Al, Thought you might be interested in this.
Highlights from Vernon yesterday (3/11). Birds are on the move!
21 Ring-neck Duck
4 Greater Scaup
11 GW Teal
22 Wood Duck
700+ C Geese ( no rarities could be found)
6 Rusty Blackbirds
Gt Horned Owl
---Don Clark, Grafton, VT
Spring Bird Feeders
We are enjoying the longer and warmer daytime hours and it is so nice to hear the resident birds singing. But, don’t forget that it is also time for the bears to awaken looking for a quick and easy meal. The location of your bird feeder could still be etched in its mind so be forewarned. No birdfeeder is safe from these furry foragers. We have lost several feeders over the years because we thought we could outsmart them by bringing our feeders in at night. Believe me, to a hungry bear, there is no difference between day and night.
Redpolls & Bluebirds in West B.
In response to Jean Pett's inquiry about Redpolls I can report that we have had a flock come and go with some frequency in the last month. We also have a flock of Bluebirds that seem to be staying around and checking out the nest boxes in the neighborhood.
---Carol Barber, West Brattleboro, VT
I live in West Guilford and just had the opportunity to watch a Northern Shrike harassing (hunting) the chickadees from two feet away in our quince bush. What a sight.
---Karen Murphy, W. Guilford, VT
Turkeys and Redpolls in Wilmington
Wow! And I thought I had seen an ultimate number of Bald Eagles in one place on the Bird Islands off the coast of Cape Breton! This group is an amazing sight, and I'm so glad that someone thought to feed them. (See March 9 “Bird Notes”) Right now I feel responsible for a flock of 6 Wild Turkeys who have made my place their feeding station. They come around a couple of times a day, since we still have deep snow here in Wilmington. I am happy to help them out in trying times.
I, too, have had a flock of Redpolls mixed in with a mess of Goldfinches coming to my feeders in large groups for quite a number of weeks.
---Mary Ann McLeod, Wilmington, VT
A Yard Full of Common Redpolls
Photo by Barbara Cole
We have had this size flock as steady feeder visitors most of the winter. (See photo) They came before the snow flew. Too many to count!! This past week there has been maybe twenty-five or so.
---Barbara Cole, Wilmington,VT
Not a Bird, But It Glides Through the Air
Last evening (3/8) about 10 o’clock, I flipped on the front porch light to check and see if it was snowing yet. There on the deck was a small brownish creature consuming some of the leftover mixed seed that I had spilled there for the Juncos that come there when the weather is bad. First thought was red squirrel. But it was nighttime and I am sure by now they would be buried in their warm nests getting some zzzs. Further examination revealed a white belly with a brownish/gray back and a broad flat shaped tail. Not at all red and bushy. By golly I believe we have a Flying Squirrel. Never encountered one here before. Can’t imagine where it is hanging out since we have about 18 inches of snow that covers most of our acre plus yard. Of course we do have a sizeable wood pile that would be ideal for his digs. Has anyone else had an experience with Flying Squirrels? Years ago we have found them in late Fall holed up in Bluebird houses.
Bald Eagle Photos Genuine, Story Was Not
Please note that in the last issue we passed along an article, with two beautiful photos of wintering Bald Eagles that were being fed by caring people in Hinckley, Ohio. Two “eagle-eyed” SEVA members sent me e-mails explaining that the city of Hinckley, Ohio was nowhere near Lake Erie where this was purported to have taken place. As it turns out the photos were genuine, but were taken in Homer, Alaska which is an Alaskan fishing and artists community 130 miles south of Anchorage. The designated feeding area was near the residence of Jean Keene, commonly known as the state’s “Eagle Lady.” She started feeding the Eagles in the late 1970s, when she was working at a fish processing plant called Icicle Seafoods. Every day she would chop hundreds of pounds of salmon heads and tails, as well as cod and herring and toss it to the predatory birds. Jean never sought publicity or attention for feeding the eagles and never asked anyone for a dime. Ms. Keene passed away in January 2009 at the age of 85.
TV Over West B.
As we drove past the West Brattleboro firehouse yesterday (3/13) we spotted our first of the year Turkey Vulture circling overhead, then tipping its wings, as TVs do, then sailing out of sight to the south.
Deer Are Moving
A large doe with 4 youngsters trailing behind, waded through the foot or more of snow that still remains on our back hillside, and headed for lower ground. They stopped atop the bank that overlooks the road and I could see the doe looking and listening with ears perked. Satisfied that it was safe she scampered down the bank with younger ones in tow and crossed over the busy road. As the last one approached the macadam a car suddenly appeared and then slowed down allowing the youngster to cross without startling it. The deer were probably interested in getting a drink from Ames Brook that was now running free after the day of rain.
Please share your birding news with us.
What have you got coming to your feeders?
What have you seen while on a trip?
W. Brattleboro, VT
HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY