May 23, 2020

Field Ornithology Journal 5

Today is May 22, 2020. I went to the Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary in Topsfield, MA, which was beautiful. I arrived around 7:07 AM and it was 62 degrees with a little sun peeking through. When I left around 12:05 PM, the temperature had risen to 79 and sunny! I believe I saw and heard the most species yet. Most of the trails were surrounded by deciduous and coniferous trees, but it was not very dense. There were a few points where I was walking along the edge of a swampy, pond. It seemed like a lot of the birds there were comfortable with humans because I had a couple just land right next to me, look at me, and just tilt their head like they were wondering what I was going to do next, which was pretty cool.

Posted on May 23, 2020 00:23 by juliannamason juliannamason | 23 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

May 21, 2020

Field Ornithology Journal 4

Today is May 21, 2020. I went to Boxford State Forest in Boxford, MA and arrived around 7:05 AM. It was 48 degrees at that time and when I left around 11:45 AM, the temperature had risen to 60 degrees and sunny, with little to no wind. The trail I went on was dense forest with a mix of deciduous and coniferous trees, but about an hour and a half in, I arrived at a pond where I was able to see a lot more birds. I thought it was interesting that I heard and saw a lot of common birds and uncommon birds. It was also satisfying to recognize certain songs I did not know before without looking them up, like Eastern Wood-Pewee and Wood Thrush.

Posted on May 21, 2020 20:25 by juliannamason juliannamason | 23 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

May 20, 2020

Field Ornithology Journal 3

Today is May 20, 2020. I arrived at the Martin Burns WMA in Newbury, MA around 7:10 AM. It was about 45 degrees when I first arrived and as I left around 11:30 AM it was 58 degrees and sunny. On either side of the trail I was on was dense forest with a mix of coniferous and deciduous trees. It's kind of crazy how I see American Robins literally everywhere I go.

Posted on May 20, 2020 20:36 by juliannamason juliannamason | 18 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

May 19, 2020

Field Ornithology Journal 2

Today is May 19, 2020. I headed to Nelson Island in Rowley, MA. The wind was blowing very high speed towards the south and it was about 52 degrees and sunny. I arrived around 7:23 AM and stayed until around 11:00 AM because it was very cold. There was a very wide trail I started on, but was not very long because it had flooded over. The beginning of the trail was pretty shrubby but after that it was a beautiful open grassland with little ponds spread throughout it. Although it was beautiful out, the wind made it a little to difficult to hear some birds clearly and record them. I noticed a lot of Sandpipers in the grassland area. I also saw a couple (what I believe were) Red-winged Blackbirds trying to defend themselves against an American Crow which was pretty cool.

Posted on May 19, 2020 21:04 by juliannamason juliannamason | 15 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

May 18, 2020

Field Ornithology Journal 1

Today is May 18, 2020. My birding site today was Crane Pond in Georgetown, MA. It was around 50 degrees with a slight drizzle when I first arrived around 6:45 AM and. As it got later in the day, the sun came out and it came to around 60 degrees. There were a couple nice trails along the pond that I followed until I left around noon. The area was a wetland and had a couple different ponds and swampy areas that were not attached to each other and had a lot of dead trees. The forest next to the pond was not very dense and had trees like Pines, Maples, White Birch, and Shagbark Hickory. I saw a couple Red-winged Blackbirds defending their territory from another species I was unable to identify, although might have been a Gray Catbird. I also observed that a lot of the birds seemed to gather closer to the water, as it got quieter the deeper I went into the woods.

Posted on May 18, 2020 20:47 by juliannamason juliannamason | 7 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

May 01, 2020

Field Journal 8

Today is May 1st, 2020. I went to my backyard again in North Andover, MA from about 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM after it had stopped raining and the sun had come out. It was around 60 degrees. My backyard is pretty open and surrounded by dense trees and with a vernal pool right next to my house. The American Robin babies have hatched!

