Sightings listed for the Southeastern Vermont Audubon Society

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.







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