Field Observation #6 Reproductive Ecology and Evolution

The day is Tuesday April 23rd, 2019. A sunny day with some clouds, a high of 62 degrees fahrenheit and lots of birds. Today’s site was in Centennial, right off the main path, to then crossing the bridges and right up the hill past the lone northern white cedar on the right of the trail. Unfortunately, the site I was at had a lot of tall white pines and hemlocks so it was difficult to observe behaviors of the species I was hearing. Apart of those species I hear a couple black-capped chickadee songs where they sounded like they were coming from southeast. The birds were quite noisy when I went to visit my site which makes me wonder about the courtships, territory space, and basic communications in general. I did get to observe an American Robin gathering small leaves and twigs for what I was assuming to be for a nest. Without a doubt a lot of the species I hear were nesting in the tall pines and dense foliage in general. This type of setting allows birds to have shelter from rains and winds through this rainy April. To name some of the species I was hearing, Black-capped Chickadee, Pileated Woodpecker, American Robin, American Crow, Tufted Titmouse, and Northern Cardinal. Three species I compared with their nesting styles were the American Crow, American Robin, and Pileated Woodpecker. The Pileated Woodpecker pecks large holes into trees to hold their nest, it is a secure structure for young and the ability to make food pockets right outside the nest is astonishing. American Robin and American crow both stack twigs/small branches from trees to build their nest. American Robins have a finer twig that they prefer to make into a small circular shape for their nest. American Crows use larger twigs/small branches to hold the weight of their babies and a more secure structure.
As I was drawing the circle for the mini-activity, I used my compass to set out a clear path of where the noise might be coming from. If looking at the brook, that would be south whereas going up the hill was west. For the duration that I was there, I heard at least 8 different species. The six that I stated above and two that I couldn’t figure out. European Starling is one that crossed my mind when looking back at what I was writing down for some sort of symbology. I put question marks, which when thinking of a European Starling, it makes sense because their song is different than anything I’ve really heard. I feel as if I would have stayed another ten minutes, there would’ve been more calls/songs that I heard. I know that where I was in Centennial is a common path for people so birds might not want to nest near a populated area. The ones that I heard were clear to me and abundant, I’m still understanding the communications I’m hearing so it’s hard to say individual species that were communicating. Overall, another good birding session for the books.

Posted by chey_conn chey_conn, April 25, 2019 03:50


Photos / Sounds



Pileated Woodpecker Dryocopus pileatus




April 23, 2019 11:44 PM EDT


Nest of Pileated Woodpecker


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