10 de mayo de 2021

FJ8: Jack Wallace Burlington Waterfront

Date - May 9, 2021
Start time - 5:12 PM
End time - 6:40 PM
Location - Burlington Waterfront
Weather (temperature, wind speed/direction, precipitation) - 50-57 Degrees F, Partly cloudy, swirling winds 2-5 knots.
Habitat(s) - Combination of many diverse habitats. The area of the waterfront hosts marsh, woods, grassland, beach, and fresh water habitats.

Ingresado el 10 de mayo de 2021 por jwally325 jwally325 | 8 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

26 de abril de 2021

FJ7: Reproductive Ecology and Evolution - Jack Wallace

Date - April 24, 2021
Start time -4:00 PM
End time -6:00 PM
Location -North Beach Park Burlington, VT
Weather (temperature, wind speed/direction, precipitation) - Partly Cloudy, 0-3 knots of wind W/NW, 55-60 Degrease F
Habitat(s) -Waterfront beach, grassy field, marsh, small forest.

When we arrived to North Beach the sun had started to go behind the clouds however it still remained very bright out. There was no wind and the lake was perfectly flat. Walking down the path to the beach American Robins were scattered all over the grass. They would hop around a little, pick at the grass and eventually fly away with something in their mouth. Walking a little farther we reached the wooded part of the park near the playground. When walking in there we saw a bird fly across our path and land on a tree branch. After walking around to get a better look we realized it was a Downy Woodpecker. It let us get surprisingly close as it hopped up and down the tree limb before flying off. On the other side of the woods is the marsh part of the park. Right when we got there the only bird call I kept hearing was that of the Red-winged Blackbird. Sitting on the tops of Cattails were about 8-10 Red-winged Blackbird that would make their call, fly off to the edge of the woods, and then after a while back to the Cattail. Additionally we were able to see a large Turkey Vulture hanging in the thermals above the park. We watched it do a few circles before we realized it had 2 American Crows flying after it. They seemed to be trading off diving down on it but oddly enough the Vulture seemed unfazed.

All of the Red-winged Blackbirds appeared to be nesting together in the relatively small patch of marsh. Red-winged Blackbirds keep their nests close to the ground/water, so it seemed like the males for each nest stayed on the top of the cattail above their nest in order to protect their eggs. Their calls seemed to just be a general warning that they where there to protect their nest. The Females were not visible since they tend to jump around closer to the ground in the marsh grass. In contrast to the Red-winged Blackbird, the American Robin seemed to be more comfortable leaving its nest. The Robin prefers nesting off the ground and because of that they need to bring nesting material to their preferred location in a tree. That is what we were witnessing, the Robins were picking through the grass for dry strong pieces of grass to weave into a nest.

Ingresado el 26 de abril de 2021 por jwally325 jwally325 | 5 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

19 de abril de 2021

Jack Wallace Field Journal 6 - Red Rocks Park

Date: April 18, 2021
Start Time: 4:30 - 5:45 PM
Weather: 54 Degrees F and partly cloudy clearing up later in the day
Location: Red Rocks Park, Burlington VT
Habitat: Hilly forest with rock cliff coast. Mainly shaded with lots moss environments.

Ingresado el 19 de abril de 2021 por jwally325 jwally325 | 4 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

05 de abril de 2021

Jack Wallace Field Observation: Migration 04/04/2021

Location: Centennial Woods Natural Area South Burlington, VT
Time: 1:15- 2:45 PM
Date: Sunday, April 4th
Temperature: 52-54 Degrees F
Weather: Partly cloudy

Wind: 10 mph - 15 mph
Habitat: Mix of hilled forest and flat wetlands

Upon arrival to the woods the first bird I heard and recognized was the Black-capped Chickadee. It seems that every time I do one of these field journals no matter the time of day or year, I am able to see or hear the Black-capped Chickadee. When observing them during the day, they are constantly moving from branch to branch foraging for small berries and whatever else they can find. There ability to forage defiantly contributes to their winter survival. In addition to this, I learned that they are very effective at lowering their body temperature at night which helps them conserve heat energy. This is another very important adaptation that contributes to their winter success.

