19 de abril de 2021

Journal Entry #6

Bailey Smith
Other than listing time, date, location, weather, and habitat,

This bird watch took place on both Saturday and Sunday, 4/17 and 4/18. I was able to capture pictures of two bird species that I saw and those were the Mourning Dove and the Eastern Wild Turkey. The location was Ferrisburgh Vermont. On Saturday, the temperature was 57 and sunny. On Sunday, the temperature was 48 and very cloudy with some rain. The Eastern Wild Turkeys were feeding while the doves were just flying around from trees to trees.

Anotado en abril 19, lunes 19:33 por basmith1 basmith1 | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

05 de abril de 2021

Field Journal #5

Bailey Smith
April 5th, 2021

This bird watch took place in both Shelburne VT and Ferrisburgh VT. The temperature was 49 degrees, sunny skies, and 3 mph wind from the south. I saw a total of 3 bird species. These included the Eastern Turkey, Black-capped Chickadee and Canada Goose. All three of these bird species stay around for the winter. The Eastern Turkey and the Black-capped Chickadee are the only species that I observed that do not migrate simply because they do not fly long distance. Eastern Turkeys get around on foot and Black-capped Chickadees simply just don't migrate. Canada Geese do migrate though. They migrate when they are molting and during breeding season. You tend to see these big migrations in the spring and fall months. When geese start migrating north in the spring, they are molting and getting ready to fly back to Canada. Their molting stage of loosing feathers allows them stand warmer climates, instead of cold climates such as Canada where they are from. The Canada Goose’s down feathers are what help them to stay warm in cold climates. When geese aren’t in Canada, you tend to see them a lot on large bodies of water, such as lakes and large ponds. Their webbed feet help them to better support themselves on land and also help them to swim. A facultative migrant that may be leaving Burlington these next few days might be the Canada Goose, which also happens to be a species that I encountered. The Canadian Geese are coming from down south and are headed back up to Canada. They are doing this because the weather is getting too warm for them and they are going back to their local breeding grounds. You will only see a few geese stick around during this time of year and throughout the summer, because they are the local geese. What sticks out to me for what has changed in the environment to facilitate their arrival in Burlington is the temperature. With the rising temperatures, Canadian Geese are coming here earlier because it is so warm.

Mini Activity- Frequent Flyer: As you assemble your species list, use a trusted ornithology resource (a.k.a. All About Birds or Birds of The World species accounts) to determine the general wintering range for each species you encounter. With the aid of Google Maps or Google Earth, determine a rough straight-line distance between your site and the species’ wintering location. On a napkin or the back of an envelope, add up the rough total miles traveled by all the facultative and obligate migrants that have recently arrived at your natural area for your personal observation!

According to All About Birds, The Canadian Goose winters in the southern region of the United States. It was kind of hard to figure out which point in southern United States to make the straight line from, but I made it from one of the closest points to Burlington. I made a straight line from Tennessee to Burlington and it was about 1200 miles.

Anotado en abril 05, lunes 16:45 por basmith1 basmith1 | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

22 de marzo de 2021

Journal #3 Social Behavior and Phenology

Bailey Smith
This bird watch took place in both Shelburne VT and Ferrisburgh VT. The temperature was 60 degrees, sunny skies, and 3 mph wind from the south. I saw a total of 4 bird species. These included the Eastern Turkey, Black-capped Chickadee, Red-bellied Woodpecker, and Canada Goose. All four of these bird species that I saw today were doing the same thing and that was feeding. The two species that were interacting with each other were the Eastern Turkeys and the Canada Goose. There were 14 turkeys, 10 of which were hens and 4 of which were jakes. There was one dominant jake of the group, and he was showing his dominance and pecking order by being in full strut walking right behind the hens, with the other three jakes following him, not in strut. The geese were flying together, and feeding in the same fields as each other. As for the woodpecker and chickadee, I only saw one of each, and they were both eating bird seed. The only bird species that I heard were the geese. The only real sound that I heard them make was a honk, and that is just a general call they make. It is used to alert the other geese when there is danger, used as a mating call, used in flight, or just as a meeting or locator call. I wasn't able to hear any of the other birds make noise because I was too far away from the turkeys. The Woodpecker and Chickadee just didn't make any noise.

When looking at the Eastern Turkey and the Red-bellied Woodpecker, both of the males are similar in their plumage. They are both more attractive than the female birds. The male turkey has a bright colored head that changes colors from red to blue to white depending on their mood. They also have black feathers, with some iridescent colors. The Red-bellied Woodpecker has a yellow front end, red head, and checkered back. These two bird species are similar in the black color, and the noticeable head colors. Turkeys have lots of matching feathers that make patterns, just like the woodpecker does on its back. The pretty colors on these birds help them to attract a female during the mating season.

For the birds I was able to locate on this walk, I feel like the Canada Goose is the best fit for having a circannual rhythm. When I spotted these geese, they were flying in groups, and then landing in fields where there was corn. The geese were walking around the fields looking for corn and any other source of food that they could find. A circannual rhythm is this internal biological clock that birds have that provide their major basis of temperature orientation. When the temperature starts to warm up above freezing, you will see Canadian Geese start to migrate North to Canada. Everyone sees geese migrating in the spring and also in the fall because there are so many of them. Canadian Geese have a circannual rhythm that lets them know when it is time to migrate. Canadian Geese will winter in the United States and when spring and summer come along, they will migrate back up north to Canada to breed. The temperature is a big indicator of when Canadian Geese will start to migrate. When these Canadian Geese decide that its time to start heading up north, they are focusing on eating whatever food they can find.

I tried the "pish" call when I saw the Black-capped Chickadee and the Red-bellied Woodpecker and it scared both of them away. I think it was just because I scared them and I only saw one of each species. I think that this calling tactic works on some birds because most small bird sounds are somewhat similar. Birds will hear you making this call and will get curious as to what the sound is and come check it out. This entices other small birds because it sounds similar to the sounds that they make.

Anotado en marzo 22, lunes 16:28 por basmith1 basmith1 | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

08 de marzo de 2021

Journal Entry #2, part 2

Bailey Smith
Mini Activity- Snag Watch: Dead snags are one of the most important components of a resident bird’s winter habitat. As you commence your bird walk, list or map each dead tree (a.k.a. snag) you pass, keeping an eye out for cavities (i.e., holes). Over the course of your walk, ruminate on the relationships between snag size and cavity size. You may find a correlation between the abundance of snags/cavities and bird abundance, especially at dusk. Use a stick to rap on some snags with prominent cavities and see what pops its head out to investigate (though don’t overdo it- be courteous to our winter wildlife). Why are snags important, and what species are most likely to utilize them?

During my bird walk, I was not able to locate any dead trees, therefor I didn't find any dead snags. There are only a few trees in my backyard, and within the trees that are around my house there is no dead trees. With snags that I have seen in the past, the bigger the snag, the bigger the cavity size. The bigger cavity sizes allows for more/bigger animals to make that cavity their home. Snags are important to wildlife because they give animals a natural shelter and nesting location. They also provide a food source for some animals. Usually squirrels, raccoons, and smaller mammals live in these cavities in dead snags. For bird species, woodpeckers, jays, doves, and song perching birds live in these cavities.

Anotado en marzo 08, lunes 04:55 por basmith1 basmith1 | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

Journal Entry #2

Bailey Smith
This bird watch took place on 3/8/21 at 3:00 to 4:30 pm in Ferrisburgh Vermont. The location in which this bird watch took place was at my house in my backyard. I was walking around my backyard trying to locate as many species as I could. The temperature was about 25 degrees, with little wind coming from the north and sunny skies. The habitats that were available were woodland habitats with mainly maple and oak trees, shrub habitat, and open habitats. There were shrubs, trees, and open agricultural fields. During this bird watch, I was able to locate only 3 bird species, the Eastern Crow, European Starling, and the House Sparrow.
Most of the Eastern Crow population will migrate south for breeding. These crows will then migrate back north to where they came from in the month of March or April. These crows will actually go to the same areas in the winter year after year, no matter what the environmental changes are. Basing crows off of evolution, they always migrate south about 500 kilometers or so. They have always migrated and always will just like most bird species. Crows will eat just about anything they can in the winter, but mostly the eat on grains that they find on the ground. Crows will tuck their wings, and gather up in big flocks tight together to keep their body temperatures up. Crows spend most of their time feeding. Whenever you see groups of crows specifically in the winter, they are always trying to find food. When they aren't feeding, they are roosting. Crows will overnight in tall trees. In other months, they will feed on fruits, berries, human food, and small insects.

