Starting Wednesday, January 23, we’ll host the new six-week It’s a Bird’s Life series. Sponsored by a local Community Senior Center and the Birds of Vermont Museum, meet on six consecutive Wednesdays at 1:30 at the Birds of Vermont Museum, and learn more about specific Vermont birds—as well as two sessions connecting coffee and maple to birds!
November has been a little surprising, as we’ve gotten rather more snow than usual. Puts us in mind of winter birds, instead of fall….
So which ones have been around?
Some of us coffee-drinkers are pretty well steeped into knowing everything we can about the beverage and its effects on the world. Most of us are happy just to have some coffee. Where do you fall in this spectrum?
We’re up at the Feverish World Symposium this weekend, with a pop-up exhibit called How Do You Take Your Coffee? Come check it out—ask questions, take a pledge, and learn something about migratory birds and different types of coffee agriculture. Stimulate your curiosity!
Familiarity with coffee certification programs among consumers in the United States in 2016
(if this image doesn’t show, a click should take you there)
Find more statistics at Statista
VERMONT FISH and WILDLIFE sent out this press release. It’s great advice and ideal for Vermonters, so we asked and got their permission to post it here. Thank you, Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department (especially Tom Rogers and John Buck).
For Immediate Release: October 2, 2018
Media Contacts: John Buck, 802-476-0796
MONTPELIER, Vt – Vermonters love to see birds around their home, and putting out bird feeders is a popular way to attract our feathered friends to back yards. Vermont is among the top states in the country for people who report feeding and watching birds near their home.
However, birds aren’t the only wildlife attracted by birdseed. Vermont’s abundant bear population is increasingly coming into conflict with people as they raid people’s bird feeders, often leading the bear to continue to seek food sources in residential areas. As a result, the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department urges Vermonters to hold off on putting bird feeders out until snow is well-established. With plenty of seeds and berries on the landscape, birds have enough native foods to tide them over until bears are hibernating.
“Nature provides birds with ample natural food options, from flowers to seeds to fruits and insects,” says John Buck, Vermont Fish & Wildlife’s migratory bird biologist. “Vermonters can plant a variety of native plants and provide other resources that will naturally attract birds from spring through fall. These natural food sources are healthy for birds and provide bird-lovers with a safe alternative to putting out bird feeders. Providing natural food sources also helps prevent a concentration of birds in one place around a feeder, reducing the likelihood of disease transmission and unnatural predation rates.”
As Vermonters put their gardens and yards to bed this fall, Buck has several recommendations for fall plantings, as well as seeds to procure for the spring, that will safely encourage birds in backyards:
- Maintain natural diversity in your yard by adding fruiting shrubs, mixed-age trees, tall grasses, and bare patches to welcome several species and fulfill multiple habitat requirements.
- Plant a variety of native plants to provide food sources for birds, such as dogwood, choke cherry, or highbush blueberry. A list of local native shrubs that attract birds and other wildlife can be found at vtfishandwildlife.com.
- Purchase seeds for spring planting including black-eyed Susan, milkweed, and coneflowers.
- Help birds overcome parasites by providing dust baths made of equal parts fine sand and wood ash in a bird bath or small planter.
- Provide water year-round.
By encouraging birds to backyards with natural gardens of flowers, seeds, and berries instead of store-bought seeds, More information: http://tinyurl.com/VtBackyardHabitat
Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department
Information and Outreach
1 National Life Drive, Dewey Building
Montpelier, VT 05620
Holy mackerel, May is intense! Not to detract from our month-long-we-all-add-to-it Viewing Window list, but did you get to see the eBird lists too, from what has been seen and heard here? Did you see or hear some of the rich migrations? Enjoyed the predictions on Birdcast? What a month!
OK, back to our corner of Vermont: Continue reading “Through the Window: May 2018”
It’s April! Forget showers (there was a good bit of snow). And flowers? Pshaw, not yet. But birds! Bird list expansion (compared to last month, that is). Huzzah! Continue reading “Through the Window: April 2018”
Spring is … not yet happening. March birds included the classic winter species… :
- Blue Jay
- Dark-eyed Junco
- Black-capped chickadee
- Downy Woodpecker
- Mourning Dove
- Hairy Woodpecker
We particularly loved seeing grouse in the crabapple this month—one day, we saw five! We also were pleased to host a delightful number of people for the Great Backyard Bird Count.
Birds noticed this month at our feeders and just nearby: Continue reading “Through the Window: February 2018”
From polar vortex to thaw to bare ground to new snow and back again. Nice bit of roller coastering weather!
Thank goodness for adaptations.
Some surprises and delights by the time the Bird Monitoring Walk and Christmas Bird Count rolled around. (We did not actually have quite this much snow, but it’s getting there.)