Sunday, January 16, 2022

Is Seeing Robins A Sign Of Spring?

I see American Robins all winter so I would not say seeing one is a sign of spring. I see them eating things like crabapples an berries during the winter. When the ground warms up  I see robins on the ground eating earthworms so I would say that is a sign of spring.
Red-tailed Hawks are seen all throughout the winter in Connecticut.
The Red-tailed Hawk's smaller, noisier cousin, the Red-shouldered Hawk, is also seen in Connecticut throughout the winter. That seems to be a changing trend as I remember they used to e a rare find during the Christmas counts.

Monday, January 3, 2022

January Bird Search Is Like A Word Search

It was nothing but grey, drizzly weather this weekend. Generally I prefer a little sunshine for better viewing and photo conditions but this weekend was different because it was the start of a new year. For many birders this means the start of a brand new list of bird species. I was excited to see a flock of blackbirds in the yard.
There was over 100 in total. I all I really needed was one. Number 16 on the species list for January 2022 is the Common Grackle.
Later in the morning I scanned across a rainy pond and found Northern Pintails. They are a little more challenging to find. It was number 19 on my list.

You don't need to make lists of bird species to enjoy birdwatching. it is just another form of entertainment. It is sort of like doing a word search because you feel compelled to find the next word in the puzzle just as you feel compelled to find the next bird species. It's just another form of entertainment but I like it better because it gets you outdoors to enjoy nature. 

 One good way to start is to just make a list of bird species that you see in the month of January. I've seen as many as 100 different species in Connecticut in January but it doesn't really matter. It's just something to do that makes the long winter months pass by a little more quickly. You can also keep a list of birds seen during the whole year but that takes a little more commitment. If you've never done it then give it a try!

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Bringing Attention To Nature Preserves

There are many land trust organizations in Connecticut and throughout the United States. They buy up pieces of property that they feel has habitat with some importance. Some of these properties have trails that make them accessible to bird watchers and other nature lovers.

I recently visited the Harris Preserve on Wilcox road in Middletown Connecticut for the first time. I was pleasantly surprised by the habitat there. I found that there was a lot of evergreens, some wetland, streams, and overgrown fields that provide great cover for birds. There was also an ample supply of berries providing food for the hermit Thrushes, American Robins, and  late-season catbirds I found there. 
It is important to get places like this on the map and make people aware of them. One way to do that is to find some nice birds like this Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (old photo) and then report them on eBird so that other birders will want to go check these places out themselves first hand. 

I encourage you to find nature preserves in your own area and get the word out. People work hard to secure these properties and it would be a shame to overlook them!

Sunday, December 5, 2021

One Of The Most Overlooked Birds Amongst Birders

One of the most overlooked birds amongst birders is the ones in their own backyard. I spend much of my free mornings traveling around looking for birds. It's not until I need to do yardwork that I really pay close attention to the birds that are lurking around my yard. 

In this case it is a Red-shouldered Hawk perched silently in a tree. I knew we had them around because I heard them all summer. They have to be one of the noisiest hawks on earth. Kee-yar kee-yar kee-yar all day long. I don't mind though. It's a stern warning to the rodents in the area that they better stay out of trouble!