Sightings listed for the Southeastern Vermont Audubon Society

Thursday, September 28, 2006

BIRD NOTES ~~~~~ September 28, 2006

Bird Notes

Ciao to the Western Reef Heron

The month long visit by the rare Western Reef Heron has apparently come to an end. It has not been seen in a few days and speculation has it that it and its close friends the Snowy Egrets have headed to warmer climes. It would be nice if it stopped off at Plum Island to give more birders a look at this handsome rarity.

Ivory-Billed Woodpecker a Floridian?

On May 21, 2005 Dr. Geoff Hill, ornithology professor at Auburn University, and two research assistants, Tyler Hicks and Brian Rolek, took a kayak trip down the Choctawhatchee River in the Florida panhandle. Within an hour of launching their boats, they heard a bird hammering loudly on a tree. When the bird flew off through the canopy, Brian got a clear view of a large woodpecker with white on both the upper- and underside of the trailing edge of the wings. An hour later, Geoff heard a double knock, the diagnostic display raps of an Ivory-billed Woodpecker.

Read the entire article at:

Vernon Birds

Our latest birds of interest are a Pileated Woodpecker on Rt. 142 in Vernon. I've also seen a male and a female Northern Harrier on the Miller Farm. Yesterday the Woodcock would hardly get out of the way of my tractor. I have also noticed that Teal ducks are making an appearance at the farm pond.

---Paul Miller, Vernon

A Rarity in Putney

Kai Reed emailed me saying he had a SAY’S PHOEBE in a field in the vicinity of Putney School, as he is a boarding student there. He is a very good birder and I would say the sighting is very reliable! However, Hector Galbraith and I searched the area later and could not find the bird.

---Taj Schottland, Putney

West River Ducks

Along with the hundred or so Canada Geese, we scoped 3 Great Blue Heron and 6 Green-winged Teal that were asleep on the sandbar.

Plum Island, Massachusetts

There were two American Avocets swishing their bills back and forth on Monday morning as they walked side by side at Joppa Flats. Both species of Yellowlegs and many Short-billed Dowitchers. Hundreds of Bonaparte Gulls were in the air and on the flats. Once on the Refuge we started our bird list with a Saltwater Sharp-tailed Sparrow. At the Salt Pannes we added Great Egret, Mute Swan, Pied-billed Grebe, 100+ American Wigeon and a flyover by an Osprey. At North Pool Overlook we watched 2 Whimbrel gleaning the grassy meadow. At Hellcat we added several Gadwall and watched an immature Northern Harrier on the dike jumping up and down in a clump of dry mown grass. It would leap into the air with the hay in its talons. Then land and quickly look around to see if anything of interest had run out. Nothing ever did and it flew on past us to meet up with a second Harrier further down the dike. At Stage Island Pool we counted a dozen or so Black-bellied Plover, a few Peep and the ever present DC Cormorants drying their wings in the warm sunlight.

All told we counted 52 species on a gorgeous day at the coast.

Al & Barb Merritt

W. Brattleboro, VT

Thursday, September 21, 2006

BIRD NOTES ~~~~~ Sept. 21, 2006

Bird Notes

Hummers and Cooler Temps

There are a few important things to note about feeding hummers during cooler temperatures - having to do with stronger concentrations of sugar in the water and not using feeders with perches to prevent hummers from perching, gorging on cold sugar water, going into hypothermic shock, and literally dropping from the perch. If the hummers are not perched, the beating of their wings while they hover and feed keeps their body temperature up.

You could also bring your feeders in on cold nights and then rehang in the morning so that the solution will not become too cold.

Feeder Birds and Amphibians

This has been a really horrible birding summer for me. The heat made it really hard to enjoy the birds outside and if it wasn't the heat it was the bugs or rain. I've never been one to like seeing a raptor catching a bird, but realize this is a fact of life you must deal with if you have feeders in your yard.

After coming home one rainy evening from the hospital (I was involved in a motor vehicle accident), I heard a bird hit the window of the front door. I went to see if it was alive and saw that it was but looked a bit stunned. It was an immature Rose-breasted Grosbeak. I opened the door a bit to have a better look and a majestic Red-tailed Hawk landed on the porch to take advantage of the Grosbeaks' mishap. He was only about two feet away from me and when he saw me he nervously did a little side step and then flew away. I knew he would probably be back so I placed my umbrella over the still resting Grosbeak to shield him from the Hawks view. Some members of my family were telling me to let the Hawk have his evening meal; but I said “Not right on my porch under my watch. He has his pick most every week from the whole yard and that will have to do." The bird did recover and flew up in a Red Maple and sang a very pretty song.

