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Posts Tagged "winter"

Golden-winged Warbler

Posted by on Mar 27, 2017

Golden-winged Warbler

Without a doubt, one of the highlights of our recent work in Costa Rica was the recapture of this Golden-winged Warbler, which was banded last year in the same area it was caught this year, near Rara Avis Rainforest Lodge. Since we last saw it in March of 2016, it undoubtedly traveled back to its breeding grounds somewhere in North America and hopefully managed to find a mate of its own species. Golden-winged Warblers are suffering from dramatic declines throughout their range, and are increasingly hybridizing with closely-related Blue-winged Warblers. As a result, this species is at serious...

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Downy Woodpecker

Posted by on Mar 13, 2017

Downy Woodpecker

The Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens) is an industrious little bird that frequents parks and woodlots throughout much of North America. While often spotted at backyard feeders with similarly sized chickadees and nuthatches, this black-and-white woodpecker is also at home on tiny branches where it can be seen acrobatically foraging for insect larvae. Roger Tory Peterson described this bird’s call as “a rapid whinny of notes, descending in pitch.” Keep an eye and an ear out for this charismatic little bird; its striking plumage, shrill song and tree-trunk tapping should...

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Winter’s Not Over Yet

Posted by on Mar 11, 2017

Winter’s Not Over Yet

The fresh blanket of snow across the Western New York landscape is a good reminder that winter isn’t over just yet. However, some of our resident amphibians have been receiving crossed signals due to recent increases in daylight hours and above average temperatures; we have actually gotten reports of salamanders and frogs moving to nearby ponds and vernal pools to lay their eggs. With this weekend’s dropping temperatures, local pools have started to ice over indicating freezing temperatures near the surface. The eggs of some amphibian species are able to cope with fluctuating spring...

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Black-capped Chickadee

Posted by on Mar 5, 2017

Black-capped Chickadee

This may be the last look at a seasonal Sunday bird with snow this winter as it is now meteorological spring! Now that we have crossed into March, cavity-nesting birds like this Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus) will be looking for nesting sites. If you enjoy hosting wild birds by providing nest boxes, now is the time to get them ready. Have you ever put out dog fur for birds to use as nesting material? Chickadees, and other small songbirds that use nest boxes and cavities like the Tufted Titmouse, will take fur that you put out in say, an empty suet cage, and use it to line...

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White-throated Sparrow

Posted by on Feb 26, 2017

White-throated Sparrow

Here is a photo of a White-throated Sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis) toughing it out in a recent snowstorm. Despite the fact that we were in the middle of February, this bird was already sporting its spring courting plumage; evidenced by its bright white throat and vibrant yellow lores. This is one of the first species you can expect to hear singing at the end of winter; their “oh-sweet-Canada” or “poor-Sam-Peabody” tune resonates from the brush. In some cases you might see White-throated Sparrows year-round – some birds will overwinter in the Northeast and head...

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