Posted tagged ‘summer birds’

Through the Window: September 2016

October 7, 2016

The year comes turning, turning… the daylight shifts, as we roll toward the equinox and away. Birds shifting southward bring changes to our sightings. A few “winter” birds are popping up!

  • Black-capped chickadee
  • White-throated Sparrow
  • Mourning Dove
  • White-breasted Nuthatch
  • Hairy Woodpecker
  • Blue Jay
  • Downy Woodpecker
  • Tufted Titmouse
  • American Goldfinch
  • Song Sparrow
  • Red-breasted Nuthatch
  • Ruby-throated Hummingbird (9/7 female only; 9/20)
  • Rose-breasted Grosbeak (of note: a male, juvenile transforming to adult, 9/13; others seen throughout month)
  • Northern Cardinal
  • Dark-eyed Junco (at Cedar Hedge and under azalea, away from main feeding area, 9/26)

For more precise records, you can also see eBird data for recent years at the Museum.

Plenty of squirrels again: Red Squirrels, Gray Squirrels, and Eastern Chipmunks.

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.

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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.

Through the Window: July 2016

August 5, 2016

It’s the glorious height of summer. Also, sometimes hot. We have birds at the feeders, and mammals on the ground, and more!

  • Mourning Dove
  • Red-winged Blackbird
  • Blue Jay (includes a bald one–a fledgling?–seen 7/30)
  • Downy Woodpecker
  • Rose-breasted Grosbeak
  • Northern Cardinal
  • Common Grackle
  • Wild Turkey
  • Brown-headed Cowbird
  • American Goldfinch
  • White-breasted Nuthatch
  • American Crow
  • Ruby-throated Hummingbird
  • Evening Grosbeak (7/12)
  • Purple Finch
  • Black-capped chickadee
  • Tufted Titmouse
  • Hairy Woodpecker
  • Sharp-shinned Hawk (7/30)

Bold indicates those we didn’t see last month (we are as perplexed about the chickadees as you are!).

For more precise records, you can also see eBird data for recent years at the Museum.

As always, other critters visited. The Hummingbird-mimic, the Clearwing Sphinx Moth, continues to enjoy Bee Balm (in bloom by July 3). We note again Red Squirrels, Gray Squirrels, and Eastern Chipmunks, as well as the Eastern Cottontail, and (on the night cam) Raccoons. We heard and saw Green frogs chuckling in the little pond that is sometimes also a bird bath (when it’s not too full of duck weed)..

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.

Early Birders’ Observations for June 19, 2016

June 22, 2016

Michelle Patenaude continues her volunteering, by leading the June 19th Early Birders Morning Walk also. Thank you, Michelle, for your consistent and so-welcome effort!

Here’s the report:

Birds of Vermont Museum, Chittenden, Vermont, US
 Jun 19, 2016 7:10 AM - 10:15 AM
 Protocol: Traveling
 1.5 mile(s)
 Comments:     Early Birders Walk led by Michele Patenaude.
 39 species
 
 Turkey Vulture  1
 Mourning Dove  1
 Ruby-throated Hummingbird  2     2 males displaying
 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker  1
 Downy Woodpecker  3
 Hairy Woodpecker  1
 Pileated Woodpecker  3     observed adult female putting her head 
                            into a nesting hole, feeding 2 young
 Eastern Wood-Pewee  1
 Eastern Phoebe  2
 Great Crested Flycatcher  1
 Red-eyed Vireo  4
 Blue Jay  7
 Black-capped Chickadee  8
 Tufted Titmouse  3
 White-breasted Nuthatch  2
 Brown Creeper  1
 House Wren  1
 Winter Wren  4
 Hermit Thrush  2
 Wood Thrush  2
 American Robin  3
 Gray Catbird  2
 Cedar Waxwing  1
 Ovenbird  18
 Black-and-white Warbler  2
 Common Yellowthroat  2
 Blackburnian Warbler  2
 Chestnut-sided Warbler  4
 Black-throated Green Warbler  4
 Dark-eyed Junco  1
 Song Sparrow  1
 Scarlet Tanager  1     heard repeatedly, observed by entire group
 Northern Cardinal  1
 Rose-breasted Grosbeak  2
 Indigo Bunting  1
 Red-winged Blackbird  1
 Common Grackle  1
 Brown-headed Cowbird  1
 American Goldfinch  2
 
View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S30299602
This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (http://ebird.org)

Join us for the next one or more, every Sunday through the end of June. Begin your day with friends, birds, and more. Walks are led by experienced birders familiar with Vermont birds—and we welcome additional possible leaders. Let us know if you’re interested in volunteering.

Finish the walk with bird-friendly coffee at the viewing window inside the Museum.

Bring binoculars and good walking shoes. Park at 900 Sherman Hollow Road, in the Museum parking lot.

Best for adults and older children • Free, donations welcome.
Pre-registration is helpful but not required. Call 802 434-2167 or email museum@birdsofvermont.org

Early Birders’ Observations for June 12, 2016

June 15, 2016

Michelle Patenaude led the June 12th Early Birders Morning Walk also. The walk so so popular today that they split into tow groups, and reunited later at the viewing window for coffee, conversation, and more birdwatching.

Here’s the report:

Birds of Vermont Museum, Chittenden, Vermont, US
 Jun 12, 2016 7:05 AM - 9:05 AM
 Protocol: Traveling
 3.0 kilometer(s)
 Comments:     Early Birders Walk led by Michele Patenaude
 31 species
 
 Wood Duck  1     Flying over
 Mourning Dove  1
 Ruby-throated Hummingbird  2
 Downy Woodpecker  1
 Hairy Woodpecker  1
 Great Crested Flycatcher  2
 Red-eyed Vireo  3
 Blue Jay  3
 American Crow  1
 Common Raven  1
 Black-capped Chickadee  4
 Tufted Titmouse  3
 White-breasted Nuthatch  1
 Winter Wren  2
 Veery  1
 Hermit Thrush  1
 American Robin  1
 Cedar Waxwing  2
 Ovenbird  14
 Black-and-white Warbler  2
 Common Yellowthroat  2
 Blackburnian Warbler  1
 Chestnut-sided Warbler  1
 Blackpoll Warbler  1
 Black-throated Blue Warbler  2
 Black-throated Green Warbler  4
 Song Sparrow  1
 Scarlet Tanager  1
 Rose-breasted Grosbeak  2
 Common Grackle  3
 American Goldfinch  3
 
View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S30189837
This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (http://ebird.org)

Join us for the next one or more, every Sunday through the end of June. Begin your day with friends, birds, and more. Walks are led by experienced birders familiar with Vermont birds—and we welcome additional possible leaders. Let us know if you’re interested in volunteering.

Finish the walk with bird-friendly coffee at the viewing window inside the Museum.

Bring binoculars and good walking shoes. Park at 900 Sherman Hollow Road, in the Museum parking lot.

Best for adults and older children • Free, donations welcome.
Pre-registration is helpful but not required. Call 802 434-2167 or email museum@birdsofvermont.org

Little Guy: Colo on the Maine Coast

October 16, 2015

Guest post by our friend and expert birder, AW.

COLO 1740 starts the next stage of life on Penobscot Bay on the Maine coast. / © Terry Heitz

COLO 1740 starts the next stage of life on Penobscot Bay on the Maine coast. / © Terry Heitz

What is your favorite bird? Perhaps there can be no answer. Birding is a passion, encompassing all species, with opportunities to appreciate many behaviors and much beauty. Hearing the flute-like song of a Veery is enchanting. Seeing Northern Flicker heads (with Michael Nesmith sideburns) protrude from a nesting cavity before daring to fledge surely seems comical. Witnessing a Merlin grab fast food on the fly is definitely shocking. These are only a few of the simple pleasures we chance to experience, and I myself don’t rank levels of joy in birding. Until now.

This lost loon I helped to rescue, referred to as “Little Guy,” has trumped all birding experiences for me. This bird will forever be my all-time favorite. But before you read any further, it’s time to let go of this name,” Little Guy.” Attaching a name to a wild animal connotes pet-status, or ownership. At the time of the rescue however, it seemed fitting to call this orphan by an endearing name, as a way to express the significance of the loon’s ordeal.  At Avian Haven, the chick has been designated by a more formal moniker: COLO 1740 Brighton VT. I will now refer to the loon as Colo.