I also spent many days of my summer burying dead birds. Not from hitting windows but from what looked like drowning in my home made pond. I checked the pond out more often this summer because of the heat, needing cleaning and finding dead birds. I thought I could save them if I found them in time. I asked my husband what he thought might be happening as he quickly rejected my theory that the water was higher because of the rain and they lost their footing while getting a drink. He said possibly a Raptor of some sort had picked them up for dinner and lost them in the water. I promptly rejected that by telling him that the Raptor would have come back for it. I was getting very upset every time I found another bird. These were Evening Grosbeaks, mostly females. Then one fine day I went to check the pond and there was a large Green Frog at the edge of the pond feasting on yet another one of my Evening Grosbeaks. I went to get a net and bucket to capture the Frog and got him on the first try as he was very cocky. He was the large one and he had to go. I was telling him this as I set him aside for my husband to take him to the stream that evening. I had suspected this once but everyone scoffed at that and said Evening Grosbeaks were too large. Later that evening my husband took him to the stream and told him things would be more on an equal footing there.

Things went along smoothly for a few days and I told the two small frogs that they could stay as long as they didn’t ambush any birds. Wrong!!!!!!!! I found a small Sparrow dead in the pond. Same marks around his neck. So that evening I began catching Frogs again for my husband to deal with. I got the two and soon discovered there were two more. Now I knew why I had no Spring Peepers anymore.

The pond is lots cleaner now and the birds enjoy getting their drinks from it, but the other day when I was just checking things out. Lo and Behold . . . there was a baby Frog that would just about fit in the palm of a baby's hand. I really don't think he can get a bird but soon, or next spring, he will join his family at the stream. He has this baby evil look on his face.

A bird did hit the window the other day and was dead. It was a lifer for me. An Orange-crowned Warbler (juvenile). For birds at the feeders I have Downy and Hairy Woodpeckers, White-breasted Nuthatch, Juncos, Blue Jays, Hummers, Purple Finches, Chipping Sparrows, Goldfinches, Chickadees, and Red-breasted Nuthatches. I also had another lifer, a Scarlet Tanager, up in a tree singing.

I plan to have my husband set me up with a better bird feeding area that won't be as handy for the predators and to do more with my windows so they won't be hit as much (they're already covered in decals) and keep the Green Frog population down. Here's to live birds.!!!!! I'd like to retire my shovel, or use it for gardening. ---Yvonne Joslin, Joslin Hill Road, Off Lower Podunk (Don’t you love that "PODUNK") Road, Wardsboro, VT

Wheatears and unwise prognostications
This is in response to the reports of early N. Wheatears in Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut and even Florida.

Nova Scotia has had, so far, five N. Wheatears, matching prior fall totals for 1994 and 2001. But these have been earlier than almost all those of previous years. An early influx of wheatears in SW Newfoundland, as noted a couple of

weeks ago on the NF-NL bird-records site, may trace to intense northerly wind flow in late August that deflected birds bound for Europe (or for N Africa by Wheatears) southward from northern Nunavut or Greenland. Southwest

Newfoundland has also had at least Three Common Ringed Plovers to date.

Certainly it's worth scrutinizing Semipalmated Plovers more closely (NF-NL postings stress their paler back tones as an alert). Stretching it even more was a Wagtail-wish by someone on the NF-NL site. Maybe a little less outrageous was the thought that this winter might produce a Fieldfare or, even better, a Redwing on the East Coast. That may depend on the rowan berry (mountain ash, dogberry) crop in Newfoundland. If it's like that in Nova Scotia, which I can't remember seeing in such profusion, such goodies may never get here, and if they do, may not leave for points south.

So, a Heads-up for East Coast birders!

Cheers, Ian

Ian A. McLaren

Biology Department

Dalhousie University

Halifax, NS Canada B3H 4J1

Fall migration is underway. What birds are you getting at your feeders and around your neighborhood? Have you made any birding trips lately? Please share your experiences with us.

