Sightings listed for the Southeastern Vermont Audubon Society

Friday, April 19, 2013

{BIRD NOTES} ~ April 19, 2013


                                                             OSPREY © Edith Thompson

              Bird Notes  


Attracting Birds Dilemma

As the new resident on the block, I've been complaining for months about my inability to attract birds to my feeders.  I've changed feeder styles multiple times, switching from platform feeders to cylinder styles -- both for thistle and black-oil sunflower seed.  I've introduced "Chickadee Mix" and Woodpecker Mix" and offered whole wheat bread with chunky peanut butter.  I have a bird bath that's available in sub-zero temperatures.  (Granted, I'm spoiled from my dozen plus years in Marlboro when Evening Grosbeaks used to be regulars on my deck railing and Redpolls lined my driveway.)


Whatever progress I've made here in town in the last few months just went up in smoke.  At about 4:30 p.m., today a Cooper's Hawk swooped in and grabbed a Mourning Dove and flew off with it, leaving a trail of feathers behind.  I'm sure the news will travel through the neighborhood bird population and my feeders will be off limits for weeks. 


Is this important juxtaposed against what's going on in Boston?  No.  But I needed to acknowledge the loss of one of my few regular bird visitors and to say it will be missed. 

---Molly Martin, Brattleboro, VT



West River Trail / Vernon Dam (4/14)

There were lots of sparrows this morning at the Brattleboro Marina/ West River Trail. Song and Savannah were most numerous with 1 Vesper, 1 Field, 2 Swamp, 2 Tree, and 2 Fox in the mix. Also the Red-throated Loon first seen Friday evening was just above Vernon Dam this morning ~ 10:45.



Brattleboro and Environs

I heard the first White-throated Sparrow this morning around my house in town (4/15), and yesterday (Sunday) went along the Connecticut  River from the Wastewater Treatment Plant on down to Vernon Dam. Saw two pairs of Wood Ducks and a group of 3 males, plus Common Mergansers, one Hooded Merganser and two Double-crested Cormorants who had to keep diving to escape an aggressive Canada Goose. There were two Ospreys, one with an animal in its claws (couldn't tell what that was), and another hovering over the water. There were the usual suspects, Red-wing Blackbirds, Song Sparrows, Juncos, Robins, 3 Turkeys, Crows, Mourning Doves, etc. And on Saturday after the snow had stopped, dozens and dozens of Robins were tearing through the leaf litter around the yard, under bushes, and chowing down presumably on worms and other tasty tid-bits. It was a feeding frenzy for sure. The big oak tree across the street has been a roost for anywhere from 12 to 20 Turkey Vultures at various times this past week. Lots going on here in Brattleboro near the hospital.

---Mary Lea, Brattleboro, VT



A Walk In Manchester

Today on a walk around the Manchester Recreation Area I observed many sparrows and the return of 10 Tree Swallows; probably the same ones that have nested there year after year.

---.Barbara Powers, Manchester Center, VT    



GRAY FOX © A. Blake


At Chipmunk Crossing (4/15)

We had 3 Common Redpolls visit our feeder today. That is the first since sometime in the Fall of last year. They were in good rosy plumage. “Rusty” the Fox Sparrow is also gracing us with its presence on occasion and has been scratching up a storm at the base of the willow bush..  “Spencer” the Song Sparrow has returned again this year from wherever it winters and will soon find a mate and nesting site in the brush somewhere in the surrounding area. The Phoebe pair has also returned and are fluttering around the ledge above our upstairs window where they have nested for years.  This morning I heard the staccato drumming of the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. The lone Gray Fox continues its visit at about dusk each evening to lick up all of the leftover black oil sunflower seed that the male and female Cardinal have missed.  (See photo above)



Vermont Bird Checklist Update

The Vermont Bird Records Committee (VBRC) is pleased to announce the latest
update to the Vermont Bird Checklist (annual update) and the Field Card
(first update since 2009). Both can be found at
We'd like to thank Ted Murin for his time and energy as part of the
checklist committee.
---Kent McFarland






Please share your birding news with us.


What have you got coming to your feeders?


What have you seen while on a trip?


Al Merritt

W. Brattleboro, VT






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