Sightings listed for the Southeastern Vermont Audubon Society

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

BIRD NOTES ~ 1.16.08


Bird Notes




The Bird Notes was great today!  Thanks again.  We saw a PILEATED WOODPECKER behind our neighbors house (The Farley's) this morning. 

---Mary Miller, Vernon


I just wanted report that we presently have a pair of BLUEBIRDS looking over our bird houses. I do not think that they are ready to settle in, but they at least are around. They were here several weeks ago as well. 

---Paul Miller, Vernon


I found a dead BARRED OWL beside the road. It had been hit that morning by a car.

---Judy Farley, Vernon




I spotted 1 BOHEMIAN WAXWING in a tree with about 80 other waxwings just past the Common on Putney Rd. in Bratt. I've been checking flocks of waxwings since I spotted 2 Bohemian in a flock of 60 on Nov. 19, 2007, but have come up empty until yesterday. As far as I know there have been no other postings of Bohemians in Windham County (????). Also on Putney Rd.

were 2 WHITE-THROATED SPARROW and a MOCKINGBIRD. At the Retreat Meadows a N. SHRIKE was sitting on a tree top on an island behind the water treatment plant. Other birds at the Meadows included a RED-TAILED HAWK, 7 COMMON




2 RAVENS along interstate 91 in Guilford, VT., ~30 HORNED LARKS on Caldwell Rd just south of Vernon, and a BARRED OWL perched on a low tree branch along Rte. 142 in Vernon. The PINE GROSBEAKS have been around Bratt. all week, but the flocks of redpolls have been noticeably absent since Wednesday.

---Dave Johnston, W. Brattleboro



Al -- I looked back over my Bird Notes from past years and didn't see much reference to PINE GROSBEAKS. Am I right in thinking that this year's flood of the birds is unusual?  If so, does anyone have an explanation as to why?  ---Anne Wheelock


Anne -- Yes, it was an unusual year for that species that is normally found north of the border. In looking back at the last decade of Christmas Bird Counts, there is only one other report listed and that was in 2001. The food crop in Canada was almost non-existent this year and reports had it that huge flocks of Pine Grosbeaks were piling up and becoming an irruptive species in our bordering states where the food supply has been extremely plentiful. Their preferred choice has been the fruit of the ornamental crabapple. Locally the favorite trees have been those around C&S Wholesalers, the Thompson House in back of the hospital, and behind the West Brattleboro Post Office. Though there have been multiple sightings in various locations throughout town. This may be the only chance for seeing them in our area. Possibly, for another ten years. So, I would suggest you take advantage of the opportunity. They are truly a striking species with males pink to red and the females an iridescent green/gold.



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In 1934 the first LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL (a European Species) was recorded in North America.  As late as the 1970's it was a "rare bird" and much sought after.  By 1990 it had bred in western Greenland.  Last year it successfully bred in MAINE!  This first record resulted in a hybrid with a Herring Gull, but was successful in fledging a chick.  With birds wintering in North America in the thousands now, more breeding is bound to occur.  I doubt it will be long before more, bonified pairs, remain to breed in the northeast. 

---John Haas, Yankee Lake, NY



Jeff Nugent reported seeing a cormorant, which he believed was a DOUBLE-CRESTED, from his Office window that overlooks the river. It was swimming, diving and then standing on the ice with wings outstretched (in its drying the feathers position). An unusual sighting at this time of year.


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.


Al Merritt

W. Brattleboro, VT


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