Oakledge Park- Journal Entry #2

On Sunday March 3rd it was a very sunny and warmish(36 degrees F) day. There was no wind with only a few clouds in the sky. We decided to take a trip to Oakledge Park in Burlington, VT for our second bird observation journal outing. It was in the morning, around 11 am.
The first bird we observed while first starting to walk and explore around Oakledge Park was a black-capped chickadee. We identified this individual by sight, as it was rustling around in the nearby tree. Its distinct black and white coloring caught our eye right away after hearing the branches shaking around, and then we were able to identify it. We assumed that the chickadee could have been engaging in this behavior of moving around in the brush to keep warm while looking for lingerings seeds on or below the tree that may have fallen onto the ground. After we observed this bird for a few minutes we heard the distinct call of another nearby Black-capped chickadee. We hypothesized that these two birds could have been communicating about food availability, and perhaps the one we heard found some seeds on the grounds. At night on colder days, it is common for this species to engage in facultative hypothermia to save their energy and conserve body heat so they do not freeze to death.
The next bird we observed was the Northern Cardinal. It was exhibiting similar behavior as the last one we saw on our first outing in Centennial. It was hopping from branch to branch up and down and taking short flights in a patch of pine trees. This is where we saw our first snag close by the patch of pine trees. Surprisingly there were no real cavities in the snag. This could be due to the fact that it was very small in size, about 10 feet and no significant species could make this their home.
While walking around on the outskirts of the trees closest to the water, a Herring gull appeared over our heads and was gliding through the air. It was easy to determine the wing type of the species, high aspect, while it was soaring overhead. During this time walking on the outer edge of the trees, we did not see many dead snags with cavities. We observed six in total, all which were deeper in the woods. Four of these snags had cavities in the trees. We tapped on one of these trees that seemed like it had died quite some time ago, and had many big holes. Unfortunately, nothing poked its head out at us, so we thought that maybe the species that had once resided there had left, or the holes were caused by termites that were no longer there. Snags provide great habitat for not only birds such as woodpeckers, but also provide a home for small mammals such as squirrels, especially in wintertime.
All of the birds we saw at Oakledge seemed to be very active which is unusual in the winter. We thought this was probably because of the warmer weather that we were experiencing that day. Instead of having to conserve their body heat that day because of freezing temperatures, the birds seemed to be focusing on feeding and taking advantage of the warmth and sun-filled day.

Posted by kaschmec kaschmec, March 07, 2019 20:35

Observations

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Northern Cardinal Cardinalis cardinalis

Observer

kaschmec

Date

March 3, 2019

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Black-capped Chickadee Poecile atricapillus

Observer

kaschmec

Date

March 3, 2019

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Black-capped Chickadee Poecile atricapillus

Observer

kaschmec

Date

March 3, 2019

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Herring Gull Larus argentatus

Observer

kaschmec

Date

March 3, 2019

Comments

No comments yet.

Add a Comment

Sign In or Sign Up to add comments

Is this inappropriate, spam, or offensive? Add a Flag