FJ3-Field Observation: Ecological Physiology

Date: March 2nd, 2023
Start Time: 4:00pm
End Time: 5:00pm
Location: Oakledge Park, South End, Burlington VT
Weather: 34 Fahrenheit, Light snow, mostly cloudy, Northwest wind (11.18 mph)
Habitat: Mixed Forest, lake shoreline

Birding can be very engaging most of the time, however there are many instances when you take a walk and not see much activity at all. This birding walk that I conducted for journal entry three seemed to be one of those instances.
Oakledge park was my point of interest for this walk. The precipitation was slight to moderate snow with the sky being mostly cloudy, and it was relatively chilly since I was right on the shoreline of Lake Champlain. Much of my time was spent more inland where the mixed forest grew increasingly denser, however I did not observe a single bird while in this location. As I moved out of the woods and into a clearing, I noticed a small sign indicating a wetland restoration project in progress. Specifically, the restoration involved a “no mow zone” approach combined with over 1,000 bird friendly plantings. Bird friendly species that were planted include native Serviceberry, Black Willow, Red Maple, and Gray Birch. I was under the assumption that I would observe a bird in this area for sure, though my hopes were not met. It was not until my walk out of the woods when I had my first birding observation, as I looked up into the sky and noticed a murder of American Crows all flying together. There seemed to be at least a dozen of these crows although it was hard to be accurate is it was nearing dusk and there were so many. Nevertheless, all of these crows were following the same flight pattern
Seeing all these crows together as the sun was going down made me wonder if they were all one big family heading home for the night. I have learned that these flocks of crows do come together and roost up in trees at night for a specific reason, to retain body heat as a group. Another reason for these communal groups is to provide protection from predators as there is strength in numbers. However, each morning as the temperature warms, these crows leave the roost and fly in their own direction as they forage for food. Diet of American Crows in the winter consists of grain, seeds, nuts, animal carcasses, and even garbage from humans. While on my walk, I did make several notes of where I located snags and their relative cavity sizes. Unfortunately, as I banged on a few different snags with these cavities, it appeared as if nobody was home. However, it is known that these snag cavities are crucial nesting spots for species such as Pileated or Downy Woodpeckers or Sapsuckers. Snags and cavities also attract many species of insects which have a huge role in the diet of said woodpeckers.

Publicado el marzo 4, 2023 01:17 MAÑANA por lukelombardo lukelombardo


Fotos / Sonidos


Cuervo Norteamericano (Corvus brachyrhynchos)




Marzo 2, 2023


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