The European Starling also heads south to migrate during the breeding season. These flocks are big when they migrate, but will then split up to breed. The males will show off their songs, trying to find a female to breed with. These starlings evolved from Europe, but they originated in the United States by 100 of them being let loose in New York City. They started evolving slow, but quickly took off all over the United States. The starling will feed on insects in the soil if they can penetrate the soil with their bills. They will feed on fruits in trees, and will sometimes feed on flying insects in the air. They mainly feed on insects, fruits, and seeds wherever they can find them. During the winter, the males spend most of their time breeding and feeding. They will sit next to a nest site and use their mating calls to attract a female. In the times where they are not breeding, they are feeding and sleeping, but their main concerns are breeding. Both the male and females retain body heat my feeding often, and always moving around, whether that's flying or walking around finding food. Starlings will group together often in one tree or a couple trees, roosting close together at night.
The house sparrow rarely migrates south very far. They occasionally migrate in small distances. They like to stay in their home ranges all year round where they are familiar with. House sparrows can digest just about anything, so their diets are very wide varied. They mainly feed on grains that they can find on the ground. House Sparrows will build their nests in the same spots as previous years. The males will sit outside of the nest and exhibit loud aggressive mating sounds to attract females. They only pair up with one mate, often staying with them for multiple years. After much research, there is little to no variation in the House Sparrow population to other North American bird species. Microsatellite data has allowed researches to collect most of their data on this species. These birds will nest in places that are warm, such as the sidings to homes, and barns. The House Sparrow is similar to the European Starling, in how they spend most of their time. They spend most of their time feeding and breeding, while they rest only a little bit. During the winter, they are scrounging for food, but mainly eating seeds. In the warmer months, they feed on berries, seeds, insects, discarded food, and mixed bird seed. The House Sparrow will overnight either in trees, or shrubs most of the time.

Anotado en marzo 08, lunes 03:10 por basmith1 basmith1 | 1 comentario | Deja un comentario

22 de febrero de 2021

Journal Entry #1

Bailey Smith
Journal Entry #1

This bird watch took place on 2/21/21 during the times of 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm in Ferrisburgh Vt. This location was behind my house on the farm. I went down with my truck and parked my truck in our corn bunk where there were a few different species of birds. The temperature was sunny and 34 degrees Fahrenheit. There wasn’t much wind during this watch. I was in a location where birds like to get food.
During the hour and a half that I was bird watching, I saw a total of 5 different birds. I saw crows, European Starlings, House Sparrows, Snow Buntings, and Horned Larks. For the most part, all of these birds except for the crow flew in the same sort of pattern. The crow would continuously flap its wings to stay flying, while the other 4 birds would flap their wings anywhere from 5 to about 15 flaps.
I think the reason for the difference in wing flaps has to do with the overall size of the bird. The crow is much larger than the other birds so therefore their flight patterns are different. The crow has a steady flying motion where they are continuously flapping their wings to stay at a steady rate. The crow has a much larger wing shape than the house sparrow, therefore giving it more power to fly. With what I saw for the smaller bird species flying, you can identify a bird as small if it flaps its wings 5-10 times and then takes a break for a split second.
I think that because I did my scouting in the early afternoon, I was able to see a good amount of bird species. If I had scouted earlier in the day when the sun came up, I probably would have seen more birds because that is when they all wake up and begin to find food. For my next scouting trip, I will go on the property where there is the biggest food source to try and better my luck in finding the most bird species.

Anotado en febrero 22, lunes 22:31 por basmith1 basmith1 | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario