Archivos de diario de febrero 2021

21 de febrero de 2021

Field Journal #2

Start Time: 3:30PM
Ended: 5:00PM
Temperature: 25°C
Weather: On and off light snowfall, slight wind, sunny
Habitat: Rural area, Temperate forest, lawn edge

When the observation began there was little to no snowfall and one dozen Black-capped Chickadees were flying to the three bird feeders filled with black sunflower seeds. Early on a Tufted Titmouse and a White-breasted Nuthatch were spotted one time each and were not seen again. Once taking seeds the Chickadees would return to their perch which was in either a maple tree at the outskirts of the yard or a hydrangea bush. Their calling could be heard from all throughout the yard as well as the flapping of their wings.

Despite being so small the Chickadees wings could be heard clearly. There was sufficient spacing between the primary wings, which I thought were elliptical, meaning that there was a good deal of drag. For the temperate, young growth forest that they were found in this style of wing seems extremely practical since they are able to maneuver easily through branches. Although they were not traveling a long distance their wings moved in a few short bursts followed by them gliding to the feeder. On the Chickadees underside there were a lot of light brown down feathers.

At 4:00 the snowfall became heavier and larger snowflakes were observed, in turn there were no birds seen for the last hour of the observation. At 4:10 an unidentified owl call came from the woods which I was unable to capture. I was unsure if this was the true reason there were no birds seen. Around 4:20 a faint American Crow call could be heard from within the woods.

Field Journal Sketch:

Ingresado el 21 de febrero de 2021 por anniee10 anniee10 | 4 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

28 de febrero de 2021

Field Journal #3

Date: 02/26/2021
Start Time: 12:45 PM
End Time: 2:20
Weather: 28°F, sunny, no clouds, slight wind
Location: Knapp Pond Pond 1
Habitats: Deciduous forest, rural lawn with feeder

Many of the birds that were observed looked round and fluffy. Being outside in the cold Vermont months they seemed to have put on more feathers or maybe gained a little weight. The many Black-capped Chickadees that were flying in the woods were a great example of being round, fuzzy creatures. Looking closely at their bellies revealed a fluffy layer of down feathers. This trait was also seen in the white bellies of Downy Woodpeckers. Not far into the woods, the faint sound of a woodpecker could be heard and when it was found high up in an old pine it seemed to be preening its fluffy front. Unsurprisingly the use of feathers as insulation was used a lot, as it would seem impossible to be living in Vermont without a winter coat.
Nearly every time a Chickadee was viewed they were eating. In the yard where the hike began, dozens of Chickadees swooped in from their tree perches to the feeders. There was never a time where the feeders were empty, even when I was just a few feet away. Always in motion, these birds were flying from branch to branch, where they would perch and peck at whatever they had found. Deep in the woods a Black-capped Chickadee was observed high up in a snag taking insects from a gap of nearly 10”, after having found something within the gap it would return to a branch just outside where it enjoyed its meal. The Nuthatch, Chickadee, and the Woodpecker, seemed to all have been well adapted to find food in these harsh months. The Nuthatches had slender beaks and the ability to hang upside down, they would constantly be running up and down the trunks of trees. The Chickadees took advantage of being small enough to go inside of crevices to feed, and the Woodpecker utilized its long and slender beak to drill holes into trees where the insects were.
Continuing on my hike this pattern of constant motion and foraging seemed to be used by all of the observed species including the Blue Jays who constantly were moving from tree to tree. Having been hiking during the time of day where the sun is most prominent this constant movement and feeding tactic seemed to be logical. It was the peak temperature of the day, a whopping 28°F and all the birds seemed to be taking advantage of it.
Being winter many of the species I observed seemed to be taking advantage of the feeders left out by people. In fact, I only saw Mourning Doves and the Tufted Titmouse when walking near the road by feeders. Deep in the woods where no sunflower seeds were in sight there were birds like the Chickadee, Nuthatches, and Downy Woodpecker. These birds could be found clinging to the many dying trees. Hundreds of little holes were spotted throughout the hike, ranging from 6” to just a few millimeters. Two chickadees were seen hanging around an old crab apple tree that had 3 prominent gaps in it. Having learned that many of Vermont’s bird species that stay with us all year round are burrowers I thought perhaps it was their home. During my hike I decided to poke into two cavities of around 3” in diameter on an old tree where I thought a little creature might live. It was late into the hike, around 2:00 PM, and no one was home. Since the sun was still shining bright I figured, if it even was inhabited, whatever lived there was out and about foraging for food before it became too cold like the rest of the species I had observed. There would have been many good homes to burrowing species that were seen on the hike since there were many snags with large holes, perhaps created by a Pileated Woodpecker though some seemed to just be rot, which would have provided shelter from the snow, wind, and the cold VT temperatures.

Ingresado el 28 de febrero de 2021 por anniee10 anniee10 | 7 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario