Posted tagged ‘outdoors’

Species List: December 2016 Bird Monitoring

January 2, 2017

It’s a quiet week in  – oh, wait. Right. We went walking! Also not-walking. Both activities let us record birds.

Mourning Dove on Feeder in Winter

Mourning Dove on a feeder roof – Love those pink toes.

Thank you, Executive Director Erin Talmage, for leading this month’s walk. Happy New Year!

Birds of Vermont Museum, Chittenden, Vermont, US
 Dec 31, 2016 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM
 Protocol: Traveling
 1.5 kilometer(s)
 Comments:     Monthly monitoring walk led by Erin Talmage
 7 species
 
 Mourning Dove  6
 Downy Woodpecker  1
 Blue Jay  4
 American Crow  3
 Black-capped Chickadee  8
 Tufted Titmouse  1
 White-breasted Nuthatch  2
 
 View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S33306204

 Dec 31, 2016 8:00 AM - 10:00 AM
 Protocol: Stationary
 Comments:     Observation window
 12 species
 
 Mourning Dove  7
 Downy Woodpecker  3
 Hairy Woodpecker  4
 Blue Jay  18
 American Crow  1
 Black-capped Chickadee  8
 Tufted Titmouse  3
 Red-breasted Nuthatch  1
 White-breasted Nuthatch  1
 Dark-eyed Junco  7
 White-throated Sparrow  2
 Northern Cardinal  2
 
 View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S33307788
 
These reports were generated automatically by eBird v3 (http://ebird.org)

We’ll be out again on January 28th at 7:30 a.m. for our next Monthly Bird Monitoring Walk. Tell us you’ll be joining us! Remember: there’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing.

Feeder Cam update

November 10, 2016

Briefly, today, I thought that thanks to some finagling, we had gotten the feed of images from our feeder cam back online!

Only… then we found out that no, this isn’t working quite right. So…back to talking to the ISP and tech service there!

http://birdsofvermont.org/camera

Through the Window: October 2016

November 4, 2016

“And the leaves /come tumbling down” — well, ok, a misquote, but nice for this time of year. We have turned our autumn corner, from “open daily” to “open by appointment” — although our bird feeding continues daily also!

In October, we noticed these birds, fluttering, swooping, perching, or interacting with each other. Bold are those not recorded last month.

  • Black-capped Chickadee
  • Blue Jay
  • Red-breasted Nuthatch
  • Mourning Dove
  • Hairy Woodpecker
  • White-throated Sparrow (juveniles and adults)
  • Downy Woodpecker
  • Dark-eyed Junco
  • Tufted Titmouse
  • Wild Turkey (~12 on October 6)
  • White-breasted Nuthatch
  • Purple Finch
  • Northern Cardinal
  • Red-tailed Hawk (over the Museum, seen from the front entrance path)
  • Fox Sparrow (October 23)
  • American Goldfinch (October 25)
  • Evening Grosbeak (8 on October 25, 2 on October 27)
  • Common Grackle (2 on October 26)
  • American Robin (in crabapple tree October 26)

For more precise records, you might also like to look at eBird data for recent years at the Museum.

Plenty of squirrels as usual!  Red Squirrels, Gray Squirrels, and Eastern Chipmunks.

Everyone who visits is welcome to check their identification then add their sightings to our whiteboard list. We are open by appointment; please call to schedule your visit. In addition,  consider joining us for a carving class, a bird walk, the “Black BIRDday” Gift Shop sale, offsite programs at libraries and senior centers, and more. Event details are on our website. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram too, for more comments, links, and observations!

The “Through the Window” series is an informal record of observations made by staff, volunteers, and visitors. Anyone at the Museum may add to this list. Observations are usually through our viewing window: a large window with a film covering that helps hide watchers from the birds. We have chairs and binoculars to try, a white board, and many identification guides. Outdoors, several feeders are attached on a single, bear-resistant pole. A small pond, flowers and water plants, shrubs and trees add cover and (seasonally) other food choices . You can sometimes see what we see via our webcam.

Who’s out and about?

October 25, 2016

Who’s out and about, overhead or foraging on the forest floor?

Come to our Bird Monitoring Walk, October 29: let’s find out! https://www.facebook.com/events/1771702999709137/

Through the Window: August 2016

September 2, 2016

We were blessed with some unusual observations this month—we suspect these species are usually here in August, but we’re not always in the right place to observe them. Gotta get outdoors! In the meantime, enjoy this month’s list of what we’ve seen through (or near) our Viewing Window.

  • Blue Jay (and juveniles with bald heads ~8/8 – 8/18)
  • Rose-breasted Grosbeak
  • Downy Woodpecker
  • Hairy Woodpecker
  • Tufted Titmouse
  • Mourning Dove
  • American Goldfinch
  • Ruby-throated Hummingbird
  • Black-capped chickadee
  • Northern Cardinal (and juvenile with black beak 8/16)
  • American Crow
  • White-breasted Nuthatch
  • Purple Finch
  • Evening Grosbeak
  • Red-breasted Nuthatch
  • Common Grackle
  • Gray Catbird
  • House Finch
  • Cooper’s Hawk (8/17 by S. Dakers)
  • Song Sparrow (fledgling with a short tail 8/21)
  • Turkey Vulture
  • Broad Winged-hawk (heard 8/23)

No male hummingbirds on 8/31.
Bold indicates those we didn’t see last month.
For more precise records, you can also see eBird data for recent years at the Museum.

It’s always fun to distinguish the Clear-winged Sphinx Moth and the Ruby-throated Hummingbird as they both hover about the bee balm. And what a month for mammals! We’ve the usuals: Gray squirrels, Red squirrels, Eastern chipmunks.. ;.and we’ve also noticed Eastern cottontail rabbit, a bobcat, and a young porcupine! This last was spotted and photographed by some visitors on August 28 as it came across Bob’s Bridge and up the bath. (Bob’s Bridge is the lower bridge of the two near the Museum entrance; Gale’s Crossing is the new one.)

All observers can add their sightings to our whiteboard list! We’re here from 10am to 4pm daily, and earlier if there’s a bird walk. For those, check out our events page.  Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram too, for more comments, links, and observations!

The “Through the Window” series is an informal record of observations made by staff, volunteers, and visitors. Anyone at the Museum may add to this list. Observations are usually through our viewing window: a large window with a film covering that helps hide watchers from the birds. We have chairs and binoculars to try, a white board, and many identification guides. Outdoors, several feeders are attached on a single, bear-resistant pole. A small pond, flowers and water plants, shrubs and trees add cover and (seasonally) other food choices . You can sometimes see what we see via our webcam.

Early Birders’ Observations for June 26, 2016

June 29, 2016

Michelle Patenaude led the June 26th Early Birders Morning Walk as well. The walks this year have been so well-attended! It’s been wonderful to welcome birders, old and new, to the Museum.

Here’s the report:

Birds of Vermont Museum, Chittenden, Vermont, US
 Jun 26, 2016 7:05 AM - 9:25 AM
 Protocol: Traveling
 2.0 kilometer(s)
 Comments:     Early Birders Walk led by Michele Patenaude
 34 species
 
 Mallard  1
 Mourning Dove  2
 Barred Owl  1
 Ruby-throated Hummingbird  1
 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker  7     observed adult at nest with young in it
 Downy Woodpecker  2
 Eastern Phoebe  2
 Great Crested Flycatcher  2
 Red-eyed Vireo  2
 Blue Jay  5
 Black-capped Chickadee  6
 White-breasted Nuthatch  5
 Winter Wren  1
 Hermit Thrush  2
 Wood Thrush  1
 American Robin  2
 Gray Catbird  1
 Ovenbird  11
 Black-and-white Warbler  1
 Common Yellowthroat  5
 Blackburnian Warbler  1
 Chestnut-sided Warbler  3
 Black-throated Blue Warbler  1
 Pine Warbler  1
 Black-throated Green Warbler  2
 Dark-eyed Junco  1
 White-throated Sparrow  1
 Song Sparrow  1
 Scarlet Tanager  1
 Northern Cardinal  1
 Rose-breasted Grosbeak  3
 Red-winged Blackbird  2
 Common Grackle  2
 American Goldfinch  2
 
View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S30398032
This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (http://ebird.org)

Join usnext year, in May and June, for the next series of early morning walks. Bring binoculars and good walking shoes. Park at 900 Sherman Hollow Road, in the Museum parking lot. Of course, we hope to see you long before then! There’s so much more to see and do here at the Museum, after all.

