April 26, 2021

Field Journal #7

Camilla Sucre
Date: 26 April 2021
Start time: 1:00 pm
End time: 2:30 pm
Location: Colchester Bog, VT
Weather: 42 deg F, NNW 16 mph, no precipitation, mostly cloudy
Habitat: Wetland, forest (conifers, maples, blueberry bush, witch hazel, etc), open fields scattered throughout
Species: 22 Black-capped Chickadee, 5 American Robin, 7 Song Sparrow, 1 Downy Woodpecker, 2 Tufted Titmouse, 10 Canada Goose
This week, I decided to go back to Colchester Bog, located in Colchester VT. I wanted to go back again because of how awesome it was to truly see some variation and also walk around and sit and really watch them this week. Walking to the wooden deck trail that leads further into the more wetland-type habitat, I sat down for 10 minutes listening to the sounds around me (mini activity portion). I noticed that there were Northern Cardinals calling to each other in 4 different areas (all essentially at the corners of the “circle”). A Black-capped Chickadee was heard from the leftmost area of the circle as well. Overhead through the rightmost area of the circle, Canada Goose flew over in their formation.
Behaviors that I noticed firstly was the way a pair of Black-capped Chickadees interacted with each other in a tree. One of the chickadees mostly stayed on the branch while the other hopped around to nearby trees and then back to the other chickadee. I would say that this is a pretty normal behavior of chickadees anyways, but I interpreted it as possible mates or “flirting”. The next behavior I noticed was a nest with 2 Song Sparrows inside/surrounding the nest in a taller tree. One of the sparrows sat in the nest, ruffling the leaves and twigs around, which led me to assume the other sparrow was watching and protecting the area while the other sparrow did some “renovations” to their nest. I think this was defending territory in a bit of a poor manner because on the floor below them, were two Tufted Titmouse(mice??) on the floor foraging as well.
I think today what I learned about the fitness of birds is how the Northern Cardinals really projected high up in the trees and were able to be heard essentially everywhere in the area we were in. I think those birds that can go high up into a tree and project their call or song overhead are the ones who are more fit, compared to the chickadee I heard pretty quietly during the mini activity portion. I think that the Song Sparrows in their nest had retrieved their materials from the litter below them or in the area surrounding the tree they were in.

Posted on April 26, 2021 20:30 by camillamsucre camillamsucre | 6 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

April 19, 2021

Field Journal #6

Camilla Sucre
Date: April 19, 2021
Start Time: 1:00 pm
End Time: 3:00 pm
Location: Colchester Bog, VT
Weather: 50 deg F, SSW 10 mph, no precipitation, partly cloudy/sunny
Habitat: Bog, Wetland
Species Observed:

  • Northern Cardinal: 6
  • Black-capped Chickadee: 9
  • Song Sparrow: 3
  • American Robin: 3
  • Tufted Titmouse: 4
  • Downy Woodpecker: 3

Posted on April 19, 2021 20:22 by camillamsucre camillamsucre | 6 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

April 05, 2021

Field Journal #5

Camilla Sucre
Field Journal 5
Date: 5 April 2021
Start time: 1:00 pm
End time: 2:30 pm
Location: Salmon’s Hole, Burlington, VT
Weather: 54 deg F, NNW 20 mph wind, no precipitation (sunny/partly cloudy)
Habitat: Water body, forest, brush
Species observed: M+F Common Merganser (3), American Robin Downy Woodpecker, Ring-billed Gull, Song Sparrow, White-breasted Nuthatch
When thinking about the species I observed today and their migratory patterns, I know that American Robins are here in Vermont year-round due to their evolution to the cold weather (such as their plumage that can endure precipitation as well as cold temperatures). American Robins are capable of staying south of Canada all year, and some can migrate even further south, near Mexico (Mini activity: 2600 miles from Burlington to Mexico *will all be added in later paragraph).
Another species observed today was the Ring-billed Gull, which is a southern migrant each winter season (facultative migrant, meaning it essentially has no scheduled migration at a specific time each year). The Ring-billed Gull will travel to southern states in the winter due to increased temperature but is commonly seen in VT around this time of year once early spring occurs. These gulls enjoy being near water, and sadly due to climate change, the ice cover in Lake Champlain has drastically decreased, which allows these gulls to consume and be able to live here for a longer period of time.
The birds I observed today were new (for the most part), so that was very exciting for me to be able to see a Downy Woodpecker, Male and Female Common Mergansers, as well as hearing a Song Sparrow! Highly recommend this area!
Mini Activity: Total mileage from observed species: ~5,600 miles

Posted on April 05, 2021 20:58 by camillamsucre camillamsucre | 4 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

March 21, 2021

Field Journal #4

Camilla Sucre
Date: 3/21/21
Start Time: 7:15 AM
End Time: 8:45 AM
Location: Centennial Woods
Weather: 32 degrees Fahrenheit, wind ~6 mph South, no precipitation (sunny)
Habitats: Woods, Forest, Concrete parking areas.

I found that waking up early this morning to bird while the sun was rising was one of the best things ever! After going around sunset and not seeing much activity, it was amazing seeing how while most of campus is asleep, these birds are awake and actively calling/singing and flying around. At the crosswalk in front of the Davis Center, I began to hear and see Herring Gulls flying around communicating with each other. There were about 2 separate times I witnessed Herring Gulls (~11 total were observed). The calls that they made to each other were very entertaining; it seemed as if they were telling the Herring Gulls to follow along and join the others.
Around the area where the garden is behind Jeffords Hall, there was a Northern Cardinal in a conifer nearby. I heard the familiar “pew pew pew” sound it makes while it sat on a branch alone. I assume that the reason the Northern Cardinal was making this noise by itself could be for possibly making itself known and using it as an attempt to “scare” away other birds. The bright red color of the Northern Cardinal’s plumage is due to its diet and what it consumes. It makes it a lot easier to spot, aside from its call. I believe that the Northern Cardinal was sat still while making these calls, which could potentially mean that it was resting, but also somehow protecting itself by making the loud noises.
Walking down to the entrance of Centennial Woods, a group of Canadian Geese flew over in a formation, making calls to each other which read to me as the geese hyping each other up and motivating each other. We saw another group doing the same exact thing inside of Centennial. I think the calls to each other also represent good communication between the Canada Geese in staying in formation (~20 Canada Geese observed).
Inside of Centennial Woods, there were about 4 Black-capped Chickadees that were a fair distance away from each other, yet still communicating to each other. Some were using the call that sounds like, “chickadee-dee-dee-dee”, while others sang their notorious “sweeeeetieeee”. I believe that their reason for communication were possibly for letting each other know what is in the area around them, such as other species of birds (I heard a few American Crows also making sound, I just couldn’t spot them.).

Posted on March 21, 2021 18:20 by camillamsucre camillamsucre | 5 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

March 08, 2021

Field Journal #3

Date: March 7, 2021
Start Time: 1:03 pm
End Time: 2:33 pm
Location: South Burlington Rec Path
Weather: 27 deg F, 7 mph wind, sunny, no precipitation
Habitat(s): bushes, trail, lines of trees, small, wooded areas.
I chose yesterday to be my birding day, because I enjoy sunny days and it was extremely needed to take some time outside. While walking along the bike path, I slowly walked and kept my eyes peeled to the area around me. I had signs of life about 5 minutes in, where I saw a singular Blue Jay hanging out in a tree as I was entering the rec path (tree was what I suspect to be either a green or white ash). Once into the path, I walked for a few minutes and came across a group of 6 Black-capped Chickadees all sat near each other in an area covered in bushes/brush. I stayed still (which corrected me from my mistake of making too much noise when birding for FJ2) and observed their movements. I noticed that they were not sitting still, which could be due to wanting to stay warm. I noticed a few shivers coming from a few that would stop moving around, but as soon as there was a shiver, I noticed them continuing to hop around.
Continuing to walk, I heard some American Robin calls, which had me excited because I hadn’t been able to identify those calls before learning it in class is past week. I had some binoculars with me, so trying to figure out where the noise was coming from was the biggest challenge for me yesterday. I ended up seeing the American Robins pretty far away, on the floor of a small, wooded area along the trail. I assume they were searching for food by the way they were hopping around on the floor. Thinking about how the season affects diet in birds is quite a complex thing. I think the American Robin’s diet definitely lacks in the winter compared to the summer/springtime due to lack of insects that comprise most of American Robin diet. In the winter, it is pretty obvious that berries are their main source of food, which makes sense because they were on the floor of the wooded area pretty much scavenging.
The reason I think bird diet is so complex is because of how everything is changing around us, and it is interesting to think that they have to go with the flow of what is happening climate wise which can fully affect how food is produced naturally.
Regarding the mini activity provided for this field journal, I did notice that there were a decent number of dead snags (number wise I would say I witnessed 4 wooded areas and about 3-4 dead snags in each. I did notice that most of my observations for this field journal were within close proximity of the snags, which could possibly consist of their habitats for this season. I could see some old leaves within some cavities, which is why I feel further convinced they are homes for some species. Snags are very important for either being a home/safe space for birds, as well as a place where there is shade, which allows for birds to cool down. I think the species that are most likely able to utilize dead snags as homes are Black-capped Chickadees, simply because of what I noticed yesterday and how there were a lot of these birds surrounding these types of areas and how I saw once hanging out in one, while their buddies probably scavenged for food.

Posted on March 08, 2021 17:50 by camillamsucre camillamsucre | 0 comments | Leave a comment

February 22, 2021

Field Journal #2

Date: February 21, 2021
Start Time: 4:00 pm
End Time: 5:30 pm
Location: UVM Athletic and Central Campus
Weather: 20-30 deg F, slightly breezy, party cloudy, around sunset, no precipitation
Habitat: Residential Area

I began birding at 4 pm and finished at 5:30 pm on February 21, 2021. I chose around sunset time because I wanted to see if time would affect how birding may go. I chose to go around part of Athletic campus and most of Central campus since the Waterman Green was the most enticing for me. The weather was cold, around 20-30 degrees Fahrenheit, and it was partly cloudy/sunny (sun wasn’t as strong due to the sun setting while I was birding).
I had spotted about 5 robins (all male) on a hawthorn tree outside of L/L and MAT. They quickly flew away, but I was able to take a few pictures (not the best quality). While walking onto Central campus, I noticed more hawthorns that had around 3 total male robins outside of Marsh Life Science. When walking through the Andrew Harris green in front of Davis, I surprisingly saw no signs of birds other than empty, vacant nests. There was the usual wind coming from Lake Champlain on campus, but nothing too aggressive. It seemed as if everything was finally settling down if anything.
Walking towards the thornless honey locusts in front of Kalkin, I walked into the snow and heard robins calling to each other. I looked up and saw a mix of male and female robins flying away in the direction of Davis. I saw how they didn’t all go at once; some seemed more reluctant to fly away and they didn’t seem to fly in a group, some were more delayed than others. One robin had left after the others, more delayed and not flying in a frantic matter. I noticed how they flapped pretty frequently.
On the Waterman Green, I hadn’t seen any birds in the area, but due to the lack of leaves on most trees, I noticed more vacant nests, that could be result of this past fall/summer, which I found very interesting. I think that finally being able to see these nests was also a good sign that birds are present on campus, and different species hopefully vary here, I think due to possibly it being winter or because I went birding later than usual is the reason as to why I only saw American Robins. Overall a really nice time birding for my first time, and I’m excited to go to other locations and have some ornitherapy!

Posted on February 22, 2021 21:06 by camillamsucre camillamsucre | 1 observation | 0 comments | Leave a comment