Posted on May 01, 2020 21:19 by juliannamason juliannamason | 3 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

April 22, 2020

Field Journal 7

Today is April 22, Earth Day! I am still currently in my hometown of North Andover, MA and in my backyard. It is sunny and about 45 degrees and stayed observing from 2:00 PM to about 3:30 PM. I saw two Black-capped Chickadees look like they were chasing each other which could be related to mate selection. I also saw one American Robin carrying material and bringing it back to the nest, which could have been for the nest or just food. Two Northern Cardinals were resting on some shrubby branches. The male appeared to be giving the female some food and was also singing a lot, marking his territory. There is one American Robin that has made her nest on the side of my house on top of a light with protection from my roof. The Blue Jays might prefer making nests in oak trees while Black-capped Chickadees prefer birch trees. Different species prefer different habitats. Black-capped Chickadees nest usually in snags of alder or birch trees. Blue Jays enjoy oaks and can nest several feet in the air, up to 30. House Sparrows usually nest near or in human-made things like buildings or holes in walls. Northern Cardinals set up their nests in dense shrubs or low trees usually only about 3-10 ft off the ground. I found a Northern Cardinal previously mentioned that may have been defending his territory by singing. The territory seemed prime as it was where Northern Cardinals usually nest which can suggest he has better fitness than others of his species. I don't think its a bad idea for birds to be nesting under the eaves outside my back door because it can provide protection from weather and even predators. The American Robin I saw was using dead grass, twigs, and some feathers. To find these materials American Robins forage on the ground. Sound Map -

Posted on April 22, 2020 21:10 by juliannamason juliannamason | 5 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

April 15, 2020

Field Journal 6

Today is April 15th, 2020. I was outside for around 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM on an open field with dense forest close by. The weather was sunny and lingering around 50 degrees.

Posted on April 15, 2020 23:03 by juliannamason juliannamason | 4 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

April 08, 2020

Field Journal 5

Today is April 8th. I was outside observing birds from about 12 PM until 2 PM. The weather is relatively warm, in the late 40's. I was again in my backyard in North Andover, Massachusetts, this time with a bird feeder set up. One of the species I observed was the American Robin (which I believe is a facultative migrant species). They may forego migration because of territorial reasons. They don't want others in their territory, and it also gives them early access to the best breeding grounds. To adapt to staying in the winter, Robins change their diet from insects to winter fruits since insects are scarce in the freezing temperatures. They also form flocks so that it is easier to avoid predators and have a better chance at finding food. Another facultative migrant that may be arriving in Burlington would be the Red-winged Blackbird. It was probably coming from the southern United States traveling either to places like Vermont or Canada for the warmer weather. The weather down south might get too hot for these migrants and decide to come up north where the weather is a bearable temperature in the summer months for them and have easy access to food. An advantage of arriving in April for obligate migrants might be access to good breeding grounds. A disadvantage might be that there is a possibility of cold weather still happening and less food availability. Also, more susceptibility to predators in Burlington.

Posted on April 08, 2020 17:59 by juliannamason juliannamason | 3 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

March 25, 2020

Field Journal 4

Today is March 23, 2020 and I am in my hometown of North Andover, Massachusetts. It is about 2 PM, and about 40 degrees outside. I traveled long and far to my luscious backyard. There is a marsh right next to my house and lots of trees in my backyard with very visible bird nests. When I looked out the window to the backyard, it was filled with birds including Black-capped Chickadees, Blue Jays, Northern Cardinals, and American Robins. I also heard signs of woodpeckers and a Tufted Titmouse. I had never actually realized how many birds lived in my backyard until now. Going outside in the quiet and just watching and hearing them was fascinating.
The birds I observed were interacting by singing. I also saw a couple chickadees what looked like chasing after one another, although I am not sure what that meant. I think when the birds were singing to each other they may have been warning one another of a predator. Maybe me, or my small pooch who was also outside for a little. The plumage for Northern Cardinal especially the one male I observed was bright red, while the American Robin had an orange-y belly and breast and the rest of the body being blackish. Maybe the brighter the red in the male Northern Cardinal, the more it attracts a female partner. The American Robin I took a picture of was resting on a branch for about 20 minutes. Maybe it was a time for this bird to rest before it completes other activities in its circadian rhythm.

Posted on March 25, 2020 21:14 by juliannamason juliannamason | 4 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment