Bird’s Eye View Map and Update

11 Oct

Looking at my phenology spot it is a complex mix of staghorn sumacs, the phragmites of Centennial Brook, the different variety of different herbaceous and woody plants, and all being surrounded by pine stands. One notable difference I have seen in my location is the changing of the seasons. As it approaches further into fall the leaves of sumac and other deciduous trees are loosing their chlorophyll in their leaves exposing their other pigments. Normally we think of plants only having green pigment, yet fall reminds us of the many other pigments these trees have such as red, yellow, and orange. The sumacs still have the majority of their leaves unlike the the other deciduous trees in my location which have lost most of their leaves already most likely due to their young age.


One notable wildlife experience was seeing black-capped chickadees in the phragmites. With one little pishing call one by one they emerged from reeds to say hello. As active hunters I have seen them foraging in the sumacs, maples, and now the phragmites. Balancing themselves on the reeds they held still enough to be photographed. Up in the canopy I always ignored them, yet now I have a new appreciation of Vermont and my home state’s state bird. Coming up to them with their variety of calls only puts a smile on my face now and I can’t wait to see more of them in the winter and learn more about their natural history.

Black-Capped Chickadee 1 © Chris Liazos

Black-Capped Chickadee 2 © Chris Liazos

Black-Capped Chickadee 3 © Chris Liazos

Black-Capped Chickadee 4 © Chris Liazos

Black-Capped Chickadee 5 © Chris Liazos


My Phenology Spot

04 Oct

My Phenology Spot

Date of Observation 10/3/18

My phenology spot is a disrupted area by powerline companies. Clearing the once covered pine stands it is now filled predominately with staghorn sumac trees. Along this clearing Centennial Brook runs through providing key nutrients that help develop the rich variety of organisms. Along with sumacs other present woody vegetation are white oak, alder buckthorn, red maple, beaked hazelnut, northern red oak, a lone eastern white pine, phragmites, trembling aspen, American Elm, and Black Locust. Most of the hardwoods are not mature and stand roughly between ten and fifteen feet. The sumacs are the predominant species with a large amount of herbaceous plants on the ground level such as flattop white aster, sensitive fern, common bonset, Morrow’s honeysuckle, American hog peanut, and wild sasparilla. The main reason I choose this place was its incredible amount of biodiversity. Let alone the variety of vegetation it is home to a host of bird species including: catbirds, goldfinches, song sparrows, black-capped chickadees, Carolina wrens, yellowthroats, downy and hairy woodpeckers, wood ducks, American black ducks, ruby-throated hummingbirds, white-throated sparrow, cardinals, magnolia warblers, and more. I cannot wait to see what else is in this clearing.

Downy Woodpecker on Sumac © Chris Liazos


Proceed to I-89, Burlington, VT 05401. At the entrance, you should see a green sign welcoming you to the area. Walk down the trail until you hit your first junction. You will be in a pine stand and should continue to bear left onto a boardwalk. Soon you will hit another junction that is wide covered with fallen pine needles. Here walk straight onto the boardwalk crossing centennial brook. After crossing the brook continue straight to a three-point junction. Proceed to the route right of the brook on the base of the hill avoid the uphill trail. As walking on this trail, you will encounter the base of the hill and walk adjacent to the right side of the brook. You will continue this path until the white pines stop. You will see the phragmites and power lines on your left. Continue straight until you see the sumac thicket on your right. At this point you are at my phenology spot that oversees this hill next to centennial brook.

(Top Image) location facing centennial brook and the power lines.

(Bottom Image) location at the top of the hill facing the stag horn sumacs.


Summer is Gone: Goodbye Hummingbirds

27 Sep

Before starting my phenology project I did observe this clearing and was astonished by the amount of Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds. They are the only hummingbird species in Vermont and will migrate south towards the end of September. I have seen them here at Centennial starting September 2 and the last time I saw them was Sept. 16. They are officially gone marking the end of summer. While they were here they were feeding upon the sweet nectars of jewelweed flowers. With their long proboscis-like beak they penetrate deep into the flower. With their active life-style they must consume up to four times the size of their body weight in nectar. Hopefully they find more in the south. Until they come back in May there is a lot to see at this Sumac Clearing.

Ruby-Throated Hummingbird Perched 9/5/18
© Chris Liazos

Ruby-Throated Hummingbird Drinking out of Jewelweed Plant 9/4/18
© Chris Liazos


My Location

25 Sep

This will be my location for my phenology project for both NR 1 and NR 2. This area is located right along Centennial Brook in a Sumac thicket. The primary focal species is the invasive Staghorn Sumac, however it houses and feeds many local species. I hope to understanding this location’s  natural and human history throughout the year.

Black-Capped Chickadee eating from a Sumac © Chris Liazos


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