Stash and Hoot
Yesterday (2/3) we had a Red-bellied Woodpecker under our feeders - a first for us. It was a beautiful female adult. She would repeatedly get a seed from the ground and fly a few feet into a nearby tree. It looked like she may have been pushing the seeds under bark and into joints of small branches. I couldn't see well enough to be sure she was stashing, or shelling and eating and using the tree as a vise. If she returns I'll use the telescope to get a better view. Do woodpeckers stash food?
On the night of 2/1 a Great Horned Owl called - second time I heard a GH in the last month.
P.S. The Birder's Handbook says that Red-bellied Woodpeckers do hoard food. ---Susan James, Guilford, VT
Barton Cove (2/2/07)
Two mature Bald Eagles standing on the ice, feeding on a Mallard carcass.
Turners Falls Power Canal(2/2)
Common Goldeneye (26)
Mute Swan (13)
Ring-necked Duck (3)
Canada Geese (100s)
Common Merganser (1)
Great Black-backed Gull (17)
Golden-crowned Kinglet (2m & 2f)
Cedar Waxwing (16)
Winkin’ and Blinkin’
On January 29th at about 1:30 in the morning I was looking out the window of our front door toward the road in hopes of catching a glimpse of a very noisy automobile/truck that had been frequenting our road in the wee hours, racing its engine and speeding past the house. As I stood there staring into the darkness I thought that I saw a tiny light blink out of the corner of my eye. Was it the reflection of a house light? Couldn’t be . . . the house was in complete darkness. I gazed in that direction again and sure enough a tiny sparkle of light came from the main beam along the front roof of our porch. My God, I thought, it can’t be a lightning bug it’s the end of January and 14 degrees. I waited. In about 20 seconds it flashed again this time it was closer and appeared to be hovering about 3 feet from my nose which by this time was pressed against the pane. It is a firefly! I watched not believing my eyes. How could this be? It continued with its flashing every 20 seconds, occasionally returning to its spot on the beam then back to its hovering position in the middle of the porch. I called to Barb and said “you’re not going to believe this but there is a firefly blinking on our porch”. She was not about to leave the warmth of her bed to see my “find”, so the next night she checked it out herself and saw exactly the same ritual that I had witnessed. Seven days later this strange little bug is still making its nightly appearance in the same location on our front porch.
Has anyone out there heard of or witnessed such a behavior in the winter? By the way, the noisy auto has never returned.
Whooping Cranes Lost in Florida Storm
We regretfully announce the loss of the 18 juvenile Whooping Cranes at the Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge in Florida. The cranes died as a result of the storms that swept through central Florida during the evening and early morning of February 1 and 2.
While this is a setback for the Whooping crane reintroduction project, WCEP has faced challenges in the past and we plan to move forward with our effort to return this highly imperiled species to its historic range in eastern North America. ---Bruce Flewelling
Vermont Public TV Birding Special
Vermont and its birds star in a new Vermont Public Television special called “Birding in Vermont” that will premiere Wednesday, March 7, at 8 p.m. on VPT. Broadcasts are also scheduled for Saturday, March 10, at noon; Sunday, March 11, at 6:30 a.m. and 6 p.m.; and Thursday, March 15, at 7:30 p.m. Bryan Pfeiffer is the on-camera guide who shows where, when and how to find birds. He is a photographer and consulting naturalist and co-author of a guide to finding birds in Vermont.
The program features some of the state’s most familiar birds and some of the rarest. Bryan leads viewers to top birding spots, throughout the course of a year, from backyard feeders, to a remote bog, to the state’s highest peak. He explains the tools of the trade and offers tips to make birdwatching enjoyable for people at every level of experience.
Groundhog Lacks Shadow
Punxsutawney Phil's lack of a shadow on Friday morning predicted that spring will come early this year.
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.
W. Brattleboro, VT