Journal archives for April 2019

April 08, 2019

Burlington Urban Reserve-Migration Entry #4

My next birding experience took place at Burlington's Urban Reserve. It took place on Sunday April 7th from 3 pm until about 4:50. It was warm out but overcast and was around 51 degrees. There was a decent amount of wind which could have contributed to the scarcity of birds that I saw despite the warm weather. I assumed that I would have seen more, since there are usually many species down there.
Before I entered the wooded area, I noticed and heard a huge flock of about 10-11 crows flying around, they were all calling very loudly. Crows can be resident species in Vermont but also can have short migratory routes as well. This could explain why I have been seeing many flocks on American Crows these past two weeks. They could have just migrated back to the area from a nearby warmer climate.
Soon after that and throughout my walk through the reserve I noticed three black-capped chickadees. All three were alone spread throughout different trees, and they were definitely not in migration considering they are a resident species and are here year round. Black-capped chickadees have adapted to be able to change their foraging behavior and diet throughout the seasons and can even store food. This makes it so they are not forced to migrate to warmer climates and instead can forage for foods such as seeds instead of living things like bugs. Another important adaptation that helps them stay in Vermont year round is their ability to undergo facultative hypothermia when necessary.
One species I have been noticing a lot more around Burlington is the Cedar Waxwing, a species which is migratory to Vermont and not a resident species. I happened to see a flock of about 8-10 two seperate times during my walk. They prefer warmer climates and are migrating back around this time of year after a long winter that is hopefully over. They could have migrated as far as Mexico. Another bird that I have been seeing in flocks often this month is the Canada Goose. They have been flying in a distinct V-shape overhead which could mean they are also returning from a migration south. I have also been seeing many more gulls out and about(Ring-billed and Herring).
After doing the Mini Activity, I was very impressed with how far some birds travel for their migratory routes. I found out that the Cedar Waxwings I saw could have traveled over 3,600 miles to get here! If the Canada Goose flock traveled South for their migration, they could have traveled almost 1,500 miles to get here, possibly as far as Alabama.

Posted on April 08, 2019 19:15 by kaschmec kaschmec | 5 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

April 15, 2019

Mt. Philo- Field Observation #5

I visited Mount Philo on April 14th to do some bird watching. I saw many species listed under my observations. I saw an unfamiliar small bird that I took a picture of. I believe it may be a Dark-eyed Junco.
The weather as somewhat warm and partly cloudy, and I began my walk around 2:45 pm.

Posted on April 15, 2019 18:36 by kaschmec kaschmec | 6 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

April 22, 2019

Journal Entry #6

I decided to go for a bird walk in Centennial Woods on Sunday April 21nd. It was almost 70 degrees outside, one of the warmest days in Burlington so far this season, not too windy, and partly cloudy. Because of this I thought it would be the perfect day to see and hear as many birds as I could. I went around 11:30 am until 1:20 pm.
The first thing I noticed after walking through the entrance to Centennial was how much more vocal the birds were compared to last time I was there. I immediately heard many different birds calls; some I could not identify. The ones that were easy to distinguish right away were the calls of the Black-capped Chickadee, American Robin, and Canada Geese.
The first bird I saw was a Pileated Woodpecker. This was a cool experience for me because I had never seen one before! I noticed it immediately by the distinct red on its head. It was up in the tree canopy and was staying relatively still, other than moving its head occasionally. I was kind of far from it so it didn't seem to notice me. It was alone and the only activity it seemed to do related to mating was make its distinct chattering once, awhile after I started watching it.
When I got to a large clearing in the path towards the middle of Centennial, I heard what sounded like angry squawking and chirping right above me. They were being extremely vocal. I looked up to see two Red-winged Blackbirds which appeared to be flying through the sky while fighting, pecking, and ramming into each other. They were definitely participating in some agonistic behavior that was definitely related to fighting over mating territory. This is common to see in this species, where the males fight with other males over territory in the beginning of the mating season.
I saw and heard many American Robin during my walk, and observed that they stayed mostly towards the outer edge of the woods area. This made sense, because they seem to prefer more residential areas instead of the more deeply wooded area. I tried looking for Robin nests low in evergreen trees along the outer edge habitat of Centennial but failed to find any that had already been constructed. I did see multiple pairs of American Robins during my walk. This seemed different than earlier in the season when I would see them usually alone or occasionally in a bigger group.
I saw three cardinals during my walk, all spaced pretty far apart but all out in the open. They were all males and seemed to have already claimed their territory spots, probably showing themselves and looking for a mate. They were higher up in the trees that didn't have any leaves on them, they seemed to be out in the open with a purpose. They did not make any sounds while I was observing them, but I did hear the call of one close to me as I was leaving the woods.
After doing the mini activity, I was surprised to notice a real pattern in some of the symbology on my sheet of paper. I tried to do this activity on one side of Centennial instead of more towards the middle, in a place where there was varied habitat, hoping to hear many different species. I hearD the call of many american robin, probably 4 different individuals. They were all in more of the edge habitat towards one portion of my circle. I saw one individual. The other call I heard coming from all directions, and were all close to me surrounding me on my map were Black-capped Chickadees. I saw two but heard probably six different individuals.

Posted on April 22, 2019 20:52 by kaschmec kaschmec | 6 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

April 30, 2019

Field observation #7

I took a walk to North Beach along the bike path, and then hiked up to Lone Rock Point to look for birds for the observations this week. I started my walk on April 28th around 1 pm. I stayed until around 3:30 pm, and saw many different birds on this sunny day with a temperature around 60 degrees with no wind.

Posted on April 30, 2019 21:53 by kaschmec kaschmec | 11 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment