Archivos de Diario para abril 2020

09 de abril de 2020

Field Journal #4 (April 8th)

I conducted my bird walk at my home in Lincoln Park, New Jersey. I started my bird walk at 4:30 pm, and it lasted until 6:00 pm. It was sunny with some clouds in the sky. The temperature outside was warm, about 65 degrees, with moderate wind to the south and mild wind to the west. Once again, 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.

I started the walk by going up and down the street. I first saw a Downy Woodpecker. It was pecking at a dead tree. At the end of the street, I saw a large bird land on a tree in the forest in the distance. I was unable to identify the species, but I believe it was a hawk of some sort. I saw that it had black on the tips of its wings with a white belly that was covered in brown flecks. It then flew farther into the forest, out of sight. I decided to move to the pond area, because the street was full of people and very noisy, scaring many birds off. In the pond area, I saw a large flock foraging on the grass and hanging out in trees. It consisted of 5 European Starlings, 4 House Sparrows, and 2 Northern Mockingbirds. 4 American Robins joined the flock in foraging in the grass. After watching the mixed species flock for some time, I noticed that all the birds started to fly over to the trees, and were all calling very loud. I then noticed that a large bird was flying over the clearing and started to circle the pond. I didn't get any good pictures of it because it didn't land and was soaring high above me, but I did see that it had black plumage on its back and white plumage on its breast. I believe that it was an Osprey because of its heavy wingbeat and that it was diving into the pond trying to catch fish before it finally caught one and flew away. I waited a while or the birds to return the open, but they were still hiding. I then moved back to the street and saw a Turkey Vulture fly over the street towards the pond area. It was odd to see only one Turkey Vulture because for the past week I've seen a flock of 4 Turkey Vultures circling the pond every morning. On my way back to my house, I saw a pair of Mourning Doves flying in circles between the trees and powerlines that line the street. I also spotted a male Northern Cardinal flying to my neighbor's bird feeder.

Of the birds I saw, Downy Woodpeckers, European Starlings, House Sparrows, Northern Mockingbirds, and Northern Cardinals are year-round residents. These birds are all flocking and cavity nesters. This helps them all stay alive in the harsh winters. They also thrive in town areas that have other sources of food, like human scraps, that they can supplement their diets with. Of the birds I saw, the facultative migrants are American Robins, Turkey Vultures, and Mourning Doves. Most of them, though, do not migrate in New Jersey and are considered residents here. The American Robins stays year-round in New Jersey, but some breed in colder regions, like Maine and Canada, in the summer, and winter in Mexico and the Southern USA. Turkey Vultures do not usually migrate in New Jersey but are known to sometimes migrate from the northeast USA to the southern USA. Mourning Doves are known to migrate from the northern USA to the southern USA and Mexico and can migrate a few hundred miles or thousands of miles. The main reason that these species are facultative migrants is due to the sometimes harsh winters that the northern USA can have. Of the birds I saw, the only obligate migrant was the Osprey. Ospreys are only year-long residents in very select places like Florida and the Dominican Republic. The reason that they have to migrate, is that they are birds that rely on fish for their diet. They have to move to places with water that doesn't freeze so they don't starve during the winter. Coming to their breeding grounds in early April allows for them to be the first to pick their nesting spots and establish territory, but they also run the risk of most of the water sources being too cold for fish populations to be large enough to feed them.

The birds I saw that migrate include American Robins, Turkey Vultures, Mourning Doves, and Ospreys. American Robins can migrate from New Jersey to Mexico in about 5600 miles round trip. Turkey Vultures can migrate from New Jersey to North Carolina in about 1400 miles round trip. Mourning Doves can migrate from New Jersey to Yucatan in about 6100 miles round trip. Ospreys can migrate from New Jersey to Guatemala in about 6500miles round trip. The total miles that the birds I saw today migrated from their wintering grounds to their breeding grounds would add up to 21,250 miles!

List of Birds Seen:
- 1 Downy Woodpecker
- 1 Accipiter (unknown species)
- 5 European Starlings
- 4 House Sparrows
- 2 Northern Mockingbirds
- 4 American Robins
- 1 Osprey (possible)
- 1 Turkey Vulture
- 1 Northern Cardinal
- 2 Mourning Doves

Anotado en abril 09, jueves 03:03 por climpert climpert | 10 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

16 de abril de 2020

Field Journal #5 (April 15th)

I conducted my bird walk around my home in Lincoln Park, New Jersey. I started my bird walk at 4:00 pm, and it lasted until 6:00 pm. It was sunny with some clouds in the sky. The temperature outside was warm, about 50 degrees, with moderate wind to the east. There were three locations I 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. And the third was an open woodland meadow, with reeds, lots of underbrush, and a few scattered trees.

List of Birds Seen:
- 6 American Robins
- 1 Blue Jay
- 2 Turkey Vulture
- 1 Northern Mockingbird
- 1 European Starlings
- 2 Dark-eyed Junco
- 4 House Finches
- 2 Northern Flickers

Anotado en abril 16, jueves 01:10 por climpert climpert | 8 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

23 de abril de 2020

Field Journal #6 (April 22th)

I did my bird walk at my home in Lincoln Park, New Jersey. I started my bird walk at 2:30 pm, and it lasted until 4 pm. It was sunny with some clouds in the sky. The temperature outside was warmish, about 45 degrees, with very strong wind to the north. This time I only walked through one area. It was the wooded wetland area with the acre pond.

Due to the extreme winds, there were almost no birds out. I saw very few in the entire hour and a half. I first started the walk by sitting and drawing a sound map for 10 minutes. While doing the sound map, I saw one European Starling foraging in the grass on the lawn of the house to my right. After further wandering, I spotted a Turkey Vulture flying overhead. He was soaring pretty low to the ground, only about 15 feet above the ground. Then, I saw another large bird soaring overhead. This one was much higher, and I was able to identify it as a Red-tailed Hawk before it flew over the tree line and out of sight. I then decided to see if I could find any birds hiding in the trees. I was able to spot a Northern Flicker sitting on a maple tree branch, preening itself. As I got closer to the water, I spotted a pair of Canada Geese laying in the grass near the pond's edge. One was pecking at the grass, while the other was just laying there. No other birds were spotted, but I could hear a few calls that I couldn't identify and weren't loud enough to get a recording of.

I believe that the pair of Canada Geese were a mating pair, and that nearby was their nest. I think that they chose the pond area as their territory because I have seen them there for the past few days and no other geese in the area. Canada Geese make their nests near water on higher ground, around foliage. I believe that their nest was in the bush-covered area near the pond, about 4 meters from where they were seen. Canada Geese nest in a diver in the ground, unlike the Nothern Flicker which is a cavity nester. Northern Flickers require a warm and sheltered nesting habitat, compared to the open habitat that the Canada Goose requires. While walking around, I spotted a few birds' nests. One was a small nest in an Eastern Redbud tree. Based on its size, I would guess that it belonged to a pair of sparrows of some sort. It was primarily made out of twigs. Twigs are abundant in the area and are easy to obtain. It would make sense for a bird to create a nest out of them. Another nest that was spotted was one made in a rain gutter. It was bigger than the one seen in the Redbud tree, looking like it belonged to a pair of robin- to crow-sized birds. It was primarily made out of reeds and string. The reeds could have easily been obtained from the pond, where there are large batches of reeds growing on the edge of the water. The string, however, would be trickier to get. It would have to come from a person's trash or plucked from rope. I could not find any birds defining the area that I was in, other than the possible Canada Geese. The only birds I heard actively defending, were defending territory way farther away. However, the wooded areas surrounding this area all abundant with food and resources. If a bird was defending this territory, it would mean that they are very fit, because the area would take a lot of energy to defend.

For the mini activity, I made a sound map before I started the bird walk. I made a dot in the center of a circle to represent myself and then listened and placed birds in the area surrounding me. I color-coded the sounds to represent the quality of the call/song. Green meant excellent quality, blue meant good quality, purple meant fair quality, and pink meant poor quality. The link below is to an image of the sound map.
https://www.camscanner.com/share/show?encrypt_id=MHg0MDNiMmFiNQ%3D%3D&sid=A51887A0BA864A00SX7N68R0

List of Birds Seen:
- 1 European Starling
- 1 Turkey Vulture
- 1 Red-tailed Hawk
- 1 Northern Flicker
- 2 Canada Geese

Anotado en abril 23, jueves 01:48 por climpert climpert | 5 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

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