Through the Window: November 2014

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Bold text indicates the species we did not see last month.

  • Blue Jay
  • Downy Woodpecker
  • Dark-eyed Junco
  • American Goldfinch
  • Tufted Titmouse
  • Hairy Woodpecker
  • Song Sparrow
  • Mourning Dove
  • Black-capped Chickadee
  • White-breasted Nuthatch
  • Northern Cardinal
  • Fox Sparrow (2 on 11/9)
  • White-throated Sparrow
  • Wild Turkey (16 in flock, only 1 male)

An Eastern Chipmunk was still awake this month, and of course the Red Squirrels and Gray Squirrels are attempting to scarf up all the seeds and corn on the ground before the turkeys get to it…
We’re open by appointment from now until April 30. You are always welcome, just call or email to schedule a visit. Whether you’re working on bird ID skills, want to explore example of the woodcarvers’ art, learning about winter bird feeding, or seeking citizen science opportunities for yourself or kid, we can help! Call or email to set up your time to visit: (802) 434-2167 or museum@birdsofvermont.org.

 

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, bear-resistant 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.

Through the Window: October 2014

October is so full of color changes. Not, perhaps, so much for birds; they’ve already mostly shifted into their winter costumes if they’re going to (hey, American Goldfinches, I’m looking at you). But look at some of those birds…if you can see them against the leaves. Did you know there were so many beautiful shades and tints of browns? Look again; there’s another.

Bold text indicates the species we did not see last month.

  • Purple Finch
  • Blue Jay
  • Downy Woodpecker
  • Hairy Woodpecker
  • American Goldfinch
  • White-breasted Nuthatch
  • Song Sparrow
  • White-throated Sparrow
  • Tufted Titmouse
  • Dark-eyed Junco
  • Northern Cardinal
  • Northern Goshawk (10/2, 10/9)
  • American Crow
  • Mourning Dove
  • Common Grackle
  • Brown Thrasher (10/8)
  • Black-capped Chickadee
  • Fox Sparrow (10/26)
  • Pileated Woodpecker (at the front of Museum eating dried-on-the-vine grapes)
  • Barred Owl (several days after 10/25, in the trees along the road by the Museum, and even hunting in the verge)

We’ve just shifted to winter hours (that is, by appointment). If you’d like to come and practice your bird ID skills and find out more about winter feeding or winter birdwatching and citizen science opportunites, great! (We have these nifty birds-carved-in-wood, too…) Call or email to set up your time to visit: (802) 434-2167 or museum@ birdsofvermont.org.

 

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, bear-resistant 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.

Through the Window: September 2014

And off they go! Our summer friends head south, northern friends arrive, and some of our year-rounders stick around. (Some of course are the same species but different individuals. That’s a little tricky for us to tell, though sometimes we try.) Bold text indicates the species we did not see last month.

  • White-breasted Nuthatch
  • Common Grackle
  • Song Sparrow
  • Black-capped Chickadee
  • Hairy Woodpecker
  • Blue Jay
  • Mourning Dove
  • Ruby-throated Humming bird (seen on September 5, 6, and 9. Only females seen.)
  • American Goldfinch
  • Rose-breasted Grosbeak
  • Tufted Titmouse
  • Wild Turkey
  • Purple Finch
  • White-throated Sparrow (9/10 and later)
  • American Crow
  • White-crowned Sparrow (9/25, 9/26)
  • Northern Cardinal (9/30)

Come watch birds and write on our board too! We’re open daily from 10-4 through October, and we have galleries and trails, a pond, creeks, a tree house and a gift shop—all for you!  (In November, you just need to call for an appointment to come inside. Easy!) Check out our calendar of events for special things to do and see.  And if you’re online, follow along some of the migration data with BirdCast or eBird.

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 to make it more difficult for birds to see the watchers. We have chairs and binoculars to try there, a white board, and many identification guides. Outdoors, several feeders are attached on a single, bear-resistant 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.

Through the Window: August 2014

This has been a stupendous August! Very beautiful. Of course, sometimes we have to be inside, so thank goodness for a viewing window. (Sometimes, the turkeys come up and view us…) Perhaps you will add to the list next month! Bold text indicates the species we did not see last month.

  • American Goldfinch
  • Purple Finch
  • Downy Woodpecker
  • Mourning Dove
  • Ruby-throated Hummingbird
  • Hairy Woodpecker
  • Goshawk (and now, one fewer Mourning Dove)
  • Wild Turkey (2-5 turkeys visit us fairly regularly, but just down the road in the meadow, we observed at least two families. The young ones have not yet been brought to the Museums feeder area—at least, not while we have been watching!)
  • Song Sparrow
  • Red-winged Blackbird
  • Eastern Phoebe
  • Black-capped Chickadee
  • White-breasted Nuthatch
  • Blue Jay (including at least one balding, ah the joys of moulting!)
  • Eastern Wood Pewee (8/4)
  • Common Grackle
  • Rose-breasted Grosbeak
  • Tufted Titmouse
  • American Crow
  • Northern Cardinal
  • Northern Flicker
  • Nashville Warbler or Ruby-crowned Kinglet (8/14 on the Hummingbird feeder)

Of course, some of our usual suspects are back…with friends: Red squirrels, gray squirrels, Eastern Chipmunks, Woodchuck (Ground hog) and an Eastern Cottontail, various bees an wasp species, and Sphinx Moths.

Come see them for yourself! We’re open daily from 10-4 and we have galleries and trails, waterways and a gift shop—all for you! Plus we have a new, accessible “elevated bird blind” (also known as “treehouse). Check out our calendar of events for special things to do and see.

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 to make it more difficult for birds to see the watchers. We have chairs and binoculars to try there, a white board, and many identification guides. Outdoors, several feeders are attached on a single, bear-resistant 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.

Expert birder pwned by 4-year old

Guest story by our friend and expert birder, AW.

While the four-year old (L) picked and munched on fresh beans from the garden, I noticed some birds in a dead tree. Red-eyed Vireo, a young Eastern Phoebe, and wait! Oh! A warbler? A Wilson’s? That would be cool, a first in my yard.

Me: Hey L, there’s a really cool bird in the tree; I think it’s a Wilson’s Warbler. I’m going to go set up my scope to get a good look if you want to come look at it.

L: Okay, I’ll come.

Me: This could be a Wilson’s Warbler! It would be great to see one because they just pass through Vermont when migrating. We don’t get a chance to see them often. Continue reading “Expert birder pwned by 4-year old”

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.