White-winged Crossbills

 

The White-winged Crossbills and Common Redpolls were a nice surprise on this snowy April morning.  We also saw Wild turkeys, Black-capped Chickadees, Dark-eyed Juncos, Northern Cardinals, and Blue Jays at our bird feeders.

Hope

Signs of spring around the Museum

  • Daffodils coming up
  • Red-winged Blackbirds
  • Common Grackles
  • The increase of songs from Black-capped Chickadees, Northern Cardinals, Tufted Titmice, and Brown Creepers
  • The donation of picnic tables to be used to eat lunch outside by the Pre-tech 1 at the Center for Technology Essex (Thank you!)

Signs that spring is still far away

  • The four foot snow bank outside the viewing window

Through the Window: February Birds at the Feeders (more or less)

Tree Sparrow (carved by Bob Spear)
Tree Sparrow (carved by Bob Spear)

Birds

We’ve bolded the one we didn’t observe last month.

  • Tree Sparrow
  • Wild Turkeys (2 on 2/4; 13 on 2/24)
  • American Robin (7 on 2/4)
  • Northern Cardinal
  • Blue Jay
  • Ruffed Grouse (across the road on 2/8, near the brook)
  • Hairy Woodpecker
  • Tufted Titmouse
  • White-breasted Nuthatch
  • Dark-eyed Junco
  • Mourning Dove
  • European Starling
  • Raven (flying over)
  • Evening Grosbeak
  • Black-capped Chickadee
  • American Crow
  • White-winged Crossbill (Male and Female on 2/16)
  • Common Redpolls (3 on 2/23 on the thistle seed)

Mammals

  • Red Squirrel 
  • Gray Squirrels
  • Fisher (tracks seen 2/16, fisher itself on 2/28)

And if you’re curious, here’s a quick picture and post about what we feed the birds.

Great Backyard Bird Counting at the Museum

Northern Cardinal female. ©2011 Laura Waterhouse
Northern Cardinal female. Photo ©2011 Laura Waterhouse, and used by permission.

We were open last Saturday to celebrate and support the Great Backyard Bird Count. Naturally, we counted birds—and a few others—as well. Our results from that open time follow, and we will have our full count results posted to eBird as well.

Observed on February 19th, from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Blue Jay 9
Hairy Woodpecker 2
Downy Woodpecker 1
Dark-eyed Junco 4
Northern Cardinal (female) 1
Tufted Titmouse 2
Mourning Dove 6
Black-capped Chickadee 4
White-Breasted Nuthatch 1
European Starling 1
American Crow 1

We also observed an Eastern Cottontail and 3 Red Squirrels.
How did your counts go?

Through the Window: January feeder birds

Birds

Downy Woodpecker at Platform feeder
Female Downy Woodpecker at the platform feeder. Photo by Kir Talmage for the Birds of Vermont Museum
  • Wild Turkeys (1/2/11; two talkative turkeys)
  • Hairy Woodpecker (both male and female)
  • Blue Jays
  • Black-capped Chickadees
  • Dark-eyed Junco
  • Tufted Titmouse
  • Mourning Dove
  • White-breasted Nuthatch
  • Common Redpolls
  • Northern Cardinal
  • Downy Woodpecker
  • American Robin (2 at 2:30 pm 1/21 on nearby branches)
  • Pileated Woodpecker (1/25 at the front of the Museum—happened to notice while coming into work)

Mammals

  • Red Squirrel 
  • 3 fat Gray Squirrels

A bit of a spare month. Perhaps we’re not sitting at the window enough?

Chickadee

“Almost everything delights a chickadee.” —E.B. White

Perhaps not snow, though.

Chickadee on a snowy day, in an evergreen
Chickadee on a snowy day, in an evergreen

I was using a Canon PowerShot S3 IS, and out of curiosity I set it to the sports setting (I don’t do or watch much sports) while photographing chickadees and downy woodpeckers near and at the Museum feeders. The birds were sharp, the snow not so much. I liked it.

– Kir, webmistress/program coordinator

Feather Tracks

Post  and photo by Kir Talmage, Museum webmistress/program coordinator

Wing tips left tracks
Wing tip marks

Last night or early this morning, some large bird left tracks in the snow (the marks are at least 2½ feet across — no measurement because I didn’t have snow pants and didn’t much feel like sliding into the creek).  But which bird?

The foot-trail between the wings climbs from the tiny under-the-road creek up to the trail that goes from the entrance path to the bridge. (This will all make more sense if you have visited here). There are plenty of turkeys around and I suppose they could have made the trail and used their wings for balance while climbing. We see them frequently. both walking and flying.

On the other hand, there are more wing-tip marks down at the bottom, under a minuscule hemlock, without footprints or a wading-through-snow trail. The habitat is also good for barred owl: many hemlocks along the brook, and a patchwork of open cut fields, old beaver meadow, drier upland deciduous forest. Both barred owl and turkey have been seen and heard here.

I’m guessing owl, but let me know if you have more clue (easy!) or would like to see other photos.

Through the Window: December feeder birds

We had a new visitor this month, and I’ll tell you who right after the monthly list of birds.  A light-weight month, perhaps for weather, but more likely for the season.

Birds

Hairy Woodpecker

Hairy Woodpecker
Photo ©2008 E. Talmage,
Huntington, Vermont

  • Black-capped chickadee
  • Tufted Titmouse
  • Hairy Woodpecker
  • Wild Turkey
  • Blue Jay
  • Dark-eyed Junco (12/7; about 18 inches of snow fell in the night of 12/6 and the morning of 12/7)
  • Downy Woodpecker
  • Northern Cardinal
  • White-breasted Nuthatch
  • Mourning Dove
  • American Tree Sparrow
  • White-throated Sparrow (12/10, a warmish, wet and windy day)
  • American Goldfinch (12/17)
  • Common Redpolls (4 of them on 12/17)

Mammals

  • Red Squirrel (of course)
  • and an Eastern Cottontail

Coincidentally, today (posting day) is  the Hinesburg/Huntington Christmas Bird Count. It’s rather foggy, actually, so not too much observed yet, I’m told. But the day is still young! (In fact, I just saw a wild turkey, because it was chuckling to itself and I looked up from typing this.)

Through the Window: November Feeder Birds – and Others

What a lovely month! We started this winter’s Feeder Watch, and had a few notable visitors. Here’s the month’s list, more or less in the order spotted.

Black-capped Chickadee Carving
Black-capped Chickadee
  • Black-capped Chickadee
  • Blue Jay
  • Fox Sparrow
  • White-throated Sparrow
  • Tufted Titmouse
  • Hairy Woodpecker
  • Dark-eyed Junco
  • White-breasted Nuthatch
  • Ruffed Grouse
  • Downy Woodpecker
  • Mourning Dove
  • Evening Grosbeak
  • American Goldfinch
  • Red-breasted nuthatch
  • Wild Turkey
  • Northern Cardinal
  • Rusty Blackbird
  • American Tree Sparrow

And of course, both the Gray and Red squirrels “assisted” with the corn and seed on the ground…