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Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Great Backyard Bird Count Feb. 16-19th


 A global event, The Great Backyard Bird Count is coming your way Feb. 16-19th. It's easy, all you have to do is count the birds at your favorite locations. In as little as 15 minutes notice the birds around you. Identify them, count them, and submit them to help scientists better understand and protect birds around the world. If you already use eBird or Merlin, your submissions over the 4 days count towards GBBC. Learn more here,

Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Friday, February 02, 2024

Happy Groundhog Day! Early Spring Predicted!

 

Our Groundhog, maybe still asleep in its underground burrow today. But Punxsutawney Phil, the "official" weather forecasting Groundhog was trotted out on TV this morning to predict if we would have an early spring. He said, Yes, since he didn't see his shadow, we will have an early spring.

Here is a poem from Phil's website in 2007

El Nino has caused high winds, heavy snow, ice and freezing temperatures in the west.
Here in the East with much mild winter weather we have been blessed.

Global warming has caused a great debate.
This mild winter makes it seem just great.

On this Groundhog Day we think of one thing.
Will we have winter or will we have spring?

On Gobbler's Knob I see no shadow today.
I predict that early spring is on the way.

According to this website, the Groundhog legend began:

In 1887, a spirited group of groundhog hunters from Punxsutawney dubbed themselves "The Punxsutawney Groundhog Club." One member of the club was an editor of Punxsutawney's newspaper. Using his editorial clout, he proclaimed Punxsutawney Phil, the local groundhog, to be the one and only official weather prognosticating groundhog. He issued this proclamation on, appropriately enough, Groundhog Day. Punxsutawney Phil's fame began to spread, and newspapers from around the globe began to report Punxsutawney Phil's Groundhog Day predictions. Today, 20,000 fans come to Punxsutawney on Groundhog Day to experience this unique—and fun—tradition.

Happy Groundhog day. Hope Phil's prediction comes true.

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Evening Grosbeaks Need Your Help They Are in Decline!

How you can help Evening Grosbeaks! Their population has dropped 92% since 1970. If you see any banded Evening Grosbeaks at your feeder please report it to the US Bird Banding Lab at USGS Bird Banding Lab and email avian ecologist David Yeany at dyeany@paconserve.org.
All banded Evening Grosbeaks will have an aluminum leg band, plus up to 3 colored bands. It's important to determine the sex of the bird and record the location of each band – whether a band is positioned on the upper or lower areas of the right leg or left leg – along with each band’s color. You will also provide the date and location (the address or GPS coordinates) of the observation. Even reports of partial band combinations can be useful, and documentary photos are best!
The Evening Grosbeak Road to Recovery project is color banding and putting satellite and radio transmitters on Evening Grosbeaks to track their movements and help discover the causes of their decline. Read more here,
 

Wednesday, January 03, 2024

Golden-winged Warbler ABA bird of the year!


 The American Birding Association just announced its bird of the year is a Golden-winged Warbler,

"Gorgeous, threatened, prone to producing interesting hybrid combinations with Blue-winged Warblers: the Golden-winged Warbler is a birder favorite, whether encountered as an expected breeder, an uncommon migrant, or an electrifying vagrant. Golden-winged Warbler is also the first warbler selected as the ABA Bird of the Year."

Monday, November 06, 2023

Palm Warbler Migration Now!

 


"Yellow" subspecies of Palm Warbler photographed in NH in fall

"Western" subspecies of Palm Warbler photographed in winter on Sanibel Island, on the west coast of southern FL

In addition to many sparrows such as White-throated, White-crowned, Song, Chipping, Swamp, and Lincoln's Sparrows we had migrating through New England, there are some Palm Warblers, top photo above. These late migrating, beautiful warblers have yellow breasts and deep yellow undertail coverts. They constantly wag their tail up and down, a nice giveaway to their identification. These bright "yellow" Palms are the eastern subspecies of Palm Warbler (Dendroica palmarum hypochrysea) and breed from central Quebec east. They winter along the Gulf Coast, from LA to northern FL.

The "western" subspecies of Palm Warbler (Dendroica palmarum palmarum) breeds from Ontario west, across to parts of the Yukon and ne. British Columbia and winters in the Southeast, down through south FL. Some may also winter on the West Coast. This subspecies has very little yellow on the breast but still has bright yellow undertail coverts. There is a breeding zone south of James Bay where they intergrade. This gives you some idea of why Palm Warblers may look different, depending on which area of the country you are in.

Enjoy watching the Palm Warblers forage near the ground in goldenrods along the edges of fields in migration.

For more on the subspecies of Palm Warbler as well as how to identify fall warblers, see  The Stokes Field Guide to the Birds of North America, the best-selling photographic field guide available.