Field Observation 2: Ecological Physiology

Centennial Woods
27° F
Sunny with 8 mph North wind
Habitat: Wooded area with various hardwoods, eastern white pines, Scots pines and several snags

For this week’s field observation I took a walk through Centennial woods because I knew that there are many snags in that area. As I walked down the trail I tried my best to count all the snags that I walked past, however, there were just too many to keep track of. I found an area to sit down and observe and I counted approximately 11 snags around me. Generally, the thicker snags had the largest holes and most cavities. I noticed that several snags around me had large oval shaped holes drilled into them. I remembered learning in class that oval shaped holes are usually from feeding Pileated Woodpeckers. I had also noticed that there was a living tree in the middle of several snags with only one round hole drilled way up. I questioned why this particular tree only had one hole that’s rounder than the oval shaped holes in the snags. I used my ornithology detective skills to determine that the single round hole could be a woodpecker nest. I took a stick and tapped it on the base of the tree to mimic woodpecker drumming and sure enough a Pileated Woodpecker’s head peaked out of the hole! Luckily, I had my camera nearby to take a quick picture of the Pileated Woodpecker’s head just before it went right back into its hole quickly. This was definitely my most exciting ornithology moment of the semester so far!
Prior to the Pileated Woodpecker observation, I was walking down the trail and I heard tapping. I stopped and looked around to see if I could find the source of the noise and noticed a male Downy Woodpecker pecking at a maple tree. I knew he was a male because of his red patch on the back of his head. At first it was hard to determine whether he was a Downy or Hairy Woodpecker because I couldn’t get a good look at his beak. I then noticed his outer white wing feather had black dots and I knew this signified a Downy. I sat and observed his behavior for a while. He would fly from branch to branch and peck around the bark. I took note how the Downy Woodpecker almost always had his head towards the sky and worked upwards. While watching the Downy Woodpecker, two Red-breasted Nuthatches came flying in. They both started picking at the flaky bark on a Scot’s Pine. Contrary to the Downy Woodpecker, I noticed that the Red-breasted Nuthatch feeds with its head facing towards the ground and works downwards. The two Red-breasted Nuthatches eventually flew further away and I moved along the trail.
All three of the birds I identified are present in Vermont year-round. This means that they have to find a way to conserve energy and stay warm. Despite being 27° F, the Downy Woodpecker and the Red-breasted Nuthatches were taking advantage of the sunshine and were foraging for food. Both species may peck around the bark for insects during the summer, but usually rely on seeds during the winter. I noticed that the staghorn sumac on the trail was picked clean of all its berries. Wild berries are a very valuable resource for birds during the winter months when energy sources are scarce. Staghorn sumac in particular has berries during the winter months, so it is very important for wildlife survival. While the Downy Woodpecker and Red-breasted Nuthatches were fueling themselves with energy by eating, the Pileated Woodpecker was conserving its energy by resting. When I tapped the tree, the Pileated Woodpecker just barely peaked its head out and kept its body in the warmth of its cavity nest. At night, all three species may stay in their own cavity nests inside warm trees to survive. Ultimately, the three species that I observed today eat, sleep and stay warm to survive the winter. Now that I think about it, my winter survival strategy isn’t much different than theirs.

Lähetetty 8. maaliskuuta 2021 05:49 käyttäjältä owenmcnichol owenmcnichol | 3 havaintoa | 0 kommenttia | Jätä kommentti

5 Native Species

Lähetetty 8. maaliskuuta 2021 05:25 käyttäjältä sharon_fain sharon_fain | 5 havaintoa | 0 kommenttia | Jätä kommentti

Journal Entry #2, part 2

Bailey Smith
Mini Activity- Snag Watch: Dead snags are one of the most important components of a resident bird’s winter habitat. As you commence your bird walk, list or map each dead tree (a.k.a. snag) you pass, keeping an eye out for cavities (i.e., holes). Over the course of your walk, ruminate on the relationships between snag size and cavity size. You may find a correlation between the abundance of snags/cavities and bird abundance, especially at dusk. Use a stick to rap on some snags with prominent cavities and see what pops its head out to investigate (though don’t overdo it- be courteous to our winter wildlife). Why are snags important, and what species are most likely to utilize them?

During my bird walk, I was not able to locate any dead trees, therefor I didn't find any dead snags. There are only a few trees in my backyard, and within the trees that are around my house there is no dead trees. With snags that I have seen in the past, the bigger the snag, the bigger the cavity size. The bigger cavity sizes allows for more/bigger animals to make that cavity their home. Snags are important to wildlife because they give animals a natural shelter and nesting location. They also provide a food source for some animals. Usually squirrels, raccoons, and smaller mammals live in these cavities in dead snags. For bird species, woodpeckers, jays, doves, and song perching birds live in these cavities.

Lähetetty 8. maaliskuuta 2021 04:55 käyttäjältä basmith1 basmith1 | 0 kommenttia | Jätä kommentti

FJ3: Field Observation: Ecological Physiology

Date: March 6, 2021
Start time: 9 am
End time: 10:30 am
Location: Centennial woods
Weather: 16°F, wind speed: 10 mph NW wind, no precipitation, more than 75% cloud cover
Habitat(s): Residential, Centennial woods-mixed hardwoods, conifers

The winter season can be quite a brutal season for many species of animals. Many species, like birds, often migrate to warmer places but others don’t and so that means they have to find ways to adapt to and survive the cold. On our walk, we first walked along East Ave and then into Centennial Woods through University Rd. On our way to Centennial we saw a flock of about 20 Red Crossbills as well as about 20 Rock Pigeons fly over. During the winter season when temperatures drop, a good way for birds to keep warm is to roost and huddle together in large groups. As we saw when walking through Centennial, there were quite a few dead trees with several cavities in them. For cavity nesters like Black-capped Chickadees, Tufted Titmice, White-breasted Nuthatch and Woodpeckers they most likely use these tree cavities in order to stay warm.

Another aspect of the harsh winter season is food. During the spring many birds like the American Robin feed mainly on invertebrates like insects, worms, spiders, and millipedes. But during the winter many insects are dormant, and so their diet consists mainly of seeds, fruits, or ornamental berries. We saw a few American Robins by some crabapple trees going down Carrigan Dr, which is probably a source of food for these birds. This diet loaded in carbohydrates provides adequate fuel for these colder months. Many birds do with the food that is available to them. As we walked through Centennial there we passed by a few dead trees that had several cavities in them. As mentioned before, these cavities can be used by cavity nesters to stay warm during the winter, but also as a food source where birds can find dormant insects to feed on.

Lähetetty 8. maaliskuuta 2021 04:50 käyttäjältä magdalenalopez246 magdalenalopez246 | 9 havaintoa | 0 kommenttia | Jätä kommentti

Snags and Corn Fields

Zion Grove, PA
I chose a parcel of private land with a small patch of late successional forest bordering agricultural fields. This past season the fields had been planted with corn. Making them the perfect landing and feeding ground for early Canada Goose. This time of year it seems the flocks are much bigger than summer, when they break off and inhabit smaller ponds. Overall, it seems winter is a time of intense food gathering early and late in the daylight with long periods of sedentary behavior. In human populated areas, a myriad of species cluster where feeders are kept stocked all winter long. While passerines and fowl group together, many raptors and owls search high and wide for a scarce meal in solitude. A great highlight of the winter months is the opportunity to observe forest species without the impairment of leaves. Watching pairs of Northern Cardinals as the male keeps lookout for the feeding female is my personal favorite.
Another great thing about bare trees is woodpeckers. Unlike summertime, winter offers better chances at seeing feeding behavior and cavity drilling. Snags offer one of the best sources of food for non-seed eaters in winter. The incredible diversity of insect life within a snag provides sustenance for various species. Through my observation of six snags (four >~14cm DBH) it seems that the larger the snag is the more variable the cavity/hole sizes and shapes get. In snags under 10cm DBH there were no cavities large enough for nesting. It seems that smaller species will feed from larger and smaller snags. Adversely, larger species, such as Pileated Woodpeckers, will only visit large snags.
Snag deterioration also appears to effect visitation. Snags with minimal bark left are chewed up, but don't have nearly as much fresh chipping on the floor as fresher snags. Snag bark is accessed by some species, like Brown Creepers, that feed off the surface.
My last encounter of the day was a young male Northern Cardinal who got a bit territorial with me after I rapped on a snag a few times.

