מאי 01, 2023

Post-Rain Centennial

Field Journal #8
5/1 2:00-3:00
50 F Sunny - Post-rain
Suburban Woods, streamside, parking lot edge

Rain had stopped just a couple hours prior. Heard lots of species enjoying the sun and I could not get close enough for any photographs with my crappy camera. It was cool to see some firsts like a Brown-headed Cowbird and Carolina Wren. Merlin Sound ID really helped out a lot this time. I was pondering how bird's activity level changes during periods of heavy rain like we experienced earlier today.

Posted on מאי 01, 2023 07:02 אחה"צ by dalybrian8 dalybrian8 | 8 תצפיות | 0 תגובות | הוספת תגובה

אפריל 23, 2023

Golf Course/Bio Research Complex Birding

Field Journal #7
4/16 9:00-11:00
55 F Overcast - Post-rain
Open Field/ Forest Edge
For this field journal I was surprised by the amount of bird activity in the location, so I knew I had to begin recording data. I was in a field by the Bio Research Complex on Spear st. adjacent to the golf course. I happened to be there for a geology lab, but we were being quiet and we were on site for long enough that it mad sense to do the journal.
Birds had been calling the whole time since we got there. I noticed Black-capped Chickadees and American Robins along the field edge and they were constantly calling. A typical pair of Canada Geese flew by from the golf course and I had my first Red-winged Blackbird sighting as it flew quickly across the field from edge to edge. This forest edge habitat was perfect for species wanting open space but also some thicket for homes and food. Being adjacent to the golf course also provided more open space.
One thing that mad me want to start recording was when I notice two large birds across the field. As time went on I noticed they were building a nest on top of a platform. For a long time I was deciding between which kind of hawk I thought it was, but a classmate told us they were actually Osprey. These birds were soaring around and bringing sticks up to the platform for the nest. After some time our presence didn't seem to bother them, but I could tell they were watching us.
This nesting platform provided them with a great spot to watch their surroundings. It didn't offer much protection, but those birds are probably pretty secure as the top of the avian food chain. The other birds I saw would likely be nesting in the lower brush or in trees where they were more protected from other parties. These nests consisted of small twigs and grasses that could have been found close by, but the Osprey nest had larger sticks and fibers from farther away. I saw the bird carrying materials in from ways away.
For the sound map activity I noticed that the birds were mostly concentrated along those edges where they might be looking for a mate or protecting/building a nest. To indicate the bird song I started a line and tried to move up and down with how the song went. For example, a Black-capped Chickadee made a line looking like this ^.

Posted on אפריל 23, 2023 06:56 אחה"צ by dalybrian8 dalybrian8 | 6 תצפיות | 0 תגובות | הוספת תגובה

אפריל 18, 2023

First Time at Niquette Bay

Field Journal #6
4/16 2:00-3:30
71 F Sunny
Inland forest and lake shore forest.

When I spotted two turkey vultures soaring above with a third, white bird with high-speed looking wings. After some research I determined it looked like a tern from below but it was only a bit smaller than the vultures. Definitely could've been a Peregrine Falcon, but I didn't think it would be out over the parking area away from cliffs or rock habitats. It could have been tracking the same prey as the vultures.

Posted on אפריל 18, 2023 03:49 לפנה"צ by dalybrian8 dalybrian8 | 4 תצפיות | 0 תגובות | הוספת תגובה

מרץ 30, 2023

Intervale Bird Excursion

Field Journal #5
11:20am-12:10pm Intervale Trails/Winooski River
Partly Cloudy, 37 degrees
Riverside woods habitat

For this bird walk at the Intervale I was expecting to see lots of bird species and have a lot of cool sightings to report. Unfortunately many of my sightings were very common. I parked my bike at one of the Intervale Trailheads and began walking to the river via trail. Immediately there were lots of chickadees flying around me and getting spooked from the bushes. There were also some songs that I did not recognize before I got to the shore. I found a log to sit on for a minute by the river and I waited for any movement. The river happened to be extremely quiet so I just decided to keep walking. I was expecting to see kingfishers because I had seen them there before.

