Archivos de diario de abril 2021

08 de abril de 2021

Field Journal #6

Date: 04/08/2021
Location: Woodstock, VT
Start time: 12:00
End time: 1:30
Temperature: 66°F
Weather: sunny
Habitat: temperate deciduous forest

I wasn't planning on bird watching today but I am very glad I did. This was my first ever sighting of a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker! I almost couldn't believe my eyes when I realized what I was looking at. To be completely honest only a few years ago I thought they were myths- I'm glad they are not!

Ingresado el 08 de abril de 2021 por anniee10 anniee10 | 6 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

05 de abril de 2021

Field Journal #5

Date: 05/04/2021
Start Time: 1:30 PM
End Time: 3:15 PM
Temperature: 52°F
Weather: Sunny and breezy
Habitats: Temperate deciduous forest, swamp, pond, rural feeders

Walking out into the woods I was surprised to see less birds soaring through the trees than I had before. The snow was nearly gone, and due to the warm weather I was hopeful to see birds who had not been around for the winter months. Unsurprisingly there were many Black-capped Chickadees as there had been in every visit to the woods. Dominating the area with their many homes I realized that maybe the reason I was not seeing new birds was because the Chickadees left few territories for migrant birds to find in the Spring. The Chickadees, who eat seeds and fruits in the winter, are able to stay put all year round and have a well-established territory which they seemed to be maintaining throughout the breeding season. With their short little beaks, they are able to crack into seeds unlike those who feed primarily on insects, allowing them to stay with us even when there are few bugs out. As I had realized in a previous journal, the area where I observe birds has many snags which provide home for these cavity nesters who hide from the cold winters inside them. I was also able to see two more year-round species including a Song Sparrow and Red-breasted Nuthatch and also heard the call of a Blue Jay and Mourning Dove. Both the Mourning Dove and Song Sparrow seemed to take advantage of the many pines and shrubs that were in the woods and alongside the water which provided shelter during the winter. The Nuthatches, similar to the Chickadees utilized snags and were also one of the most common birds I saw. Interestingly, all of these birds had beaks that enabled them to eat seeds and fruits which leads me to believe it is a necessary trait for birds who winter in Vermont, not including raptors.

Despite having seen many Canada Geese flying back these past weeks and even Mallards and Mergansers in the water alongside roads, I was unable to see any migrants at the ponds. I quickly realized once I reached the ponds that there was still a layer of ice covering them, leaving no open water for these birds to hunt in. The one facultative migrant I was able to see on my hike was the American Robin. Four of them were bobbing around looking for food on the muddy grounds that had recently been uncovered from snow. Knowing that Robins love worms, it makes sense that I was unable to see them until recently since the ground had been frozen and covered. Having looked at a map showing the range of Robins it looks as if that these birds could have come all the way from Florida. It seems that the robins take advantage of the newly arrived food source of worms unlike the year-round birds and are able to create shelter from the new Spring growth as well as mud which is used in their nests. As to why these birds leave Florida, I am not completely sure, but I am guessing that competing for territories down South during the breeding season might not pay off for these birds. Since the Robins did leave Vermont though, they may have a hard time finding a territory free from the Chickadees and Nuthatches, but these ones seemed plump and happy from what I could tell.

Although I only saw one migratory bird species during my observation, I calculated that the four Robins would have traveled 1,140 miles each assuming they all spent their winters in Florida. This means that the overall distance traveled by migrant birds I saw was 4,560 miles. How impressive!

Ingresado el 05 de abril de 2021 por anniee10 anniee10 | 6 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

25 de abril de 2021

Field Journal #7

Date: April 24, 2021
Start time: 2:00 PM
End time: 4:00 PM
Location: Knapp Pond 1 & 2, temperate deciduous forest
Weather: Partly cloudy
Temperature: 64°F

The majority of the behaviors I could observe while birding were auditory. Of the cues I heard, the dominant call and song was that of the Black-capped Chickadees. While watching four White-throated Sparrows hopping around only a few feet away from me I was able to watch some territorial defense. One of the sparrows had made a quick movement which prompted another to loudly sing in response, it was the only time I saw a male bird defend its personal territory. As I continued watching I realized one of the sparrows had retreated into a Rhododendron bush. Knowing they will put their nests on the ground I searched within the bush but was unable to find anything. I pondered whether or not their possible nesting site was a good one: it was in the middle of a yard, food was close by, and there was just enough leaf coverage. Knowing the woods across the yard was dominated by Chickadees from earlier in the year, I came to the conclusion this was the best the sparrow could get since it didn't stay all year round. Why else would it remain in a high traffic area? In contrast to that possible ground nest, I was able to spot a nest in the woods which was placed high-up in a pine tree and was maybe 1.5 feet in diameter. Which bird it belonged to I was unable to figure out. It looked as if it were made of small sticks and perhaps straw. These materials were both located around the ponds which were 30 yards away and within the woods where the pine stood. Although I tried I was unable to find any of the Chickadee nests despite there being so many individuals. I recall that unlike the White-throated Sparrows that Chickadees were cavity nesters. Although I didn't see any of the birds within their cavities I could hear them singing around the woods. Due to there being an immense amount of dense forest around the area it was hard for me to believe that any of the Chickadees ended up with horrible nesting sites, but maybe if I asked them I would come to a different conclusion. Regarding fitness I was never truly able to compare two birds within a species. There was a time where I thought I saw one of the four White-throated Sparrows retreat into a kiwi vine which was much denser than the rhododendron bush, leading me to believe that if those were the nesting areas of the sparrows that the one in the kiwi shrub was more fit. The reason I say this is due to the kiwi shrub having more coverage and therefore protection compared to the other sparrows nest. I figure that if one of the sparrows was stronger it would have fought and won over the best nesting site.

Sound map link:

Ingresado el 25 de abril de 2021 por anniee10 anniee10 | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario