Sightings listed for the Southeastern Vermont Audubon Society

Monday, February 27, 2012

{BIRD NOTES} ~ February 27, 2012

N. Shrike by Paul Miksis   2.20.12


Bird Notes



A New Yard Bird

See attachment for a close up photo of a handsome Northern Shrike snapped by Paul Miksis at his home in downtown Brattleboro. It had been feeding on a House Sparrow that it had captured.



Red-bellied woodpecker Sunday (2/19) on the suet for a good fifteen minutes!

---Barbara Cole, Wilmington, VT


Robins Galore

In the midst of a snowstorm and wild wind yesterday, a flock of over 30 Robins arrived here and were feeding on the apples on our venerable old tree and on the ground.  They joined the group of Cedar Waxwings that have been here for about a week.  Then a few Starlings also showed up, too.  I've never seen anything like it in February  I've seen and heard a couple of Robins around during this strange winter, but this is something else!  I'm just very happy that they have found food here.

          Naturally, my feeders were well-visited during the storm by the usual crowd, including over 30 Goldfinches and Purple Finches.

---Mary Ann McLeod, Wilmington, VT


Eagles and more Eagles in Ferrisburg

A friend and I watched 19 Bald Eagles (10 adults, 9 immatures) at Kellogg Bay, Ferrisburg, VT this afternoon.  When we got there at 1pm there were 5 eagles.  When we left 3 hrs later there were 19.  Even got to watch two immatures swim in the water.  One seemed to fall in off a piece of ice; maybe it had reached to grab something and lost its balance.  This individual had to row with its wings quite a ways before reaching shallow enough water to stand in and be able to fly up.  It perched nearby and didn't seem any worse for wear.  Never even shook out its feathers.  Makes me wonder what sort of plumage characteristics they have to allow them to maintain body heat while swimming for so long in such cold water.   Has anybody ever plucked an eagle?  Do they have a pseudo down layer? (I raise geese and chickens for meat, so know all about their plumage characteristics.) There were Bluebirds in Monkton, Redwings and Grackles along Otter Creek, and 1000+ mallards at the mouth of Dead Creek.  Enjoy birds,
---Liz Lackey


CT River from Charlestown south to Hinsdale/Vernon (2/26) there was quite a pick-up in waterfowl migration:

Pintail    21

Canada geese  1500
Common mergs  140
Hooded merg    40
Common goldeneye  40
Black duck  20
Mallard   50 

G-W teal  1

Turkey Vultures   6
Common grackle  200 (in flock at Hinsdale)
Bald Eagle sitting, presumably incubating, on its nest.
---Hector Galbraith, Dummerston, VT


Great Backyard Bird Count

Did you by any chance participate in the 15th Annual GBBC last week? If you did and you haven’t yet sent in your species list and numbers of each, you still have time.  The deadline for submitting is March 6th.  The website where you will find all of the pertinent information is



Al Merritt

W. Brattleboro, VT



Saturday, February 18, 2012

{BIRD NOTES} ~ February 17, 2012

Bird Notes


Spring Sounds

Titmice are calling “peter, peter”, Cardinals are whistling, Downys are drumming, WB Nuthatches are “yanking”.  Isn’t it a bit early for that behavior or do you suppose they know something that we don’t?


Thrasher in Northfield, MA

I had a Brown Thrasher at Pauchaug Brook in Northfield, MA earlier today. (2/15)

Nori Howe, West Brattleboro< VT


Brattleboro Birds Singing

This morning at 7 am ( 2/17) I heard a White-throated Sparrow singing out back. Also a Carolina Wren has been around the yard singing. I've seen Mallards at the bottom of Broad Brook and 2 other places as well.

---Lani Wright, Brattleboro, VT


Cedar Waxwngs Continue in West B.

They continue at the crabapple tree on Greenleaf Street, but not for long.  I watched a small flock of Cedars today and they had almost completely stripped the tree of fruit. The Robins had already given up and were absent.


Lake Champlain Waterfowl

Taj Schottland and I spent much of yesterday along the lake. Along with the hundreds of Scaup & Goldeneye, reported by Ian at D.A.R. on Monday, there were 2 Canvasback & 2 Long-tailed Ducks and a  Red-breasted Merganser was in with a raft of Commons at Tri-Town. Along with the waterfowl, raptors were everywhere. A fun day.
---Don Clark, Grafton, VT


Spring Migrants are in the Hudson Valley

Today at a small wet woods bordering a small pond (outside Peekskill, NY) I had a nice little group of Robins, Red-wings, and Rusty Blackbirds. In the pond were Mallards, Blacks, Wood Ducks, Gadwall, Ring-necked, and Hooded Merganser.
---Bob Slechta


Mystery of a Puffin's Winter Home is Discovered 
Scientists and birdwatchers have long wondered exactly where Puffins go in the winter months.  Now, Project Puffin researchers are beginning to unravel the mystery.  Geolocation technology has enabled the first ever winter tracking of individual Atlantic Puffins from North America and reveals their surprising far-flung travels. In 2009, researchers attached tracking devices to the leg bands of eight puffins at their summer nesting island Seal Island National Wildlife Refuge, a 65-acre treeless island located 21 miles off the coast of Rockland, Maine. Last June they recovered the devices from two puffins.  The tiny tracking devices revealed that one puffin ranged from the icy waters of the northern Labrador Sea to warmer waters near Bermuda while the other wintered in the Gulf of St. Lawrence before travelling south to the offshore waters of the mid-Atlantic states.

---News from Project Puffin, Feb. 9, 2012


Al Merritt

West Brattleboro, VT



Monday, February 13, 2012

{BIRD NOTES} ~ February 13, 2012


Bird Notes


Birds at a Higher Elevation

We have juncos, ravens, crows, goldfinches, occasional purple finch pair, tons of blue jays, fewer chickadees than usual and a dearth of woodpeckers. Just a pair of downys once in a while, and an occasional wb nuthatch.  Not a usual winter – lots of suet out too.  The Squirrel population has increased  J

---Barbara Cole, Wilmington, VT


More West B. Robins

We also had a flock of robins eating from the ground under our sumac.  Unfortunately one of them flew directly into our picture window and did not survive.

---Judith Myrick , West B.


Join the Great Backyard Bird Count Feb. 17-20

Warmer temperatures and lack of snow in parts of North America are setting the stage for what could be a most intriguing 15th annual Great Backyard Bird Count, coming up February 17-20.

          Bird watchers across the U.S. and Canada are getting ready to tally millions of birds in the annual count coordinated by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Audubon, and Canadian partner Bird Studies Canada.

          In past counts, participants were most likely to report American Robins in areas without snow. Will more robins be seen farther north this year? Will some birds, such as Eastern Phoebes, begin their migrations earlier? And where will the “Harry Potter” owl turn up next? Snowy Owls have dazzled spectators as these Arctic birds have ventured south in unusual numbers this winter--an unpredictable occurrence that experts believe is related more to the availability of food than to weather.

          Participants count birds at any location they wish for at least 15 minutes on one or more days of the count, then enter their tallies at Anyone can participate in the free event, and no registration is required.

Last year, participants submitted more than 92,000 checklists with more than 11 million bird observations. These data capture a picture of how bird populations are changing across the continent year after year--a feat that would be impossible without the help of tens of thousands of participants.

          To learn more about how to join the count, get bird ID tips, downloadable instructions, a how-to video, past results, and more visit The count also includes a photo contest and a prize drawing for participants who enter at least one bird checklist online.

---Audubon and the Cornell Lab


P R O G R A M   N O T E :

February 21, 7:00pm - “What’s a Roof Prism? - and Other Binocular Mysteries” - Jim Morey, former president of Swarovsky North America, revolutionized birding optics when he led a team of top birders and engineers to design a binocular specifically for birders. He will demystify how binoculars work, the differences between “high end” and “low end binoculars, what to look for when buying, and how to get the best from the binoculars you have. Jim is an experienced birder and habitat consultant and will share thoughts on Vermont wildlife habitat.  This program will be held at Brattleboro's Brooks Library and is sponsored by Southeastern Vermont Audubon Society. Admission is FREE and open to the public.


 Al Merritt

W. Brattleboro, VT


Wednesday, February 08, 2012

{BIRD NOTES} ~ February 08, 2012

Northern Saw-whet Owl


Bird Notes



A flock of Cedar Waxings came through yesterday and made short work of cleaning all the berries off our big high bush cranberry.  Such beautiful birds.

---Carol Barber, South St., W. Brattleboro



I just saw a Red-winged Blackbird here in Westminster West.... I

imagine if I have seen one, there must be many more... earliest I have

recorded in this location... Best, Tatiana.

---Tatiana Schreiber



Dummerston Owl

About midnight last night a Saw-whet was calling outside my house in
---Hector Galbraith



Robins in West B.

This morning about eleven I was driving home via Greenleaf Street when I slowed to check out the old reliable ornamental crabapple that was again loaded with tiny apples as it is each year. There on the ground beneath its drooping branches was a flock of about 2 dozen Robins enjoying the fallen bounty. Spring-like signs though not yet officially so. It was still a welcome sight.



Florida Report

Paula and I returned from a week down in Florida where we celebrated my Dad's 86th birthday. While there we had some excellent birds:
Sarasota: Celery Fields: a beautiful drake CINNAMON TEAL

      400 Redheads
Merritt Island: EURASION WIGEON(2)

      300 American Avocets along Black Pointe Drive
      5 Painted Buntings by the visitor center
      6 Black-bellied Whistling Ducks
      1 Purple Gallinule
---Scotty Baldinger, Wurtsboro, NY




Please share your birding news with us.

What have you got coming to your feeders?

Are there any birds nesting in your yard?

What have you seen while on a trip?

Drop us an e-mail


 Al Merritt

W. Brattleboro, VT


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