02 de mayo de 2020

May day walk!

Time: 3:45-5:15pm
Date: 5/1
Location: Walk starting at house in Stow, MA then into town past farm land and through forest then returned.
Weather: 64 and humid. Was grey and raining in the morning then brightened and warmed up. Not much active wind.
Habitat: Varied habitat. Entire walk occurred on the edge of the road but we walked along streams, ponds, various types of agriculture, forest, and highly urbanized areas.

Anotado en mayo 02, sábado 02:17 por rrhender rrhender | 9 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

23 de abril de 2020

Defensive and breeding behavior

Time: 3:30-5pm
Date: 4/21
Location: Walk starting at house in Stow, MA then through conservation lands leading to a cemetery in Maynard MA.
Weather: 50 or so and sunny with intermittent cloudiness
Habitat: Varied habitat, starting at a suburban feeder, then through thick old wood/coniferous forest, finally into a very groomed cemetery with some old or dying trees.

What behaviors (visual and aural) are you seeing that are related to mate selection, nest selection, or territory selection?

I am seeing a lot of breeding pairs already joined up, they tend to be present together, and will sing back and forth when in the trees, I see this a lot with the Goldfinch pair that we have on our property. I am also hearing a lot of males performing song or displaying. The downy's that were observed fighting over territory were a clear sign of this. I have not seen much in the way of nest selection though we have some nesting boxes that some species of birds have inhabited.

Where, specifically, on the property might some of your observed species be nesting? How do these habitat requirements differ from species to species?

I know we have some birds nesting in suburban nest boxes, such as our Eastern Bluebirds. Other suburban birds like the House Finches are choosing to nest in eaves and gutters on horses. On the other hand, I have seen woodpeckers and crows preparing nests in tree tops of cavities for young. These are mostly old wood trees that can be hollowed out easily or have already been hollowed out by another animal.

Find a bird that may be defending a territory (i.e. singing). Is it defending a prime or poor territory compared to other members of its species? What might this indicate about that birds’ fitness?

I have seen a few male downy woodpeckers defending territory against other males. Much of this is done through song or physical attacks. The one bird I have been watching particularly has chosen a beautiful stand of trees near-ish to a small pond and is surrounded by older/dead trees that are perfect for bugs. I would assume that this bird is a very fit individual and should produce good offspring.

Pick a different bird and describe what it may be using to build or line its nest. Where, specifically, would it have to go to acquire these materials?

Tufted Titmouse' are commonly cavity builders. I would assume that they would line it with soft things such as animal hair, dry leaves, and moss. I think they in comparison to where I live, they're probably going to peoples lawns for animal hair and moss, and just down near their trees to acquire leaves. I also live in an area with a lot of farms, so I would not be surprised if birds used horse hair or wool for their nests as well.

Anotado en abril 23, jueves 00:37 por rrhender rrhender | 6 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

09 de abril de 2020

Migration patterns based out of Massachusetts conservation land.

I took recordings of a couple of other species of birds but could not ID then so they're not here sadly.
Time: 4:30-5:30pm
Date: 4/6
Location: Conservation land, Stow MA
Weather: 60 and sunny with sparse clouds -> cool breeze coming through
Habitat: On edge of marsh in conversation land and on private property on edge of the conservation land.

There are many ways that birds are able to forego migration, birds like chickdees are able to do so by eating seeds and living near humans and picking from their feeders. Birds like the Great Blue heron, survive by finding places where they can hunt fish or toads, and when that become inaccessable they turn to hunting land animals. Many of these species are currently changing from their wintering morphs into their breeding morphs as the weather warms. The way they choose to feed throughout the year changes throughout the year, changing the way they behave. The ability to change these behaviors allow them to fill the niches of the birds that have left for migration.

The chipping sparrow is a breeding migrant to the area in Mass, it probably came from the southern US or Mexico. Their breeding area extends from the mid-US area all the way to Alaska. The bird I saw could either just be stopping by to refuel or remaining here for the breeding season. It is rather early I think, possibly because of how warm it has been recently and the increasing length of days. It gains some advantage to being here before later migrants as it has its choice of nesting spots and access to feed stores early on.

Mini activity: The Chipping Sparrow would have to fly ~3600miles if it was wintering near Mexico City to arrive here in Massachusetts.
The other birds I saw are birds that winter here.

Anotado en abril 09, jueves 03:00 por rrhender rrhender | 3 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

26 de marzo de 2020

Behavior of birds

Time: 5-6 pm
Date: 3/24/2020
Location: Conservation land in Stow (no E) MA
Weather: Cloudy and 50 degrees F
Habitat: Old wood and pine stand forest with marsh and large pond. Recent snow mixed with high temps meant that most of the forest was flooded. Also at a local suburban feeder.

In the Red-wing Blackbird recording, you can hear at least two birds calling back and forth. This could be two males arguing over territory, or two males trying to attract females. The male that is further away would call repetitively then the closer male would give a single clear call. Possibly making a point, or asserting its dominance.
At the feeder there were the Eastern Bluebird pair, as well as the pair of Goldfinches. The males of both of these species were particularly bright, assuming that they were in full breeding plumage. Both of these species are ones were the male presents much brighter than the female, though the bluebird is quite a bit more subtle and harder to see in brush than the goldfinch is, which stands out. The female goldfinch is much more subtle than either of the males, and the female bluebird. Possibly because they are at higher risk when nesting than the female bluebird is (who is bigger).
The male Eastern Bluebird spent quite a long time at the feeder. Since it was at the feeder it was foraging, which I think is primarily on this day because it had just snowed a heavy snow the day before and much of the ground where early worms would be was covered up. It was brightly colored, presumably in its full breeding plumage, which would be part of its circannual rhythm (molting). He seemed much less puffed up than I have seen the bluebirds being recently, this assumably is because it was warmer out than it has been and he did not have to maintain as much body temperature (circadian rhythm).

Anotado en marzo 26, jueves 03:05 por rrhender rrhender | 4 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

18 de marzo de 2020

Observations at feeder in Massachusetts and the surrounding area.

Time: 12pm-1:30pm
Date: March 1st 2020
Location: Stow, MA on the edge of state conservation land.
Weather: Sunny with few fluffy clouds and light wind, in the low 30s during the day.
Habitat: Suet and seed feeders in backyard that backs on conservation land. About 30 feet from the edge of a mixed wood forest. Pond and streams nearby, as well as good edge habitat.

Many of these birds were visibly puffed up to protect from the cold of the day, especially since it had been warm around this time and this day was an exception. Many of them were arriving at the feeder in groups, and seemed to spend most of their time foraging at the feeders or on the ground where it was clear of snow banks.

For the woodpeckers, in warmer months they probably would not be seen frequently at feeder like this as there would be more bugs in the trees for them to have access too. Same with some of the smaller oscines who will eat bugs/worms in the warmer months, and maybe natural seeds/berries in the spring and fall, but in the winter they appreciate the supplement that the feeders provide.

The hawks would probably overnight in lower branches, this would allow them to have a clearer view of small rodents that may be nocturnal or crepuscular. The nuthatch and the woodpeckers may commonly use holes in dead stands at various heights. The small oscines may congregate together in groups to maintain warmth at night, they may choose to be further into the forest and at mid-high height to limit the wind that would hit them over night.

Anotado en marzo 18, miércoles 19:29 por rrhender rrhender | 7 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

20 de febrero de 2020

Birding in MA in conifers, and near human community

On Sunday, while visiting family in Massachusetts, I took the chance of slightly warmer weather to do some observations. Which also turned out to offer me a bird species that is not commonly seen in Vermont this time of year, the Eastern Bluebird.

Although otherwise this was not a birding experience with the highest quantity of observations, it was high quality for the species that were observed. I was fascinated on how the species of birds that were observed, behaved with each other, and who had dominance over a feed source.
The woodpecker seemed to have a direct thought when coming in to the feeder, it would hop back and forth between the trunk of the tree and the suet feeder. Once it have had its fill it flew off. To me it looked like the downy had slotted wings, especially when coming in to the tree to land
The bluebirds flitted around quite a bit more. They went from tree to tree and down to the ground for quite a while. They seem to have classic elliptical wings, and would rarely glide when going from tree to tree. They would not spend much time settled on a branch before flitting off again.

I was expecting to see more birds than I did, I was trying not to include the feeder very much but that was definitely where the birds were congregating. This makes sense though as it is the middle of winter and may not have that many food options at this time of year. On the day of observations it was clear and comparatively warm, I was observing mid morning. If I get a chance to again go back to this general location, I would move further into the woods to see whether I see a difference between the two locations. I would expect to see more birds like chickadees back there.

Anotado en febrero 20, jueves 02:40 por rrhender rrhender | 2 observaciones | 1 comentario | Deja un comentario