The coldest morning so far (at 24 degrees) did in my dahlias, which had several blooms still trying to come out. I covered my toad lilies and saved them for a few more blooms, then cut them off and brought them inside where they are blooming in water on the windowsill. The warm spell over the weekend sure hatched out the ladybugs. There were hundreds trying to get in somewhere to spend the winter on the sunny side of the house and garage. They get under the edges of my windows, and I find them when I release one of my banded birds out the window.
Posts Tagged ‘songbirds’
Finding beauty in flowers, birds while cleaning up litter
I got out on several different waters this week, checking Loons and doing some Boreal Bird Studies. I found some new nesting Loons and a few Boreal birds. Some things I found in my travels didn’t make me happy. One was the mess left up in the pit by Independence Lake. I believe the mess was made by celebrating students from the Town of Webb. I can’t prove it, but it happened on graduation night, as it has for the past three or four years somewhere on the Town of Webb Snowmobile Trail System.
A big bonfire of pallets, old furniture (and other things that will burn,) then toss in over one hundred empty beer, wine, and soda cans…and you can call it a party. Then you drive around it with some big trucks crushing other cans and bottles, and leave the mess for someone else to pick up…that’s pride in your area! We have a clean up day in May, which many students take part in making the area free of much litter left by visitors (and some by locals.) Maybe some of the students who left this mess could travel again to this area, and remove the stuff they left for others to see and pick up.
Observing Birds as Citizen/Community Science
You may have heard about the songbird illness affecting fledgling birds in many Eastern states this spring and summer. Several of these Eastern states issued restrictions on bird baths and feeders in an attempt to curb the spread of illness. By early September, all states have lifted their do not feed recommendations due to decreasing reports of bird illness. Please note: DEC did not issue a special summer notice as the agency recommends removing feeders annually between April 1st and November 29th to prevent unwanted black bear activity. To view up to date information and recommendations, visit Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s All About Birds.
Update on New Songbird Illness
In the spring and summer of 2021, the public reported many deaths in young songbirds—common grackles, American robins, blue jays, and other species—in the mid-Atlantic states. It was thought to be a new disease, or syndrome. Birds had swollen crusty eyes and/or an inability to hop or fly. Scientists at several regional laboratories have not been able to find a common disease agent or toxin that is the same for these bird deaths. They have ruled out many likely possibilities however, including: West Nile Virus, finch conjunctivitis, Avian Influenza, SARS-CoV-2 (virus that causes COVID-19 in humans), Newcastle Disease, various fungi, bacteria, parasites and viruses, and common toxins—including many pesticides.
Study Tracks Massive Loss of Birdlife Since 1970
A 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.
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ADK Spring: Wildflowers, rain showers & migrating birds
[Locally, the weather] has been April showers that bring May flowers, and it also lessened the fire danger by keeping the leaf litter wet. The outdoor burning ban is still on until May 14. If we get some more warm days, the trees should be pushing out their leaves and flowers. Several wildflowers have popped out from the leaf cover and showed us their beauty. Yellow coltsfoot lines the roadsides in many places and the flowers face the sun as it goes from east to west. It looks like a dandelion flower, but it has little leaves on the stem of the flowers. Wild oats is a single yellow hanging bell, [and] the trout lily is out everywhere with its yellow flower and speckled green and brown leaves.
» Continue Reading.