Field Identification #1 February 20th, 2018

The day is February 19th, one of the colder days in the past week at a high of 19 degrees. Despite the frigid temperatures, the sky is blue sprinkled with a few clouds. I started off on my journey to Ethan Allen Park around 1:00pm to become one with the birds. The habitat I found myself in was filled with great pines, yellow birch, oaks of some kind, etc. To my dismay, I only became one with an American Crow that I saw fly from one tree to another in the corner of my eye. I heard two Tufted Titmouse calling out to one another which I did not expect to hear. The second bird I had heard was an American Robin, a quick but important call. The American Crow that flew showed a quick wide flap to a nearby oak tree. I once had a full backyard of crows nestling in two trees of my backyard; the view was spectacular and a little creepy. They have a pair of slotted high lift wings which allow a wide spread fan to make better turns and allow low speeds. One species that is always compared to the American Crow is the Raven, which has a similar black silhouette and beak size.
A bird’s wings can affect the flight that occurs and what type of habitat it can maneuver around in. For instance the American Crow that I saw was in an open space with a few great pines and oaks in its path. Even though the Crow didn’t move far, the path was shortened when the Crow’s wings flapped to its full capacity. When trying to identify birds, taking in consideration of where you are and the knowledge of different wings play hand in hand. For example, being in an open field you might find yourself looking at a predator bird with high speed wings with a medium ratio. Not only does the type of wing affect its speed but the way it flaps. Some species have a pause in their flapping like the Tufted Titmouse compared to a Black-Capped Chickadee with a rapid flap.
The American Crow being the only bird I physically saw during this adventure showed me that there might be quite a few aspects to why that might be. One being the temperature being below 20 degrees to even the two old dogs that followed behind me. Even though Ethan Allen Park is filled with an assortment of trees, boulders, shrubs and more, the noise pollution may scare off many species. Disturbances like us as humans just trying to identify what’s around us could potentially determine how many birds we actually end up seeing. Hopefully once it warms up a little and canopy coverage becomes more abundant, more species will be back to this forest. When traveling off the path there were more calls, changing my location of the site of birding into where the forest is more of a forest may bring more species to my eyes. Until next time, thank you Ethan Allen Park.

Posted by chey_conn chey_conn, February 19, 2019 19:24

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