Through the Window: May 2022

American Redstart female stands on a green terry-cloth towel, looking slightly toward the camera. Photo by Erin Talmage for the Birds of Vermont Museum.Still limiting feeding, although this month we saw so many birds that one might hardly have thought we were doing this! (Also, see below for why.)

We also noticed that at certain times of the day, the light hit the front door just right (or perhaps, just wrongly) to apparently encourage bird collisions. We have fixed this! (More on this below, too.)

Also this month (and next): Early Birder Morning Walks! Check out the results when the walk leaders post them to eBird.

May Bird List

  • Mourning Dove
  • Black-capped Chickadee
  • Hairy Woodpecker
  • Downy Woodpecker (male and female)
  • American Goldfinch
  • Red-bellied Woodpecker
  • Blue Jay (A.L. saw one with a leg band on 5/18/2022)
  • White-breasted Nuthatch
  • Northern Cardinal
  • Louisiana Waterthrush
  • Eastern Phoebe
  • Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
  • Blue-headed Vireo
  • Song Sparrow
  • Winter Wren
  • Cooper’s Hawk
  • Rose-breasted Grosbeak (FOY May 6, 2022)
  • Ruby-throated Hummingbird (male, FOY May 6, 2022; female FOY May 8, 2022)
  • Great-crested Flycatcher
  • Veery (window collision)
  • American Redstart (window collision)
  • White-throated Sparrow
  • American Robin

(Bolditems in this list are those species not recorded in April 2022.)

Changes in the Feeders

We are restricting feeding due to avian influenza being present in the state. While we don’t see domestic fowl at our feeders, we do sometimes see wild turkeys, hawks or falcons, and sometimes have waterfowl on the nearby pond. We are using only sunflower chips, which are eaten quickly, thus reducing time birds spend at the feeder and leaving less waste for the squirrels. 

A few relevant links:

Avian Influenza Wildlife Health Bulletin from VT Fish and Wildlife Department:

USDA Confirms Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza in Vermont from VT Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets:

Avian flu has been detected in Vermont. Here’s how to protect your flock from VPR:

Avoiding Collisions

At the Museum, almost all the windows have an 3-inch-deep frame with netting attached on the outside to prevent the birds from hitting windows. The one exception is the front door. Unfortunately, this female American Redstart saw the reflection of a forest in the glass door and crashed into it. Luckily, after a few minutes she recovered and was able to fly off. We added a few more things to the door to break up the reflection. There are currently decals, informational signs, and old CDs.

It has been estimated that collisions kill a billion birds per year. There are many ways to prevent these collisions! The American Birding Conservancy (@americanbirdconservancy) has a great deal of information on their website about preventing collisions, from things you can do at home to architectural design.

Care to observe with us? Register for one of our upcoming events. See you soon!

Volunteers, we always have opportunities for you!

If you follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram, you’ll find us talking about bird news, sharing photos, suggesting events, and more. Check us out!

The “Through the Window” series is an informal record of observations made by staff, volunteers, and visitors. Anyone at the Museum may add to this list. Observations are usually through our viewing window: a large window with a film covering that helps hide watchers from the birds. We have chairs and binoculars to try, a white board, and many identification guides. Outdoors, several feeders are attached on a single, 8′ steel pole. A small pond, flowers and water plants, shrubs and trees add cover and (seasonally) other food choices . You can sometimes see what we see via our webcam.

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