Al Merritt

W. Brattleboro, VT

Monday, September 18, 2006

Fwd: BIRD NOTES ~~~~~ Saturday, September 16, 2006

>>> "Al Merritt" <> 09/16/06 05:56PM >>>

Bird Notes

I found this article in a BBC report and thought that it was
enough to pass along to you.

New Bird Species Discovered

A new species of bird has been discovered in the north-east corner of
Indian Birds, an ornithological journal, said that the rare species has
named Bugun Liocichla - only 14 of these birds are known to exist. The
has olive plumage with a distinctive black cap and red, black and
patches on its wings. The journal said that the small bird had been
spotted by an Indian astronomer more than 10 years ago in Arunachal
state. But it was not until May this year that astronomer Ramana
managed to find it again in the Eaglenest wildlife sanctuary in the
and confirm the discovery of a new species.

The rare Bugun Liocichla (Photo: Ramana Athreya)
Ornithologists say the bird's closest relative appears to be another
Liocichla species found in only a few mountains in central China.
are members of the diverse bird family known as babblers.


Retreat Meadow 9/12
Double-crested Cormorant
Killdeer (2)
Belted Kingfisher
Mallard (9)
Red-winged Blackbird (20-30)
Canada Goose (lots)

West River from Marina Rd. 9/14
BALD EAGLE (mature)

Northfield, MA (sod farm) 9/15
Least Sandpiper
Semipalmated Sandpiper (5)
Belted Kingfisher
Eastern Bluebird (4)
Killdeer (40+)

Chipmunk Crossing-week of 9/11
Mourning Dove (6)
Ruby-throated Hummingbird (2 F)
Downy Woodpecker (2m&2f)
Hairy Woodpecker (m&f)
Blue Jay (4)
Black-capped Chickadee (several)
Tufted Titmouse (3)
White-breasted Nuthatch (2)
Robin (several eating elderberries)
Catbird (also eating elderberries)
Red-eyed Vireo
American Redstart
Common Yellowthroat
Rose-breasted Grosbeak (imm.)
Cardinal (m&f with 3 imm.)
Chipping Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Goldfinch (m&f with 2 imm.)


There will be a presentation about hiking in southeastern Arizona on
Tuesday, September 19 at 7:00pm in Brattleboro's Brooks Memorial
conference room. The presenter is Mark Mikolas, a well known local
on hiking. He is the author of the popular Nature Walks in Southern
Vermont, published by the Appalachian Mountain Club. It is sponsored
Southeastern Vermont Audubon Society and is free and open to the

Al Merritt
W. Brattleboro

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Monday, September 11, 2006

Sod Farm Birds

We arrived at the Four Star Farm in Northfield at approx. 6:00 p.m. to
a juvenile Peregrine Falcon on the ground, feeding on some unfortunate
shorebird. It had a very distinct cream colored cheek patch and pale
A great sight to see. By the size of the bird I would surmise it was a
female. Huge!! While the falcon was feeding, several Killdeer
strafed the bird, which I guess was really not all that risky. After
falcon departed, 3 BUFF BREASTED SANDPIPERS began feeding in the green
on the North side of the up-turned soil.
Least Sandpipers and Semi-palmated Plovers along with the typical
numbers of Killdeer were the only other species present for me
Late afternoon light on this field is perfect on a sunny day.
---Mark Taylor, Northfield, MA

Finch Forecast

It should be an interesting winter. Food is widespread--a once in a 20
cone crop. So, birds will be spread out across a large area.

Expect Pine Siskins, and some White-winged Crossbills and Red
nesting in the state, probably more as we get into Jan-April. I do not
expect there to be large numbers of breeders like in 2001 (where
siskins and
WW Crossbills were everywhere in NY and NE), but I still expect pretty
numbers of birds. Purple Finches will probably be common this winter
well, with a few Evening Grosbeaks scattered around, but in what
numbers is
the question, because excellent crops are so widespread this year.
---Ron Pittaway,
Ontario Field Ornithologist,
Toronto, Canada

Colchester Wheatear

The Northern Wheatear on the Colchester Causeway was present today
(9/7) and
observed by three birders (and a passel of bikers, possibly) between
11am and Noon. It was a few yards beyond "the rock" where it has posed
photos previously - the rock is marked by small cairns on either side
of the
bike trail.

