Sightings listed for the Southeastern Vermont Audubon Society

Monday, March 01, 2010

[BIRD NOTES] ~ March 1, 2010


Bird Notes


Guilford Snow Birds

There are lots of birds this week(2/23), in contrast to the rest of the winter.  A small flock of Red-winged Blackbirds are here.  Two apple trees have attracted a lot of birds: Robins, Cedar Waxwings, Starlings, a Red-bellied Woodpecker, a Bluebird, and Turkeys.  Ten Goldfinches and a White-throated Sparrow have been hanging out at the feeders along with our regular winter birds.
---Susan James, Guilford




Along with the usual winter birds (plus my wonderful Red Bellied) at my feeder,  today I saw the first Red-winged Blackbird hopping along on the snow covered driveway(2/28). I did see a flock of Robins when the ground was bare last week- who knows where they are now, but I think that bunch was here over the winter; the red-winged, though, is proof that things are turning. Even though there are no sugar buckets out yet, I am going to consider this as the start of spring!!

---Burt Tepfer, Putney, VT



Lake Wantastiquet (2/28)

(That portion of the CT River behind the Vernon Dam)

63 Canada Goose, 2 Wood Duck, 11 Ameican Black Duck, 22 Mallard, 67 Common Goldeneye, 1 Barrow’s Goldeneye, 13 Hooded Mergansers, 30 Common Mergansers, 2 Bald Eagles, 7 Ring-billed Gull, 1 Herring Gull, 1 Downy Woodpecker, 1 Hairy Woodpecker, 1 Pileated Woodpecker, 2 Blue Jay, 2 American Crow, 2 Black-capped Chickadee, 2 Brown Creeper, 47 American Robins, 110 European Starling, 1 American Tree Sparrow, Snow Bunting, 1 Red=winged Blackbird, 1 House Finch. A Total of 24 Species.

---Lance Tanino, Keene, NH



TV Over Chipmunk Crossing (2/28)

It is 3 weeks to the official first day of Spring, but while snow-raking my porch roof I spotted a Turkey Vulture as it sailed low over the trees of our neighbors yard on Greenleaf Street. It landed atop a tall white pine across Ames Brook releasing a shower of the several inches of accumulated snow. It didn’t tarry long and was soon air bound again and making circles above the brook farther to the west. An early date to be sure, especially considering the snow depth.



Storm Protection

Where do the birds go for protection during severe weather such as blizzards, hurricanes, and tornadoes?  Birds have an amazing ability to find refuge from storms, but they do it in a variety of ways, depending on the species and the bird's natural habitat.

Bluebirds, for example, often winter as far north as New England. They find protection against the cold and storms by communal roosting, often in a bird house. There are photographs of 13 male eastern bluebirds, all crowded into one bluebird house. This behavior shares warmth, and keeps the birds out of the wind, rain and snow. Other cavity nesters, such as chickadees, titmice and woodpeckers, also seek out old nesting sites in dead trees or bird houses in which to roost or find protection during a storm.

Nuthatches, which sometimes nest behind a loose piece of tree bark, may seek the same kind of shelter against the cold.

Flocks of Rosy Finches often roost in an outcropping of rock where they can get out of the cold wind.

Bobwhites make a circle of the covey, huddled side-by-side, with head facing out. This allows them to share body heat, while being ready to escape in all directions, should they be attacked.

Ruffed Grouse take a different tactic. They dive into a snow bank, and may stay there for several days until the storm passes. Many other birds retreat to dense, evergreen thickets where they are protected from the elements for the duration of the storm.

--- George H. Harrison



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


Southeastern Vermont Audubon Society


A friend is someone who reaches for your hand

 and touches your heart.



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