Lähetetty 8. maaliskuuta 2021 04:45 käyttäjältä stver_j stver_j | 6 havaintoa | 0 kommenttia | Jätä kommentti

Ecological Physiology

Ecological Physiology

Date - 3/6/2021
Start Time: 9:10am
End Time: 10:30am
Location: UVM Centennial Woods
Temperature: ~18 degrees Fahrenheit
Wind: 10mph West
~80% cloud cover

One of the main adaptations of birds to winter that we saw in our area of Centennial Woods was the mixed species flocking in the woods. Overall it seemed most birds were hiding away from us wherever their nesting sites were, likely resting and conserving energy in the face of the winter cold. The times when we did see birds were mainly to see them feeding. When we were walking down the trail at the start of the path there would be bursts of sound from multiple species of birds, which would then peter out. Many birds would flit between the trees quickly before flying away. It seems clear that all these birds are flocking towards a food source in the tree, and that travelling together would increase each individual’s chances of finding food without as much effort spent. The more diverse a travel group is, the higher competitive advantage one has over those who are only reliant on what they know themselves.
I think it’s also possible that these mixed species groups flocked in order to find nesting cavities. Throughout the trail there were many dead snags, especially on the edges closer to the residential area, which incidentally is where we heard the brunt of the mixed species calls. The snapgs have cavities punctures into their bark, many of them that were fairly small in accordance with the snag size. At the beginning of the path near the residential areas, the snags were a good deal smaller and shallower than those deeper in the forest. Deeper in the forest the cavities got more numerous and deeper on the taller snags, around the size of tennis balls. All of the cavities tended towards the top of the tree, giving credence to the fact that birds form them for nesting purposes during the winter as a form of thermoregulation to stay out of the cold. The majority of the mixed flock flitted among areas with larger snag size and more numerous, deeper cavities. It is possible birds abandon smaller snags as the tree continues to age and decay in favor of the taller, denser newer snags.
It is also extremely possible that insect-eating (e.g. the White and Red-breasted Nuthatches we observed) and wood pecking birds are the species that utilize cavities the most often, especially with wood pecking birds physically forming the cavities themselves. There is a huge lack of insects as a food source during the winter, so cavity formations are an adaptation to staying maximizing the scarcer source of food available. Other birds species take to finding fruiting trees in place of insects, especially the Red Crossbill. The highest abundance of fruiting trees (especially crabapple trees) during the winter appeared in residential areas as opposed to the deeper forest of Centennial Woods - and that was where upwards of twenty Red Crossbills flocked. Many birds on the trail also flocked towards areas where they likely could find seeds on the ground or in the trees.
A tell-tale sign of a winter adaptation that was slowly starting to evolve back was the prevalence of the Black-capped Chickadee’s song over its call. Every once in a while we’d get a “chicka-dee-dee-dee,” but the “hey sweetie” was consistent. This was a sign that while the majority of birds were resting or feeding, slowly some species were starting to transition into their spring/summer behaviors. The Black-capped Chickadee was sending out its mating song more often than its normal call. Eventually, the mixed species flock that we came across will separate, with individual species going back to finding food and shelter and focusing their energies on breeding when the summer months come.

Lähetetty 8. maaliskuuta 2021 04:22 käyttäjältä lia_i lia_i | 12 havaintoa | 0 kommenttia | Jätä kommentti

Field Observation: Ecological Physiology

What are these birds doing to produce or retain body heat?
Black-capped Chickadee:

  • Great insulation: have thick plumage and puff out feathers to trap more air to increase insulation (fluffing)
  • Stay active
  • Remember where they store food so they don't waste energy looking for it
  • Phenomenal circulation in legs
  • Uropygial gland: secretes substances like wax that aid in waterproofing feathers
  • Shivering
American Crow:
  • Flock together for warmth
  • Tucking
  • Torpor (state of unconsciousness)
  • Phenomenal circulation in legs
  • Uropygial gland: secretes substances like wax that aid in waterproofing feathers
  • Great insulation: have thick plumage and puff out feathers to trap more air to increase insulation (fluffing)
Blue Jay:
  • Uropygial gland: secretes substances like wax that aid in waterproofing feathers
  • Great insulation: have thick plumage and puff out feathers to trap more air to increase insulation (fluffing)
  • Gravitate towards dense evergreen forests/vegetation
  • Phenomenal circulation in legs
House Sparrow:
  • Flock together for warmth
  • Uropygial gland: secretes substances like wax that aid in waterproofing feathers
  • Great insulation: have thick plumage and puff out feathers to trap more air to increase insulation (fluffing)
  • Phenomenal circulation in legs
  • Gravitate towards dense thickets and cavities
  • How are the birds budgeting their time (i.e., feeding/resting/breeding/sleeping)?
    Black-capped Chickadees are a highly active species that spend most of their time searching for food sources. A key way they keep warm is not only staying active, but adding on some winter fat to keep insulated. In regard to breeding, Chickadees will stay near their breeding ground during the winter but breeding season isn't until April. Pairs and groups of Chickadees will also flock/sleep together over the winter. During the day, American Crows will scavenge for food. As the day comes to an end, the birds will gather in large numbers and roost together. American Crows breeding season isn't until late March early April and by that point, they stop roosting with one another. Unlike Chickadees and Crows, House Sparrows can begin mating as early as January. In the winter, this species can be found resting for most of the day, and sleeping in their nests at night. Like most species, Blue jays don't start mating until around march. During the winter, Blue Jays will scavenge during the day and then return to their nests at night.

  • What are they eating and/or hunting for?
  • Black-capped Chickadee: Fruits, seeds, insects (eggs and pupae)
  • Blue Jays: Fruits, nuts, seeds, cache acorns/store other foods
  • American Crows: Are not picky eaters whatsoever -- Diet may consist of insects, fruits, seeds, nuts, carcasses, and small vertebrates
  • House Sparrow: Seeds, fruits, grains, discarded food
  • How might their diet be different in other seasons?
    For Black-capped Chickadees, House Sparrow, and Blue Jays, their diets vary depending on the season. Each of these species will eat a higher amount of fruit, insects, and summer plants during the warmer months. Insects and fruit in particular are much more plentiful as the temperatures begin to rise. The American crow may also see an influx in small vertebrates, seeds, fruit, etc. However, due to them not being picky when it comes to food, the changing of seasons doesn't always affect what their eating -- more of how much is available.

  • Where (specifically) on the property might various species overnight?
  • Black-capped Chickadees: Most likely to be found in dense wooded areas. Chickadees are cavity nesters and tend to makes nests in rotten trunks or branches. In regard to trinity campus, Black-Capped Chickadees will be found overnight in the wooded areas surrounding the buildings.
  • House Sparrow: This species prefers to nest in man-made structures but can be found in other areas as well. Popular spots include holes in buildings, rafters, streetlights, trees and birdhouses. In regard to trinity campus, House Sparrows can be found nesting in some of buildings on campus as well as in the surrounding wooded area.
  • American Crow: This specie prefers evergreens to nest but will nest in deciduous trees depending on availability. Nests will also typically be found in the crotch/outer branches of trees. In regard to trinity campus, American Crows could be found on the west side wooded area (primarily evergreen trees)
  • Blue Jay: Similar to the American Crow, Blue Jays will also nest in the crotch or thick outer branches of trees. In regard to trinity campus, the surrounding wooded area is prime nesting habitat.
  • Snag Watch: In both the forested areas on the east and west side of campus, snags were plentiful. With most snags that I saw, there were either large cavities or small holes covering sections, or the whole tree. In total, I saw around 15 different snags between the two forest areas. While nothing poked their head out from tapping, I know that Pileated Woodpeckers are frequently found in snag cavities. However, other cavity nesters also utilize these snags for nesting (ie Black-capped Chickadee). In addition, Woodpeckers, Nuthatches, Sapsuckers, etc depend on snags and other rotting wood for food. Generally, insects can be found in abundance in snags. In summary, snags provide a nesting site for birds and are a valuable food source.
    Snag that was riddled with Woodpecker holes: file:///Users/valeriebessette/Desktop/FJ3%20woodpecker%20holes.jpeg
    Snag 2:file:///Users/valeriebessette/Desktop/FJ3%20snag%202.jpeg
    Cavity in tree:file:///Users/valeriebessette/Desktop/Cavity%20in%20tree.jpeg

Lähetetty 8. maaliskuuta 2021 04:22 käyttäjältä vbessette vbessette | 4 havaintoa | 0 kommenttia | Jätä kommentti

Field Journal 3: Ecological Physiology

Start time: 1:30pm
End time: 3:30pm
Date: 03/06/21
Location: Blueberry Lake, Warren VT
Weather: 19℉ and cloudy
Habitat: Trail system through coniferous forest surrounded by farm fields.