As I continued along the trail I heard many songs and saw more birds. I observed a woodpecker which I assumed to be downy, because of its small silhouette, directly above me in a tree but I failed to get a good picture. I also heard the distinctive descending tone of a Northern cardinal and followed the sound to see the bird on a branch far away. These pictures also turned out very poor. As I continued on I kept hearing the same sounds and as I walked the trail I saw a flash of red a few yards ahead of me and realized the cardinal had followed me. I also heard geese above and later spotted them on a sand bar in the river. Once by the shore a pair of mallard ducks floated by and promptly flew away when I tried to get closer. On the way out robins were darting in and out of the brush alongside the dirt road.

American Robins and Geese are the farthest migrators I was able to see. Both species can sometimes be found year round in Vermont. Their wintering zones are both not too much farther south. I would estimate that in total the species had traveled 400 miles to get back to their summer zone. Many of the species that stay in VT year round such as the chickadee and woodpeckers are very active during the winter. They have small bodies which don't require much energy, they have very good insulation and they are very good at finding food. These adaptations give them a leg up on larger species that need to follow their food.

Posted on מרץ 30, 2023 03:14 לפנה"צ by dalybrian8 dalybrian8 | 6 תצפיות | 0 תגובות | הוספת תגובה

מרץ 25, 2023

Last Day of Spring Break Birdwalk

Field Journal #4
4:20-5:30pm Centennial Woods
Partly Cloudy, 26 degrees
Streamside woods habitat

I set out for Centennial Woods this past Sunday and got to the entrance closest to campus at 4:20. I carefully walked down an iced over path to get to an open, sunny spot where I had seen birds before. I packed a sandwich and I was hoping to find a log or rock to sit on with a view of good perching branches above the brook. As I started down the hill towards the brook, I heard many birds and saw some bouncing around the area. As I crunched through the snow many fled the area. I crossed the water and turned a corner to go to the other side of the clearing when I spied a tree well with many American Robins picking at the exposed ground. As I got closer with my camera they unfortunately flew away. I estimate that there were about 6 in the small space underneath the tree.

I continued on the path and found a perfect log at the base of the hill. I put my bag down and sat. Many of the birds that were in the area had left when I approached so the area was pretty quiet for a bit. Soon some woodpeckers were active looking for food high up in the trees above me. While I was sitting in the quiet I tested out the psssshh sound to no avail. I also tried making the sound when a Black-capped Chickadee was nearby but I noticed no change in behavior. I could see how the sound could mimic another sound associated with food or a mate. This is often how calling turkeys or game birds works. The quiet was disturbed by a dog that barked at me all the way down the hill until its owner came close to me. After this I moved to find a better area that wasn't just disturbed.

I walked up the hill and found a few birds moving around. As I came around one corner I found a puffy black and white bird on a sideways tree. It puzzled me because it looked like a woodpecker but was missing a red patch and was very round. I didn't realize until later on that it was likely a female Hairy Woodpecker. After watching this bird for a bit I kept moving through the woods until I reached a different exit. I then began walking up the hill and I spotted a herring gull in a parking lot. I would have tried to take a picture but it was moving a lot and my camera had trouble capturing a stationary bird that was only 10 yards from me. I also saw a large group of robins darting across the road and perching in different trees above me. I caught one cool picture of a perched robin and one in flight next to it.

On this excursion I noticed many birds were focusing on searching for food. This was most obvious with the first batch of robins in the tree well. Likely, that area of ground was the first to melt and they were finally able to reach the ground, where robins often search for food. Robins are often associated with the first days of spring and these birds embodied that. There were at least 5 robins in the same square meter ravaging the ground searching for grub. I assume they were trying to stock up as much as possible after a long winter with less food availability. When I saw the puffy woodpecker I guessed that it may have been stocking up food for laying eggs or the remaining cold days. The female plumage definitely is harder to pick out than a white, red, and black male.

Posted on מרץ 25, 2023 03:49 לפנה"צ by dalybrian8 dalybrian8 | 5 תצפיות | 0 תגובות | הוספת תגובה