Colo has literally outgrown the name, “Little Guy.” All traces of natal down are gone and the bird now sports sleek and crisp feathers in the first set of adult plumage. SPLENDID BEAUTY! When glancing at the updated pictures sent from Avian Haven, it’s hard to believe we are seeing the same loon. Please excuse the Grandma-like cliché, but: “They grow up so fast!”

Here is a recent email from Diane Winn of Avian Haven from September 7th:

She is quite the little pistol – as you can see, she still has some downy fuzz on her head, but she’s now quite waterproof and has become an accomplished diver. She’s in the company of another young loon with eye damage caused by an eagle grab; the prognosis for that one remains uncertain, but meanwhile, they are good companions. They share our large pool, and each day, we take them to a pond on the property for outdoor “enrichment sessions.”

And from a post of Facebook on September 10:

She is currently devouring about 25 capelin a day and is so excited about them that she practically jumps out of the pool when she sees us coming!

After the loon parents lost this chick, it has taken more than one village to raise it. The bird’s promising future is the result of a chain of actions spanning from Vermont to Maine. Visiting the North East Kingdom from Huntington, Vermont, I was lucky to have found Colo. VCE’s Loon Conservation Biologist Eric Hanson provided essential skills to best care for the loon. Eric passed the baton off by delivering Colo to rehabber Kappy Sprenger in Bridgton, Maine. Next, Kappy linked the responsibility from Eric to Avian Haven Directors, Marc Payne and Diane Winn. With their dedicated staff in Freedom, Maine, Colo’s return to a free and wild life (as an uncommon loon) has been ensured after six weeks of nurturing care.  May this wandering chick from Brighton, Vermont, have a bright future and a long, long life.

Within minutes of being released, COLO 1740 caught a crab for his/her first ocean snack. / © Terry Heitz

Within minutes of being released, COLO 1740 caught a crab for a first ocean snack. / © Terry Heitz

A final Facebook post from Avian Haven on September 29 lets us all say farewell:

Young Common Loon, released in Penobscot Bay on September 28, swam off with barely a glance back and explored the release cove extensively. We saw her take many long dives, surfacing from one with what looked like a clam in her beak. From another, she came up with a crab. Evidently she was enjoying a more varied menu than had been available at Avian Haven!

To end this blog series, which includes a progress report, I’ll share a poem I wrote years ago as a tribute to a beloved young friend.

The Loon

In beautiful, breeding plumage
Your devoted parents
Create you,
And from the moment of your being
They will remain
Committed to you,
Precious egg,
While you grow into yourself.

This precarious nest
In which you lay
On the edge of the shore
Clings with prayers of no flooding storms
That may cause hopes to drown.
For this is where you must be
While becoming you
Finding your place in the world.

Your loving parents
Are there for you always
Although you can only ride
Protected on their strong backs for a little while
Before you must fend for yourself,
Take the plunge,
Trust your wings,
And
Navigate by the stars.

Your heavy bones
Allow you to dive
Deep to the bottom of dark waters
Where you eventually find nourishment
But also the poisons
Of broken lures
Left unintentionally for you
Vulnerable in your innocence.

And one day, Autumn will be upon you
And instinct will have spoken.
And now you’ll know
You cannot stay
On this pond or in this place.
It’s time to migrate
To places unknown.
So, lift off this pond you call home
And pray that the water way
Is long enough
For you to gather the momentum
To lift up,
High,
And
Safely,
To the next adventure ahead.

And know….
I will always hear
Your beautiful song
Calling late in the night
Reaching out to me
Far in the distance.
I hear you and love you
Because distance
Never means you’re forgotten
And love never ends
But travels through time
No matter how far
Or long
Or difficult the journey.

Thank you for following this poster-child wayward loon’s story and please support wildlife programs in whatever way possible.

This post ©2015 by A. Wagner, birder, citizen scientist and educator. Used by permission. It also appears in a slightly different form, at the Vermont Center for Ecostudies blog.

The first chapter in our Little Guy mini-saga appeared on our blog August 21, 2015. The Rescue Update appeared August 28.
Another post by AW appears our blog: Expert birder pwned by 4-year old


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