Field Journal #2

While watching birds in my backyard in Shelburne Vermont I was able to identify several birds gathered around the bird feeder. This time of observation started at 12pm and lasted roughly an hour. The weather was 27 degrees Fahrenheit with a slow breeze heading to the north. The goal of this observation time was to gain a better understanding of basic flight patterns and I felt a bird feeder would be the easiest way to do this rather than walking a trail.
While observing the birds I started to pay close attention to their distinct flight patterns and behaviors. Specifically the two species I observed were the Northern Cardinal and Black-Capped Chickadee. These are species that can be quite regularly found at the bird feeder during this time of year. When watching the Northern Cardinal’s flight patterns I noticed that they alternated flaps of their wings often pulling their wings all the way to their sides. When observing the Black-Capped Chickadees I noticed they quickly moved from spot to spot with rapid wing flaps. However when Chickadees would fly longer they would flap their wings in rhythmic patterns dipping down and rising back up after each flurry of flaps.
This pattern of flight by Black-Capped Chickadees could be used in future field observations in the wild where the birds will not be inclined to hang around something like the feeder. For Cardinals their color makes it quite easy for them to be identified however for female Cardinals this flight pattern could aid in identifying this species while in the wild.
In total four types of birds were found gathered around the feeder: Northern Cardinal, Black-Capped Chickadee, House Sparrow and Dark-Eyed Junco. There are many reasons that only a few species were seen during my time observing the bird feeder. The most obvious being the location, in such an open spot with little vegetation it was not likely for me to see a very diverse group of birds. Only the birds that are small enough and comfortable visiting the feeder would be likely to be seen there. If I were to explore this area more in depth I would venture in to the forest more and locate birds away from the feeder. There is quite a lot of trails around my neighborhood and I think I would have a lot more luck finding a more diverse group and greater number of birds there.

Posted by colinlach colinlach, February 18, 2020 23:47

Observations

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Northern Cardinal Cardinalis cardinalis

Observer

colinlach

Date

February 17, 2020

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

House Sparrow Passer domesticus

Observer

colinlach

Date

February 17, 2020

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Black-capped Chickadee Poecile atricapillus

Observer

colinlach

Date

February 17, 2020

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Dark-eyed Junco Junco hyemalis

Observer

colinlach

Date

February 17, 2020

Comments

Thumb

Interesting journal entry. I didn't see any photos or recordings in your observations which you'll want to include for next time. Also, when you enter your observations, add an observation field that records the number of individuals observed. The other suggestion I have is to spend some more time discussing habitat. I know in this case there is less to talk about with the feeder, but you could discuss things like how far the next houses are, how far the nearest woods are, what elevation you are at, etc. Then you can reflect this information in the observations you make. I liked the way you discussed the predictability of species based on the spot you were watching.

Posted by chloesardonis 3 months ago (Flag)

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