Through the Window: January 2012 feeder birds

Still semi-closed (visitors welcome! But please call a few days in advance to make an appointment), we don’t have as many people watching our feeders. That and winter, and not surprisingly, the list is slightly short.

Mourning Dove, carved and painted by Bob Spear, completed in 1982
Mourning Dove, carved and painted by Bob Spear, completed in 1982. Photograph by Erin Talmage.
  • Blue Jay
  • Black-capped chickadee
  • Dark-eyed Junco
  • Hairy Woodpecker
  • Tufted Titmouse
  • Downy Woodpecker
  • Ruffed Grouse
  • Northern Cardinal (female)
  • American Goldfinch
  • Mourning Dove
  • Red-breasted Nuthatch (1/31, spotted by Charlie B for the Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium)

The Ruffed Grouse was an odd sighting. We noticed a grouse corpse on 1/14, after an extremely cold night and continued shallow snow. This death was probably due to cold although there may have been other factors. One of more red squirrels worked on the body for several days, and eventually it vanished but for some feathers.

On 1/27, though, we also saw a grouse strutting under one of the crab apple trees. Mate? Flock member?

We saw several red squirrels and gray squirrels, and learned about black squirrels as well when WCAX staff dropped by to film some shots for a story.

Are you ready to take part in the Great Backyard Bird Count, Feb 17-20? We are! Come to a presentation about the Museum and Winter Bird Feeder in South Burlington on Feb 15th. Then stop by on Saturday the 18th for tips, company, and a warm window to watch through! Details on our events page.

Through the Window: December 2011 feeder and nearby birds

Now we’re semi-closed (visitors welcome! But please call a few days in advance to make an appointment), we don’t have as many people watching our feeders.

Blue Jay carved by Robert N. Spear, Jr.
Blue Jay, carved by Bob Spear
(photograph by Erin Talmage)
Wonder which species might’ve come by and not been noticed…

  • Black-capped chickadee
  • Tufted Titmouse
  • Dark-eyed Junco
  • Blue Jay
  • Hairy Woodpecker
  • Mourning Dove
  • Downy woodpecker
  • American goldfinch (winter plumage)
  • Northern Cardinal
  • Ruffed grouse
  • Pileated woodpecker (swooping over parking lot, calling on 12/27, the 2nd visit)
  • Purple Finch (12/28)

Naturally, we also saw the usual cluster of red squirrels and gray squirrels.

Looking forward to National Bird Day on January 5th!  And keep track of our more formally collected data: we contribute to Feeder Watch.

Through the Window: November 2011 Feeder and Garden Birds

What we noted on the white board by the viewing window.

  • Hairy Woodpecker
  • Blue Jay
  • Downy Woodpecker
  • Dark-eyed Junco
  • Black-capped chickadee
  • American Goldfinch
  • Tufted Titmouse
  • Mourning Dove
  • Barred Owl
  • Ruffed Grouse

Not so many this month. It was often sunny, but as we were closed except for appointments/scheduled visitors, there were also fewer humans watching out for birds. In addition, the sunny days could’ve allowed the birds to easily feed elsewhere. And with that owl watching off and on, that might’ve been very practical!

Through the Window: October 2011 Feeder and Garden Birds

What people have recorded on our white board by the viewing window.

  • Hairy Woodpecker
  • Downy Woodpecker
  • American Goldfinch
  • Black-capped chickadee
  • Song sparrow
  • Mourning Dove
  • Dark-eyed Junco
  • Blue Jay
  • American Crow
  • Eastern Phoebe
  • White-breasted Nuthatch
  • Canada Goose
  • White-throated sparrow
  • American Robin
  • Tufted Titmouse
  • Raven (2 on 10/18/11, in the morning, above the museum)
  • Northern Cardinal
  • Ruffed Grouse (eating crabapples at 4:15 p.m. in late October)

For even more birds—perceived from more or less the other side of the window and garden—check out our Big Sit! results too!

Birding the Basin: what we saw on our West Haven field trip

It was great to go on the West Haven Field Trip! Birders saw and/or heard 56 species. One participant sent us an email, saying, “A highlight was seeing the Brewster’s Warbler, and Kris saw and heard a Golden-winged Warbler. … It was also fun to see Bobalink [sic], and to watch as a parent fed three young Cliff Swallows sitting on the road.  Of course, we got a little herping in too – lots of Green Frogs!”

Weather: Cloudy and breezy with rain starting right after 2:00 p.m. Temperatures in the 70’s F.
Location: West Haven, Vermont and surrounding area

Birds observed (seen and/or heard) for a total of 56: Continue reading “Birding the Basin: what we saw on our West Haven field trip”

Birding the Basin: West Haven Field Trip

Birding the Basin: West Haven Field Trip -- Join us for a great field trip in the southern portion of the Lake Champlain Basin!
Join us for a great field trip in the southern portion of the Lake Champlain Basin!

This event has been changed due to weather. It will now be held on June 26, 2011. All other details remain the same.

Saturday, June 25, 2011, 8:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Jim Andrews, herpetologist and long-time birder, will lead us in a field trip to West Haven, Vermont. We hope to find Prairie Warblers, Golden-winged Warblers, and maybe a few rare reptiles! Jim has led many of our Birding the Basin field trips, and we are delighted to have him back again.

Best for adults and older children. Meet at McDonald’s on Route 22A in Fair Haven (pending Lake levels). Birding experience and spotting scopes optional; we recommend binoculars of course! (Have you tried digiscoping yet? Some of us do it with iPhones, even!)

Fee: $20 for members of the Birds of Vermont Museum;  $25 for non-members  (you can pay ahead or at the “door”).

Please pre-register by calling 802 434-2167 or emailing museum@birdsofvermont.org

Early Bird Morning Walks

Early Bird Morning Walks, May 15 - Jun 12, 2011, 7 a.m.
Early Bird Morning Walks, May 15 - Jun 12, 2011, 7 a.m.

Join us for an early morning ramble in the Birds of Vermont Museum forest and meadows. Share your sightings, practice identifying birds by ear, or learn from other birders. Enjoy the start of the day with us, birds, and other woodland inhabitants.

Walks are led by experienced birders familiar with Vermont birds.

Finish the walk with bird-friendly “birds and Beans” coffee inside the Museum.

Bring binoculars and good walking shoes, rain gear if needed. Park at 900 Sherman Hollow Road, in the Museum parking lot.

Sundays, May 15 – June 12, 7:00am – 8:15am
Outdoors on Museum property
Appropriate for adults and older children
Free, donations welcome.

Join the County Quest!

Guest post from Ali Wagner, Birder and Museum Member

Last fall, a few of Vermont’s counties decided to take part in a friendly challenge of seeing and reporting the most species of birds during the 2011 calendar year.  This has morphed into a state-wide challenge with all counties eagerly participating.

The quest, as described by the Vermont Center for Ecostudies, is “part fun, part discovery, part conservation, but mostly fun.”

The goal is to get more people involved in birding as well as documenting bird species of the state. There’s a nice write-up at eBird: http://ebird.org/content/vt/news/vermont-county-birding-quest-takes-flight

If you would like to contribute your sightings, go to www.ebird.org/content/vt or www.vtecostudies.org/quest to sign up!  If you have any questions, you can contact Ali  at alikatofvt@gmavt.net or 802 434-7672.

Vermont eBirdVermont Center for Ecostudies

Birding the Basin: Results from October 24

The weather on October 24th was rain, rain, and then some more rain. And chilly! But 9 intrepid birders traveled the Champlain Valley Basin, checking the skies, fields, and puddles for birds (migrating and otherwise). It was lots of fun and there was a lot of laughter. Thank you, Shirley, for providing us this list! Birds are listed in the order seen.

  • American Crow
  • European Starling
  • House Sparrow
  • Canada Goose
  • American Kestrel
  • Mourning Dove
  • Rock Pigeons
  • Northern Harrier
  • Song Sparrow
  • Blue Jay
  • American Robin
  • Snow Goose
  • White-crowned Sparrow
  • Northern Cardinal
  • White-breasted nuthatch
  • Black-capped Chickadee
  • Dark-eyed Junco
  • Ring-billed Gull
  • Black-crowned night heron
  • Wood Duck
  • American Goldfinch
  • Red-winged Blackbird
  • Mallard
  • American Black Duck
  • Green-winged Teal
  • Northern Pintail
  • White-throated Sparrow
  • Blue-winged Teal
  • Red-tailed Hawk
  • Surf Scoter
  • Horned Grevbe
  • Common Loon
  • Cooper’s Hawk
  • Great Black-backed Gull (not a Black Duck as I’d earlier mis-read the note –Kir)
  • Downy Woodpecker
  • Wild Turkey
  • Great Blue Heron
  • Northern Flicker

If you are on FaceBook, and you have photos, feel free to post them on the event Wall (Facebook event page: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=148202475222276 ). We’re also happy to link any online photos to this post if you send us the link.