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


Photos / Sounds


Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)




March 15, 2023


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