Journal archives for May 2023

May 01, 2023

Field Journal 7 Sean Devine

Date: April 29, 2023
Start time: 3:30pm
End time: 5:00 pm
Location: Milton Town Forest, Milton VT
Weather: 49F, Light rain that cleared up later
Habitat: Marshy pond, open field, mature hardwood forest, mature coniferous forest
Species Observed:
Barred Owl
Belted Kingfisher
Great Blue Heron
Northern Flicker
Northern Cardinal
White-breasted Nuthatch
Black-capped Chickadee
Mourning Dove
Song Sparrow

Some behaviors I saw that relate to mate, nest, or territory selection included males, specifically Northern Cardinals, chickadees, Song Sparrows, and Nuthatches, singing to presumably defend their territory or attract a mate. Chickadees were a good example of this, as I could get close enough to see that they weren't foraging but instead perched and singing. That bird's priority in that moment was mate/territory selection, not finding food. Many of my observed species, including chickadees, are nesting in tree cavities. This means an area with snags and adequate resources on the property would be the ideal nesting location. The Barred Owl I spotted was also in a typical nesting habitat, as it was in a mature conifer forest with its nesting site likely being in a natural cavity high up in a tree. The Belted Kingfisher I observed over the pond was also near areas where they could excavate a burrow for a nest.
A species I observed defending territory was a Song Sparrow. It was in a location which could be considered prime territory. The individual was located on the edge of a forest and open field, with a few houses nearby as well. The forest included masting species which would be a major food source in the fall, and the open field might offer insects. The houses nearby also had bird feeders that this individual might frequent. There was also a lot of undergrowth nearby that could offer good nesting sites, as Song Sparrows nest on or close to the ground. Overall, this territory offered a variety of food sources and nesting sites, meaning this individual was defending prime territory. This indicates that this individual has a high fitness.
Another species I observed was a Great Blue Heron. To build its nest, this bird is likely choosing a tree to nest in (though they may nest on the ground). The nests are built with pine needles, moss, grasses, and twigs. In the area it was seen, grasses and twigs were likely plentiful given that the pond was surrounded by swampy area and hardwood trees. Moss and pine needles were certainly nearby, but a little less plentiful and farther away.
In the process of making a sound map for this journal I tried to notate the bird sounds I heard with squiggles drawn in the rough distance and direction from me it was heard. Something I noticed from this is that many bird calls are hard to pinpoint exactly where and how far they are coming from. An example would be the White-breasted Nuthatch I heard but just could not locate visually even though it sounded so close. I also noticed that my sound notations looked similar for species that didn't sound the same at all in reality. I think this is just due to the complexity of bird sounds that can't really be described with simple lines.

Posted on May 01, 2023 05:42 PM by sedevine sedevine | 9 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

May 05, 2023

Field Journal 8 Sean Devine

Date: May 3, 2023
Start time: 4:00pm
End time: 5:30 pm
Location: Charlotte Park and Wildlife Refuge, Charlotte VT
Weather: 55F, cloudy, some light rain
Habitat: Marshy pond, open field, mature hardwood forest, mature coniferous forest
Species Observed:
Downy Woodpecker
American Robin
Red-winged Blackbird
Northern Cardinal
Song Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Mourning Dove
Black-capped Chickadee

Posted on May 05, 2023 11:00 PM by sedevine sedevine | 8 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment