As is often the case, discussion on the CTbirds listserv, starting with a post by Preston Lust, led me to take a look at the preliminary atlas species maps this morning. This time, the subject was waterthrushes.
Birders keep lists. We all know that, even if we don’t do it ourselves. Some are more compulsive than others. A few months ago, I wrote about the potential for adding atlas data without ever leaving home and I noted that I’d confirmed breeding in a fair number of species just by watching the birds from my office window. At the time, I didn’t know the exact number, but this weekend I made a proper list. Continue reading “Yard atlasing”
Recently I was asked if we’d written a blog post on hummingbirds and had to answer “no”. Ever since, I’ve been thinking about what there is to say on how to confirm breeding for the state’s smallest nesters, as it can be surprisingly difficult (though not as bad as for the closely-related chimney swift). Continue reading “Confirming hummingbirds”
On the ctbirds listserve, Chris Wood recently described how his experience finding hermit thrushes in his blocks led him to look into the atlas data on the species. Others have chimed in with suggestions of how and where to find them (hemlock groves are often key).
Recently fledged hermit thrush, as revealed by the buffy spots on the wings and head.
In my last post I described the value of birding in July, as there are many good opportunities to confirm breeding by species. That was the theory, though; how does it translate into practice? Continue reading “Confirming birds in practice”
When we started the atlas, we told everyone that our goal was to have 20 hours of breeding season survey effort in each block. That time could all be spent by one person who “adopts” the block, or it could be from a mix of people. And, we asked that the time be spread evenly across the breeding season, including visits to all habitats, and with at least a little time listening for nocturnal species. Continue reading “July is the month”
Yesterday, I wrote about a way that birders can help with a student-led project designed to study the effects of forest fragmentation on woodpeckers and other bark feeding birds. Today, I thought I’d give an update on what the atlas data show us, so far, about the distributions of woodpecker species in the state. Continue reading “Where are the woodpeckers?”
Over the last few weeks, I’ve frequently found woodpecker nests on days that I go into the woods. Nest-finding for most forest birds is unbelievably hard, but woodpeckers are pretty obliging. Usually it starts when I hear the incessant twittering of young birds coming from 15-20 feet up. Continue reading “Foraging woodpeckers”
Almost daily, I notice some bird doing something and think “I should write a blog post about that”. And then my life (or my job) gets in the way and I don’t. Luckily, if you just wait long enough (as when atlasing), the solution comes along. Continue reading “Counting (and confirming) crows”
A couple of days ago, Chris Loscalzo posted a tip to the CTbirds email list based on his and Marianne Vahey’s observation of nesting bobolinks in Norfolk. Chris pointed out that if you see a bird flying away from a potential nest site with a gleaming white object in its beak, then it is likely to be a fecal sac – and that this confirms breeding (code FS). Continue reading “Confirming bobolinks (or, what is a fecal sac?)”