The Bird Carver’s Daughter (Part 11: Battlefields)

June 24, 2016

Guest post by Kari Jo Spear, Photographer, Novelist, and Daughter of Bob Spear
This post appeared first in our Spring 2016  issue of
Chip Notes.

Reprinted by permission. Links added by K Talmage, Museum blog editor.

If birds were my father’s first passion, the Civil War was his second. (Family, he pretty much took for granted.) He could fight every battle from memory, including all the skirmishes leading up to it as well as the aftermath, and discuss the finer points of each battle’s contribution to the overall picture and its enduring legacies. He focused on the Vermonters, especially his great-grand-father and hero, Alonzo Spear. Yet he always held Robert E. Lee in the highest regard. For a long time, I could never understand why my peace-loving, crowd-hating, and squeamish father had such a fascination for battlefields. When I asked him, all he would say was, “Well, they’re kind of interesting.”

One day, my father, Gale, and I visited the Hubbardton Battle Field, where Vermont’s only Revolutionary War battle had taken place. None of us had ever been there before. In the visitor center was a diorama depicting the various movements of the troops during the engagement. I remember standing there, feeling baffled. My father silently contemplated the scenario for a few moments and then launched into a full explanation. He waved his hands over the diorama like a conductor, commenting on the initial positions of both sides, the strategic fallbacks, the flanking attempts, and the outcome. (We lost. But we Vermonters achieved our goal of halting the British in their tracks long enough to allow the main American force to get away. See, I was listening.)

Unbeknownst to us, a member of the staff had been listening, too. “You must be a scholar of this aspect of the Revolution,” he said to my father.

My father shook his head. “Not really. But it’s kind of interesting.”

When we got outside, I said, “I thought you’d never been here before.”

“I haven’t. But these battles are really simple compared to the Civil War.” In other words, he’d figured the whole thing out in about a minute.

My father really was a scholar of the Civil War. I don’t think there is any book, article, or movie he hadn’t memorized. About the only reason he’d leave the museum for a vacation was to tour a battlefield. He visited all the major ones, figuring out exactly where Alonzo would have been standing. Poor Gale would often say with a sigh, “We’re off to fight the Civil War again.” So much for tropical vacations.

This year, one of the high school classes where I assist students did an in-depth study of the Civil War. We read, watched documentaries, and listened to speakers. During class reading time, I found myself researching the 2nd Vermont. When I watched the documentaries, I tried to figure out where my great-great grandfather had been standing. (Yes, he was in the thick of things at Gettysburg, one of the heroic Vermonters who had saved the day and perhaps even turned the tide of the war.) I kept reading more and more. It was addictive. And ancestral.

We spent a lot of time focusing on the military genius of Robert E. Lee. And finally, I began to understand why my father had been so fascinated. Like Lee, my father was a man who planned ahead in a logical way, who studied the lay of the land, who had an instinct for the weather, who knew how to use the sunlight to best advantage, and who had an intuitive sense of how much men and horses could take.

General Spear. It would have been … interesting.

One day, as I headed for my next class with my students, I hesitated for a moment. I almost thought I’d heard my father’s voice echoing down the halls. “Forward, march!”


Kari Jo Spear‘s young adult, urban fantasy novels, Under the Willow, and  Silent One, are available at Phoenix Books (in Essex and Burlington, Vermont), and on-line at Amazon and Barnes and Noble

Previous posts in this series:
Part 1: The Early Years
Part 2: The Pre-teen Years (or, Why I’m Not a Carver)
Part 3: Something’s Going On Here
Part 4: The Summer of Pies
Part 5: My Addiction
Part 6: Habitat Shots
Part 7: Growing Up
Part 8: My Dead Arm
Part 9: Remembrance: Tales of My Father
Part 10: Canoe Lessons

 


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