Archivos de diario de marzo 2021

10 de marzo de 2021

Field Journal entry #3

Emmie Bryson
Start time: 8:10 am
End time: 9:30 am
Date: March 8, 2021
Location: Centennial Woods, Burlington VT
Weather: cold (12 degrees), breezy, clear/blue skies
Habitat: somewhat open habitat, next to wetlands, small shrubs, a few trees

Throughout the course of this birding excursion I saw a variety of birds in Centennial Woods. The temperature was fluctuating between ten and fourteen degrees while I was there. However, with windchill it was about six degrees. The sky was clear and blue and there was a breeze, but it was less present the further I got into the woods. Since it was so early, there were a lot of birds I could hear in the treetops above. However, the identification of songs is more challenging for me than physical identification making it hard to tell what bird was singing and how many there were. The habitat was somewhat mixed because I was next to a Northern Hardwood stand and a small open shrubby/wetland area. This section was on the opposite side of the woods that I was observing in my last journal so I was hoping to see different species. The hardwood portion of the woods had a variety are large pine trees and a few maples. The wetland type area to my right had what I identified to be honeysuckle and dogwoods scattered over a thick blanket of snow.
Majority of my time was spent watching Black-capped Chickadees move around on the lower branches of the wetland-type habitat. I was expecting to see some winter activity in these areas because they seemed like a good spot to scavenge for food on top of the snow. The Chickadees I saw looked like pulled apart cotton balls in a way, their plumages were puffed out and they sat so low to the branch that it didn’t even look like their feet were below them grasping on. They only ‘deflated’ this puffy look when they were flying from branch to branch (which is what I saw them doing majority of the time—making it hard for me to keep track of them/get a decent photo). They appeared to be branch hopping and swooping down to stand on the snow for a minute and look around. From what I observed the birds were eating a variety of seeds (that I was unable to identify), I would expect this to continue in the summer months but I would also expect to see them eat more fruits and insects in the warmer months that are not available right now.
I saw a lot of snags on the northern hardwood portion of my site. I identified some of these as pines but a lot of them were too rotten for me to identify. I saw a Downy Woodpecker on one of the snags, pecking a small cavity (about 1/3 it’s size). I also saw some American Crows in this portion of the site, but they did not seem too interested in the snags I was observing. I saw a lot of large cavities dug into some of the snags (mainly ones that had not yet knocked over). I assumed that these cavities were for smaller mammals (such as squirrels and chipmunks) to use for winter homes. Snags are extremely important because they provide shelter and micro-habitats for a variety of wildlife species. They are also a hot spot for insects that aid in decomposition which provides a food source for other species. I think that snags are most likely to be used by a species that eats a lot of insects (such as Woodpeckers) or by species who are seeking shelter (such as mammals in the winter).

Ingresado el 10 de marzo de 2021 por erbryson74 erbryson74 | 5 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

22 de marzo de 2021

Field Journal Entry #4

Date: March 21, 2021
Start time: 3:00pm
End time: 4:30pm
Location: Lone Rock Point, Burlington VT
Weather: Sunny, High fifties, Light breeze
Habitat: Lakeside, Pine stand, Small woody riparian species near shore

This journal entry was done at Lone Rock Point right along the water and into the first little bit of the forest. It was a beautiful day with clear blue skies and a warm temperature; however the water was still very cold. There was not much of a breeze despite being right along the lake. I spent a majority of my time watching the Mallards interacting with each other and the American Crows. The Mallards swam somewhat close together (in a small group of about 2-4 at a time) and were repeatedly dunking their heads into the water. However, a few times the Mallards being squawking at each other and aggressively flapping their wings and beating them against the water while flying/gliding away on the water. This action seemed to always be a warning/aggressive way to tell other birds to back off, or maybe to show dominance. This tended to happen after the birds were together for an extended period of time and one bird had already given out some low squawk or attempted to distance themselves.
The American Crows were not as comfortable being in a group or with other birds as the Mallards appeared to be. There were a couple of instances where two Crows were on the same tree; however, there were always a decent distance from each other and never got as close as the Mallards did. There were also a decent number of squawks coming from Crows in treetops from neighboring trees. It did not really seem like they were intentionally trying to communicate to each other, I thought it seemed to be a general call to keep track of nearby birds. The Mallards seemed to be foraging more than the Crows. The Crows tended to be sitting in treetops and watching while the mallards were swimming close by the shore and dunking their heads in the water looking for food. Black-capped Chickadees in the smaller trees nearby were feeding as well; however they seemed to be looking for seeds and were hopping from branch to branch close to the ground.
There was a blue/green iridescent color in the male Mallard plumage on the neck and head. This could be potentially beneficial for courtship and for asserting dominance/reproductive fitness to mates. The iridescence color also seems to mimic the reflection of the water in the sun, making this potentially beneficial to camouflage from predators/prey. I tried to make a spishing call when I was close to some chickadees but I do not think I did it correctly. I got a couple of individuals close by on a branch but that was the best I could do. I think that it might be a comforting sound to them because it sounds similarly to some vocalizations of small birds to me. I will continue to try this when I’m out in the woods and see how close/how many birds I can attract.

Ingresado el 22 de marzo de 2021 por erbryson74 erbryson74 | 7 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

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