Spring Came Early at Shelburne Farms 3/3/20

On Tuesday, March 3rd, I took advantage of the nice weather and walked the paths of Shelburne Farms. I was able to spend a good chunk of time there – arriving at 11:00 am and leaving at 1:45 pm. It was about 48 degrees Fahrenheit, mostly sunny, and calm. It seemed that the nice weather also brought out many birds as I observed 22 species that afternoon. 
Although the weather was enjoyable, it was uncharacteristically warm for that time of year, so many birds were likely more active than usual. However, I did notice some characteristics of energy saving activities. Walking past the cattle barn, I saw many Rock Pigeons, House Sparrows, and European Starlings in with the cows. While this provides them with easy food, it also provides them with warmth and shelter. I imagine this is also where the Rock Pigeons roost overnight. However, the House Sparrows likely take shelter as a flock in the dense brush around the barn overnight. Perhaps the European Starlings spend the night in the large eastern white pine stand next to the barn where they get dense cover.
Some other species of birds I observed were often feeding in mixed flocks. I imagine this can be quite beneficial in the winter because territorial disputes may be less frequent, and it allows the birds to feed more efficiently. With more eyes looking out for potential predators, each individual bird can be more comfortable in spending longer periods of time feeding. They were mostly feeding on trees with any remaining fruit on them. I imagine that once it gets warmer, these birds will start feeding more actively and individually. 
However, one species that I hadn’t seen since warmer times, the Eastern Bluebird, was acting as if it were spring. I observed many of these birds, and the majority of them were quite vocal, and hunting regularly for what I imagine were insects. These activities take up energy, so perhaps the warmer weather allowed them to hunt more successfully. I also observed a few of these birds hanging out around a bird box. These bird boxes throughout the property may be where they spend the nights. 
As I was walking the trails, I saw many snags. I find it nice to see snags because they provide so many great uses for birds. Unfortunately, the majority of people find them to be unattractive, so many get cut down. However, when standing, snags provide a great place to nest or spend cold nights for some species. Snags often get infested with insects or a fungal disease. The insects attract woodpeckers and other bird species which start to carve out cavities while hunting. A fungal infection often makes the tree weaker and rot which can also create cavities. Of the birds I saw, many of them were cavity nesters. So, once spring arrives, these snags could potentially provide desirable places to nest. For now, these cavities can provide great roosting habitats. For the Black-capped Chickadees, they may roost in large groups to help conserve body heat. In fact, I did see a large group of chickadees hanging out around one snag with a prominent cavity in it. I tried knocking on a few snags to see if anything was inside, but nothing showed itself. Perhaps if I was there later in the afternoon some birds or other animals would have returned to their cavity for the night.

Anotado por phil_stoll phil_stoll, marzo 06, viernes 03:16

Observaciones

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Cuervo Norteamericano Corvus brachyrhynchos

Autor

phil_stoll

Fecha

Marzo 3, 2020

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No hay fotos o sonidos

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Estornino Pinto Europeo Sturnus vulgaris

Autor

phil_stoll

Fecha

Marzo 3, 2020

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Carpintero de Pechera Común Colaptes auratus

Autor

phil_stoll

Fecha

Marzo 3, 2020

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Azulejo Garganta Canela Sialia sialis

Autor

phil_stoll

Fecha

Marzo 3, 2020

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Aguililla Cola Roja Buteo jamaicensis

Autor

phil_stoll

Fecha

Marzo 3, 2020

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Chara Azul Cyanocitta cristata

Autor

phil_stoll

Fecha

Marzo 3, 2020

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Ganso Canadiense Mayor Branta canadensis

Autor

phil_stoll

Fecha

Marzo 3, 2020

Descripción

Two flocks (of 31 and 39) flying over the farm toward Lake Champlain.

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Cardenal Rojo Cardinalis cardinalis

Autor

phil_stoll

Fecha

Marzo 3, 2020

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Square

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Carbonero de Capucha Negra Poecile atricapillus

Autor

phil_stoll

Fecha

Marzo 3, 2020

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Bajapalos Pecho Blanco Sitta carolinensis

Autor

phil_stoll

Fecha

Marzo 3, 2020

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Tordo Sargento Agelaius phoeniceus

Autor

phil_stoll

Fecha

Marzo 3, 2020

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Gorrión Europeo Passer domesticus

Autor

phil_stoll

Fecha

Marzo 3, 2020

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No hay fotos o sonidos

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Paloma Asiática Doméstica Columba livia

Autor

phil_stoll

Fecha

Marzo 3, 2020

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Carpintero Velloso-Menor Dryobates pubescens

Autor

phil_stoll

Fecha

Marzo 3, 2020

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Trepadorcito Americano Certhia americana

Autor

phil_stoll

Fecha

Marzo 3, 2020

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No hay fotos o sonidos

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Jilguerito Canario Spinus tristis

Autor

phil_stoll

Fecha

Marzo 3, 2020

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No hay fotos o sonidos

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Pinzón Mexicano Haemorhous mexicanus

Autor

phil_stoll

Fecha

Marzo 3, 2020

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No hay fotos o sonidos

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Gaviota Pico Anillado Larus delawarensis

Autor

phil_stoll

Fecha

Marzo 3, 2020

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No hay fotos o sonidos

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Cuervo Común Corvus corax

Autor

phil_stoll

Fecha

Marzo 3, 2020

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No hay fotos o sonidos

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Carpintero de Cresta Dryocopus pileatus

Autor

phil_stoll

Fecha

Marzo 3, 2020

Fotos / Sonidos

No hay fotos o sonidos

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Carpintero Velloso Dryobates villosus

Autor

phil_stoll

Fecha

Marzo 3, 2020

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No hay fotos o sonidos

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Patos, Pijijes, Gansos Y Cisnes Orden Anseriformes

Autor

phil_stoll

Fecha

Marzo 3, 2020

Descripción

Likely either Common Goldeneye or Common Merganser. They were far off the shore and I couldn't see much more than black and white. Seemed stouter than Common Merganser, but I am not confident enough in my veiws to call them Common Goldeneye for sure.

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