Sightings listed for the Southeastern Vermont Audubon Society

Monday, March 23, 2015

{BIRD NOTES ~ March 23, 2015}

Bird Notes




 Today (3/16)  at 1:18 in the after noon my first sighting of a Turkey Vulture this spring.  It came in low over the trees behind Price Chopper like a great streaming galleon with a fair wind in it's sails.

---Marshall Wheelock, Brattleboro, VT



A small flock of Pine Siskins (9) and Goldfinches (5) were at my backyard feeders this morning along with a couple of Downys, a Hairy and a pair of Red-bellied WoodpeckersFive Juncos, 2 Chickadees, a pair of House Finches, 2 White-breasted Nuthatches, 2 Titmice and several Mourning Doves also stopped by.  A single male Cardinal checked things out, but didn't appear to stay.   Maybe he'll be back when the activity quiets down.

---Molly Martin, Oak Grove Ave., Brattleboro, VT




On Saturday the 14th I looked out and sitting on the top of one of our bluebird houses was a lovely little MERLIN.   A first for us!

---Carol Barber, Brattleboro, VT



Anhinga On Our Deck This Morning

We thought this poor bird was injured as it lay motionless for a while on our deck this morning.  We got within a couple feet of it trying to ascertain if it was even alive.  Gradually it started peering back at us, fluffing its feathers and eventually, flew off.  Must of been taking a morning nap!


These pictures are from my friend Sharon Kropa who lives in Manchester but is now in Hilton Head, S. Carolina where these photos were taken..

---Barbara Powers, Manchester Center, VT

Anhinga © Sharon Kropa





PLEASE share your birding news and photos with us so we can all enjoy reading about your birds and birding experiences.



Al Merritt


Southeastern Vermont Audubon Society:





Monday, March 16, 2015

{BIRD NOTES ~ March 16, 2015}

Bird Notes

Flocks of redpolls, flocks of goldfinches, and tufted titmice hammer at sunflower seeds on the shelf. Chickadees and occasional nuthatches grab sunflower seeds to carry away to more protected perches. Both hairy and downy woodpeckers regularly hammer at the frozen suet. Nuthatches too occasionally.

---Malcolm Moore, Marlboro, VT


Wilmington feeder: nice mixed flock of over 40 Redpolls, a dozen Goldfinches, a couple  Pine Siskins, six Mourning Doves, a few Juncos, many Chickadees, pairs of Hairy and Downy Woodpeckers,

Red-breasted and White-breasted Nuthatches, goodly amount of Bluejays. Have not heard or seen the Barred Owl for awhile, also no fox tracks in the heavy snow.

---Barbara Cole 2/21, Wilmington, VT


At around 3:15 this afternoon (3/5) there were 74 BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS gorging on cherries in the center of Marlboro on South Road.
---Pieter van Loon


We had a chipmunk pop out of the snow for a few minutes and climb up an oak tree yesterday.  And last night a raccoon left prints in the snow under our feeder.  When will the bears decide too that they are hungry enough to walk out of the woods?  Going to pull up all of the ground and deck mounted feeders tomorrow. 

---Tom Prunier


Flock of  25 Bohemian. Waxwings in Marlboro yesterday, 3/11.  They were trying to talk themselves into some tired crabapple fruit that everyone else has ignored.

---Bob Engel


The following poem by John Swales was submitted by Lance Tanino who is now offering, among other things, birding tours in Hawaii.      

Letter from a Tufted Titmouse

by John M. Swales


Between you and me, 

I’m not exactly enamoured 

Of the name you know me by. 

This ‘tufted’ moniker invokes, 

I fear, a possible lack of grooming, 

While the noun only brings to mind 

Some silent furry denizen 

Of the dark and dreary underworld. 

So when, on my branch, you see me 

All dressed up in orange, white and gray, 

Returning your look with my Black penetrating eye, 

And when, in the distance, you hear me 

Petering away with my pure whistles 

Cascading through the winterscape, 

And when, somewhat closer, you note 

My rich underscore of sibilants and nasals, 

You may understand that I 

Would prefer to be known as 

The Orange-flanked Crested Whistler.

So, when you next revise 

The bird names on the official list, 

Please remember this. 

Thank you for your support.

---Lance Tanino, M.S.  Manu Conservation

Birding and Nature Tours / Environmental Consulting

Kamuela, Hawaii Island, Hawai'


Richard Foye reports that he has a small flock of Pine Siskins and Common Redpolls visiting his feeder each day. The Siskins have been singing a song that he had never heard them sing before. He says it would remind you of a Purple Finch.



Bohemian Waxwing  ©  Hilke Breder


PLEASE share your birding news and photos with us so we can all enjoy reading about your birds and birding experiences.



Al Merritt


Southeastern Vermont Audubon Society:





Friday, February 20, 2015

{BIRD NOTES ~ February 20, 2015}


Bird Notes


Vernon Waterfowl

A few photos from this week in Vernon. Thought you might enjoy.

---Don Clark, Grafton, VT


Barrows Goldeneye, drakes, Vernon


                    Horned Grebes, Vernon

















   Snoozing Mallards & Blacks in Vernon, VT farm field



     Close up of above photo, Mallards & Blacks



Marlboro Finches

We've had a large (80 to 100 sometimes) mixed flock of Pine Siskins/Goldfinch/Purple

Finch but have only seen 1 Common Redpoll one time!  This seems to be a big woodpecker

year here....anywhere else?

---Hollie Bowen, Marlboro, VT



Ames Hill Finches

A small flock of Pine Siskins and Goldfinch, 1 Red-bellied Woodpecker and a

lone Common Redpoll have been coming to our feeders.

---Tom Lewis, Marlboro, VT



Robins at Chipmunk Crossing

8 Robins showed up in the yard on Valentines Day. They were in their bright Spring

plumage devouring rose hips from a small wild rose bush that grows at the eastern

perimeter of our little acre.

---Barb Merritt, West Brattleboro, VT



Nice Additions to My Bird Feeders

I have a Flicker at my feeders again here in Brattleboro. Haven't noticed
one since Christmas break. Now it's Feb. break and I'm around more often
during daylight hours. It's been here two days in a row now. Really
whacking at that frozen suet. Nice addition to a cold, sunny winter day.
Have had Pine Siskins only once, that I know of. Red-bellied woodpecker and
Carolina wrens continue to be regulars.
---Charlie La Rosa, Brattleboro, VT



West Brattleboro Birds

Bill and I saw a flock of Cedar Waxwings and Robins in a crabapple tree at

the top of the hill on Carriage Hill Road today (Wednesday). There were still

a lot of those tiny apples on the tree !

---Lerna, West Brattleboro 




PLEASE share your birding news and photos with us so we can all enjoy reading about your birds and birding experiences.



Al Merritt


Southeastern Vermont Audubon Society:




Friday, February 13, 2015

{BIRD NOTES--February 13, 2015}

Bird Notes



Four Bluebirds eating red berries in a winter hanging basket by my front door in

Putney last Tuesday. 

---Nancy Waterhouse, Putney, VT





Backyard Feeder Watcher

My wife, later joined by me, have been for a few days, observing a Barred Owl. It's been perched on a shepherd’s crook next to a bird feeder. It seems quite brazen sitting there in full daylight.

---Alan Stewart, Wilmington, VT


Barred Owl by Alan Stewart



West B. Bohemians

About 8a.m. on Feb. 1, five Bohemian Waxwings were perched in the top of an oak tree at my home on Bonnyvale Rd, W. Brattleboro. No Cedars. It's been two years since I've seen Bohemians in Southern VT. Hopefully more will follow!

---Dave Johnston, West Brattleboro



A Note from NY

More snow today, bet you are really snowed in.  We have about 10 inches on the ground.  Nothing rare at the feeders this year. (Last year a “Harris’s Sparrow” ) We had 2 Common Redpolls for a short time and an occasional Pine Siskin.  Hope all is well. Stay warm! 

---Jan Fitzpatrick, Campbell Hall, NY



Busy Feeders

Nothing exceptional here Al, nuthatch, bluebirds, chickadees, woodpecker, but all very welcome. Look forward to Bird Notes.

---Peter Seares, Black Mt. Rd., Brattleboro



Hello all:

   We have moved from VT to CT (in Dec.), thinking it might be less snowy!

But we have just had about a foot of snow, huge drifts from snowplowing, and a travel ban on cars on state roads till 2 p.m. today.  The birds have appeared at our seed box, mainly sparrows, juncos and bluejays.  Hope all is well with you and yours "up north".

---Judy Myrick, of Comwell, CT



PLEASE share your birding news and photos with us so we can all enjoy reading about your birds and birding experiences.



Al Merritt


Southeastern Vermont Audubon Society:





Monday, December 08, 2014

{BIRD NOTES} December 8, 2014

Bird Notes




Coot Meets Eagle

Birding down at Vernon Dam on the Connecticut River, I noticed what looked like a big black phalarope swimming around in on of the ice-free pools. On putting the scope on it I realized that it was a coot with its neck fully extended upward and swimming in tight circles. Looked very agitated. I realized why when one of the local adult bald eagles rocketed into the field of view, dropped its talons and made a pass at the coot, which immediately dived in a gout of water. The eagle circled back around and begun hovering like some giant kestrel above the spot where the coot dived. After about 20 seconds the coot surfaced and the eagle dived on it. The coot then dived again to evade a surprise demise and the eagle began its hovering again. This happened about 4 times over the course of a couple of minutes. At no time was the coot able to spend any more than a second or so on the surface and, my guess, was unable to replenish its oxygen supply. Eventually, the coot was  barely able to get under the surface at which time the eagle splashed down into the water where the coot had dived. The eagle lay on the water surface with its wings outstretched for buoyancy for about 30 seconds then took off, at which time I saw that it was holding in its talons the struggling coot. The eagle carried the coot (which was stretching its neck out and peering around and kicking its legs) to a half-submerged log where the eagle began to eat its prey alive.   Nature red in tooth and claw?

---Hector Galbraith, Dummerston, VT



Goose Viewing Area, Dead Creek, Addison, VT

Yesterday morning a small group of birders from the Hampshire Bird Club of Amherst, MA stopped by Gage Road and the Goose Viewing area at Dead Creek WMA and made a count-based estimate of 4500 Snow Geese.  Thanks to Mike Locher for submitting the numbers to eBird. (Delightfully, I happened to meet up with the group at Tri-town later in the day.) Then, late afternoon yesterday (11/17) I happened by the Goose Viewing area while a very large flock settled over the course of several minutes; there were two other flocks already on the ground.  By counts of 50s converted to 100s, then converted to 400s and then to 1000s I came up with 4000 birds visible to me.  When I first saw them, my initial estimate bracket was at least 3500 and not over 5000 Snow Geese visible.  None of the birds were right by the road, but they were in several, easy-to-view groups at various distances.

---Ian Worley, from VTBird



Audubon’s 115th Christmas Bird Count

The count for the Brattleboro area will be held on Saturday, December 20th. Whether the day is mild or frigid, clear skies or cloudy, on Count Day there will be 25-30 people working in 7 teams that will scour the prescribed area around Brattleboro counting birds There will also be several people staying at home counting birds and listing species that visit their feeding stations.



*Join one of the seven Field Teams that count birds in the area. If you are a beginning birder, don’t worry, you will be in a group that includes experienced birders.

*If your home is within the boundaries of the Brattleboro Area Count, you can stay home and report the birds that visit your feeders.


How to do a feeder count:

You do not have to watch continuously. When you do look at your feeders, note the number of each species At the end of the day, report the highest single count for each species. For example, if during the day, you count chickadees in the numbers of 3,7,2,5,3,4 – the number that you would report is 7.


To join a team or to do a feeder count you should contact Chris Petrak (802) 348-6301 or e-mail him at


There will be a “Compilation Pot Luck Supper” at 6:00pm that evening at Hollie Bowen’s home at 19 Whipple Street, Brattleboro. You may call (802) 254-9087 for directions.




PLEASE share your birding news and photos with us so we can all enjoy reading about your birding experiences.



Al Merritt


Southeastern Vermont Audubon Society:




Tuesday, November 04, 2014

{BIRD NOTES} November 04, 2014

Bird Notes




Two days ago (10/14) several dozen Pine Siskins descended on my trees full of energy and conversation -zzzzzz all over the place.

They fed and then calmed down and rested and preened.

---Susan James, Guilford, VT



The weather cooperated in creating a scoteriffic morning (10/23) above Vernon Dam with a tight raft of 30 Black Scoters and a separate raft of 6 Surf Scoters including one adult male. Also present- 1 Pied-billed Grebe, 2 D-c Cormorants, 1 C. Merganser, 2 Black Ducks, 2 Mallards, and 1 R-b Gull.

---Dave Johnston, W. Brattleboro



For those Windham County birders not too proud to cross the river, there was a white-eyed vireo at Hinsdale this morning (10/21). It was at the upriver of the two parking areas.

---Hector Galbraith, PhD

National Wildlife Federation



West Brattleboro Sightings

White-throated Sparrow


Hairy Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker


Slate-colored Junco

Purple Finch

Tufted Titmouse



October 21, 2014 – Roy Pilcher reports 1,200 geese, including new arrivals, at the Goose Viewing Area on Route 17.






What Can We Do in the Residential Landscape to Help Protect Birds?

First, keep pet cats indoors. The mere presence of a cat can affect the breeding success of a nesting bird. "A parent bird reduces the rate at which it feeds nestlings when it glimpses a cat," writes John Marzluff in a new book, "Welcome to Subirdia," in which he argues that suburban landscapes can offer vital habitat for beleaguered bird species.


---Editor’s Note  From

To protect birds from outdoor cats, position feeders at least 10 feet from shrubs and bushes. Placing a decorative wire fence in front of flowerbeds and shrubs can also keep predators from using that cover to approach birds, or a fence or cage can be placed around feeders to give birds a safe place to feed. The same precautions should be used around bird baths as well. To protect bird houses: To protect nesting birds and their young, choose safe birdhouse designs with a steep roof and no perches that cats and other predators can use to reach vulnerable young birds. Mounting bird houses on metal poles or hanging hooks out of range of jumping cats can also prevent hunting cats from climbing up to the house.


In the garden, we can choose to grow plants that foster abundant insect life (oak trees are much commended), or provide winter berries, or simply offer cover from predators and a place to roost. Bird feeders help (keep them away from windows to avoid collisions). Fresh water acts as a magnet for birds. If you have birdbaths, change the water regularly in summer to thwart mosquitoes, and in winter to replace ice.



PLEASE share your birding news and photos with us so we

 can all enjoy reading about your birding experiences.



Al Merritt


Southeastern Vermont Audubon Society: