Saturday's highlite-3 PINE GROSBEAKS(2males and 1 female) eating crab apples behind the W. Brattleboro post office and 4 REDPOLLS at home in W. Bratt. A flock of 15 TREE SPARROWS has been hanging around our house for a few days. Sunday morning brought marauding flocks of ~35 CEDAR WAXWINGS to our bittersweet and 15-20 REDPOLLS to our feeder and birch tree. Around 2PM,40-50 REDPOLLS returned and enjoyed our feeders and birch tree, coming and going for an hour and a half. During this time I was able to observe one particularly light redpoll perched in the tree and also on the ground eating seed 15 feet from our picture window. After several observations and research I concluded that this bird was a HOARY REDPOLL based on the overall whiteness compared to all the others, extremely limited streaking high up on the flanks (a couple of thin, short wisps), and the lack of streaking on the undertail coverts. I did manage to take a few pictures with a digital camera, unfortunately without my scope. Only one photo was halfway decent. ---Dave Johnston, W. Brattleboro, VT
Today a small flock of EVENING GROSBEAKS were at the feeder-I counted ten. I haven't seen any for a month or more, so it was a real surprise. ---Burt Tepfer, Putney
On Lyman pond here in Waltham, Mass a male & female hooded merganser. At my Duncraft mini classic window feeder, I had 5 CHICKADEES, 5 or so TITMICE, one female DOWNY WOODPECKER, a CARDINAL pair and several WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS. All supervised by two RED-TAILED HAWKS on a nearby defunct factory chimney. ---Doreen Pugh
We had a flock of about 20 REDPOLLS at our feeder two days in a row. ---Sally Warren, Grafton, VT
An allegedly routine trip to the Brattleboro Food Co-Op today yielded some amazing looks at a COOPER’S HAWK. It was hanging out in a tree over the river(Whetstone Brook) by the co-op parking lot. Best extended look I'd ever had at a Coopers (my usual look is from Putney Mountain as they go whizzing by). ---Julie Waters
We have also had a RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER and REDPOLLS by our feeder. I've seen and heard more BARRED OWLS recently than usual. The Christmas Bird Count may be a particularly interesting year.
---Susan James, Guilford
A Rising Number of Birds at Risk
By ANTHONY DePALMA
New York Times--Dec.1--Relentless sprawl, invasive species and global warming are threatening an increasing number of bird species in the United States, pushing a quarter of them — including dozens in New York and New Jersey — toward extinction, according to a new study by the National Audubon Society and the American Bird Conservancy.
The study, called WatchList 2007, categorized 178 species in the United States as being threatened, an increase of about 10 percent from 2002, when Audubon’s last study was conducted. Of the 178 species on the list, about 45 spend at least part of the year in this region.
Among the most threatened is the rare Bicknell’s thrush, a native of the Catskill and Adirondack highlands whose winter habitat in the Caribbean is disappearing. Although less at risk, the wood thrush — whose distinctive song was once emblematic of the Northeast’s rugged woodlands — is on the list because a combination of acid rain and sprawl has damaged its habitat and caused its numbers to decline precipitously over the last four decades.
Here at Chipmunk Crossing we have been getting good looks at the COMMON REDPOLLS as they vie for a perch on the feeders that the Chickadees think they own. A pair of CAROLINA WRENS came in for suet and seed on Saturday morning and a single bird has returned each day since. But, I have saved the best of all for last. That afternoon about 3:30 a BARRED OWL flew in and landed on the roof of the post feeder. It is a feeding station about 15 feet from the house that we allow the squirrels to get into. The owl sat facing our window and remained there looking in all directions, but was never phased by our movements in the house. It remained in that position until we could no longer see it when darkness fell. I didn’t get a picture because my camera has an automatic flash that would have not only scared it but would have reflected off the window back into the lens. AAARGH! It was the best look we have ever had of a Barred Owl in the wild.
Don’t forget the Christmas Bird Count is next Saturday. If you are birding in the field with a group, it is time to scout out your area in hopes of finding some good birds that might just hang around until the 15th. Keep in mind that if they are spotted on the 12th, 13th, 14th, or 16th, 17th, 18th, they can be recorded as being seen during “Count Week”.
A friend is someone who reaches for your hand and touches your heart.
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
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