The Wheatear was feeding on the trail, barely moving aside when bikers
past, then posed very nicely for us on a rock.

N. WHEATEAR C Chris Petrak

Perhaps a word of "don't wait" is in order - Murin & Pfeiffer write of
presence in Vermont: "Typically gone soon after arriving, this
migrant has occasionally lingered for several days."
---Chris Petrak, South Newfane, VT

Life Bird for Us

Upon checking with the internet and VTBIRD on Friday evening, we found
reports that the Northern Wheatear was still present in Colchester, VT.
would be a lifer for us and the trip would be relatively short as
opposed to
flying to Greenland to check it off.

The bird was hanging out on an old railroad causeway that at one time
connected Colchester to South Hero across the north end of Lake
In all of the reports, the bird was being very cooperative and a number
photos had been posted of it standing atop any one of the marble slabs
are part of the causeway. After the rails had been removed from the
bed it was made into a hiking/bike path. And, I might add, a very
one. Since it would be a 3 hour drive, we were off and running at 4:30
hoping to arrive before its popularity overwhelmed our target bird.

As it turned out we were the second car to park in the small parking
area at
the beginning of the path. The first was for a couple of fishermen. We
the two mile hike at a leisurely pace and before we arrived at "the"
designated spot, 3 other birdwatchers overtook us and spotted the
up ahead of us. When we caught up, there it was, sitting on a slab of
marble. Just like all of the photos. There was a slight breeze across
lake from the south that parted the feathers on its rump to reveal the
"white arse." We drank in all of its beautiful cinnamon color for the
15 minutes as it did a little preening that showed off its tail
again. I can still close my eyes and see it standing there, unmoved by
presence, with feathers blowing in the breeze. What a way to observe a
*Note: Saturday morning was the last time the bird was seen on the

Hawkwatch on Putney Mountain

The hawks are flying! Join the raptor counters on Putney Mountain. The
experts will be there to help with any ident problems. Today was the
day so far with over 400 counted, mostly Broadwings.

The Mt. Philo watch counted over 1100 Broad-winged Hawks on Sunday.

Al Merritt
Chipmunk Crossing
W. Brattleboro

Monday, September 11, 2006

September 5

Night Flyers

Flying over downtown Brattleboro Friday night(9/1), several dozen Common
Nighthawks. ---Chris Petrak, S. Newfane

4 Star Sod Farm

This morning(9/4) at the Northfield, MA sod farm:

Killdeer 36
Semi palm. plover 12
Least sand 3
Semi palm. sandpiper 1
Pectoral Sandpiper 1
Common nighthawk about 40
Merlin 1 (mobbed by 2 kestrels)

Hector Galbraith PhD
Galbraith Environmental Sciences LLC
Dummerston, VT

Birds in Hawaii

We recently were on the Island of Hawaii to help relatives celebrate their
50th anniversary. Although we weren't there for bird watching, we noticed
some of the common birds. We saw familiar species such as house sparrows,
rock doves, and mockingbirds. Unfamiliar to us were Spotted Doves, Zebra
Doves, and Myna birds; the latter were introduced to control insect pests.
Saffron Finch groups fed in the grass by the motel swimming pool in Kona.
The Red-crested Cardinal was common in Honolulu on Oahu and the
Yellow-billed Cardinal was common along the Kona coast on Hawaii. Away from
the coast we saw Pheasant and Cattle Egret on range land. Perhaps the most
interesting bird to us was the White-tailed Tropicbird with its long tail
feathers. They were flying along the coast where we snorkeled and were also
seen soaring at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
---Mary and Paul Miller, Vernon

Retreat Meadow Sightings

On(9/2)Hundreds of Redwing Blackbirds, mostly immature, crowded into the
small cattail marsh off Marina Road along the West River. While up the road
a bit farther we watched a Common Yellowthroat gleaning the branches of a
Basswood Tree. At the Veterans Memorial Bridge we watched a Double-crested
Cormorant making like a submarine with "up periscope". On the other side of
the Retreat Meadows on Route 30 we cruised the shoulder of the road
searching the open fields for any signs of bird life. A few hundred
Starlings arose as we approached and spiraled up in a funnel cloud. That
helped reveal several Killdeer that were mixed in with that group but didn't
fly. The more we looked the more of them we found. We counted over 20. We
almost overlooked the best birds who were walking the grassy area near them;
4 Pectoral Sandpipers.

