Sightings listed for the Southeastern Vermont Audubon Society

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Bird Notes ~ March 5, 2008


Bird Notes




UMass Owl

Last night (2/7) at approx. 7 PM I sighted a BARRED OWL flying across a major roadway on the UMass Amherst campus. I turned my car around to see if I could follow it. I found it perched in a tree about 50 ft. from the road and it took flight when I got out of my car. It flew to a pine outside a dorm hall and sat there perched about 20 ft. off the ground, illuminated by the building's flood light. I decided to let it be since I know that the owls are struggling this winter. I hope it success in the hunt.

---Ben Riseman, Guilford


 A “Murder” of Crows

Thursday evening at dusk while standing in the Staple’s parking lot we saw a huge black cloud of birds appear in the sky flying westward. It was at dusk and hard to distinguish what they were. Too big for blackbirds, too small for Canada Geese but holding their proximity to each other as we had often times seen blackbirds do when flying in migration. We grabbed the spare binoculars from the glove compartment and identified them as Crows. They were undoubtedly heading for a nearby roost for the night. We had never seen them fly in this tight-knit group before. They are normally scattered and/or in long lines when heading for their roost.



A “Raffle” of Turkeys

Here at Chipmunk Crossing the turkeys are still showing up for their daily rations of cracked corn. The numbers have settled in at an average of eleven. Most are young males (Jakes). When the sun came out for a short time this afternoon they took advantage of its warmth to dry their feathers by standing around and stretching wings, fanning tails and preening feathers. (See attachment)


The Greenleaf Street crabapple tree that has been attracting Robins, Cedar Waxwings and Pine Grosbeaks for a couple of weeks now is finally without fruit and the gatherings of birds has ceased.



Easter 2008

Easter is always the 1st Sunday after the 1st full moon after the Spring Equinox (which is March 20). This dating of Easter is based on the lunar calendar that Hebrew people used to identify Passover, which is why it moves around on our Roman calendar.
Here's the interesting info. This year is the earliest Easter any of us will ever see the rest of our lives! And only the most elderly of our population have ever seen it this early (95 years old or above!). And none of us have ever, or will ever, see it a day earlier! Here are the facts:
1) The next time Easter will be this early (March 23) will be the year 2228 (220 years from now). The last time it was this early was 1913 (so if you're 95 or older, you are the only ones that were around for that!).
2) The next time it will be a day earlier, March 22, will be in the year 2285 (277 years from now). The last time it was on March 22 was 1818. So, no one alive today has or will ever see it any earlier than this year!


Don’t forget to turn your clocks ahead on Saturday evening.




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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