Sightings listed for the Southeastern Vermont Audubon Society

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Bird Notes ~ February 5, 2008

Bird Notes


Turning Junco Into Shrike

On Friday, 1/31, Dave Johnston of W. Brattleboro, looked out the window of his house and saw a NORTHERN SHRIKE standing over a freshly killed junco. The shrike then carried the junco into a honeysuckle hedge, dropping it a few times in the process, but finally securing it to a low branch that was used as its dinner table.



Guilford Flicker

In a conversation with John Kristensen this morning(2/3), he was elated to report a NORTHERN FLICKER coming to his suet feeder at the corner of Bonnyvale and Akley Roads in Guilford.



Bohemians, Cedars & Pine Grosbeaks (2/4)

This morning there were 2 BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS in with a flock of ~70 CEDAR WAXWINGS eating bittersweet berries in trees next to our house. The flock of ~ 25 PINE GROSBEAKS continues to make daily appearances at the intersection of Bonnyvale Rd and Miller Rd. in W. Brattleboro.

---Dave Johnston



Larks in Putney (2/5)

I saw a flock of 30-40 HORNED LARKS, at the dairy farm, on the River Road, in Putney. They were either feeding on the exposed parts of the silage piles, or sitting and walking on the snow, in the field, just across the road. I was able to slowly drive quite close in order to get a good view of them. I was able to see and observe all of the identifying markings and behavior, except the "horns". When I returned with my binoculars, the flock was swooping around, looking like they would land, but then taking flight again. They repeated this many times only to land quite a ways out in the field.

---Steve Medved, Putney



"Crash: A Tale of Two Species" on PBS Sunday February 10th

With its armored shell, ancient anatomy, and 350-million-year lineage, the horseshoe crab almost seems too inconspicuous to stir up controversy. Yet this humble creature is at the very center of a collision between three completely different species. For many decades, humans have harvested the horseshoe crab for use as fishing bait. Since the 1970s, we have even used horseshoe crab blood for medical purposes. But now we may have gone too far. Horseshoe crab numbers have declined significantly in the past few years. And, naturally, so have their egg numbers. This is especially important to a small shorebird that is a global traveler of the most impressive kind. The red knot makes one of the longest migrations of any animal -- a journey that takes it from one end of the earth to the other. To accomplish this feat, it relies on the eggs of the horseshoe crab. Without these eggs, the red knot is in danger.
     In the film "Crash: A Tale of Two Species," filmmaker Alison Argo tells the story of nature's amazing ability to create fragile connections among the most unexpected creatures, and of our potential as humans to destroy those connections -- or restore them.

"Crash: A Tale of Two Species" premieres Sunday, February 10th at 8 p.m. ET on PBS (check local listings).



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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