On a chilly Saturday afternoon, I headed down to Warren, Vermont to do some bird watching. The trail system that I explored was around Blueberry Lake, consisting of mostly coniferous trees as well as some open farm fields. I did not see a lot of birds that I was able to identify, which may be due to the high amount of loud families and dogs that were also there that day. However, I did see two American Crows and suspect that there were quite a bit more out of sight.

American Crows have evolved to be able to survive in pretty chilly temperatures in the winter. Some behavioral adaptations that crows display to keep warm consist of fluffing their feathers, tucking a leg or beak into its feathers, shivering, sunning, and roosting. Additionally, crows will sun themselves and go into a state called “torpor”. When in this state, they will lie on the ground with their bills open and go into a state of unconsciousness where their core temperature drops 10-12 degrees. Additionally, their heart rate and respiration are reduced which allows the bird to save 20% of its energy. This saved energy goes towards keeping the bird warm.

American crows are pretty omnivorous and will scavenge whatever they can find. The bulk of their diet in the spring and summer consists of earthworms and other terrestrial invertebrates. In the winter, they rely mostly on waste grain. This could be one of the reasons why I saw American Crows on my walk, because I was near lots of farm fields. American Crows budget their time in the winter to be awake and active during the warmest part of the day. In order to be in the sun the longest, they leave their roost sites at sunrise and hunt for food/sun themselves throughout the day. In the evening, they roost with other crows to conserve body heat during the night.

I believe that the crows that I was observing were beginning to look for a roosting place. Roosting is a behavior that crows exhibit where they gather in large flocks at night to conserve body heat. Because the temperature was already starting to drop so rapidly, and it was a pretty cloudy day, the crows that I was observing may have been beginning to do just that.

Snags are important in the winter because they provide shelter for birds and other wildlife to spend the night in. Sleeping in a cavity can trap body heat, and raise the body temperature of a bird. Some bird species that are likely to use them are smaller songbirds that need to rely on sheltered areas to maintain their body temperature At the end of my walk, I observed two cavities. One was larger with a few holes in it and had a good-sized cavity. The other had a smaller cavity, which I suspect a woodpecker made.

Lähetetty 8. maaliskuuta 2021 03:46 käyttäjältä elenarbernier elenarbernier | 1 havainto | 0 kommenttia | Jätä kommentti


Start Time: 9:03 am
End Time: 10:30 am
Location: Centennial Woods
Weather: ~15 F, no wind/precipitation
Habitats: mixed coniferous/deciduous forest surrounded by urban area

In order to maintain body heat during the winter, birds will often grow extra down feathers with their fall molt for additional insulation. Birds will also “fluff up” their feathers to better trap body heat. During the winter, birds are generally focusing less, if at all, on breeding-related activities such as singing and defending breeding territories. They focus more on immediately necessary functions, such as feeding, in order to conserve valuable energy, especially since food tends to be much more scarce in winter. Since these species are waiting until the more hospitable spring and summer months to raise young, there is no need to advertise or defend a territory until the breeding season is nearer, as they are energetically costly and not immediately necessary if they are not actively breeding. Due to a general lack of insects during the winter months, many species that normally feed on insects in the warmer months turn to more available food sources, such as berries or seeds and nuts.
Tree cavities provide excellent shelters for species to overnight in, protected from the elements. In order to maintain body heat as temperatures drop even lower overnight, many species, such as chickadees and titmice, will also roost in groups for additional warmth.
We examined three snags during our walk. Two of them had many small holes, most likely from a smaller woodpecker such as a Hairy or Downy Woodpecker. The other had larger, more rectangular holes, probably from a Pileated Woodpecker. We tapped on the first snag, but there was no reaction. There were nuthatches feeding in and around the other two snags. Woodpeckers and nuthatches hunt for insects in and on snags, and chickadees and titmice often overnight in cavities in snags during the winter.

Lähetetty 8. maaliskuuta 2021 03:23 käyttäjältä gracey4 gracey4 | 10 havaintoa | 0 kommenttia | Jätä kommentti

Journal Entry #2

Bailey Smith
This bird watch took place on 3/8/21 at 3:00 to 4:30 pm in Ferrisburgh Vermont. The location in which this bird watch took place was at my house in my backyard. I was walking around my backyard trying to locate as many species as I could. The temperature was about 25 degrees, with little wind coming from the north and sunny skies. The habitats that were available were woodland habitats with mainly maple and oak trees, shrub habitat, and open habitats. There were shrubs, trees, and open agricultural fields. During this bird watch, I was able to locate only 3 bird species, the Eastern Crow, European Starling, and the House Sparrow.
Most of the Eastern Crow population will migrate south for breeding. These crows will then migrate back north to where they came from in the month of March or April. These crows will actually go to the same areas in the winter year after year, no matter what the environmental changes are. Basing crows off of evolution, they always migrate south about 500 kilometers or so. They have always migrated and always will just like most bird species. Crows will eat just about anything they can in the winter, but mostly the eat on grains that they find on the ground. Crows will tuck their wings, and gather up in big flocks tight together to keep their body temperatures up. Crows spend most of their time feeding. Whenever you see groups of crows specifically in the winter, they are always trying to find food. When they aren't feeding, they are roosting. Crows will overnight in tall trees. In other months, they will feed on fruits, berries, human food, and small insects.

The European Starling also heads south to migrate during the breeding season. These flocks are big when they migrate, but will then split up to breed. The males will show off their songs, trying to find a female to breed with. These starlings evolved from Europe, but they originated in the United States by 100 of them being let loose in New York City. They started evolving slow, but quickly took off all over the United States. The starling will feed on insects in the soil if they can penetrate the soil with their bills. They will feed on fruits in trees, and will sometimes feed on flying insects in the air. They mainly feed on insects, fruits, and seeds wherever they can find them. During the winter, the males spend most of their time breeding and feeding. They will sit next to a nest site and use their mating calls to attract a female. In the times where they are not breeding, they are feeding and sleeping, but their main concerns are breeding. Both the male and females retain body heat my feeding often, and always moving around, whether that's flying or walking around finding food. Starlings will group together often in one tree or a couple trees, roosting close together at night.
The house sparrow rarely migrates south very far. They occasionally migrate in small distances. They like to stay in their home ranges all year round where they are familiar with. House sparrows can digest just about anything, so their diets are very wide varied. They mainly feed on grains that they can find on the ground. House Sparrows will build their nests in the same spots as previous years. The males will sit outside of the nest and exhibit loud aggressive mating sounds to attract females. They only pair up with one mate, often staying with them for multiple years. After much research, there is little to no variation in the House Sparrow population to other North American bird species. Microsatellite data has allowed researches to collect most of their data on this species. These birds will nest in places that are warm, such as the sidings to homes, and barns. The House Sparrow is similar to the European Starling, in how they spend most of their time. They spend most of their time feeding and breeding, while they rest only a little bit. During the winter, they are scrounging for food, but mainly eating seeds. In the warmer months, they feed on berries, seeds, insects, discarded food, and mixed bird seed. The House Sparrow will overnight either in trees, or shrubs most of the time.

Lähetetty 8. maaliskuuta 2021 03:10 käyttäjältä basmith1 basmith1 | 1 kommentti | Jätä kommentti
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Land for Wildlife iNaturalist autumn competition

Following the October 2020 launch of our LfW iNaturalist Project, we are excited to announce our first iNaturalist competition, Autumn Sightings, to celebrate our city’s wonderful autumn wildlife.

The LfW member with the most number of unique flora and fauna species uploaded from observations on their property during the competition period of 7 March to 7 April, 2021, will win a nest box, valued at $70. To read the Terms and Conditions of the competition, please visit the Conservation Partnerships page under Document Library:

Please make sure when you upload an observation from your phone, you select the Land for Wildlife – City of Gold Coast project under Projects

If you are having trouble doing this, please contact the Conservation Partnerships Team on Ph: 5582 8915 or email

There will be more prizes during autumn, so keep up-to-date by reading our journal posts.

Happy autumn sightings everyone!

Conservation Partnerships Team

Lähetetty 8. maaliskuuta 2021 01:53 käyttäjältä cpp cpp | 0 kommenttia | Jätä kommentti
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Mar 7, 2021 (Sunday) - North Side

Conducted survey of North side from 9:50 am - 1:00 pm. Weather was 50F, sunny.

Documented 125 Newts, of which 2 were juveniles. No live newts seen :(
Other documented roadkill: None observed.

Midpen study: Pit traps were emptied before I arrived and there were no roadkill newts in their road sections.

Documented Human Activity:
Cars: 233
Motorcycles: 4
Bikes: 56
Pedestrians: 38
Parked Cars: 106

To be honest, I was kind of envious of Merav's and Cynthia's low numbers in the past week and was hoping I will get to experience the same joys, but fate had other plans. It did rain on Friday night, so I was naïve in assuming I would be let off the hook easy. I got a late start to the day because it was 39F when I was supposed to leave for my bike ride. The time I started the survey couldn't have been worse.
Even before reaching HTH study site #1, I had counted 100+ cars. It seemed COVID-19 vaccines were being distributed on Alma Bridge road considering the heavy traffic.

One family stopped and asked what I was doing, and I went through the entire TED talk and then the lady said " Oh, so you are saving the environment!" to which I responded with an awkward yes.

Two bikers asked me what the time was.

Link to my observations for today:


Lähetetty 8. maaliskuuta 2021 01:49 käyttäjältä karangattu karangattu | 0 kommenttia | Jätä kommentti
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And the observations are flowing in... 1 week, 4200+ observations, 1300+ species, and more participants than ever

...and these numbers are despite that we here in New Jersey and northwards still have frost and snow and spring has been hesitant. Very lucky we have you in Georgia, North Carolina, Australia, Texas and other warmer places to keep us going fast. Just wait, we northerners will catch up with you, we just need some more heat and sun... it is coming, do not despair!

A few reminders - only observations from 1 March - 15 May 2021. Only wild and naturalized (nothing planted, nothing cultivated and no pets - BUT you can include humans and wild things that show up inside your home). Tracks, shells and feathers and such are OK. If in doubt, ask using the mailing list, the FB group, or message someone in the leadership team (marked as curator on iNaturalist).

We are aiming to break last years record, also during a pandemic. Can we do it? We will see... Every observation counts, and every little species matters.

Happy iNatting!


Lähetetty 8. maaliskuuta 2021 01:42 käyttäjältä vilseskog vilseskog | 0 kommenttia | Jätä kommentti
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Thanks to the Newt Roadkill Survey Team (2020-2021 Migration Season)

As we head into the last 4-6 weeks of the Pacific newt migration season, I'd like to send out my thanks and deepest gratitude to the Newt Roadkill Survey Team (@merav, @sea-kangaroo, @newtpatrol, @anudibranchmom, @joescience1, @karangattu, @tyap, @biohexx1) for your work at Lexington Reservoir during the 2020-2021 migration season.

The last month is possibly the most difficult. Volunteers are exhausted both mentally & physically from taking pictures of thousands upon thousands of dead creatures on the road. Just when you think the carnage might be over, it rains and more newts brave the road only to have the life snuffed out of them. It weighs you down. It's difficult and dangerous work. Not many people appreciate your efforts. It's so discouraging when the powers-that-be won't do anything to stop the carnage.

But look how much you've accomplished! Especially Merav, who deserves special recognition for the phenomenal amount of work she's done on the longevity study as well as routine surveys, training, collaborating with partners, developing a web site, and leading the team.


Team, please know that I and individuals at key agencies (UC Davis Road Ecology Center, CA Fish & Wildlife, USGS Ecology, Audubon Society, Sierra Club, Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District, Peninsula Open Space Trust and others) truly appreciate the work you've done.

Fraser Shilling, Ph.D., director of the UC Davis Road Ecology Center at UC Davis recently said, "I don't think there has been a study anywhere in the world that has found a higher density of amphibian mortality from traffic than this one."

You all have contributed to a landmark study. Thank you for your time and effort.

Lähetetty 8. maaliskuuta 2021 01:01 käyttäjältä truthseqr truthseqr | 2 kommenttia | Jätä kommentti


Date: 3/7/20
Time: 11:45-12:45 at first location, 12:50-1:20 second location
Location 1: Round Pond Natural Area, South Hero, VT
Location 2: Bird House Forest/ South Hero Beach
Weather: Sunny day with temperatures in the low 20s and little to no wind
Habitat: Round Pond has wooded areas with a few open fields/clearings and Bird House Forest is a marshy area with trees right near Lake Champlain.

To start, I went to the Round Pond Natural Area in South Hero and walked on the path towards a marshy area. I walked through wooded areas that occasionally opened up into open fields. Along the way I heard some Black-capped Chickadee and White-breasted Nuthatch calls in the distance, but I did not see them. However, I did see a few snags and documented one of them with cavities in it (in the google drive link). The tree was large, but the cavities were not all that big. I didn’t see other trees with cavities to compare with though. Since I only encountered Black-capped Chickadees and White-breasted Nuthatches at this location I would assume these species are most likely to use snags as shelters. These snags seem like a good place for birds to get protection from the elements and a place to raise young in the warmer weather.

After I turned around and headed back, I heard some Black-capped Chickadees that were close. I eventually found them on the edge of a wooded area and an opening. There were about 4 of them hopping between branches. When one would rest on a branch, it seemed like it would huddle up into a ball to stay warm. I would guess that this allows more air into their down to create more warm air on their body. In terms of evolution, I think the differentiation in feathers through changes in hair follicles gives birds the warmth they need in winter. Also, these open areas were noticeably warmer because of the sun so maybe they take advantage of these areas to stay warm too. Another way birds survive the winter is through their diet. I would think that birds would try to consume food higher in calories and fat to sustain themselves and to create fat for warmth. The last thing from this location was some pecking I heard which I thought would be a woodpecker, however I discovered it was two White-breasted Nuthatches.

Right when I pulled up to the Bird House Forest, I saw a Red-tailed Hawk swoop down from a tree and land on a tree farther away. I saw its bright tail when it slowed down to land. After walking around for a bit, I saw a Pileated Woodpecker land on a large tree. I recognized it from its size and red head. Also, when it flew away it was white underneath. I also found a black and white feather on the ground (picture in google doc).

Lähetetty 8. maaliskuuta 2021 00:36 käyttäjältä cjclark6 cjclark6 | 4 havaintoa | 0 kommenttia | Jätä kommentti

Jack Wallace FJ3 - Centennial Woods Natural Area

Location: Centennial Woods Natural Area South Burlington, VT
Time: 4:15- 5:45 PM
Date: Sunday, March 7th
Temperature: 25-30 Degrees F
Weather: Sunny and clear
Wind: 5 mph
Habitat: Mix of hilled forest and flat wetlands

During this journal exercise, I was able to spot numerous species of birds. The first bird I saw was the Northern Cardinal. When I first spotted them, both birds (M+F) were roosting together inside of a pretty thick bush. This could have been to help retain body heat. By staying together in thick brush cover, this could have possibly helped to keep both of them warmer. Unfortunately while moving around to get a better look, both of the birds took off.

Because of my timing, the sun was going down and I think this attributed to the lack of birds that I could see. When we first arrived and were walking on the east side of the woods, we could see birds like the Black-capped Chickadee and the two Northern Cardinals, however as the sun continued to go down we saw less birds and heard less calls and songs. Looking over to the west part of the forest, I realized that the sun was still illuminating the tops of the trees over there. We walked over to see if more birds would be in the sunlight and sure enough on that side the forest was full of bird calls and songs. Almost all of them were in the tops of the trees and for the most part standing still. Because of this, I think the birds were soaking up the last bit of warmth from the sun to reserve energy for the cold night ahead. Throughout this time, the occasional flock of 2-4 crows would fly over heading North. This is due to an adaptation of American Crows to roost together in a big flock to help retain body heat and reserve energy.

While walking around looking for more birds, I made sure to be aware of dead snags and the holes that were in them. After watching a small Brown-headed Nuthatch peck its way up the skinnier branches, I attributed he small surface holes in the bark to these birds. I found it apparent that the older/more dead looking snags had the larger cavities in them. This could be attributed to the softer nature of the wood which would make It easier for birds to peck out a hole in search of bugs, or a hole to make a home out of. The tinier holes were always found in the more lively part of a dying tree, or just a hanging branch from a fully alive tree.

When walking up the hill on the west side of the forest, I noticed many small red berries scattered in the snow. Most of them were directly under the tree that they came from, but all of them has been opened up and the branches were way too delicate to support and bird larger than a Black-capped Chickadee. In these patches of opened berries I found the tracks of a Ruffled Grouse. It seemed that this bird was scavenging the ground for berries picked off by smaller birds. This is defiantly a seasonal attribute for these birds when food is scarce in the winter.

Over all this was a pretty successful period of observation even without the use of binoculars. Next journal I will go out much earlier in the day and I hope to see more activity below the canopy.

