Field Journal #2 (March 6th)

I started my bird walk when I arrived home in Northern New Jersey. The walk started at 4:30 pm and lasted until 6:00 pm. It was overcast with low visibility and was drizzling. The temperature outside was cold, but there was little to no wind. There were not many birds out in the open, but many calls and songs could be heard from shrubs and trees. Two areas were walked through. One was a wooded wetland area with an acre pond. The other was a suburban street lined with houses on both sides with a mix of coniferous and deciduous trees on the lawns.

There were few birds observed on this excursion. I first started by a pond hoping to see waterfowl in this type of weather. I did see a V-formation of 6 Canada Geese fly overhead, flying in the southern direction. Songs could be heard from the trees but no other birds could be located. I then ventured onto the street and spotted a small flock of House Sparrows flying in between trees. As I walked the street, more songs and calls were heard. They were hard to identify as a single species. After some time, I heard a few caws that were easily identifiable as coming from an American Crow. I could not locate where the crow(s) was though.

It was not surprising that it was hard to locate the birds. The weather was not ideal and was particularly cold. In the winter, it is usual for songbirds to seek out cavities in trees to maintain warmth. In the case of the House Sparrows, they usually seek shelter in cavities and dense foliage. The songs and calls I heard were most likely from birds that sought shelter from the rain and cold in the dense foliage of the cedar trees and shrubs. They also tend to huddle in flocks to maintain warmth, which is why it was normal to see a flock of House Sparrows in the winter. The Canada Geese were flying and being active, which is very different than the House Sparrows that were hunkered down for the cold. The geese have special adaptations to stay warm in the winter, like easily replenishable fat reserves and dense layers of insulating feathers. Canada Geese eat grasses and aquatic plants, as well as the occasional insect and fish. The unfrozen pond served as a great winter residence for them. The American Crow can survive the winter months by roosting with many other crows. This is a similar technique to that the House Sparrow uses.

Throughout the bird walk, I took note of snags in the area. There were not many on the street, but 4 were found in the wooded pond area. None of the snags had prominent cavities in them. I knocked lightly with a stick on each snag to see if I could find any birds that were roosting or huddling for warmth. Nothing came out of the snags though. I assume that if I revisited the snags later into the day, I would find a few songbirds staying in the snags overnight. These snags are very important to nonmigratory songbirds because they provide shelter and allows them to live in colder climates.

List of Birds Seen/Heard:
- 6 Canada Geese
- 3 House Sparrows
- American Crow (only heard and exact amount of individuals is unknown)

Anotado por climpert climpert, marzo 07, sábado 03:34

Observaciones

Fotos / Sonidos

No hay fotos o sonidos

Qué

Cuervo Norteamericano Corvus brachyrhynchos

Autor

climpert

Fecha

Marzo 6, 2020

Descripción

The American Crow was not seen but heard. The distinctive caw of the American Crow is easily distinguishable and was used to identify this species. The number of individuals was unknown

Fotos / Sonidos

Square

Qué

Gorrión Europeo Passer domesticus

Autor

climpert

Fecha

Marzo 6, 2020

Descripción

A small flock of 3 House Sparrows was seen flying from a large cedar tree to a smaller leaf-free tree, where the picture was taken.

Fotos / Sonidos

Square

Qué

Ganso Canadiense Mayor Branta canadensis

Autor

climpert

Fecha

Marzo 6, 2020

Descripción

A flock of 6 Canada Geese was seen flying overhead, in the southern direction.

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