March 26, 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).

Posted on March 26, 2020 03:05 by rrhender rrhender | 4 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

March 18, 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.

Posted on March 18, 2020 19:29 by rrhender rrhender | 7 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

February 20, 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.

Posted on February 20, 2020 02:40 by rrhender rrhender | 2 observations | 1 comments | Leave a comment