May 01, 2023

field journal 8

On April 28 after work around 1:30 pm I stayed to do my birding at Red Barn Gardens. It was about 66°F and the habitat was suburban with some field-like areas. I heard a Tufted Titmouse singing in the trees and saw a Black-capped Chickadee sitting in some trees hoping around.

Posted on May 01, 2023 04:56 PM by mayacurlej mayacurlej | 2 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

April 24, 2023

field Journal 7

On Saturday April 22 at around 11 am I started my excursion at Red Barn Garden in Williston. It was about 65° and the habitat was suburban and field like. I saw an American Robin hoping around on the ground. But he was not saying much just hoping for quite a while moving from location to location. I was able to hear a Black-capped Chickadee singing from the trees. The Chickadee was also singing for quite a while and I couldn't distinguish if there were multiple or just one so I assume it was just one.
The American Robin behavior of hoping around the ground could be related to nest or maybe territory selection. He could have been searching for materials to build a nest or scoping out the area to see if this is where he wants to set up. The Black-capped Chickadee could have been displaying signs of mate selection and singing its song repeatedly to try and attract a mate. It also could have been defending or claiming its territory to other birds.
If it was defending its territory I would say it would be a strongly fit Chickadee as this location probably has a lot of food access and might be rich in resources. If the Robin was finding materials for its nest this would also be a good location for that as there are many leaves and sticks and different resources readily available for him to pick through,

Posted on April 24, 2023 05:43 PM by mayacurlej mayacurlej | 2 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

April 17, 2023

Field Journal 6

On April 8 at around 8:30 am I started my bird walk in my front yard and then walked to the marina near my house in Chittenango NY. It is was about 53°F and the habitat was marsh-like and suburban. A Northern Cardinal came to sit on my front porch railing after I had been sitting and waiting a bit Then as I walked down towards the marina there was a Great Blue Heron along the edge of the water. I could hear other birds singing but was unable to identify any of them. Both of these birds were just sitting and flew off after a while.

Posted on April 17, 2023 04:08 PM by mayacurlej mayacurlej | 2 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

March 28, 2023

Field Journal Assignment 5

On Monday March 27 at around 7 a.m. I started bird watching before class. I did this bird watching outside on the Redstone Green on campus, as it is usually very lively with birds. It was about 45° and it was partly cloudy in the morning. I heard a lot more species than I saw. Based on the songs I am estimating that I heard some Dark-eyed Juncos, American Robins, and Black-capped Chickadees. I'm not sure how many there were as they were in the trees and I couldn't quite distinguish them based on looks. I also saw about 3 Ring-billed Gulls wandering around as there usually are. None of the birds were exhibiting any behavior that I thing is notable, they were just singing their songs in the early morning.
All the species I heard are year-round residents in Vermont, according to All About Birds Ring-billed Gulls are only in Vermont during migration, but I have regularly seen them around campus throughout the winter. These birds forego migration most likely because their food source is still available to them in the winter and when the ground is covered in snow. They also probably have adaptations to stay warm or find shelter from the harsh winter conditions. Most of these species are small so they fit into crevices in snags and trees to stay secure. Since Burlington is a suburban area they also probably depend some on bird feeders that people have outside of their homes. Species that would be coming to Vermont now is most likely coming from the south where it was warmer. As the weather here is warming up those food resources are becoming more readily available and the harsh winter conditions are becoming less frequent.
All of the birds that I encountered are year-round residents of Vermont so they did not have to travel many miles outside of their normal daily mileage. However, some American Robins do migrate, they can fly up 250 miles a day to reach breeding grounds in Alaska and Canada from the U.S. and Mexico.

Posted on March 28, 2023 11:06 PM by mayacurlej mayacurlej | 1 observation | 0 comments | Leave a comment

March 18, 2023

Field Journal Assignment 4

I started my bird watch at around 10 am on Wednesday March 15. I was birding for about an hour and the weather was sunny and about 35°. I was at my families home in Chittenango, NY for spring break so my birding took place in the backyard and I walked a little closer to the lake for part of it. The habitat is suburban, but closer to the lake it gets a little marshy. I saw a few species on this walk, closer to my house I saw a male and a female Northern Cardinal, and sitting on the lake were at least 30 Canadian Geese. I also saw some gulls flying but I couldn't identify a specific species.
The cardinals were not really interacting with each other at all as they were just eating seeds from a feeder, but occasionally they would chirp. The geese were all just sitting on the water and honking, this was probably to ward off any potential threats and establish territory. Comparing cardinal to goose plumage you can see lots of differences. Cardinal males are bright red and females pale brown with some red hints while geese have a black head, tan breast, and brown back with white spots on its check and butt. Goose plumage probably provides advantages when it is in the water to camouflage from predators. Cardinals get their red color from their food and then the bright red is used to attract mates. The geese that I saw were all just sitting in the water and this indicates that they were resting. This fit into their circadian rhythm because they most likely foraged earlier in the day and are now resting before they forage again.
I did not encounter any groups of small song birds on my birding trip so I could not try the spishing activity on them. I did it briefly to the geese but they didn't seem to have any reaction to it. I assume if done to songbirds it probably interests them and causes them to get drawn in.

Posted on March 18, 2023 09:44 PM by mayacurlej mayacurlej | 1 observation | 0 comments | Leave a comment

March 02, 2023

Field Journal Assignment 3

On March 2 I started bird watching at around 11:40 am and stayed out until 12:50. I was bird watching on Redstone Campus as there are usually plenty of birds around there to observe. It was not terribly cold today at around 34°F. The habitat was suburban-like since there were dorm buildings and busy roads nearby. I could hear and see many birds out today. The three species that I could distinguish were 5 American Robins, 3 Black-capped Chickadees, and at least 20 European Starlings, though there were too many to count.
The robins and chickadees were mostly sitting in a tree and singing their songs. The robins would sometimes fly back and forth between the tree and the ground and the chickadees would jump around the tree branches picking with its bill. I assume the chickadees were looking for little bugs and other things to eat off the branches since it was a warmer day and they didn't spend as much energy on staying warm. I assume the same for the robins, except they were probably finding things to eat off the ground instead. The European Starlings were displaying much different behavior. Down the middle of the open area is a path of grass with no snow that I assume forms from some sort of pipe or heat running underground between buildings. The starlings spent most of their time all together in the grass, but when one flew away into the tree they all followed. They did this a few times, sometimes without me even noticing. I would look away for a second and when I looked back they had vanished.
All three of these species were probably spending their energy today on foraging and eating since they didn't need to conserve as much for heat. But on a colder day I'm sure you would find them nestled away somewhere, like in a snag or in a tree, sleeping and conserving energy. As it gets warmer they will probably start to spend more time out looking for food and soon start mating. Their diet right now probably consists of a few bugs, but mostly things like nuts and seeds. In the spring it probably is reversed and they eat more bugs.
Since I wasn't really out in the woods for my bird watch I didn't come across any snags, but there were a few trees that had some sort of bird made nest/structure at the top. Snags are important for birds, especially in the winter, because they can use them as shelter from the weather and predators. They can safely sleep there or hideout and be protected. Smaller bird species that don't really live with others probably utilize this more as they can fit in more spaces and are the most vulnerable.

Posted on March 02, 2023 11:37 PM by mayacurlej mayacurlej | 2 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

February 20, 2023

Field Assignment 2

On February 19 at around 8 am I did my field observations in my backyard in Chittenango NY. The temperature was around 35° and cloudy. The species I observed were about 4 Mourning Doves and 1 Red-winged Blackbird. There were some other birds farther away that I couldn't distinguish but these two species were the ones that dominated my field observation.

The Mourning Doves were sitting in my backyard before I even started my observations, but as soon as I walked outside they flew away. Their flight was very sudden and their wings seemed to be moving very powerfully. They didn't fly very far just to some trees nearby. A little later the Red-winged Blackbird flew in, it was glossy black with the bright red so I was able to identify it as a male. The flight pattern of the Red-winged Blackbird seemed to be much quicker and their wings seemed to also be quicker than the Mourning Dove.

The shape and size of the wings of both species seemed to be elliptical wings. The had fast, powerful flaps and moved at high speeds. I saw both these species come to and from where I was in my backyard to trees farther away multiple times. When either of them were flying, there looked to be a lot of flapping and the patterns were short bursts of speed. A difference between the two that I saw was that the Mourning Dove seemed to have bigger stronger wings, while the Red-winged Blackbirds looked like they could've been more fragile. This however was a very small difference as they were about the same size. Flight pattern can be important to help identify species as they tell a lot about the behavior and area that they are present in.

Posted on February 20, 2023 12:45 AM by mayacurlej mayacurlej | 2 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

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