Archivos de Diario para marzo 2020

06 de marzo de 2020

Field Journal 3

This week I went on a walk in East Woods Natural Area to look for some birds. I went on Thursday, March 5 around 3:45 in the afternoon. The weather was nicer than usual, it was sunny with some clouds and around a 10 mph breeze. It was 42 degrees Fahrenheit.
The habitat of East Woods is wooded and mostly Northern White Pine. In the understory there were some young birch trees. There was lots of melting snow and ice and some parts of the forest floor were beginning to be exposed after being frozen for months. I also noticed lots of snags and downed trees in this forest that would provide great spots for small mammals and birds to nest in in the winter. The rest of the forest looked pretty bare and it did not seem like there was much food around for the birds.
We started down the path and had to walk very slowly because it was slippery and I didn't want to fall. The beginning of the trail goes along the road for a little bit and I didn't hear any birds around this area. I think that this may be from the loud sounds of the cars and trucks going by on the road. The disturbance might be less desirable to birds that are stressed by loud noises or do not want to be easily spotted by a predator along the edge of the woods. I saw an American Crow that flew overhead but did not land. I could tell it was an American Crow because it also called out with that distinctive creepy call. I also heard the alarm calls of the Black-capped Chickadee. I couldn't see what it was doing and if it was doing anything to stay warm. If I was a bird right now, I would want to find a hollow tree with lots of dried leaves in it that I could roost in all day and I would only want to go out if I needed to find food to eat. I would also try to stay in areas with more dense vegetation that could help to block the wind or trap body heat. Trapping heat with body feathers is a method I observed on the European Starlings. When they fluff up their feathers it can help hold in heat better. To produce body heat I imagine that just flying around would be a good way to stay warm but it would be energetically expensive. I think that because I really didn't see that many birds they are probably just resting and trying to keep warm during the day.

Anotado en marzo 06, viernes 15:51 por maryrosek maryrosek | 6 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

26 de marzo de 2020

Social Behavior and Phenology Journal

Mary Kuehl Field Journal 4
Date: 3/25/20
Time: 3:30-5:11 pm
Weather: 38 Degrees Fahrenheit, Cloudy, breezy
Habitat: The route was in urban neighborhoods, around the Old North End in Burlington, VT to Centennial Woods. In the neighborhoods there was mostly grass and common tree species like pine, maple, and birch. It was wet from snow melting which also created lots of mud and patches of snow. The route continued through Centennial where the habitat was forested and mostly Eastern White Pine. The forest in this area is mature and there is a generally open understory. There was more snow in this area as it is more shaded. There is also a small river that runs through this area.

Observations: My walk began from my house where I walked around the streets in my neighborhood before I decided to walk to Centennial Woods. The first birds I saw here were some Herring Gulls that were flying up above the houses and businesses behind our street. I usually see these birds where they can get food, like in the parking lot of a McDonald's. I think here they are more common because of our proximity to Lake Champlain. As I continued walking I noticed a group of American Crows that were roosting in a tree. There were three of them sitting on different branches. I think they might rest together so that one can alert the others for danger and keep an eye out while the others relax. A bird that I commonly saw or heard as I strolled through the neighborhoods was the Black-capped Chickadee. Their call is so distinctive and it seems like they are fairly common in more urban areas like neighborhoods as long as there is a bush they can hide in. I noticed three American Robins in a yard that displayed some surprising behavior. They were pecking at the ground looking for food. One of them found something and another tried to steal it. This resulted in some flapping of wings and angry calling. It was really interesting to observe this behavior. I think they might be fighting over food at this time because it is close to the end of winter and they are hungry and there may not be a huge food supply for them right now. They may also be feeling pressured to eat and pack on energy for breeding and reproduction in the spring.
The plumages of the White-breasted Nuthatch and the Black-capped Chickadee are very similar in my opinion but they do have some big differences. They both have white cheeks, black on the crown of their head, and gray-colored wings. They also both have a white breast. The biggest difference in their plumage is that the black on the head of the chickadee goes below their eye, whereas on the nuthatch it stops and then there is a stripe below their eye. The evolutionary advantage to their plumage might be that being dark on top and light on bottom could help camouflage them from predators. The cap may also work to break up the shape of the bird and make them look less obvious.
I tried spishing and I was able to attract some birds and get them to come closer to me. I think that they might be attracted to the sound because it could sound like insects moving around in leaves or something else they might want to eat. It might also be that they are just curious about the noise and want to make sure there is no danger.

Anotado en marzo 26, jueves 00:15 por maryrosek maryrosek | 10 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

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