Sightings listed for the Southeastern Vermont Audubon Society

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

BIRD NOTES ~ February 25, 2009

White-winged Crossbills 2.22.09 by D. Johnston


Bird Notes



Eagles on Connecticut River

Recently a sighting of Bald Eagles at the Vernon Dam found that one of the eagles (a female) was injured and unable to use its right foot. Or was it? A call to Chris Martin of New Hampshire Audubon seemed to disprove that observation with news that he had observed this sort of behavior many times in courting eagles. Yet, there is still some doubt that in this case it may be an injury and not a behavior thing.


Robyn Flatley has set up a blogspot and asks for your help in reporting eagle sightings with unusual behavior that would indicate leg/foot injuries.


“I'm hoping people will post messages about the eagles there. Please let them know we are actively looking for the female eagle that hasn’t been seen since Saturday 2/21.”

---Robyn Flatley, Brattleboro, VT




Lake Wantastiquet from Hinsdale, NH, Saturday (2/21)

  2 Mute Swan

 51 American Black Duck

201 Mallard

  1 Ring-necked Duck

226 Common Goldeneye


 53 Hooded Merganser

 45 Common Merganser

  7 Wild Turkey

  3 Bald Eagle

  2 Ring-billed Gull

  8 Herring Gull

  3 Mourning Doves

  1 Belted Kingfisher

  1 Hairy Woodpecker

  1 Northern Shrike

  1 Common Raven

  1 Black-capped Chickadee

  4 Eastern Bluebird

 40 European Starlings


 20 species

---Lance Tanino, Keene, NH




Brattleboro Birds (2/22)

Pre-storm birding around town this morning: 2 flocks of Cedar Waxwings on Putney Rd., ~75 in front of the Colonial Motel and ~150+ Waxwings & 30 Robins in the trees around Agway, a flock of ~ 150 Pine Siskins with at least 3 common Redpolls on Wantastiquet Drive, another flock of ~250 Pine Siskins with at least 2 C. Redpolls at the feeders down Ferry Rd., our daily flock of ~50 Siskins at home on Bonnyvale Rd. along with our first REDWING BLACKBIRD, and as I was x-c skiing at the Brattleboro Country Club I found a pair of White-winged Crossbills(See attached photos) on the ground picking away at Hemlock cones. I raced back to my car, got my camera, and fortunately they were still there and very cooperative on my return.


Around 4:00 there were ~80 Bohemian Waxwings in the treetops next to our house on Bonnyvale Rd. They were feeding on Bittersweet berries. Snowy days certainly bring surprises!

---Dave Johnston, W. Brattleboro, VT



SVAS Cape Ann/Plum Island Field Trip, Feb. 21-22

Thirteen people joined the SVAS winter coastal birding trip last Saturday. 54 species were seen (not bad for mid-February), with many good coastal sightings. But the real highlight was the raptor displays and sightings. I'll have more on those later. A few photos are on my website:


Here's the species list, with some of the highlights in bold:


Red-necked Grebe

Horned Grebe

Great Cormorant

Mute Swan

Snow Goose

Canada Goose



American Black Duck

Common Eider

Harlequin Duck

Long-tailed Duck

Surf Scoter

White-winged Scoter

Common Goldeneye


Red-breasted Merganser

Great Blue Heron

Turkey Vulture

Bald Eagle

Northern Harrier

Red-tailed Hawk

Rough-legged Hawk


Peregrine Falcon

Purple Sandpiper

Ring-billed Gull

Great Black-backed Gull

Iceland Gull

Herring Gull

Black Guillemot

Red-throated Loon

Common Loon

Rock Dove

Mourning Dove

Snowy Owl

Blue Jay

American Crow

Cedar Waxwing

Eastern Bluebird

American Robin

Northern Mockingbird

European Starling

White-breasted Nuthatch

Black-capped Chickadee

House Sparrow

House Finch

White-winged Crossbill

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Dark-eyed Junco

American Tree Sparrow

Northern Cardinal

Red-winged Blackbird - vanguard of the males

Common Grackle


---Chris Petrak, S. Newfane, VT



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.





Sunday, February 22, 2009

BIRD NOTES ~ February 22, 2009


Bird Notes

House-holing Woodpeckers

I live on Rounds Hill Rd in Putney (off of Route 5).  I went away for 3 weeks over Oct/Nov and came home to at least 14 woodpecker holes in my house.   Apparently they (downies and hairies) were making roosting holes - my yard was covered with beads of styrofoam insulation they chucked out.  They were BIG holes.  I had been away for 4 months prior to this and had not yet put out my feeders, so they were not attracted by that.


Anyway, my landlord had the holes filled with some kind of foamy stuff, then covered.  He also hung aluminum strips near the holes.  That stopped the hairies which were doing the major damage.  Once in a while the downy still drills.     I've hung pie plates in some spots and that seems to deter him, but he still drills occasionally in two spots where I can't reach to hang plates.  I've been feeding woodpeckers all winter - downy, hairy, red-bellied, and even pileated - I don't think that feeding is the problem.  The research I did online suggested it was a "fall" thing - making roosts, so am surprised your problem is continuing.


Hope you resolve it - and please share whatever works.

---Pat Shields, Putney, VT



? Seeking Bluejay Paint Pecking Advice ?

As far as birds pecking the houses we have blue jays that are picking off the white paint (oil base) of our house leaving large bare spaces on the siding.  I have been scattering egg shells for them and they are snatching those up quickly.  May try some oyster shell/calcium supplement we have for chickens out on the snow as well. Although, this may not be what they are after.


I have heard of another person with this same “chipping paint” problem. Are their any others out there?  

---Barbara Cole, Wilmington, VT




Local Birding

A juvenile Cooper's Hawk flew in front of the car and landed in some bushes yesterday on the short leg of the Meadowbrook Road triangle.  It then hopped up on the guardrail and sat for a few minutes until a car came by.  The Cardinals under the bushes escaped unscathed!


I snow shoed out to the Vernon Dam from the Hinsdale side, and found a flock of 20 - 30 Eastern Bluebirds, along with some Goldfinches feeding on the weed seed on the downriver side of the bluff.  A flock of about 50 Robins was busy on the sumacs on the upriver side of the bluff.  Other birds seen in the area include both Hairy and Downy Woodpeckers, a Red-tailed Hawk which flew over the dam, four Mute Swans and two Canada Geese above the dam, and many ducks which from a distance without a scope looked to be mostly Common Goldeneyes and Common and Hooded Mergansers.


As it started snowing, I came home by way of Caldwell Road in Northfield, MA and found the flock of Horned Larks still feeding in the fields where the manure has been spread.  They had been joined by a mixed flock of Mallard and Black Ducks.


Last week, a Turkey Vulture* flew over the intersection of High and Green Street.  

---Nori Howe, W. Brattleboro, VT


*First TV report of the year. Extremely early.




Carolina Wren Singing

Around 5 PM while working in the kitchen I heard a bird calling insistently in the backyard. When I went outside I could just barely make it out in the dusk; it was a small fluffed up Carolina Wren. It was calling but there was no answer. After a while it flew off around the corner of our house toward the suet feeder. I was able to record a short section which can be heard at  5th one down.

---Hilke Breder, Brattleboro, VT



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.






BIRD NOTES ~ Feb.18,2009

Pileated Woodpecker (female) by Al Merritt


Bird Notes



? Seeking Woodpecker Advice ?

I have Hairy and Downy Woodpeckers pecking on my house (which is a log cabin) and I can't get them to stop.  I have plenty of suet and peanuts to eat but they still like to peck on my logs.  One hole is so big that my husband is afraid they'll drill right through into the house.  He says that I need to take down my feeders so this behavior will stop.  I don't want to do this because I love my woodpeckers.  What should I do?  Any advice or suggestions will be greatly appreciated! 

