Call to Artists: Common Grounds

 Common Grounds

A Call to Artists from the Birds of Vermont Museum
in recognition of 100 years of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and its conservation consequences

Birds link us.  We need the same things: food, water, air, places to live. We humans have sometimes used laws to protect those needs we have in common. In 1918, the US Congress put into place the Migratory Bird Treaty Act—one of the first laws setting limits on what we could and could not do specifically with respect to migratory birds. Since then, we’ve asked new questions, discovered new ramifications, and come to new understandings about what the work of conservation entails. In order for the Migratory Bird Treaty Act to be successful, people have to work together across geographic, political, socioeconomic, and ecological boundaries. We need to find—or create—common ground. What does that look like? Continue reading “Call to Artists: Common Grounds”

Through the Window: May 2017

Ruby-Throated Hummingbird Female (woodcarving)

Wow, what a spring! Some unusual species seen and heard this month, for us, down here at the Viewing Window. (Okay, okay, we did record a few birds heard or seen while we were coming into the Museum or running out to check the mail….)

Ruby-Throated Hummingbird Female (woodcarving)
Ruby-Throated Hummingbird
Female (carved by Bob Spear)

Bold items in this list are those species not recorded last month.

  • Black-capped chickadee
  • Dark-eyed Junco
  • Blue Jay
  • Red-Winged Blackbird
  • Mourning Dove
  • Tufted Titmouse
  • White-throated Sparrow
  • Wild Turkey
  • Brown-headed Cowbird
  • Hairy Woodpecker
  • American Goldfinch
  • Common Grackle
  • Rose-breasted Grosbeak (May 2, 2017 and often thereafter)
  • Downy Woodpecker
  • Wood Thrush
  • Ruby-throated Hummingbird (First of Year male: May 10, 2017; female: May 13)
  • White-breasted Nuthatch
  • Red-breasted Nuthatch
  • Common Raven
  • Northern Cardinal
  • Baltimore Oriole (FOY 5/15/2017)
  • Ovenbird (heard outside May 16, 2017)
  • Canada Goose (heard outside May 14, 2017)
  • Song Sparrow (heard outside)
  • Scarlet Tanager (Male, seen drinking from stream below the riparian slope pollinator gardens on May 17, 2017)
  • Eastern Phoebe (nesting under Bridge)
  • Cooper’s Hawk (trying to take prey at the feeding area, May 28, 2017; two unsuccessful attempts)
  • Olive-sided Flycatcher (heard and seen Tuesday May 23, 2017)
  • Eastern Towhee

The usual mammals maintained their presence: Red and Gray Squirrels, and Eastern Chipmunks. We didn’t observe the Eastern Cottontail but we did see the Woodchuck. Wood Frogs tadpoles occupied the pon on May 17, 2017, and Tiger Swallowtail butterflies are back by May 23.

Our “summer” hours have arrived! May through October, we are open daily from 10am – 4pm (with a few extra evenings, and sometime closed for part of the July 4 holiday). Click over to our events page.  If you follow us on Facebook, Twitter , tumblr, and/or Instagram too, you’ll find more comments, links, and observations. See you soon!

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.

Zoo Bird Group Master List from 1945

One of our staff members recently came across this bird list from 1945. Can anyone provide us with some information about this? It most likely belonged to one of her grandparents, a resident of the Bronx in 1945. Do you think it referred to New York resident and/or migrants visible from the Bronx Zoo? Was there a group that met at the zoo and birded from there? Can you spot the birds whose names have been revised since then?

Here’s a scan of the pages (a click will show each larger, or you can download the PDF) and the text is below.

Zoo Bird Group Master List for 1945 Spring Migration (page 1) Zoo Bird Group Master List for 1945 Spring Migration (page 2)

Continue reading “Zoo Bird Group Master List from 1945”

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”