Sightings listed for the Southeastern Vermont Audubon Society

Saturday, July 22, 2006

July 10

North Pond Herons
We stopped by North Pond today (7/4) to check on the two families of Great Blue Herons that are nesting there in the mini-rookery. When we were there in May the chicks were barely visible. Just their fuzzy heads were showing above the top of the stick nest. Today each pair of chicks was standing on the nests edge exercising their wings. When the parent of one pair returned to feed them, one of the chicks grabbed its beak in its own beak and pulled it down to receive the regurgitated food. The second chick swung its beak toward the parent and whacked it on the side of the head. There was evidently none left for that little fellow and the parent flew off to find more food. Boy, those youngsters play rough.

Great Blue Heron chick in nest at North Pond.

Fledged Wrens
The twittering, scolding and constant flying in and out of the wren house has stopped. The young wrens took their first flight out into the world yesterday at day-break. It is so quiet now that it has left us feeling like we went deaf. It is amazing what good parents they were as they shuttled food and carried away fecal sacs day after day after day. Good luck you noisy creatures.

Guilford Red-bellies
No, nobody from Guilford got sunburned. I'm talking about the Red-bellied Woodpecker. It is a relatively new species to Vermont, spreading farther and farther north from the southern states. They now appear regularly on the Vermont Christmas Counts and Breeding Bird lists.
John Kristensen has been reporting them coming to his feeder in Guilford for a few years now. It wasn't until last Saturday (7/1) that he saw what he believed to be an immature R-B visiting his feeder and that they were always early morning visitors. So, we checked out his feeders a few times in early morn and found the male and female nearby, but no immature. Finally this morning's visit paid off. We saw the adult female fly in to a tree with the young at her side begging for food. They both flew away. In about 15 minutes the immature showed up again by itself and flew directly to the bird feeder filled with corn and proceeded to gorge itself. Thanks to
the persistence of John, it gave us a confirmed breeding for that block of the Vermont Breeding Bird Atlas!
John just called to say that he now saw two immatures. One has a small red spot on its nape and the other, the one that we saw, did not. So that is doubly good!

Al Merritt
W. Brattleboro


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