Lähetetty 8. maaliskuuta 2021 00:13 käyttäjältä jwally325 jwally325 | 7 havaintoa | 0 kommenttia | Jätä kommentti

Field Journal #3 ... A Sunday In Derway

Date --- 3/7/2021
Start Time --- 11:15 AM
End Time --- 12:30 PM
Location --- Derway Island Nature Trail off North Ave, Burlington, VT 05408
Weather --- (Temperature) =25 degrees Fahrenheit, or ~ -4 degrees Celsius ... (Wind) = 10mph N ... (Precipitation) = none
Habitats --- Area of land along Winooski River bank ... river covered by ice. Lots of ice and some snow on trails, surrounded by leafless trees and branch/twig litter on the ground. Some trees cut down were seen shredded into sawdust material.

Video observation of White-breasted Nuthatch can be viewed in notes of individual bird's observation (link attached)

We're already a week into March, but winter is here to stay for just a bit longer in Burlington. Upon venturing down to Derway Island bordering the Winooski River, the paths meant for safe travels were transformed into zones of slow and ultra-tiny steps thanks to the thick layers of ice. After getting past the hazardous portion of the walkways, we proceeded toward the river, right up near the edge to look for animal prints and scat; wind was strongest over in this area, whereas deeper into the island, wind remained minimal to nonexistent. A scan of the water bodies (Lake Champlain and Winooski River) with binoculars revealed no nearby water or shore birds. Coyote, racoon, and skunk tracks were found in various areas along the river. Deeper into the island's trails, where the snow and ice were not so treacherous, two Northern Cardinal (M+F) were spotted in southward flight. Three Black-capped Chickadees were seen in scattered trees, shivering and bopping from branch to branch. A singular Tufted Titmouse was observed curiously scoping a branch or two before flying off towards the northwest. After hearing light pecking on a tree, we saw a White-breasted Nuthatch facing downward on a tree, chirping and pecking frequently. The bird seemed to have found tiny insects within the bark of the tree to sustain himself.

These birds, like any animal when outside during winter, are exposed to the winds and surrounding temperature of the harshly cold season in the northeast. However, the warm blooded avian animals have evolved to maintain high internal temperatures while residing in this area of the United States. Like humans will do when feeling chilly, birds replicate this action to generate kinetic energy, transformed into body heat. We saw the Black-capped Chickadees doing this while resting (through the binoculars) on our adventure, where I assume they were taking a quick break from searching for nutritional value. According to (, the opposing muscle contractions performed aid in retaining significant amounts of generated heat. The Tufted Titmouse we saw, who was relatively swift inspecting branch after branch, in what I suspect was foraging and relocating upon lack of success. When we heard the White-breasted Nuthatch tapping away at the tree, we quickly located it and witnessed it face-down clinging to a tree, about 20 feet above the ground. We took the video we linked in the observation comments, then slowly approached the base of the tree. The bird didn't seem to be phased by us whatsoever, as we craned our necks upward to admire its beauty. After a series of pecks, the bird would crane his neck away from the tree to ingest the insects just captured by its bill. The specific tree it was hanging on seemed to be full of what the bird was looking for, as it communicated yonder through minute calls. At the beginning of the linked video, one can hear a faint White-breasted nuthatch murmur from afar.

Birds that stay put during the winter months might alter their diet by favoring more "insulating" foods during this period of time. For example. the passerines we saw on this excursion were probably searching for nutritious items that allow them to retain heat. I know berries are often present and littered along the ground in Derway from plucking them off branches, but we did not see any today. Nor did we see any seeds, which would also be a hot commodity during this time. When insects return from their state of dormancy once warmer weather approaches, the passerines will look to nibble on them for nutrients.

Lots of snags were observed, and many had deep cavities created by various types of woodpeckers. While all were too high to even poke with a branch, I imagine an animal, whether it be a family of birds or chipmunks or squirrels, reside in these open spaces that provide shelter. According to Coombs, Bowman and Garroway (2010), southward-facing cavities are exposed to more light in the northern hemisphere, which in nature make these shelters warmer than their northward-facing counterparts. As a result, I'd expect that the tree cavities of Derway Island would have more residents in the southward-facing than northward-facing cavities.


Coombs, A., Bowman, J., & Garroway, C. (2010, November 1). Thermal properties of tree cavities during winter in a northern hardwood forest. Retrieved March 07, 2021, from

Lähetetty 8. maaliskuuta 2021 00:06 käyttäjältä pyramidlakejake pyramidlakejake | 4 havaintoa | 0 kommenttia | Jätä kommentti

3/8/21 FJ3: Riverwalk to Salmon hole in Winooski

Time: 12:45p - 2pm
River Walk to Salmon hole near Gardener's Supply in Winooski VT.
Clear Sky, sunny, 25F 9mph winds
Habitat: winnooski river, mixed forest of mostly deciduous trees without much leaf cover, sparse coniferous trees, dense underbrush of mostly woody plants, a few patches of cattails, close proximity to the road at the start of the trail.

During this birding excursion I was surprised to see Ducks! I observed 4 Mallards just chilling in the river among the ice chunks and thought about how absolutely freezing the water must be. It was fairly warm in the sun, but that doesn't discount the frigid water the Mallards were swimming and feeding in. I did observe them feeding, as they dunked their heads and went bottoms up a few times. I'm sure there are a variety of fish in the Winooski river as well as aquatic plants and algae, although I can't speak on the availability of these during the winter. I would imagine more small fish, snails and crustaceans would be available in the summer months, therefore more cold weather greens or potentially even insects might be favored in the colder months. Evidently there was enough to go around for all 4 individuals (2 male 2 female) to hang around. I would imagine having waterproof outer feathers help keep the ducks from actually being wet and thus freezing, paired with thick downy both help insulate the ducks during these winter months. Perhaps Mallards also have some afterfeathers to provide additional insulation, although I believe afterfeathers are more common in larger, colder climate birds. But what about their feet? My hands absolutely froze solid on my bird walk, one would think their feet should just fall off of frostbite in the winter. After a bit of research, paired with lecture material, I learned that basically the down feathers that insulate their body cavities do such a good job keeping them warm that it created a counter current exchange function in their feet. The blood going from the body to the feet warms the blood leaving their feet, effectively keep them warm enough to not freeze off: the blood in the arteries is warm and in close proximity to the veins that the heat from the arteries also warms the veins. Assuming the other water bird I saw was a Common Merganser I would imagine the same principles apply to them, or any colder climate waterfowl. I believe they'd all share these traits due to homologous evolution (development of similar/same traits due to a common ancestor) and have been kept due to their obvious effectiveness at keeping these birds warm. I'd imagine sleeping close to the water or in the water would be beneficial to these water fowl types to protect them from predatory mammals. These birds were also seen not feeding, but basking in the sun along the shore, again I assume the water offers a lot of safety to these types of birds even throughout the day, allowing time to rest and conserve energy. The two male Mallards did seem to squabble a bit with each other, I don't think its mating season but I wouldn't be surprised if they were pairing up in preparation for it come early spring. This though was further proven by the 4 ducks splitting up in to male/female pairings and eventually splitting in pairs from the group.

The smaller passerine song birds I saw today also have down feathers to insulate their bodies, and I'd imagine have a similar counter current blood exchange to keep their legs warm, paired with specialized skin (from possibly their reptilian ancestors) to further help insulate their legs. The skin along their legs is almost scale like and may have evolved from reptilian scales to be more insulative and tough to endure perching on rougher surfaces such as tree bark. These birds, the Black-capped Chickadees and the Northern Cardinal were seen in coniferous pine (?) trees near dense undergrowth around a well dead tree. I'd imagine these birds feed primarily on seeds from these pine trees, and insects may be scavenged from snag trees, suggesting why these birds were hanging around in this area. However, not a lot of these smaller song bird types were seen, so I'd assume noon is probably not their ideal feeding time, but rather their time to stay warm, maybe digest their breakfast (also generates heat), and overall conserve energy. In the summer these birds may feed on a wider variety of seeds and bugs as they both become more abundant in the warmer months. There were a lot less pine trees the further down the trail I went, and also less of these song birds, they seemed to really concentrate in the pine/coniferous trees, I believe because they over the most cover, especially as a lot of the trees were bare. I did notice some evidence of woodpeckers (see pics attached to Hairy Woodpecker observation) but no actual woodpeckers. Again, this is probably because they don't feed in the middle of the day but probably closer to dusk when it's slightly darker out. This also makes sense as the time I did see a Hairy Woodpecker (2/28) was around 3-4pm, much later in the day (not at the river walk location though, see observation location). Feeding at dust makes these smaller prey species of birds less visible due to the changing in lighting, so it might be an advantage to them to hid from raptors and such to feed in times of lower light.

Lastly, the soaring birds: Herring Gulls and American Crows (larger black birds could've also been some kind of Raven) were also observed on my walk. Neither of these bird species were seen on the ground but rather circling the same areas above the Winooski river (at separate instances and not together). Again down feathers and specialized blood flow help these birds, but I also think they use warm air streams to warm up as well. Judging by the amount of time both species spent above the river I'm confident their must have been a warm up draft in the area that they appreciated. I didn't see these birds eating but I know both can be scavengers and like living around human civilizations eating scraps and such to supplement their wild type diets. The gulls hung around the most, 12 or more individuals enjoying sun as well as the updrafts off the river. I'd assume they must spend mid day conserving energy and finding warmth and feeding during the dusk hours similarly to the songbird's patterns of eating.

Lähetetty 7. maaliskuuta 2021 23:57 käyttäjältä jamiek347 jamiek347 | 7 havaintoa | 0 kommenttia | Jätä kommentti

Field Journal #3 - M. Joyall

This week I headed for Shelburne Bay Park on Sunday (3/7) and walked along the Ti-Haul trail which heads south/southwest from the Shelburne Bay Parking lot. I started at 2:45pm and was out until about 4:50pm. The skies were clear, temperature was 28 F, and there was a wind of 7pmh out of the NNW. The trail there is an out and back so I retraced my steps on my way back to the car. The habitat switches between areas of mixed coniferous / deciduous forest and open marshy areas - the marsh areas have limited vegetation, mostly tall grasses.

As we set off down the trail, we immediately heard and then saw an American Crow take off from a tree and fly over a field to our right, quickly moving out of sight. Shortly after we set out my birding partner, Emma, spied a hawk zoom over our heads. He perched high up in a conifer about 40 yards down the trail form us. We were not sure what species it was, but jotted down a few observations (noted in the species list). He kept tabs on us as he scanned the ground below, presumably for a meal. About 10 minutes down the trail we heard a Black-capped Chickadee. We found it in a Red Pine about 40 feet of the trail. It was hopping from branch to branch and appeared to be picking at the remaining cones left of the tree. I imagine try to score a meal before another cold night. From what I observed, there were limited food sources in the area. While berries and nuts are plentiful in other seasons, pinecones were one of the only currently available food sources that I noticed.

A real treat lay in store. As we were observing the Chickadee, we heard a woodpecker in the distance. After following its calls to the other side of the trial we found a Hairy Woodpecker drumming high up in a deciduous tree! While watching the Hairy drum a considerable amount of biomass out of the tree - chips and barking flying around the place - we spotted a Downy Woodpecker drumming in a Musclewood tree about 20 yards from the tree that the Hairy was in. This was my first time observing a Downy up close and I did not realize how tiny their drill holes are. We watched these two hard at work for food for the better part of half an hour. I was playing with my phone and binoculars trying to get a decent photo by placing the phone camera lens against the binocular eye hole. On our hike out we could heard Black-capped Chickadees in the distance.

SNAG Patrol! While keeping snags in mind along the walk, I noticed many along the way. I suspect this in part due to the marshland areas advancing upon the forest near the trail. The snags that stuck out most to me were a few that we found near the woodpeckers. One was a very small conifer with a small hole that looked like a decent home for a Downy and another larger deciduous tree with a large hole that could house a larger woodpecker or other bird. I thoroughly enjoyed rapping on a few deadwoods with a stick, but I did not have luck rousing any possible inhabitants. Snags provide an important place to roost and also provide protection from predators on the ground. Considering all of the snags I noted along the walk, there must be some owls in the area, all of the snags would provide them a great habitat!

Great walk and better birding. An awesome afternoon of Ornotherapy to kick off the week.

Species List:
American Crow
Hawk --> not sure what species (yellow claws, black 'goggles', brown spotted plummage, yellow beak)
Black-capped Chickadee
Hairy Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker

Lähetetty 7. maaliskuuta 2021 23:55 käyttäjältä youngtormund youngtormund | 1 havainto | 0 kommenttia | Jätä kommentti
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Guias de espécies - Nymphalidae - Limenitidinae

Subfamília Limenitidinae

De acordo com a wikipedia (em inglês), “os Limenitidinae são uma subfamília de borboletas que inclui almirantes e relativos. Os nomes comuns de muitas espécies e gêneros fazem referência a patentes militares ou - nomeadamente os Adoliadini – a títulos de nobreza (por exemplo, conde, duque, barão e marquês), em referência ao grande tamanho destas borboletas, seus padrões ousados e voo arrojado. Em particular, a faixa de luz que atravessa as asas de muitos Limenitidini lembrava, aos autores antigos, as marcas de ombro e dragonas de oficiais (por exemplo, almirante, comandante, comodoro, etc). Em voo, muitas dessas borboletas têm o hábito de bater as asas de um modo que o lado superior – geralmente brilhante - e o lado inferior se alternam para o observador, pois planam por longas distâncias com as asas imóveis estendidas. Os nomes comuns de alguns Limenitidinae, como ‘aviões’ ou ‘planadores’ - referem-se a este padrão de voo".

A subfamília é composta por quatro tribos e três gêneros: Adoliadini, Limenitidini, Neptini, Parthenini, Lamasia, Neurosigma e Patsuia.

Optei por apresentar apenas exemplares do gênero Adelpha, único com registros na América do Sul na base de dados iNaturalist. Clique aqui para ver uma lista de todas as espécies do gênero no Brasil, inclusive espécies ainda não observadas. Se pode mudar os filtros de busca em qualquer dos links apresentados, e alcançar qualquer região do planeta a qualquer tempo.

As imagens neste boletim são de minha autoria ou estão liceciadas sob Creative Commons conforme o site de busca de imagens em cc. Ao clicar em qualquer foto você será direcionado a um site iNaturalist que apresentará as observações mais recentes desta espécie (e subespécies, se houver), em todo o Cerrado brasileiro. Você pode alterar os filtros e comparar a sua observação com registros de outras regiões, caso queira. Entendo que, ao usar uma pesquisa desenhada pelo site – que é aberto a todos os usuários cadastrados – não estarei infrigindo direitos autorais (Lei 9.610/1998).

As duas únicas espécies presentes no Brasil para este gênero são A. cytherea e A. iphiclus

Clicando sobre as fotos apresenta todas as observações registradas para o Planalto Central. Clicando sobre as fotografias pode-se ver as observações disponíveis na base de dados iNaturalist para as subespécies, se estiverem identificadas, nesta região, porém selecionadas por estágio de vida (adulto, larva, pupa e/ou ovo), quando anotado na observação.

A. cytherea

A. iphiclus

(Fotos 1 by Charles J Sharp e 2 by Andrew Neild)

Boletim anterior: Guias de espécies – Nymphalidae - Libytheinae

Próximos boletins
  • Guia de espécies: Nymphalidae - Nymphalinae
  • Guia de espécies: Nymphalidae - Satyrinae
  • Guia de espécies: Plantas
  • Guia de espécies: Aves
  • ...

Lähetetty 7. maaliskuuta 2021 23:19 käyttäjältä douglas-u-oliveira douglas-u-oliveira | 0 kommenttia | Jätä kommentti

116. Einstein

For most of his life, broadcaster and naturalist Chris Packham didn't tell anyone about the one thing that in many ways has defined his entire existence. Chris is autistic - he has Asperger's Syndrome, which means he struggles in social situations, has difficulty with human relationships and is, by his own admission, 'a little bit weird'. But what if there was a way of taking away these autistic traits? Would Chris ever choose to be 'normal'?

In this film, Chris invites us inside his autistic world to try to show what it is really like being him. He lives alone in the woods with his 'best friend' Scratchy the dog, but he also has a long-term partner, Charlotte, who discusses the problems Asperger's creates in their relationship - she describes Chris as being sometimes 'like an alien'. Chris experiences the world in a very different way, with heightened senses that at times are overwhelming, and a mind that is constant bouncing from one subject to the next.

Growing up at a time when little was known about autism, Chris wasn't diagnosed with Asperger's until he was in his forties. With scientific advances offering new possibilities to treat his condition, Chris travels to America to witness radical therapies that appear to offer the possibility of entirely eradicating problematic autistic traits, but he also meets those who are challenging the idea that autistic people need to change in order to fit into society. Confronting this deeply personal subject with brutal honesty, and reflecting on the devastating struggles of his adolescence, Chris explores the question of whether he would ever want to be cured himself or whether, ultimately, Asperger's has helped make him who he is today.

