Journal archives for February 2019

February 13, 2019

Centennial Woods Natural Area-Journal Entry #1

On February 4th 2019, Centennial Woods seemed like the perfect place to look out for some common North American bird species that we had just learned about in Ornithology a couple days prior. It was around 1:15 pm and a cloudy but warmer day(42 degrees F) for February in Vermont. After trying to be as quiet and discreet as we could so as to not scare away any birds that were close by, we sat down by a stream deep in the middle of Centennial. After about 25 minutes we heard the real life chirping of three Male Northern Cardinals and eventually spotted them in a nearby tree. They seemed to all be in the same tree or same tree stand, while interacting with each other using their calls back and forth. We knew that they were male right away since we learned that females have a more dull coloring to their feathers compared to the bright red of the males.
The Northern Cardinals (Cardinalis cardinalis) we saw seemed to have a very short flight pattern from one place to another and they seemed to almost hop from branch to branch. If it flew a longer distance like into another nearby tree it would beat its wings very rapidly. They have rounded smaller wings which would explain why they had a quick wing beating pattern when flying short distances instead of a gliding pattern, like the Blue Jay(Cyanocitta cristata) that we saw. They seemed to have more expansive wings that helped them to glide through the air longer distances and have longer, fewer and more steady wing beats. This difference seemed to be very slight though, as both species are similar sized with similar wings and flying patterns.
We ended up staying in Centennial Woods for approximately an hour and a half that day. All in all, I felt that it was a pretty successful bird ID outing considering we spotted and heard a decent number of birds varying in species. We were more successful at spotting species that day than we had originally thought going into the trip, considering we walked down at mid-day and there were many people out and about and walking by us pretty frequently. Although we saw many people, we tried finding a pretty remote location with dense canopy cover more towards the middle section of the woods away from the trail entrances. We think this success of finding species could have been attributed to the warmer temperature that day compared to the below freezing temperatures that were well into the negatives in the previous days that weekend/week. The birds seemed happy with the weather and were excited to be out and about!

Posted on February 13, 2019 16:26 by kaschmec kaschmec | 6 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment