As many birds prepare to abandon their summer ranges at this time of year, others are altering their routine to allow them to better survive winter. The regular appearance of numerous, year-round avian residents around homes and camps suggests that the behaviors of these hardy species do not change from one season to another. [Read more…] about Black-Capped Chickadees: Our Year Round Residents
This has always been my perception of bird migration in the fall: the days grow short and cool and then, one day, I notice a v-shaped caravan of Canada geese flying southward. Then another and another. Within a few weeks of that first sighting, I hear their melancholy call one final time for the season. Then they, and all the summer birds, are gone.
It’s a mass exodus for warmer climes, over and done in the blink of an eye and long before the snow flies. [Read more…] about Not All Birds Migrate
This time of year is when the foliage begins to turn and when birds are more regularly seen in flocks, rather than individually, as they perch on a wire, forage in a field or fly across a road.
The territorial nature and belligerent behavior exhibited by adults toward neighbors from early spring through the end of the breeding season now fades like the chlorophyll in leaves during the latter weeks of September. Thus, a more gregarious lifestyle develops among the members of the same species and results in the formation of flocks for resting, foraging, traveling, and roosting at night. [Read more…] about Birds Of A Feather Are Flocking Together
Autumn heralds its arrival with all manner of colorful cues: Tree leaves explode into brilliance; gray squirrels feverishly hoard food supplies; yellow school buses come out of hibernation, and most remarkably, blackbird flocks practice their aerial gymnastic routines. [Read more…] about Migrating Red-Winged Blackbirds
Located on the edge of Lake Ontario, this station is the first of five that are being installed on WMAs in New York this summer to track wildlife movement. [Read more…] about Tracking Animal Movement and Migration with Motus
Last July, Rich Kelley posted a most unusual photograph to the Vermont Birding Facebook group with the caption, “Someone bit off more than he could chew.”
The photo, taken in the Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge, showed a belted kingfisher weighted down by a mussel clamped firmly onto its beak. They were locked in an embrace that, absent intervention, would have been fatal for both. Thankfully, Rich effected a rescue. [Read more…] about The Kingfisher and Mussel: How They Met In An Unusual Death Grip
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has reminded the public to keep an eye out for wild turkeys, and to report their sightings. [Read more…] about Report Your August Turkey Sightings
I first became acquainted with my neighborhood red-bellied woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus) when it visited my bird feeders last winter. Sporting a black-and-white-striped back with a red nape, this medium-sized woodpecker certainly made a visual impression.
Its call was also memorable, a loud kwirr that sounded nothing like the other birds in my backyard. Over time, I’ve watched as it has become a regular feeder, as dependable as the black-capped chickadees and blue jays. [Read more…] about Red-Bellied Woodpeckers Move North
A half-century of controversy over two popular bird species may have finally come to an end. In one corner: the Bullock’s Oriole, found in the western half of North America. In the other corner: the Baltimore Oriole, breeding in the eastern half.
Where their ranges meet in the Great Plains, the two mix freely and produce apparently healthy hybrid offspring. But according to scientists from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, hybridization is a dead end and both parent species will remain separate. Findings from the new study were published in The Auk. [Read more…] about Bird Study: Oriole Hybridization Is a Dead End
DEC’s nine cold water fish hatcheries collectively produce over 6.4 million fish annually. Unfortunately, a significant number of these trout and salmon are lost to a variety of predators in search of a “free meal.”
One predator that causes most fish losses is the great blue heron. At the Caledonia Hatchery it’s not uncommon to have upwards of 40 great blue herons surrounding the ponds during the spring. [Read more…] about Fish Hatcheries Battle Herons