I was lucky enough to spot an American Goldfinch during my time in the woods. I was surprised to see it, because usually at my home in Connecticut I don't see them until mid spring/summer. Because of this I figured they migrated farther south during the winter, but when I did some research today I was surprised to find that their yearly range goes into southern Canada! From what I have read, it seems that the Goldfinch follows a facultative migration pattern where they migrate depending on the food availability in their range. Because of this, they can migrate north of their range were people have seen them in northern Ontario. The Goldfinch I saw was a male due to its bright yellow pattern. Goldfinches are one of the latest nesters in the area and this could have attributed to why I saw a male out and about.

Unfortunately, I did not encounter any birds who's wintering range doesn't cover Northern VT. In order to do the mini activity, I focused on the American Goldfinch, which can commonly be found wintering in Florida as well as Vermont. Because of this, the Goldfinch I saw could possibly have flown 1,750 miles from southern Florida all the way to Burlington for the spring!

Ingresado el 05 de abril de 2021 por jwally325 jwally325 | 3 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

22 de marzo de 2021

Jack Wallace FJ4 - Oakledge Park

Location: Oakledge Park Burlington, VT
Time: 2:15- 3:45 PM
Date: Sunday, March 20th
Temperature: 56 Degrees F
Weather: Sunny and clear
Wind: 0-2 mph
Habitat: Rocky coast lined with mostly evergreen forest. Many of the rocks were covered with ice.

For this Field Journal, I decided to go down to the lake to observe some of the aquatic bird species in the are. Coming from Connecticut, I am always surprised to find seagulls in the mountains of Vermont, but I was happy to be able to watch about 18 Ring-billed Gulls as they flew around the coast. There seemed to be three things the Gulls would do. There was a group floating in the water about 20 yards from shore, there were a few standing on the rocks, and then a few flying around. I was interested in what they would do when they made their classic seagull call/scream. It seemed apperent that the gulls that were flying up and down the coast scavenging for food would land once going up and down. After landing they would start to make their call which then followed by the other Gulls on the rocks making the same call in return. It almost seemed like a call to let them all know where they were in relation to each other. I theorized that this could either be for territorial reasons, or as a way to regroup. At the park we witnessed a few people throwing food at the Ring-billed Gulls. I found it interesting that these birds were flexible enough to change their foraging behavior to match human time schedule when benificial. In addition to the Gulls, I also spotted one Common Loon. I was very excited to see this bird since it is pretty rare due to their relatively low numbers. At first glance I thought it was either a Double-crested Cormorant or a Wood Duck, but after seeing a white patch on its chest and seeing it dive, I concluded that it must have been a Loon. It's interesting that two birds like the Ring-billed Gull and the Common Loon could share the same environment yet have completely different colors. I think the reason for this can be attributed to their hunting methods. Ring-billed Gulls dive down on fish and other sea creatures, and the Common Loon dives in the water and catches food by swimming. It would be favorable from he underside of the Ring-billed Gull to be white because the bright white would blend in with the glare on the surface of the water and the sun behind them. This would help them to not scare away pray that is just under the surface. For the Common Loon, it makes sense that it would want to be black with oily and glossy feathers. These feathers would act as waterproof material, and the dark coloring would blend in the the darkness of the water.

Surprisingly I did not come across any small foraging birds such as the Black-capped Chickadee during I time there. My main focus was watching the water birds, but when walking back through the woods part I didn't notice any birds. Because of this I couldn't try out the "pish" call, however one of my friends does a really good seagull call. Jokingly, we called at the seagulls and were surprised to find many starting to fly over and walk closer to us. I wonder if the call actually worked or if they were just curious/confused.

Ingresado el 22 de marzo de 2021 por jwally325 jwally325 | 3 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

08 de marzo de 2021

Jack Wallace FJ3 - Centennial Woods Natural Area

Location: Centennial Woods Natural Area South Burlington, VT
Time: 4:15- 5:45 PM
Date: Sunday, March 7th
Temperature: 25-30 Degrees F
Weather: Sunny and clear
Wind: 5 mph
Habitat: Mix of hilled forest and flat wetlands

During this journal exercise, I was able to spot numerous species of birds. The first bird I saw was the Northern Cardinal. When I first spotted them, both birds (M+F) were roosting together inside of a pretty thick bush. This could have been to help retain body heat. By staying together in thick brush cover, this could have possibly helped to keep both of them warmer. Unfortunately while moving around to get a better look, both of the birds took off.

