Field Journal 7 Reproductive Ecology and Observation

I went birding on April 20th from 5:30 pm until 7:00 pm. I started out behind the North Country Community College campus in Malone NY. The campus is situated next to the first dam that the Salmon River flows through as it passes through the village of Malone. The weather was excellent with bright sun, a mild breeze out of the west and the temperature was about 45 degrees Fahrenheit. I started out on the edge of the salmon in a small deciduous forest. As I worked my way down the river the ground on the riverbank extending deeper into the small forest became much more moist and became a marsh eventually. I then crossed the Salmon River and came out on the football field at Franklin Academy. I worked my way down the field and ascended a hill to the edge of the forest that comes to the edge of the school property.

On the edge of the college campus I came across a decent number of Black-capped Chickadees and European starlings. Both species were quite active vocally. The Chickadees were singing more than any other time I have heard this spring. In this stand of deciduous trees there was a decent number of snags which would make excellent nesting habitat for the Chickadees. Not to far off on the Salmon river there was approximately 50 or so Canada Geese. The river pools a bit above the dam and there are several decent sized islands in the river with a good amount of vegetation. The islands would make very good nesting habitat for the Canada Geese as they would add an extra level of protection from predators. Also the Geese would have easy access to grass and other vegetation with which to construct their nests.

A bit farther down the river where the riparian zone turned into more of a marsh I came across a male Red-winged Blackbird. the red on his wings was just starting to come in. He was very vocal the entire time I observed him. He was situated in an excellent territory he had the river close by and by and the area underneath the tree he was in was a marsh. This would provide an excellent nesting site. The male was very vocal indicating that he had good fitness overall. He might have been trying to attract a female to his territory or he might have been trying to keep other males at bay. Either way his vocal display demonstrated a commitment to his territory and his health. There would also be easy access to marsh type vegetation such as cattails and reeds with which to construct the nest. In one of the drier spots along the river I saw a pair of Song Sparrows. The Sparrows were near a pretty good nesting location. The Song Sparrows would be able to accumulate grass and other weeds especially during the spring before the thicker riparian vegetation is in full growth. The birds would not have had to go far as there was some grass growing in between the forest and the river. Also the Song Sparrows could have ventured in the other direction into a more urban area with a large number of small yards to search for nest building materials.

I did the listening activity early on during the walk not long after I had entered the small forest. The link to the map is here
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1jbqlUuh1DgxE4WhCZTskm05Voqq04bmMk8-Yy_XGpqE/edit?usp=sharing

In terms of what I was hearing I was able to identify a few species by call first and was then able to spot some but not all of them from where I was sitting.

Posted by tsshafer tsshafer, April 22, 2020 20:50

Observations

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Northern Cardinal Cardinalis cardinalis

Observer

tsshafer

Date

April 15, 2020

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Starling Sturnus vulgaris

Observer

tsshafer

Date

April 20, 2020

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Northern Cardinal Cardinalis cardinalis

Observer

tsshafer

Date

April 20, 2020

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Black-capped Chickadee Poecile atricapillus

Observer

tsshafer

Date

April 20, 2020

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

American Goldfinch Spinus tristis

Observer

tsshafer

Date

April 20, 2020

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Canada Goose Branta canadensis

Observer

tsshafer

Date

April 20, 2020

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

American Robin Turdus migratorius

Observer

tsshafer

Date

April 20, 2020

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Common Grackle Quiscalus quiscula

Observer

tsshafer

Date

April 20, 2020

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Downy Woodpecker Dryobates pubescens

Observer

tsshafer

Date

April 20, 2020

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Song Sparrow Melospiza melodia

Observer

tsshafer

Date

April 20, 2020

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Red-winged Blackbird Agelaius phoeniceus

Observer

tsshafer

Date

April 20, 2020

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Mallard Anas platyrhynchos

Observer

tsshafer

Date

April 20, 2020

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Red-tailed Hawk Buteo jamaicensis

Observer

tsshafer

Date

April 20, 2020

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Turkey Vulture Cathartes aura

Observer

tsshafer

Date

April 20, 2020

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

American Crow Corvus brachyrhynchos

Observer

tsshafer

Date

April 20, 2020

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Black-capped Chickadee Poecile atricapillus

Observer

tsshafer

Date

April 20, 2020

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Downy Woodpecker Dryobates pubescens

Observer

tsshafer

Date

April 20, 2020

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