Journal archives for May 2023

May 01, 2023

Field Journal 7

April 21, 2023
Start time: 5:45 AM
End time: 7:10 AM
Location: Centennial Woods, Burlington, VT
Weather: overcast, chilly 40s, light breeze, misting/lightly raining
Habitats: edge, open fields, near water, mixed forest

I set out early one Friday morning to gather point count data for NR 103. While I was dreading getting up early, an early morning walk through the woods proved very beneficial for myself. Listening to the birds during peak migration during dawn chorus was definitely the right way to start a dreary Friday morning. I heard 20+ species and was able to identify most of them without any help from Merlin, which made me very excited and proud of the ID abilities I've picked up in this class.

The behaviors I witnessed that morning were clearly attempts at mate selection. Not many birds were seen nesting (or seen at all), but the majority of birds were male birds singing and calling for mates. I saw a Northern Cardinal perched high on a tree that had yet to leaf out. Its bright red feathers stood out against the gray-brown backdrop and it was clear that he knew he was easy to locate. Waiting for other calls to die down, he would let out his jarring car-alarm-like call. This tree was prime territory for the Cardinal, as they prefer tall trees on the edge of habitats as opposed to denser, wooded areas. It was also surrounded by thickets on either side, offering him and his soon-to-be-mate shelter lower to the ground. This may show that he is ready and fit for mating season.

In Centennial Woods, birds nest everywhere. From Chickadees at the edges of parking lots, to American Robin at the beaver pond, to the Barred Owl pair in the tall evergreen trees. Based on habitat and nutritional requirements, habitat location varies greatly among species. For example, Ruby-crowned Kinglet need a place where the can easily find bugs to eat so open fields and tall evergreens are ideal for them. American Crows on the other hand are generalists which can be found anywhere, eating almost anything (worms, berries, snakes, trash, etc).

Carolina Wren are very resourceful nest builders. While they prefer a cavity, they don't need it to be in a tree. Carolina Wren nests can be found in snags, upturned trees, mailboxes, and even old boots left outside. They use twigs, hair, weeds, moss, and feathers to build their nest which are all readily available within a short commute in Centennial.

Posted on May 01, 2023 01:04 AM by evostal evostal | 22 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

May 11, 2023

Field Journal 8

May 5, 2023
Start time: 7:30 PM
End time: 8:45 PM
Location: North Beach/Rock Point, Burlington VT
Weather: cool 50s, slight breeze, overcast
Habitats: lakeshore, spruce tree crowns, thickets near ground, general forest patches, open field

Posted on May 11, 2023 04:03 AM by evostal evostal | 4 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment