Chick loss to intruder loons has always been a major source of “natural” mortality. There are indications that intruder loons are having more impacts on nesting success and chick survivorship as the population continues to grow, but it is difficult to quantify.
Photo by David Homer
One day as I checked on them, an adult loon and then a second adult came around the island. As they swam closer, I could see two little chicks bobbing between them. The family swam on, staying close to each other, relocating to a nearby cove where they would raise their chicks. They made it against the odds.
The thrush is an icon of our New England woods, but it’s disappearing right before our eyes,” Mollie Matteson, a conservation advocate at the Center’s Northeast office, said in a statement released to the press. “This songbird needs Endangered Species Act protection to stand a chance in the face of climate change.
Reaching into the bag, Streby gingerly pulled out a tiny nestling. Not yet golden, it had dark-olive plumage with faint yellow wingbars. The baby golden-wing squirmed and peeped in Streby’s hand as he flipped it on its back and gently threaded a pair of minuscule elastic bands around its delicate little legs. He was outfitting the bird with a nano-sized radio transmitter backpack.
Weather like this can generate spectacular birding. Fallout conditions occur when warm air from the south or southwest meets colder air to the north. The collision can produce fog, rain, and swirling winds – weather you might not consider suitable for birdwatching. But these conditions can cause countless birds – migrating north on tailwinds – to drop from migration and into view.
The Forecast Calls for Birds by Bryan Pfeiffer
Photo by Gerrit Vyn
BOOM! and the birds are just dropping outta the sky! Well, not exactly but this week’s weather has meant for a pretty impressive yard-list for me. Especially since I live in the city of St. Albans!
Use the link above to check out Bryan Pfeiffer’s blog for the weather low-down and why it’s raining warblers and flycatchers and scarlet tanagers.
My yard list this week:
Blackpoll Warbler (by far the superstar!)
Black-throated Green Warbler
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Possible female Bay-breasted Warbler
Possible Pine Warbler
And the usual suspects:
For songbirds, singing a lot of songs indicates a bird is smart, but that signal is not necessarily indicative of intelligence for everything.
Horticulture Farm Walk this Weekend
Join me this Saturday for my one and only bird walk this spring at the University of Vermont’s Horticulture Farm! The Friends of the Horticulture Farm have invited me there this Saturday, from 8 - 11am to lead a bird walk through orchards, woods and fields. We’ll focus on both the birds and talk a bit about birdscaping so you can make your backyard a haven for songbirds. Space is limited and there is a fee.
Photo from Garth McElroy video via burdr.com