Facebook -​
Instagram - @realstoriesdocs

Lähetetty 7. maaliskuuta 2021 23:06 käyttäjältä ahospers ahospers | 0 kommenttia | Jätä kommentti

UVM Field Ornithology Field Journal 2 - Winter Adaptations

We walked from Aiken down into Centennial Woods. Birds were only present sparsely in open habitats on campus, and were most usually seen foraging in denser vegetation, which could potentially be a behavioral strategy by which they can be sheltered from the cold by vegetation and retain body heat. Birds seen outside of the woods were most often seen foraging on fruits from ornamental crabapples or seeds from pinecones; for birds wintering in the northern woods, insects are absent and fruits and seeds must be the primary food source. The barred owl and juncos in particular seemed to associate with dense evergreen areas. Many of our sightings were part of a single mixed-species flock, including two species of nuthatch, brown creepers, and chickadees. Mixed-species flocks are likely a behavioral adaptation to winter conditions, allowing birds to forage efficiently and pool knowledge of food resources, avoiding energy waste associated with searching alone. Some signs of spring could be seen: Black-capped Chickadees have begun singing, and crows when seen were foraging singly rather than as parts of large groups.

I observed a number of snags, usually in areas where birds were also abundant; for example on the periphery between a residential area with crabapple trees and Centennial Woods. One cavity hole had droppings in the opening, indicating that it was in use by birds. Nothing appeared when the snag was rapped on. Snags shelter birds from the cold and are primarily used overnight by small northern wintering species, including Black-capped Chickadees and woodpeckers. Many of the holes in the snags had limited space inside for a bird to roost; deeper cavities were more rare.

Lähetetty 7. maaliskuuta 2021 22:11 käyttäjältä lenarose16 lenarose16 | 11 havaintoa | 0 kommenttia | Jätä kommentti
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Saving Salamanders with Citizen Science

Jonathan Kolby contacted me regarding a new salamander disease that is quickly spreading around the world and he's using iNat data to figure out where it's going. If you find a sick salamander in the wild, please take pictures and upload them to his project:

The emerging infectious disease he is specifically worried about is caused by a species of chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans, or "Bsal") and the faster they can detect its spread into a new region, the greater hope there is to protect salamanders from disease, decline, and extinction.

Here's his video:

I've given him links to our projects to peruse.

Lähetetty 7. maaliskuuta 2021 22:07 käyttäjältä truthseqr truthseqr | 0 kommenttia | Jätä kommentti

Field Journal 3

My observations were on March 7th, 2021. I started at 12:08pm and ended at 1:45pm. It was 25 degrees but felt like 12 degrees, the wind was at 10 mph and it was sunny with no clouds in the sky. I was in downtown Burlington, VT by the waterfront and Roundhouse Park. The habitat was city am water with sporadic park areas and train tracks. There was heavy foot traffic today.

I came upon a group of European Starlings in a little walkway cove when down by the waterfront. They were all chattering and that's what brought me over. There were more coming in as well. They were in the pine trees next to some bush trees with what looked like seeds or berries and every so often than would fly over to some peck and fly back to the pine trees. The majority of the ones I saw were preening themselves. I figured that they were telling others that they found a good spot with some cover and food next to each other. During the winter this would be a prime location because you wouldn't need to exhaust resources to go looking for food. In a different season I bet they would go to farther lengths to get better more nutritious food but during the winter is close to an abundance of food whether it be the best energy source or not is all you can ask for.

Many of the other birds I saw were calling and eventually met up with another bird of their species. I was assuming they were trying to figure out where some food was. There were big groups of Gulls and Mallards huddling together. I figured this was helping with body heat on this cold day. I did not see many birds fly over unless they got spooked by a dog and they would move in a pack. I am assuming the Starlings were trying to increase heat by being in the densely packed pine trees away from any cold winds.

The Downy Woodpecker I saw was tapping on some trees and the Starlings were picking at some bushes for food. The only time birds would fly is when they got spooked. The majority of the birds I saw were sitting huddled together and/or preening themselves. I am assuming they were using their time trying not to use much energy today as it was very cold.

I saw many nests and figured that birds would be staying there overnight or in European Starlings' case, the pine trees. I didn't see many tree cavities but I thought that's where many birds might be during the time as my walk as to take shelter. The Mallards and Gulls I would assume would find a nice patch of grass in one of the waterfront parks rather than the cold snowbanks of the river overnight.

As I was looking for snags, I was surprised to not find many. I saw a total of 4 and many of them appeared to be too small to hold a bird but I knocked on the trunk regardless. Nothing seemed to pop out during my knocking which I was very disappointed by, but I did notice some fruit and seeds around the base of the tree and wondered if this could be from some inhabitants. I didn't see any cavities but they were all somewhat small. I figured they were small cavities because they were thin snags. I believe the snags are important for nesting especially in the winter as they definitely would help trap heat and brace from the cold. I know that some raptors use snags to nest in but I would figure that some Woodpeckers would use snags as they would be able to make the cavities the easiest.

Lähetetty 7. maaliskuuta 2021 22:07 käyttäjältä betseyroselocke betseyroselocke | 7 havaintoa | 0 kommenttia | Jätä kommentti

Field Journal 3: Ecological Physiology

Date: 3/7/2021
Start time: 1:00
End time: 2:35
Location: Oakledge Park
Weather: sunny, clear sky, 24 degrees F, some small gusts of winds
Habitats: open field and forest with white pines, eastern white cedars, red oaks, and rock polypody ferns

The first species I saw was the Black-capped Chickadee and there were 14 individuals or so that were flying from tree to tree at high heights in the white pines. This activity can keep them warm by constantly moving and using the insulation of their feathers. They are also likely searching for food which can give them energy for thermoregulation. Another species I was able to observe directly for a longer period of time was the White-breasted Nuthatch. There were two individuals also flying from tree to tree and excavating the red oaks and white pines from top to about midway. They would stop to take a break only for a moment and then get back to searching for possible insects or seeds. They seem to be using similar mechanisms to stay warm, they are almost constantly moving around with short breaks and are also on the search for food in order to gain energy to maintain body heat.
While looking at the snags, I noticed that the larger the snag, the larger the cavities are as well as a larger number of cavities. On one eight-foot snag from an old white pine, there were varying sizes of cavities, some were about half the size of a human head and some were half the size of a human hand or smaller. There were also two living white pines attached to the snag which may be why this snag had so many cavities. The majority of bird observations in this trip were around the area of the snags. The Chickadees, White-breasted Nuthatches, and the Tufted Titmouse were all seen or heard in the area where I found snags.
I tried tapping on some snags with a large branch but no birds popped out. The reason for this is due to the time of the day since the birds are likely searching for food during the day, when it is warmer, and hiding away in these cavities during the night in order to keep warm and sheltered. Snags are important for winter nesting or cavity nesters like Nuthatches, Titmice, and Woodpeckers who can use these cavities for protection from the weather and predators.

Lähetetty 7. maaliskuuta 2021 22:04 käyttäjältä avilensky avilensky | 8 havaintoa | 0 kommenttia | Jätä kommentti

Field Journal 3 - Ecological Physiology

March 6, 2021
Temp: 18 degrees F
Wind: 10 mph
Start Time: 9:25 am
End Time: 10:30 am

Birds who over winter here in Vermont and in colder climates need to adapt to the cold in order to survive. One example of this are crows. In the colder months they are seen roosting in large groups. These groups are used for sharing information on where good food sources are, and even for huddling together for warmth. Other bird species are also seen in groups, and these groups can be mixed species flocks. One mixed species flock that was seen today was a flock with Black-capped Chickadees, White-breasted Nuthatches, Red-breasted Nuthatches, and Brown Creepers. These mixed species flocks are also used in the same way the crow roosts are used for - sharing food source information. Since there are no insects out and about to eat over winter, birds have to work with what is available. In the winter that means conifer seeds, fruits from ash trees and apple trees. Some species also cache food from seasons with more food variety in cavities for wintertime. Nuthatches and Brown Creepers can pick up the bark from trees and eat the dormant insects underneath the bark. Those like the Downy Woodpecker, and other Woodpecker species, can create holes in snag to find dormant insect in the trees. For warmth during the night birds can stay in groups like crow roosts or in cavities in trees or coniferous forests. Those things will help with insulation and warmth.

These cavities in snags are used for a variety of things and they are a shared resource. As mentioned, before they are created by woodpeckers looking for insects. Depending on the size of the cavity a variety of different birds can use them for nesting, and to sleep in for warmth and a wind guard. They can also be used for a place to cache food. Owls, Nuthatches, Black-capped Chickadees, Tufted Titmice and Woodpeckers often use these cavities.

Lähetetty 7. maaliskuuta 2021 22:03 käyttäjältä esmith7 esmith7 | 14 havaintoa | 0 kommenttia | Jätä kommentti

Field Journal 3: Ecological Physiology

On March 5th, there was an overcast (about 60% cloud cover) with a light wind. When I began birding, it was 10:24 am and 14 degrees. To combat these below freezing conditions, the winter plumage is present in many birds to help retain body heat. Some species, such as woodpeckers and some pigeons, also utilize snags to rest in for the winter or store food. During my walk, I unfortunately did not encounter any species nesting or resting in a cavity. I did see a few snags and kept my eye out for what birds were present in the area, but came across no significant relationship or correlation which could be due to the timing of the day, the weather, or the location as I was near the lake.

When I was down by the shoreline, I saw many Mallards and began thinking about how they combat the cold water temperature of the lake. Mallards have evolved to control and limit the amount of heat they lose through their feet by controlling the blood circulation between the arteries and veins. This adaptation is similar to that of Herring Gulls, which were also abundant by the water. While the mallards seemed to be budgeting their time by resting, the gulls were very active: soaring and actively watching the water on the docks.

Overall, it seemed as if most of the species I encountered were active as they were seen flying, eating, calling, or active in a tree. I wonder if this is due to the fact that it was morning and they use their energy while light since it gets darker earlier in the winter and temperatures drastically decrease after the sun goes down. I saw robins feeding on berries, as I did in the previous journal, which is indicative of winter habits since in the summer robins tend to find insects in soil.

Lähetetty 7. maaliskuuta 2021 21:13 käyttäjältä polimpio polimpio | 8 havaintoa | 0 kommenttia | Jätä kommentti

WFB 130 - Field Journal 2

2/26/21, 8:50 am – 10:30 am, UVM Redstone green outside of WDW dorm (open trimmed green spaces with a couple trees and bushes). Weather was mostly clear skies, a little cloudy and a little windy (blowing towards the south). The species I observed on the campus green were House Sparrows and an unknown species. Most of the House Sparrows I observed I didn’t see, they were calling in what sounded like a close together crowd on a cluster of trees, though I did get to spot one a little bit separated from this crowd. The House Sparrows hung around and continued to call from 8:50 to 9:10, then about 9:20 I heard a bird call that I could not identify by the Coolidge dorm building (it definitely sounded like something I was familiar with but since I couldn’t see the bird nor find a good comparison online I couldn’t figure what species it was). For the unknown species, it sounded like it was two birds, one that initiated the call and one that was responding to the call.
The House Sparrow I was able to see appeared to be taking shelter in a bush to get out of the cold wind, this may have been strategy to retain body heat or a way to slow down the loss of it. This bird was letting out a call while resting on the branches of this bush. So, for time management, it seemed like the House Sparrow was trying to multi-task to limit the amount of unnecessary energy expenditure. I didn’t see any bird actively hunting/eating, so I am unsure what their winter diets are like, but I can assume that their summer diet may differ in the sense that they would be able to dig for worms in the unfrozen soil or eat berries on blooming trees. In this specific area, birds may rest overnight in the trees that could provide some coverage from the cold winds.
For the mini activity, I did not see any snags since I was on campus green. Though, in general it seems that the larger the snag is the more cavities there are and/or the larger the cavities are. An area with more snags/cavities appear to be more likely to have a bird nesting or feeding than an area without any snags. Snags are important for bird species to utilize for food (extracting bugs from the wood) and for shelter/resting. A common species to utilize snags are woodpeckers (hairy, downy, pileated, etc.) as they are able to pierce through the bark and extracting bugs for food.

Lähetetty 7. maaliskuuta 2021 21:13 käyttäjältä elizabethboulanger elizabethboulanger | 2 havaintoa | 0 kommenttia | Jätä kommentti

Field Journal - Ecological Physiology

Date - 3/5/2021
Start time - 2:00
End time - 3:30
Location - Centennial Woods
Weather - 21 degrees 13 mph wind
Habitat(s) - forest with deciduous and coniferous trees

On friday our birding group walked from UVMs Aiken Center to Centennial Woods, through and back. On the way there I saw two American Robins, one in a tree and one on the ground by the trees. The Robin in the tree seemed to be eating the tree's small red berries, and the one on the ground looked to be resting or just sitting but had likely also been eating berries from the ground.

In the woods we didn't see many birds at first but could hear some as we walked. I heard Black-capped Chickadees, American Crows, Brown Creepers, and a Pileated Woodpecker up in the trees or flying by before we saw any. We saw two Red-breasted Nuthatches in a tree, maybe eating/looking for insects or tree seeds, and a Tufted Titmouse flew by while we were watching. There were two Brown Creepers spotted high in the trees after we had been hearing them throughout the course of the walk. They were probably also looking for insects or seeds, both birds may have been more likely to find seeds due to it being winter. The small groups of Chickadees aswell were in / flying through the trees looking for food.

There were lots of snags throughout the walk, in various types of trees. They had lots of cavities and holes, some small holes for feeding and some large holes that may have been shelters and homes for birds at some point. I didn't see any birds in the tree cavities, I saw a red squirrel go into one. We tried to knock on the trees to see if anything would come out but had no luck. Maybe the cavities we saw were abandoned or the birds were out looking for food, it was already very cold in the day so I imagine many of the birds could need some sort of shelter like that at night.

Lähetetty 7. maaliskuuta 2021 21:07 käyttäjältä kateeastwood kateeastwood | 8 havaintoa

Field Journal 3: Ecological Physiology

Date: March 6th, 2021
Time: 12:55pm - 2:20pm
Location: Notch road, Jeffersonville, VT (Route 108).
-> I walked 1.22 miles from the Smuggler's Notch Upper parking lot to the Sterling Pond Trail Head
(then back along the same route).
Weather: 20 degrees, cloudy, windy
Habitats: Mixed deciduous forest with lots of snags.
Elevation: 1,670 ft at the parking lot; 2,108 ft at the trail head.

I only saw 6 individual birds along this 2.44 mile stretch of the notch road. Both the two crows and two out of the four chickadees I saw were very close to the parking lot where I started. In fact, I observed the crow swooping down onto the parking lot to grab what looked like a piece of bread from the ground. Two of the chickadees were near/feeding from a bird feeder set up by one of the Smuggler's Notch employees. These birds seem to be relying heavily on food provided by humans during what must be a difficult time to find food. I assume that this late in the winter many birds are having trouble finding food and their fat stores are running low. Relying on humans/more urban places/bird feeders for food may be one strategy to get enough food through this part of the winter. I expected to see more birds than I actually observed on the Notch Road. There could be a few reasons for this. It was the middle of the afternoon when birds are less active, it was a very cold and windy day, and early migrants are not coming to the harsher/cold/higher elevation areas around the mountains. I wonder if most early migrants tend to go to warmer areas where they can find food. Maybe this stretch of the Notch Road only has birds that have overwintered there now (like Black-capped Chickadees and American Crows), but as the weather warms, more birds will migrate the that area. The "notch" between Mt. Mansfield and Sterling Mountain may provide some shelter compared to the peaks of these mountains.

Birds have a number of strategies to survive in cold weather. Down feathers are an important part of retaining warmth through the winter. Another important strategy to survive cold weather is taking shelter out of the cold and wind inside of snags and tree cavities. This is one behavioral strategy that allows birds to live in cold areas. They likely spend less time moving/out in the cold during the winter to retain energy. Snags/tree cavities are a huge asset to birds in cold climates and often the number of tree cavities is a habitat requirement that limits the number of birds that can live in an area. Overwintering birds like Black-capped Chickadees, Tufted Titmice, nuthatches, Brown Creepers, and others will use tree cavities. This stretch of the Notch road boasted numerous snags. In fact just along the sides of the road, I noticed at least one snag almost every 20 feet!

(See this link to view a map of snags: ).
Note: I only recorded snags that were within ~30 feet of the road.

This tells me that this area could be a good place for the species to live who need tree cavities during the winter. I noticed some snags with longer holes likely created by Pileated Woodpeckers and other smaller cavities created by downy and hairy woodpeckers. The larger trees seemed to have larger holes in them. None of the snags that I tapped on had any birds come out.

Lähetetty 7. maaliskuuta 2021 21:06 käyttäjältä gthiggins gthiggins | 2 havaintoa | 0 kommenttia | Jätä kommentti