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.

Publicado por jwally325 jwally325, 22 de marzo de 2021

Observaciones

Fotos / Sonidos

Qué

Gaviota Pico Anillado Larus delawarensis

Observ.

jwally325

Fecha

Marzo 20, 2021

Descripción

There were many Ring-billed Gulls that we observed during our time here. Most of them were floating in the water about 20 yards from shore, but many were also flying over the coast and landing on the rocks/ice.

Fotos / Sonidos

Square

Qué

Cuervo Norteamericano Corvus brachyrhynchos

Observ.

jwally325

Fecha

Marzo 20, 2021

Descripción

I expected to see more Crows this time since all other times it has been the most abundant bird I observed, however the entire time we were at the water we only saw one crow flying towards the city. The picture is a little hard to see since the bird was basically in the sun, but I did my best to capture a photo as it flew over.

Fotos / Sonidos

Square

Qué

Colimbo Común Gavia immer

Observ.

jwally325

Fecha

Marzo 20, 2021

Descripción

Farther out in the water I noticed a jet black bird just sitting in the water. At first I thought it must have been a Double-crested Cormorant, however after observing it for a while its head appeared more duck shaped. After a while it floated a little closer and I was able to see a bright white patch of feathers on its chest. I was excited to label it as a loon but I was apprehensive due to how rare they are to see. I tracked it for a while and then watched it dive which was when I lost track of it. Because of the fact that it had a white chest, a duck-duck like body, and it dove, I am confident I saw a loon. In addition to this, in the picture attached you can see the white patch I talk about above.

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Vida Silvestre es una entidad asociada a la Organización Mundial de Conservación