Journal archives for April 2020

April 15, 2020

Spring Migration

Time: 2:00-3:30 PM
Date: 4/15/2020
Location: Around my neighborhood in Wantagh, NY
Weather: 50 deg. Fahrenheit, slight northwest wind, sunny
Habitat: Forest edge, suburban trees

Being on Long Island where it is considerably warmer then Burlington, I suspect fewer species migrate here. I have a feeling all of the species I observed today are year round inhabitants of Long Island and those that do migrate are actually coming in for the winter rather then leaving. Although I did not observe any today, I know this to be true for at least the Canada Goose. Growing up, I would see huge flocks of Canada Geese migrating for the winter; As the years progressed I have noticed an even greater presence of Canada Geese during the winter. This implies that Geese living on Long Island are not migrating (or at least in lesser quantities), while those from more northern places (like Burlington) are migrating here for the winter. While I cannot confirm any of this because it is based purely on observation, the trend of warming climates would support this theory.
All species of bird that do not migrate must have the ability to switch food sources throughout the year. House Sparrows, for example, rely on seeds during the winter and insects in the summer. These summer months are when House Sparrows raise their young, giving them an opportunity to "fatten up" before the cold winter months hit and the less-nutritious seeds are the only food source. House Sparrows have also been shown to nest in cavities in buildings, and sometimes trees to avoid contact with the harsh elements during the winter (I have one that nests in between my air conditioner and the bottom of the roof every year!). Additionally, some House Sparrows have been shown to find a mate around October-November, allowing them a "cuddle buddy" for warmth during the winter (Northernwoddlands.org). Other species who strictly begin courtship behaviors in the spring are not afforded this opportunity.
In terms of Long Island climate, early April is the perfect time for long distance migrants to begin their return. I noticed my first bumblebee of the year at the start of the month, indicating that the insects that these species rely on are making their return. Plants are also showing sings of life, with many of them beginning to bloom. This brings additional food that winter inhabitants may be deprived of such as Beech nuts (I saw a lot of American Beech about to bloom and I know many species of birds rely on them.)

Posted on April 15, 2020 20:58 by benjaminrosen benjaminrosen | 7 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

April 15, 2020

Date: 4/15/2020
Time: 5:20-6:45 PM
Location: Eisenhower Park
Weather: 50 degrees, no wind, sunny
Habitat: small woodlots of mainly suburban trees, small man-made pond

Eisenhower Park, located on Long Island, NY is 930 acres while Central Park is 840 acres. Being so large, there are many song birds constantly flying in and out of the area so it is quite possible that my counts for the more common species (Crows, Starlings, Robins) are slightly inaccurate. Every other species is accurate.

Interestingly, every Mallard found was a breeding pair!!

Posted on April 15, 2020 23:59 by benjaminrosen benjaminrosen | 8 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

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