Because of my timing, the sun was going down and I think this attributed to the lack of birds that I could see. When we first arrived and were walking on the east side of the woods, we could see birds like the Black-capped Chickadee and the two Northern Cardinals, however as the sun continued to go down we saw less birds and heard less calls and songs. Looking over to the west part of the forest, I realized that the sun was still illuminating the tops of the trees over there. We walked over to see if more birds would be in the sunlight and sure enough on that side the forest was full of bird calls and songs. Almost all of them were in the tops of the trees and for the most part standing still. Because of this, I think the birds were soaking up the last bit of warmth from the sun to reserve energy for the cold night ahead. Throughout this time, the occasional flock of 2-4 crows would fly over heading North. This is due to an adaptation of American Crows to roost together in a big flock to help retain body heat and reserve energy.

While walking around looking for more birds, I made sure to be aware of dead snags and the holes that were in them. After watching a small Brown-headed Nuthatch peck its way up the skinnier branches, I attributed he small surface holes in the bark to these birds. I found it apparent that the older/more dead looking snags had the larger cavities in them. This could be attributed to the softer nature of the wood which would make It easier for birds to peck out a hole in search of bugs, or a hole to make a home out of. The tinier holes were always found in the more lively part of a dying tree, or just a hanging branch from a fully alive tree.

When walking up the hill on the west side of the forest, I noticed many small red berries scattered in the snow. Most of them were directly under the tree that they came from, but all of them has been opened up and the branches were way too delicate to support and bird larger than a Black-capped Chickadee. In these patches of opened berries I found the tracks of a Ruffled Grouse. It seemed that this bird was scavenging the ground for berries picked off by smaller birds. This is defiantly a seasonal attribute for these birds when food is scarce in the winter.

Over all this was a pretty successful period of observation even without the use of binoculars. Next journal I will go out much earlier in the day and I hope to see more activity below the canopy.

Ingresado el 08 de marzo de 2021 por jwally325 jwally325 | 7 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

23 de febrero de 2021

Jack Wallace Field Journal 2 From Inside COVID Isolation

Date: February 21, 2021
Start Time: 1:45 PM
End Time: 3:30 PM
Location: Trinity Campus Cottages
Weather: 25 degrees F, partly cloudy, Wind - NW 9 mph
Habitat: Suburban area

In light of being limited to the view from my window, I was able to see some American Crows fly by as well as hear and identify the call of the House Sparrow and Northern Cardinal. The Crows were traveling in a group of 5, flying east to west. It makes sense that these birds would be together in the wintertime due to the fact that the American Crow tends to congregate in colder months to roost together in order to provide heat to each other. The House Sparrows sounded to be right under my window, however the brown coloring provided perfect camoflage in the bush that they seemed to be in. From sitting in my room I heard the distinct laser gun sounding call from a Northern Cardinal. I was not able to locate this bird from my location.

Because the American Crow was the only bird I was able to see flying during my observation, I was only able to watch its flight patterns. From the short time I saw them, it seemed apparent that they followed a pretty steady and direct pattern by continuously flapping their wings up and down. From past experience, this pattern is similar to that of the Canadian Geese that I see often in my backyard in CT. This style of flying could be attributed to the fact that much like Canadian Geese, the American Crow can and will fly great distances and can be considered partially migratory.

Even though I was limited to my view from my window, I expected to see more bids than I actually did. I think this can be attributed to the change in weather. Snow has been forecasted for the coming days and many species of animal can sense the dip in atmospheric pressure which signals these events. I think the lack of wildlife could be caused by animals sensing and preparing for the cold, stormy weather. Overall, I will hopefully have better luck once I can go to the forest for the next journal!

Ingresado el 23 de febrero de 2021 por jwally325 jwally325 | 3 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

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