Field Journal Entry #7

April 24, 2021
Start time: 11:00 am
End time: 12:30 pm
Location: Cutler Park, Needham MA
Weather: slightly windy, sunny with some clouds, 53 degrees
Habitat: marsh-like area with some shrubs that transitions into an old-growth mixed hardwood forest
For this journal entry I went to Cutler Park in Needham, MA on a decently sunny afternoon. I was able to easily spot a variety of nests in treetops because foliage has not yet fully come in. I initially chose this spot because there is a pair of Bald Eagles that have been nesting here—although I was not able to locate them this time around. I did see a few Blue Jays ‘fighting’ in a more open area of the forest. It was a group of three and one did not get involved. The other two occasionally flapped wings at each other and flew quickly towards each other—there was also repeated loud, scream like squawks coming from the two who appeared to be fighting. I assumed that this could have been a mating technique—if not I am sure that the two were trying to assert dominance over the other.
I watched a Swan on the marshy area of the pond for a while. This individual was building a nest and gathering a variety of materials that were floating on the water or near the tall grasses. I was surprised to see that this individual was alone because I had always assumed swans built their nests together. The actions were repeated and looked almost habitual as the Swan moved to the grassy areas and dug its long neck into the shrubs, pulling out materials to add to the growing nest. This was the only bird I was able to see actively building its’ nest, showing that swans must be close to water in order to have materials for their nests.
I observed a variety of Red-winged blackbirds in the marsh. This seemed to be a prime area for these species. I saw individuals attempt to assert dominance through vocalizations and flying close to other individuals—resulting in quick, sporadic movements from branch to branch. The birds that were in these prime areas are presumably more fit individuals. They are able to maintain and defend sites that are prime for nesting and food availability.

Lähettänyt erbryson74 erbryson74, 4. toukokuuta 2021 18:19

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