Sightings listed for the Southeastern Vermont Audubon Society

Saturday, January 27, 2007

[BIRD NOTES] January 28, 2007


Bird Notes



Yikes a Shrike!

Richard Foye called me this morning(1/25) to report the sighting of a NORTHERN SHRIKE at the Brattleboro Retreat Meadows. Three days previously he had a sighting which he thought was the shrike, but the bird flew off while he was getting his binoculars. I saw the shrike about 4pm this afternoon, about the same time of day when Richard had previously sighted it and in the same general location. The shrike was perched in a tree just beyond the reeds and near the north end of the third cove from Rte 30. Easiest access is across the ice. Richard and I found the bird on each of these three recent occasions while ice skating. 

     A Northern Shrike was also reported on the marina side of the Brattleboro Retreat, along the West River, during the week prior to the Brattleboro Christmas Count and on the day of the count, 12/15. 

---Chris Petrak, S. Newfane, VT



White Jay

Today I received an e-mail from someone in Stratton with a photo of an albino or leucistic* Blue Jay. When enlarging the photo, resolution and detail was lost, but it is definitely a very white jay against the white snow. ---Chris Petrak, South Newfane, VT


*LEUCISM (LOO-sizm). Abnormal paleness in the plumage of a bird resulting from the “dilution” of normal pigmentation. It is also called “imperfect albinism” and, like true albinism, may in some cases be related to abnormal diet causing them to appear “washed out”.




Whetstone Shoveler

A Northern Shoveler is keeping company with several Mallard Ducks at the confluence of the Whetstone Brook and the Connecticut River in downtown Brattleboro. It can easily be seen from the West end of the bridge to Hinsdale. ---Whitney Nichols, Brattleboro, VT




Rufous Hummer Caught in the Cold

I'd like to thank everyone for caring so much about Ilsa, the Northport hummer, and for all the advice given concerning her well-being during this frigid spell.  She is at the feeder as I write this.  I do not know where she spends the evening; but there is enough thick cover surrounding my house where she can roost.  Concerning her feeding; one procedure I have been following is using a food warming tray under the feeder until I'm sure that the sun can keep it from freezing.  Of course, this means getting up at dawn (she's an early riser) and setting up everything .  I take the feeders in at night.  I'll probably keep the deck light on tonight, hoping that she'll find it and somehow keep warm.  Since you all care so much, I'll keep posting daily.  Ain't birding fun! ---Norm Klein, Northport, NY


January 26, 2007--Ilsa is at her feeders on this coldest morning of the year.  She is Ilsa and not just any vagrant selasphorus rufus one night stand.  After all, she has been here since November 26, and I believe that we have a meaningful relationship, and I can call her by her first name.  She really is a cheap date; only a little sugar water, and then, oh yeh!   (A little fact: sugar water freezes at 27degrees farenheit. Please correct me if I'm wrong.)  Anyway, she is still coming to the feeders at 21 Woodhull Place, Northport, NY.  All birders and hummerphiliacs are welcome.   

    It is with scary anticipation that I keep posting these updates knowing that one day I might have to post a final message.  But she's at her feeders today.  "So, here's looking at you, kid." ---Norm




Largest Flying Bird Known

A recently discovered species of prehistoric Condor in the genus TERATORNIS had a wingspan of 25 feet and is thought to have weighed about 175 pounds. Wow! Imagine that one coming to your bird feeder.


Al Merritt

W. Brattleboro, VT




Please keep us abreast of what birds you are seeing, whether at home or on a trip in or out of the Windham County area.


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