Sightings listed for the Southeastern Vermont Audubon Society

Friday, December 26, 2008

BIRD NOTES ~ December 26, 2008


Bird Notes


Bald Eagle at Retreat Complex

My daughter tells me that there was a mature bald eagle perched on the Retreat's cupola one day last week & it caused quite a stir!!  Folks there are seeing them regularly & are excited about them!

---Hollie Bowen, Brattleboro, VT



On a hike -- or I should say, a hearty snowshoe breaking trail -- on Wantastiquet Mt. yesterday (12/22) -- we had a red-tail circling and calling and then a very noisy pileated woodpecker flying by squawking. Two days before I had seen tracks of raccoon, fox, snowshoe hare, deer, and field mice, but nothing at all yesterday.

---Mark Mikolas, Brattleboro, VT


The birds have been taking advantage of the feeders both just before and after the recent storms. The siskins seem to be always here in 1s, 2s, or 3s but we had about 10 this morning. A male and female purple finch showed up for just a day. The pair of Carolina wrens are daily visitors plus all of the usual  feeder birds except mourning doves. None so far this winter. While I was shoveling on Monday morning I heard some tseeps that sounded familiar and looked up to see +/- 60 cedar waxwings in the crown of a large maple. Canada geese were still here right up until the storm. They would rest just out of the current on the downstream shores of islands in the Connecticut River. Now large rafts of ice are floating by and the geese have no refuge. There are still a few mallards at the mouth of Whetstone Brook behind the Riverview Café and a red-tailed hawk was cruising over the river.


Ruffed grouse seemed to be everywhere in the national forest in Somerset after the ice storm.  I flushed 9 during one day in the woods. Tracks in the snow showed that they had been strutting and covering a lot of ground looking for food. Deer were apparently browsing on twig tips, ice and all. Ravens were about, as well.

---Charlie La Rosa, Brattleboro, VT


Our finches and siskins have disappeared again.  However, we had an exciting visitor on snowy Sunday. A Barred Owl spent about 20 minutes hunting at our feeders. First he tried to sit in the small bush next to the feeders and then he walked around under the bush. He moved a short distance away to a tree and looked for the squirrel, which was nowhere to be seen. Our 9 turkeys visited the feeders today (12/22).  They are not bothered by our movement in the house.
---Susan James, Guilford, VT


100 cedar waxwings in the crowns of large oak and maple in the yard. Usual group at the feeders plus a good look at an adult male Cooper's hawk that snagged a junco for his Christmas dinner. He alighted at the base of a large spruce where the branches entered the snowpack with the victim in his talons then flew around behind the tree at the next blast of wind. Also, on Cedar Street near the ski jump, a very light-colored juvenile red-tail flew up and landed on a limb as we drove under. The belly band was virtually absent. Unfortunately, I couldn't stop at the time. Today there was a single male house finch at one of our feeders.


More siskins today (12/26) than usual, at least 15 in the group in the feeders with a lone goldfinch. There is one that comes daily that has a very thin spine of some sort protruding straight forward from its bill. I can't determine whether the spine is lodged inside the bill or between the skin and bill on the exterior. It seems to feed ok but occasionally sweeps its bill sharply to the side in an apparent effort to rid itself of the annoyance. Wish I could just stick my hand through the window pane and pull it out. I was also thinking today of the 'old days' when we had many evening grosbeaks daily devouring the sunflower seeds and pine grosbeaks in the spruce and even a boreal chickadee. Does anyone in town remember when the varied thrush spent several days at the feeder? I remember my mother serving coffee and snacks in the kitchen to people who came from miles around to see him. And that was in the 60's...pre-internet!

---Charlie La Rosa, Brattleboro



Six Evening Grosbeaks, 3 M & 3 F, found the black oil sunflower feeder in the yard of Burt Tepfer in Putney last Tuesday(12/23).


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


A friend is someone who reaches for your hand and touches your heart.






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