Sunday morning walk

[As posted to VTBIRD mailing list by Erin Talmage]
We started with a soggy morning walk and ended at the Museum’s viewing
window drinking bird-friendly coffee and eating local baked goods.

Our species list for the entire morning:

Great crested Flycatcher
Cedar Waxwing
American Goldfinch
Phoebe
Oriole
Song Sparrow
Red-winged Blackbird
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
American Robin
Wood Duck
Black and White Warbler
Grackle
Blue Jay
Yellow bellied Sapsucker
Evening Grosbeak
Brown-headed Cowbird
Mourning Dove
Hairy Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Wild Turkey
Dark-eyed Junco
Indigo Bunting

Join us on June 13th, June 20th, and/or June 27th  for another bird walk.
(We always end our walks with coffee and goodies!)

For more details and a complete schedule of events see
www.birdsofvermont.org

Early Morning Bird Walk

Shirley Johnson and Alison Wagner have been leading the Early Morning Birds Walks this spring. (Haven’t been on one yet? Come on Sundays at 7:00 a.m.; we will be doing these through June).  They post the birds the group observes on a white board here at the museum, and report some of the highlights to us over coffee.

Last week, Alison lead a group despite the snowy weather. Yes, they were successful, observing some dozen or so species.

Blackburnian Warbler
Blackburnian Warbler (carved by Bob Spear). One of the species identified on today's Early Morning Bird Walk.

Today, Shirley reported hearing two barred owls having a “party”, cackling and laughing back and forth to each other. She also said they’d heard a Louisiana Waterthrush, and compared the sounds of that species as recorded by the iFlyer and the Birding by Ear CDs.

Come along on our next trip! See http://www. birdsofvermont.org/ events.php for the schedule. There’s no fee, and coffee is provided.

Through the Window: April birds and more

This was a seriously happenin’ month! Birds, mammals, amphibians. And yes, they were all seen through the windows of the museum. As always, these are roughly in the order we saw them.

Mourning Dove with nest, egg
Mourning Dove with nest, egg; carved by Robert N. Spear, Jr.
  • Dark-eyed Junco
  • Black-capped chickadee
  • Downy Woodpecker
  • Hairy Woodpecker
  • Red-winged blackbird (female, April 3)
  • Mourning Dove
  • Ruffed Grouse (April 1)
  • American Goldfinch
  • Tufted Titmouse
  • Northern Cardinal
  • Evening Grosbeak (April 3)
  • Eastern Phoebe (FOY, April 3)
  • Sapsucker (April 3, FOY)
  • Song Sparrow (April 6, FOY)
  • Chipping Sparrow (FOY, April 7)
  • Kestrel (April 6)
  • Northern Flicker (April 6)
  • Common Grackle
  • Brown-headed Cowbird (FOY, April 10)
  • White-throated Sparrow (FOY, April 13)
  • American Robin (April 29)

For amphibians, we noted a wood frog on April 1 and a spotted salamander April 11. Wood frog eggs were noted in our little pond (the one near the viewing window) on April 3 and April 6).

We observed chipmunk, red squirrel, gray squirrel, a woodchuck (a.k.a. groundhog, on April 3) and, in a lucky moment, a bobcat on April 16.

The birds were recorded in our eBird record as well.

March Through the Window

We’ve seen these through the window in March, sometimes while passing by, and sometimes while directly observing for Feeder Watch. The ones we didn’t see last month are in bold.

  • American Crow
  • Wild Turkeys (20 on 3/16; 2 displaying Toms)
  • Blue Jays
  • Chickadees, Black-capped
  • Purple Finch
  • Evening Grosbeak
  • Hairy Woodpecker
  • Downy Woodpecker
  • Mourning Dove
  • Red-breasted Nuthatch
  • White-Breasted Nuthatch
  • Tufted Titmouse
  • Fox Sparrow 3/26
  • Common Grackle 3/28
  • Red-winged Blackbird 3/20
  • Dark-eyed Junco
  • Song Sparrow 3/23
  • Ruffed Grouse 3/25
  • Northern Cardinal 3/28
  • Red Squirrel
  • Gray Squirrel
  • Eastern Chipmunk

February at the Feeders

Noted through our viewing window in February (more or less in the order we saw them; the ones we didn’t see last month are in bold):

    Downy Woodpecker
    Downy Woodpecker

  • Blue Jays
  • Mourning Doves
  • Hairy Woodpeckers
  • Downy Woodpeckers
  • Black-capped Chickadees
  • Ruffed Grouse
  • Northern Cardinal
  • Wild Turkeys
  • Red-Breasted Nuthatches
  • Common Raven
  • White-breasted Nuthatches
  • Tufted Titmice
  • American Crow
  • Red Squirrels
  • Gray Squirrels

January Feeder Birds

Hairy Woodpecker via our FeederCam
Hairy Woodpecker via our FeederCam

At lunch, we like to eat while gazing out of the Viewing Window at the museum.  We keep an unofficial list of birds (mostly) seen at that time, jotting them down on a nearby whiteboard.  Here’s who we saw in January:

  • Downy Woodpeckers
  • Hairy Woodpeckers
  • Black-capped Chickadees
  • Blue Jays
  • White-breasted Nuthatches
  • Red-Breasted Nuthatches
  • Northern Cardinal
  • Mourning Doves
  • Wild Turkeys
  • Tufted Titmice
  • Red Squirrels
  • Gray Squirrels

You can see some of what we see with our FeederCam, too. We also participate in in Project FeederWatch, a more formal way to  collect and record bird data.

About Project FeederWatch

The Christmas Bird Count isn’t the only citizen science activity that the Museum does. We do Project Feeder Watch, too. It makes for a very pleasant lunchtime: good food and a viewing window (today we saw our first Wild Turkey and Tufted Titmouse of the month). Many of you with feeders at home or work can participate. You can sign up at any time. Here’s an overview from a recent Cornell Lab of Ornithology‘s e-newsletter:

Project FeederWatch

The 2009-10 season of Project FeederWatch begins November 14, though you can sign up at any time. FeederWatchers keep track of their birds through the winter and report their tallies each week. This helps scientists track changes in winter bird populations from year to year.

To learn more and to sign up, visit the Project FeederWatch website. New participants receive a kit with a handbook, a bird-identification poster, calendar, and instruction booklet. There is a $15 fee ($12 for Lab members) to help cover the costs of materials and participant support. If you live in Canada, please visit our partner, Bird Studies Canada, or call (888) 448-2473.

Big Sit! 2009

On Sunday,  October 11, the Museum participated in yet another Big Sit! We recorded a record 31 species! Thanks to Jim for coordinating the event, and all the volunteers who joined in.

the “official”  TIME SHEET for the 2009 “BIG SIT” (Notables inBOLD): Continue reading “Big Sit! 2009”

Bear v. Feeders. Bear wins.

A 300 pound bear came by last week; only Bob saw it. It shook the bird feeder pole so hard that all the feeders fell down, and the bear destroyed them.

Today Bob dug a hole around the pole and we helped pour cement down the hole, two bags worth, and as soon as it sets up in a day or so, we will be able to leave the feeders out at night again.

Bob also made new hooks for the new feeders so that they are secure against vibration, in case the bear tries it again!

I just finished re-greasing the pole, so squirrels, raccoons, and bears beware!

—from a letter by Ingrid Riga, Curator,  to a sponsor of several of the carving exhibits

June 14, 2009 bird walk

Walking on the managed side of the road two birders went for an early morning bird walk and saw Blue Jays (4), Great-crested Flycatcher(2), Downy Woodpecker (3), Song Sparrow(1), House Wren (10), American Crow (2), Evening Grosbeak (2), Eastern Phoebe (1), Hairy Woodpecker(4), Rose-breasted Grosbeak (3), Brown-headed Cowbird (2), Eastern Bluebird (2), White-breasted Nuthatch (1), Brown Creeper (2), Yellow-bellied Sapsucker(3), Eastern Wood Peewee (1), Ovenbird (6), Winter Wren (2), Least Flycatcher(1), American Robin (3), Veery (1), Louisiana Waterthrush (1), Blue0head Vireo(1), TWO WOODCOCK CHICKS!!, Black-throated Blue Warbler (1), Black-throated Green Warbler (1), Red-eyed Vireo(1), Barred Owl (1), Mourning Dove(1), Chipping Sparrow (1), White-throated Sparrow (1), Black-capped Chickadee (3), and a Baltimore Oriole(1).

Our next scheduled bird walks are on June 21 and June 28 at 7:00 am. We will meet in the Museum parking lot, 900 Sherman Hollow Road, Huntington, VT 05462. See http://www.birdsofvermont.org/map.php for directions. Please join is after the walk for bird-friendly coffee.