Pectoral Sandpipers @ Retreat Meadows
C Hector Galbraith

Still More at the Sod Farm

When we arrived this morning(9/4) the farm workers had just arrived and were
firing up the harvesting equipment. Most of the bird activity was provided
by the ever present 40+ KILLDEER and the dozen or more SEMIPALMATED PLOVERS.
But there was one different among them; a GOLDEN PLOVER. While scanning the
exposed strips of soil, all birds that were present suddenly exploded into
the air. We looked up to see a COOPERS HAWK strafing the field. That ended
our search for shorebirds. But, raptors continued with the sighting of 3
KESTRELS playing tag over the cornstalks (maybe the same ones we saw last
week being chased by a Merlin) and an adult BALD EAGLE flying in a southerly
direction over the 4 Star barns.

Al Merritt

September 2

On Saturday, August 26, three of us observed about 10 Cedar Waxwings feeding
on whole blackberries, plucking them one at a time from the bushes near
North Pond in Marlboro. ---Anne Wheelock, West Brattleboro

Sightings at Chipmunk Crossing
Last Thursday we heard the repeated call notes of a Veery coming from the
wooded hillside in our backyard. Upon closer scrutiny we found it sitting in
an elderberry bush gorging itself on the luscious fruit that was hanging in
clusters like mini-grapes.

8/27-9/2 Highlights:
Wilson's Warbler
Rose-breasted Grosbeak(3)
Pileated Woodpecker
Ruby-throated Hummingbird(m&2f)

More Juvenile Antics

If you wish to get in on the clowning around of the immature winged
creatures in your neighborhood, you must keep your bird feeders active all
year around.
Except for the Cardinals and Blue Jays the other parent birds have
dropped off their youngsters at the avian kindergarten in our backyard. The
young Rose-breasted Grosbeaks have been feeding themselves for about a week
now and have just recently discovered our ground-level bird bath. The male
was checking it out this morning, took a drink, then still gripping the edge
tipped over to get his belly into the water and flipped its wings a few
times. It didn't get much of a bath but flew away and preened itself,
satisfied with the little shower it did manage. The young female sat
watching this and flew onto the lip of the bath, took a drink and then did a
belly flop into the water with wings flapping. Water sprayed everywhere as
she continued in the shallow spa. Finally soaked, she jumped out and flew to
a nearby pine bow, shook off the excess water and fluffed her feathers. Now
that was a bath.
We have watched several other species enjoy the water in this
improvised bath tub made from an old tractor hub cap. The three other bird
baths that we have scattered around our property are store-bought and not
nearly as popular.



Buff-breasted Sandpiper had been at the sod farm in Northfield, MA, for
several days. It was at a distance, and my photos were crummy. But,
Wednesday we went to Plum island where there were at least five buffies.
At high tide on Sandy Point on Plum Island, there were many shorebirds
roosting. Managed some good photos, see . Seventeen
species of shore birds is a pretty decent day of shore birding.
---Chris Petrak, S. Newfane

West River from Marina Road
(8/28)Tons of Canada Geese of course, many Tree Swallows, Catbird, Phoebe,
Yellow Warbler and a dozen or more Cedar Waxwings shagging insects and
feeding on berries from a tree that we were unfamiliar with.

More from the sod farm
(8/29)In checking the sod farms in Northfield, MA for shorebird migrants, we
found 45 Killdeer, 8 Black-bellied Plover and a single Semi-palmated Plover.

(8/31) we found several Semi-palmated Plovers and the usual 40+ Killdeer.
But, across the road in an adjoining cornfield we watched 3 Kestrels flying
around the dead cornstalks, sometimes landing on them and sometimes landing
out of sight on the ground. In a dead elm tree nearby sat a Merlin taking it
all in. It soon joined them and the aerial acrobatics began. It was Merlin
chasing Kestrel, right side up, upside down and sideways. This went on for
several minutes until they all tired of the sport and disbanded.

