Archivos de diario de marzo 2021

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

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

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