Sharpie and Cooper’s

Guest post by Catherine Griset, Spring 2013 Intern

A small hawk hunts quietly from a perch. Watching for smaller birds, it waits until just the right moment to dive down and attack. As it flies back to its post you notice a charcoal gray back, orange barring below, and a long tail. (Or maybe a brown back, with streaking down the front.)

What kind of hawk is this?

From that description, we could be talking about either a Sharp- shinned Hawk or a Cooper’s Hawk. Regardless of age, both hawks have long, barred tails. Adults of these species are gray and orange, with red eyes; immature birds (1st year) are brown and white, with brown streaking on the chest, and yellow eyes.

Sharp-shinned Hawk (carved by Bob Spear and photographed by Erin Talmage)
Sharp-shinned Hawk (carved by Bob Spear and photographed by Erin Talmage)

Continue reading “Sharpie and Cooper’s”

upcoming event: Winter Birding Presentation

Winter Birds with the Milton Historical Society
Winter Birds with the Milton Historical Society

Winter Birding: Presentation for the Milton Historical Society and friends
Wednesday, November 7 • 7:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Vermont in Winter: cold, muddy, slushy, icy, snowy. But there are still birds! Which ones? How come? What do they eat? How do they shelter from the weather? And how can you get involved with birds, birding, and conservation?

Join the Birds of Vermont Museum for an evening presentation, find out more about birding (whether you are a beginner or have decades of birdwatching experience), bird food, and citizen science, all in the company of friendly people.

Requested by the Milton Historical Society and open to the public. At the Milton Historical Museum, 13 School Street, Milton. Their number is (802) 734-0758 or call us at the Museum (802) 434-2167.

upcoming event: Monthly Bird Monitoring Walk

Saturday October 27 • 8:00–9:30 a.m.

Join experienced birders on the last Saturday of every month for the monthly bird monitoring walk. Discover more of the Museum’s forest and meadows! Please bring binoculars.

Free • Adults and older children have the most fun

Optional: pre-register by emailing museum@birdsofvermont.org or calling (802) 434-2167.

upcoming event: Potluck Birding (open mike for birders)

Open Mike for Birders

Potluck Birding: Open Mike for Birders
Saturday, October 27 • 5:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
An experimental evening of tasty food and delightful birds from you. Get inspired for your winter birding vacation.

  • 5:30-6:15: Potluck dinner : bring a dish to share
  • 6:30-9:00: Share your favorite birding images, calls, stories, etc.

Up to 15 images per presenter pre-arranged on a flash drive or CD. We have Picasa and an old version of Powerpoint.

Please sign up for a presenting time-slot with the Museum so we can coordinate hard- and software!

Free for participants; donations welcome.

Bird and Birding apps for kids and adults

A nice young couple visited yesterday with their two year old son who is really into birds (and bears).  The dad, asked about bird Apps. Here’s a combined reply from our Museum Educator and Executive Director!

Lots of bird ID apps for adults. They vary on ID tips, recordings, ability to keep lists, etc.  I like the Audubon Guides, but know others who like iBirdPro, Sibley Guide, and Peterson guides. For example, a short list of bird Apps recommended to us by two of our favorite, fervent birders:

To find bird related apps for my son (age 3), I just typed into the search fields variations of  “bird”, “quiz”, “toddler”, etc.  I like (and so does my son ) the Toddler Teaser apps. They have apps to help kids recognize letters, numbers, and animals (including birds).

The choices are extensive!

Added later: BirdDiva also recommends  the Audubon Guides (from Green Mountain Digital)

Birding in Panama and the Darien

Birding in Panama and the Darien (Flyer)

Panama boasts nearly 1,000 different bird species and the largest intact tropical rainforest in Central America, but as a birding destination it still lacks the fame of its neighbor Costa Rica.

Please join us for a photographic tour of the incredible diversity of birdlife Panama has to offer—from the hummingbirds and toucans of the national forests along the Panama Canal to the tanagers and trogons of the coffee-growing region in the northwest to the macaws and manakins of the roadless south-eastern wilderness that is the Darien.

Presented by Professors Kimberly Sultze and Jon Hyde.
This lecture is oart of the Lucille Greenough Enrichment Series.
Doors open at 6:30p.m. for wine and cheese; slide lecture begins at 7:00p.m.

A Meditation on a Child and Birding

Guest post from Dr. Stewart Kirkaldy, Museum Volunteer

Every once in a while one has an experience that is profoundly moving. This happened to me recently on International Migratory Bird Day at the Birds of Vermont Museum where I was working at the viewing window. A young couple came in with three children, the eldest of whom was a serious birder. She was 10 years old or less but had a “life list” of fifty-eight on arrival. Very soon she saw her first Hummingbird to which she responded with incredible vocal enthusiasm, jumping up and down and rushing across the room to give her father the news. (She added two new species to her list that afternoon.) Her interest and enthusiasm was evident all day. She was an inspiration and rejuvenated hope in my heart for the future of humanity.

The realization dawned on me that she is at one end of the spectrum of human activity and, sadly, too many are at the other end as exemplified by Big Oil Company Executives whose actions and indifference led to the recent catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. But what she left me with was the hope well expressed in a hymn that ends “… when man’s crude acts deface no more / the handiwork of God.”

Ruby-throated Hummingbird (male), carved by Robert Spear, Jr.
Ruby-throated Hummingbird (male), carved by Robert Spear, Jr.