Al Merritt

August 27

Juvenile Antics

Some molting Jays at the feeders are looking weird with bald heads or crests
that look buzz-cut. And any number of molting sparrows have no tails or only
one or two tail feathers. Looks strange.

I watched a juvenile Chipping Sparrow try to beg from a young Song Sparrow
yesterday - the blind leading the blind. Also a couple of young Cardinals
have just been cut loose from parental care and are feeding themselves.
---Chris Petrak, S. Newfane

Flying Geese

While working in the yard on Friday morning we heard, then saw, a small
flock of Canada Geese fly low over the house evidently heading for the farm
fields to our west. Judy Myrick heard them too and was in touch to tell us
of their calling overhead on Greenleaf Street.

Nighthawk Migration is Underway

On Thursday, Meg and I were in Shelburne Falls, MA, in the late afternoon,
and saw well over a dozen Common Nighthawks hunting over the water.
And this afternoon (Sat., 8/26), at around 4:20 PM, we saw two of them
flying over our field, heading approximately south.
---Ned Pokras and Meg Kluge, W. Brattleboro

If at First You Don't Succeed . . .

Kittery's African heron has caused quite a stir in New England. We first
found out about it a week ago Friday from a birding blog sight on the
internet. A few weeks previous this same species (maybe the same bird) was
discovered in Nova Scotia and at that time read up on it and decided that
traveling to Nova Scotia to see it, was out of the question. But, when it
showed up in Kittery a mere 3 hour drive would be more within striking
range. So, at noon on Friday we headed that way and were disappointed after
several hours of searching. By chance we met Chris and Nissa Petrak there
having a late lunch. They had missed it too and were staying the night and
would try for the bird again the next morning.
On Saturday we received a call from them telling us of their success in
locating the wandering heron. We knew then that we were going to return for
a second try. So, on Monday morning we were more determined than ever to
find this African delight. We were on the road by 4:45 a.m. and arrived at
Kittery Point about 7. The fishing piers were already lined with birders.
Spotting scopes of every size and description were pointed to the east where
the bird had just been feeding. But, as luck would have it, it had just
flown out of sight about 5 minutes before our arrival.
Our reasoning was that since the tide was coming in it would be
returning to the higher ground of Fisherman's Island. Meanwhile a young man
drove up to tell the throng that he had spotted it about 8 tenths of a mile
down route 103 off of Chauncey Road. The exodus started immediately. We
arrived with the first wave and got a good spot for viewing on a small
lobster pier. In no time we found the heron with some Great Blues and Snowy
Egrets, feeding along the shore. It sported yellow feet like the Snowys but
was a very dark colored bird. The only white showing was a throat patch.
When we finally looked up from the scope we discovered two familiar faces
nearby. Don and Lillian Stokes, of Field Guide and TV fame, had infiltrated
the group and were as happy as the rest of us to have such good looks at a
species that had only been reported once before in the United States.
Western Reef Herons are quite common in Europe, where they have been
known to interbreed with Little Egrets and produce hybrid young. This
suggests that, though separated from the rest of its species the bird may
live a long life in North America, where it could migrate with the seasons
and maybe pair up with other North American herons.

Al Merritt
W. Brattleboro, VT

August 18

This morning I stopped in briefly at the Retreat Meadows to look for
shorebirds. There was quite a bit of exposed mud. All birds were seen from
the Marina side. I had: 5 Least Sandpipers, 1 Semipalmated Sandpiper, 1
Solitary Sandpiper, 1 Lesser Yellowleg, 6 Killdeer, 1 Green Heron, and about
5 additional peeps that were to distant to get a positive identification.
There was also an Osprey that flew over.
---Taj Schottland, Putney

August 13

Monk Parakeets in New York
While in New York State in mid-July, we chased down a tip of Monk Parakeets
nest building near Stewart International Airport. We found the nest without
a problem, mainly because it was a massive collection of sticks that was
nearing the size of an Osprey's nest. It hung precariously close to high
voltage wires beneath a pair of transformers on a utility pole at the edge
of a very busy highway. They seemed oblivious of the noise and constant
traffic flow just beneath them and carried on with their nest building
chores without interruption.

David Baker Monk Parakeet Nest

The Monk Parakeet was deemed to have arrived in the Northeast from
South America via Kennedy International Airport as a cage bird, escaping to
the wild when a shipping container ruptured.

