Sightings listed for the Southeastern Vermont Audubon Society

Friday, March 09, 2007

[BIRD NOTES] March 9, 2007


Bird Notes


Are You Looking and Listening?

Pussy Willows are out; buckets are hung with care on the sugar maples; Nuthatches, Cardinals, and Tufted Titmouse have suddenly become more vociferous and the voice of the Turtle (In our case Mourning Dove.) is being heard. Robins are becoming a common sight in and around the fruit laden Sumacs and ornamental fruit trees. I expect that we will soon be seeing crocuses in the sunny spots on the lee sides of homes along the avenue.



Red-winged Blackbird with a Mission

This morning in the freezing cold and fierce wind we had one Red-winged Blackbird at our feeders.  Maybe he came in on the SW winds last night.  It was too late for second thought for him.

 ---Susan James, Guilford, VT


More Early Birds.

Today (3/8) we found 4 Red-winged Blackbirds sitting in a shrub out of the wind and in the sun on Ferry Road in Brattleboro. They were all fluffed up and soaking up some heat. Couldn’t blame them for that, it was only 11 degrees.



RE: Owls Are Sounding Off

Regarding "Owls Are Sounding Off" (March 6th Bird Notes)...... At this time of year, several years ago, I made a tape recording, for my stereo, by repeatedly copying the sound of Great Horned Owls, from the Peterson Field Guides Eastern/Central Bird Songs CD. After placing my stereo speakers in open windows, I turned up the volume, hoping not to disturb my distant neighbors, but hoping to call in the two Great Horned Owls that I had just heard, that evening. One was calling from a south easterly direction, and the other, from a more distant southwestern direction.

My wife and I, together with our visiting adult children bundled up and went outside to see if it worked. Nothing seemed to be happening, so our bird watching lapsed into unrelated conversation and shivering. Then, we began to occasionally hear the owls calling back, from ever decreasing distances. After that, and for awhile, we heard no calls at all, except those calls coming from the stereo. The clouds were covering an almost full moon, making it difficult to see, by moonlight, but when they parted, I again looked up into a maple and an ash tree, that formed a leafless canopy, above us. I could clearly see two Great Horned Owls sitting on the tree branches above us. One was on the maple and one was perched on the ash. They were 25' to 30' above us and about the same distance from each other, but not making a sound. The owls occasionally and very slightly shifted positions, but one then changed limbs to a higher location, while we moved around below, whispering, and shivering as we tried to find even better vantage points.

We rewound the tape several times and therefore had a good long look at these magnificent birds. The owls outlasted us on that cold winter night. One by one, us humans had to go inside to the warmth, in order of lesser to greater amounts of clothing and body fat. Perhaps that, even in the presence of humans, these owls hung in there, wanting to defend their territory against this noisy, but unseen Peterson Field Guide owl.

---Steve Medved, Putney, Vt.



A Real Rarity

Here is one for the list-chaser if you are willing to travel to Florida to get it. It may be only the second ABA record of this species.
3/8/07--Loggerhead Kingbird, Fort Zachary Taylor State Park, Key West. Observer: Carl Goodrich.  Directions: Fort Zachary Taylor is located at end of Southard Street on Truman Annex. Open 8am-sundown. Fee. Bird seen by nature trail next to first parking area on right.


Larks and Buntings

On Tuesday, a drive on Pond Road in Vernon turned up 21 Horned Larks and 14 Snow Buntings feeding in the grasses at roadside. Passing vehicles spooked them for only seconds. They would then fly out over the fields and return to continue gleaning the weed seeds. It afforded us great looks at the wing pattern of the buntings as the white patches flashed in the sun.



Bird Vermont’s “Hot Spots” from your armchairs.

I hope you all remembered to watch Bryan Pfeiffer’s “Birding In Vermont” on VPT last Tuesday evening. It was a great presentation. There was lots of good photography and Bryan being Bryan with his inevitable expertise and delivery. It will be shown again on Saturday, March 10, at 12 p.m. and Sunday, March 11, at 6:30 a.m. & 6 p.m. It is well worth the watch.


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.


Daylight Saving Time Extended by Four Weeks

This Sunday, the second Sunday in March (March 11), at 2 a.m., Daylight Saving Time begins in the United States. This year, Daylight Saving Time is four weeks longer than last year due passage of the Energy Policy Act in 2005. Three weeks in the spring and one in the fall. The Act, which extends Daylight Saving Time by four weeks from the second Sunday of March to the first Sunday of November, is expected to save 10,000 barrels of oil each day due to reduced use of power by businesses during daylight hours. Remember, Spring ahead and Fall back.



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