Posts Tagged ‘birds’

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Parsing the Name Partridge

Ruffed Grouse by Adelaide TyrolOn spring evenings, just before dark, I used to hear a faint drumroll coming from somewhere off in the wooded hills. It sounded to me like an old tractor starting up, although it seemed like an odd time for a farmer to start work.

I later learned that it was the drumming of a ruffed grouse. Not a partridge; this was Connecticut. Years later I lived in Maine, where my husband took up bird hunting: not for grouse, but for “partridge.”

They are the same bird, Bonasa umbellus. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Study Tracks Massive Loss of Birdlife Since 1970

bird decline chartA study published in the journal Science reveals that since 1970, bird populations in the United States and Canada have declined by 29 percent, or almost 3 billion birds, signaling what has been considered a widespread ecological crisis.

The results show tremendous losses across diverse groups of birds and habitats — from iconic songbirds such as meadowlarks to long-distance migrants such as swallows, and backyard birds such as sparrows. More research is needed to pinpoint primary causes for declines in individual species. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Saw-whet Owl Banding at John Brown’s Farm

Saw-whet owl immediately after its release from banding Dr. Nina Schoch, Executive Director and Chief Scientific Officer at the Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation and conservation biologist, zoologist and photographer Larry Master will be banding saw-whet owls at the John Brown Farm during October.

This banding is part of Project Owlnet. Project Owlnet facilitates communication, cooperation and innovation among a rapidly growing network of hundreds of owl-migration researchers in North America and abroad. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, September 7, 2019

Wet, Wild and Wonderful Bogs and Fens

bog by adelaide tyrol“Squish, squash.” I was walking gingerly on a soft, spongy carpet of sphagnum moss in a northern Vermont bog. Magenta blossoms decorated the sheep laurel shrubs that lined the edge of the open wetland – beyond them the pointed spires of balsam fir and black spruce reached towards the sky. Ahead of me, the white tufts at the ends of cotton grass waved in the breeze. I took another step. There was a sucking sound, and a cold, wet feeling as my right foot suddenly sank a couple of feet into the bog. It was challenging to get it out without falling in entirely, but I finally extricated my muddy boot and vowed to buy some high rubber boots for future wetland exploration. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, August 11, 2019

Spotties: Sandpipers That Like Lakes

Spotted Sandpiper by Adelaide TyrolIf there’s one place you’d expect to see a sandpiper, it’s on the sand. However, there is one member of this family of shorebirds that prefers streamside to surfside.

Almost any time you go for a paddle, you are likely to see small brown birds skimming low across the water with stiff, rapid wingbeats. As they walk along a branch or log, or a muddy stretch of shore, they have a characteristic rear-end bob that never quits. In flight, their calls are an ascending ‘weet-weet-weet.” » Continue Reading.


Thursday, August 8, 2019

A Renewed Fight to Protect Migratory Birds

bird covered in oil courtesy USFWSDuring the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the use of feathers in women’s hats was all the rage.

To meet fashion industry demand for their elegant plumage, several North American bird species (e.g. egrets, herons) were hunted to near-extinction. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, July 27, 2019

Poetry: Hummingbird Ballet

Hummingbird Ballet

Aerial ballet,
Allegro avian wings a-flutter,
Humming an accompaniment
For tiny body suspended in tremolo,
Sipping sweet sugar solution
From flowered feeders.
We suspend our disbelief,
For the micro moment you light,
And sip, savor, the pure grace
Of your miraculous presence.


Saturday, June 15, 2019

Wild Turkey Nests

turkey chicks Last June I was walking through our field when I flushed a wild turkey hen. She emerged from the raspberry patch just a few feet away from me. I parted the thorny canes to reveal a nest on the ground lined with dried grass and containing nine large, creamy eggs, speckled with brown.

Since we were planning to have the field mown to control invasive wild chervil, I set stakes topped with orange flagging near the nest. The man we had hired to mow was a turkey hunter, and he was happy to give the nest a wide berth. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, June 5, 2019

It’s Hummingbird Season

Adult Male Hummingbird courtesy Ian DaviesI’ve always been fascinated by ruby-throated hummingbirds (Archilochus colubris), the only hummingbird species to regularly breed in eastern North America.

They’re small hummingbirds with slender, slightly curved, black bills, fairly short wings that don’t reach all the way to their tails when sitting, and strikingly radiant iridescent feathers that change in intensity and hue, depending upon the light and your angle of view. All ruby-throated hummingbirds; males, females, and immature birds; flaunt bright emerald- or golden-green on their backs and crowns, with a dull white or pale gray breast. Only the male brandishes the intensely lustrous ruby-red throat for which they’re named. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, May 25, 2019

Poetry: The Cardinals And The Bishop’s Son

The Cardinals And The Bishop’s Son

‘Twas a cold and sodden May,
When Bishop’s Son and wife and pup,
Traveled far, from South to the North,
Where at home they did wind up.
Bishop’s Son tended the land,
Then saw unruly growth on trees,
So raised his axe to trim the shrubs,
When a sweet sight he did see.
A nest of rosy hatchlings,
With eyes still closed and mouths outstretched,
As Red Father-Bird stood his guard,
And Mother, more food did fetch.
She, plain in plumage, did fly,
From mate on fence, to branch, to nest,
Singing proud of her chicks, well-born,
In Bishop’s Son’s tree of rest.


Wednesday, May 22, 2019

DEC Announces 2019 ‘I Bird NY’ Challenges

i bird nyIn conjunction with World Migratory Bird Day (May 11th), the New York State Department of Environment Conservation (DEC) announced the start of the 2019 “I Bird NY” challenges for beginner and experienced birders. I Bird NY was launched in 2017. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Adirondack Wild Calls For Action On Spruce Grouse

On Endangered Species Day, May 17, Adirondack Wild is renewed its call for the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to protect the endangered spruce grouse, which occupies a few select areas in the Adirondack Park. The spruce grouse requires specialized habitat in low-elevation boreal woods and wetlands which in New York State are found only in the Adirondack Park. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, May 19, 2019

Marshland Life of the American Bittern

Bittern Often, when I spot an interesting bird, I don’t have my binoculars handy. I’m holding a paddle or a pair of bicycle handlebars, which aren’t very helpful when it comes to birdwatching.

That was the case during an early-morning bike ride last summer, when I noticed a brownish bird about the size of a chicken standing at the edge of a farm pond. I would have liked a better look, but it was clearly an American bittern, scanning for prey against a backdrop of reeds and cattails. It was a rare sighting for me, one I was lucky to have. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, May 16, 2019

Peregrine Falcon Recovery Continues

Peregrine FalconThere is a broad, craggy precipice in Franconia Notch, NH, not far from my home, called Eagle Cliff. It was named in the 1800s for the golden eagles that nested there, back when the region was full of open farmland that was conducive to the giant raptors’ lifestyle. While the fields have grown up and the eagles are long gone, the cliff has been home to nesting peregrine falcons each year since 1981.

Once completely absent from the eastern United States, peregrine falcons have been making a steady comeback since the 1980s. Those falcons that nested on Eagle Cliff in 1981 marked the first successful re-occupancy of a historic cliff breeding site. Since then, recolonization has been steady, if slow. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Birding, Banding at Crown Point Historic Site

bird banding program providedThe Crown Point Bird Banding Association will set up its yearly bird banding station at the Crown Point State Historic Site May 10 through May 25. In its 44th year, the Crown Point banding station returns to record migration data and birdsongs, and the public is invited to observe and learn more 6 am to 6 pm daily. » Continue Reading.