---Beth Ann Repchick, Putney, VT



Lake Wantastiquet, Hinsdale, NH,  February 14

  4 Mute Swan

  1 Wood Duck

  7 American Black Duck

  1 Ring-necked Duck

201 Common Goldeneye


 29 Hooded Merganser

 41 Common Merganser


  9 Ring-billed Gulls

  1 Herring Gull

  1 Mourning Dove

  1 Hairy Woodpecker

 37 American Crow

  1 Black-capped Chickadee

 10 American Robin

 22 European Starling


---Lance Tanino, Keene, NH




Hollie Bowen reported that Bob Winston, from BEEC on Bonnyvale Rd. in West Brattleboro, is seeing more Bluebirds than usual around that area. Is there anyone else out there seeing Bluebirds?



West Brattleboro, VT, February 13

 3 Wild Turkey

 5 Mourning Dove


 2 Downy Woodpecker

 1 Hairy Woodpecker


 2 Blue Jay

 3 American Crow

 6 Black-capped Chickadee

 2 Tufted Titmouse

 1 White-breasted Nuthatch

40 American Robin

68 Cedar Waxwing

 6 Dark-eyed Junco

 2 Northern Cardinal

15 Pine Siskin

 3 American Goldfinch


*The Robins and Cedar Waxwings were gorging themselves on the fruit of the crabapple tree on Greenleaf Street across from the BAJC. The Pileated Woodpecker (See photo attached) was a female that is still visiting our suet block daily. The Barred Owl was with us for a couple of days sitting on a branch of a birch tree that overlooks our side yard. The Turkeys are daily visitors beneath our feeders.

---Barb Merritt, West B.


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.





Wednesday, February 11, 2009

BIRD NOTES ~ February 11, 2009

Eastern Bluebird © Hilke Breder

Bird Notes




This afternoon I walked up Outlook Dr. to the house on top to see whether there were any waxwings or redpolls in the well-stocked crabapple and catkin bearing trees, but found only a lone Eastern Bluebird sitting first on the edge of the roof and then on the back of a Adirondack chair, basking in the mid-afternoon sun. (See photo attachment)

---Hilke Breder, Brattleboro



West B. Bluebirds

My brother pointed out 4 beautiful Bluebirds sitting on a wire near Route 9 and Sunset Lake Road Saturday 2/7.  What a joy to see!

---Karen Davis, Brattleboro



Waterfowl Plus

As reported by Lance Tanino birding at Lake Wantastiquet and Hinsdale, NH on Saturday, February 7:

  4 Mute Swan

 35 American Black Duck

  2 Ring-necked Duck

206 Common Goldeneye

 34 Hooded Merganser

 44 Common Merganser

  3 Bald Eagle

  2 Red-tailed Hawk

  8 Ring-billed Gull

  1 Herring Gull

 75 Rock Pigeon

  1 Northern Flicker

 12 Crow

  2 Black-capped Chickadee

 36 American Robin

 98 Snow Bunting




Marlboro Variations

We continue to have Pine Siskins, Goldfinches and several Common Redpolls at the feeders.  A female Red-bellied Woodpecker visits the suet feeder and a female Red-breasted Nuthatch seems to have joined the male, who has been here for a couple of months.  Bluejays, Chickadees, Titmice, a White-breasted Nuthatch, Wild Turkeys, Crows and a male Cardinal round out the regular group.


We traveled into Massachusetts this morning(2/7) and saw many Horned Larks on Caldwell Road


We've visited the fruiting tree on Greenleaf Ave. and a busy apple tree at the Agway parking lot and have seen lots of Robins and Cedar Waxwings in both.  Any recent reports of Bohemians in a mixed flock anywhere in town?  We'd love to see one.

---Molly Martin, Marlboro




Kingfisher in Wardsboro

This past week in Wardsboro I spotted and heard a Belted Kingfisher.  Very odd.

---Mitch Harrison, Wardsboro



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.