"Early on, it was feared that this parakeet would thrive in its new home,
ravaging crops as its range expanded. Over the years, this threat has not
materialized and, in many areas, efforts to retrieve wild parakeets have
been discontinued. It is worth noting that, in Argentina, agricultural
losses attributed to the Monk Parakeet have never been accurately measured."
---Mark Spreyer

West Brattleboro
August 7, 2006

Ruby-throated Hummingbird 3
Downy Woodpecker 4
Hairy Woodpecker 1
Northern Flicker 1
Pileated Woodpecker 1
Eastern Phoebe 1
Red-eyed Vireo 1
Tree Swallow 4
Cedar Waxwing 2
Chestnut-sided Warbler 1
Black-throated Green Warbler 1
Common Yellowthroat 1
Chipping Sparrow 1
Northern Cardinal 2
Rose-breasted Grosbeak 4
Indigo Bunting 1
Baltimore Oriole 1
Purple Finch 2
American Goldfinch 4

August 10, 2006

Wild Turkey 7
Broad-winged Hawk 1
Tree Swallow 6
Barn Swallow 16
Black-Throated Blue Warbler 2
Black-and-white Warbler 2
American Redstart 1
Common Yellowthroat 1

August 6

Porch Dwellers
We had Barn Swallow tenants for 6 weeks on our front porch that successfully
raised 5 youngsters. They are meticulous nest builders and house keepers.
They spent a week patiently coaxing the babies to fledge, and after they
were all out of the nest, all of the youngsters returned at night to cram
themselves into the nest for the night. This went on for about 8 or 9 days.
We now have a House Wren family on our front porch, and the parents
scold and chatter at us as we go about our lives. Our feeders have had lots
of Titmouse youngsters lately, and they are amazingly unafraid of us.
---Susan James, Guilford

Beggars of South Newfane
I'm watching young birds still begging for food. Chipping Sparrow begged
from a young Song Sparrow (without success!) and finally found a parent to
feed it. A young Song Sparrow tried to get food from a female Purple Finch.
Two days ago a young Rose-breasted Grosbeak was still getting food from its
mother, but has since begun feeding itself - at my expense. Blue Jays are
among the most demanding youngsters, and noisiest. Cedar Waxwings were
working the tree tops in what appeared to be a "feed me" chase mode.
Likewise, Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are zipping around in what I suspect in
the kid chasing the parent begging for food behavior, but they don't stay
still long enough to see the feeding or get a look at plumages.
A first at my feeders was a visit by a Gray Catbird on my platform
feeder. Catbirds are all about the yard, but not at the feeders. I suspect a
youngster taking advantage of easy food.
Some of the young birds are so naive and unafraid that I've taken to
chasing them from the feeders - especially true of the grosbeak and young
Downy Woodpeckers.

Chris Petrak

Maine Birds
We are back from a quick mini vacation at the Rangeley Lake region of Maine.
We went out on the lake there and cruised around with our friends on a
pontoon boat and saw the most awesome sight that I have ever seen in the
bird world. There were a number of loons around and we could see them dive
and resurface. It was exciting and even more so when we spotted a wee one by
an adult, probably it's Mom. We tried to get up as close as possible with
out causing too much stress, watching all along the little one. Mom was
nervous not knowing we wouldn't harm her. As we were circling trying to get
a picture of her she got more nervous and we saw the baby disappear and for
a minute we didn't see anything happen. Then with the baby tucked under her
wing she dove and came up a short distance away. As we went around the lake
we saw what was probably her mate. I had no idea that the young ones could
dive and I guess this was a very young one, maybe newly hatched. It was so
small we could hardly see it. I read later that they dive on their own in a
few days, but can't catch anything yet.
We saw lots of Cedar Waxwings that were flying out over the water
catching insects. I didn't know they did that so I learned something else.
Also saw lots of Chickadees and Kingfishers. ---Judy Farley, Vernon, VT

In case you didn't know, I received this email notice about SEVT Audubon's
recently retired newsletter editor.

Jennifer Lann's new daughter, Sylvie Grace Lann, arrived five weeks early on
Friday, July 21, 2006. At 4 lbs. 12 oz., she is tiny but very healthy,
leaving Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center after only a two-day stay.
---Geoff Burgess