicating. They chirped at each other and the female bobbed her tail. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology website says that males and females are seen in pairs during the breeding season, but that they stay in flocks during the fall and winter. What strikes me most in cardinals is the male’s brilliant red color that is easily visible, even in dense vegetation. According to the Farmer’s Almanac, male cardinals’ red color attracts females, but what puzzles me is the trade-off between being attractive and being vulnerable to predators. How do these birds find balance between breeding success and survival? Total Northern Cardinals = 3.

When I walked down Howard Street, I saw 6 Rock Pigeons perched on a wire above some houses. Some were facing towards the wind and others were facing away from the wind. They were all approximately six inches apart. They were silent and minding their own business. Some of them preened while others seemed to just be hanging out. They all had their feathers puffed out, so I assume it was a bit chilly up there. Total Rock pigeons = 7.

When I walked down Pine St, I made a stop at Myer’s bagels. Behind their parking lot is a pond surrounded by vegetation, so I thought I’d take a look. A group of European Starlings perched together on a large tree. They were also uniformly spaced and called to each other in a variety of different sounds. They would talk for a while and then fly to a different tree. I also noticed that they didn’t appear as bright and speckled as they did a month ago. Does this mean they are getting ready to breed? Total Starlings = 14.

I heard a bunch of Red-winged Blackbirds by the water but I did not see any. They could have been females picking up pieces of aquatic plants to build their nests for the breeding season. Each call was about five seconds apart. The calls were not fast or urgent sounding, so I assume it was just their normal communication. Total Red-winged blackbirds is unknown.

By the water I also briefly saw an American Robin flying above the water. Total Robins = 1.

I made some spishing sounds on my walk but surprisingly did not see any Chickadees or Sparrows.

Publicado em 25 de março de 2020, 03:55 PM por nlay4185 nlay4185 | 6 observações | 0 comentários | Deixar um comentário

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