Another unfortunate update on birds from our winter season. Two more rough legs, Champ and Lemons, were found dead in Quebec within the last few weeks. Again, Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza, is the likely suspect. That leaves Farr Cross, the only male bird with a backpack unit. He was the only bird to be outfitted…
Our kestrel monitoring season is winding down and we are just waiting on a few boxes to fledge at this point.
Broad-winged Hawks are small stocky hawks of the buteo genus commonly found throughout Northeastern and North central North America. Their backs are brown and they have chestnut barring on the chest and abdomen. They have a notable black and white striped tail visible during flight. They produce a high pitched whistle call which is an easy identifier, as they are more secretive during nesting season. Though they can be spotted in the thousands during migration. These huge flocks are called kettles.
Spring may finally be upon us, despite forecasts calling for snow in the coming week, and our Rough-legged Hawks are back in Canada continuing to move north for breeding in the arctic.
Spring migration is just beginning across the state and birds are on the move!
As fast as winter began, our winter raptor surveys have finished! We had a great few months looking for birds of prey in Addison County, with lots of snow cover and consistent cold temperatures.
The week started off icy, with an Arctic north wind blowing drifts into the remaining snow cover. The frigid weather was fitting for our “target” species. These birds are in the same family as Red-tails, Red-shoulders and Broad-winged Hawks, however their breeding grounds are restricted to the arctic tundra throughout the world, and they are well-adapted for extreme cold. In North America, they breed in Northern Canada and Alaska, and migrate south into the “lower 48” states for the winter.
As we slowly transition into winter, reports of migrant birds are trickling in throughout the state. Snowy Owls have been sighted in Colchester and Waterbury and researchers from Project SNOWstorm predict a “sizeable push” of immature birds this year. Snows experienced a robust breeding season in the eastern and central Canadian Arctic this summer which may lead to more sightings as winter progresses. These young birds sometimes wind up in trouble and end up at the Center for Wild Bird Rehabilitation. This season we have already seen a young female who was in distress and emaciated. Unfortunately, the bird did not survive but samples will be sent to Project SNOWstorm in an effort to better help the species as a whole. Blood work will also be collected from any others that end up in rehab and sent to researchers in the project.
This summer was once again full of baby birds! As the leaves begin to change again there are still baby birds in the care of rehab but all of our monitored nests have moved on to bigger and better bird things. Boxes were at capacity this spring and summer with several seeing multiple broods.