Field Identification #3 March 25, 2019

Cheyanne Connelly
Social Behavior&Phenology
WFB 130
3-25-19

Today is Monday, March 25th, 2019 in good ol’ Burlington, VT. The time is 9:45am, a beautiful blue sky day with some chilly winds hitting my face. I’d guess that the temperature was about 20 degrees fahrenheit, better than these past few weeks of 9 degrees. Today’s location is the Champlain waterfront near the boathouse next to ECHO. All the times I’ve been down this way there has been a plethora of bird activity so why not give it a try today.
Upon my arrival, I kept an eye out for nearby chickadee to try out the “psssh” technique. I went towards dense bush areas of the park nearby to see if I could get any small species to come see what’s up. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to contact anyone except a squirrel that jumped out at me, an interesting experience. After trying to get my heart rate down from the squirrel adventure, I kept trying for about 25 to 30 minutes to see if there was any small birds that would take up my sounds. I feel the pish sound is close to the birds pitch where they may recognize the frequency but not necessarily the song, ultimately making them want to come check it out. For me, I might have had some small birds that heard me yet were too unsure to come check to see what the sound was. While researching exactly what pishing is and how it affects small birds, I realized it's more of a warning call making the flock come together incase of a predator. So a possible reason for the lack of response from my pishing was that in fact, I was the predator.
I began to pay attention to the interactions of other birds I saw while going on the docks. Above I saw one seagull, unsure if it was a ring-billed gull or a herring gull. He/She was letting out one single “sqauh” that sounded either like it was searching for another. The gull continued to do this while circling the waterfront which again, makes me think it was looking for another gull. I wasn’t able to get any good photos of this but I continued to walk around to find some perching birds. As I reached a pier on the waterfront I noticed two rock pigeons on the edge of the concrete. They flew over together yet stood a few feet apart. I’ve attached a couple photos that show the distance they were standing apart. I began to walk slowly and quietly towards them to get a better look at them and their plumage. I spooked the what it appeared to be, the female mate yet the male pigeon stuck around until I was in his face taking photos. The classic metallic green and purple shined in the sun when he turned his back to me. I compare this plumage with the bright white of the gull. Obviously the reasoning behind the vast difference of the gull having a bright white color compared to the gray/iridescent color of rock pigeon, their ancestors have a large effect on what we see today. For gulls, their habits are to be near water where it is receiving a lot of light, thus the light coloration allows body temperature to be more regulated. Their colors are also how they may attract a mate. Other than the calls I have talked about previously, these colors make the male interesting to the female to which they may decide to reproduce. The rock pigeons that I examined did not communicate in call, they simply were standing near each other until my presence disturbed what they might have been doing. Since I went pretty early in the morning, the rock pigeons circannual rhythm meant they were in the most alert stage of the day. While the one pigeon flew away, the other stuck it’s ground looking at me every once in awhile to see if I was truly a threat. I feel as though it is very hard to tell what the animal is truly intending. Their nature is fascinating along with their evolutionary advancements.

Posted by chey_conn chey_conn, March 25, 2019 16:29

Observations

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Rock Pigeon Columba livia

Observer

chey_conn

Date

March 25, 2019 11:59 AM EDT

Description

A pair of Rock Pigeons

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Rock Pigeon Columba livia

Observer

chey_conn

Date

March 25, 2019 11:59 AM EDT

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Rock Pigeon Columba livia

Observer

chey_conn

Date

March 25, 2019 11:58 AM EDT

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