Archive for March, 2019

Back in NYC…and Almost No Signs of Spring

Posted in Uncategorized on March 18, 2019 by Jordan Spindel

March 13th, 2019

Weather: Partly cloudy

Temperature: 50 degrees

Birds seen: Tufted Titmouse, Black-Capped Chickadee, Dark-Eyed Junco, CHIPPING SPARROW, White-Throated Sparrow, White-Breasted Nuthatch, Red-Breasted Nuthatch, American Goldfinch, House Finch, American Robin, Northern Cardinal, Common Grackle, Downy Woodpecker, Red-Bellied Woodpecker, Cooper’s Hawk.

Still waiting on spring…

On Wednesday, I went back to New York City and stopped by the site that I had previously visited in the fall. Much of the leaves were gone when compared to my previous visit, and very few signs of spring showed. Despite what native Vermonters might think, a lack of snow on the ground at any point in winter is not an unexpected sight in the city. The feeders showed a variety of species, including Tufted Titmice, American Goldfinches, White-Breasted Nuthatches, and Downy Woodpeckers. There was also a Red-Breasted Nuthatch and Chipping Sparrow at the feeders, two species that usually don’t overwinter. Despite bird migration having not begun yet, birds such as the American Goldfinch have started molting into their breeding plumage.

Molting male American Goldfinch sharing a feeder with a Tufted Titmouse
The Tufted Titmice were very friendly, and ate right out of my hand!

The nearby stream didn’t attract as many birds, but I did see a Northern Cardinal posing nicely.

The Gill Source
Handsome-looking cardinal

These observations contained many more species than in Burlington last week, with some such as the White-Throated Sparrow being only passage migrants. There are also no signs of any mammals other than the abundant (and begging) Gray Squirrels, whereas there are several other mammal species in the Centennial Thicket. Despite looking, I could not find any tracks in snow or mud. Warm weather is approaching, with highs reaching almost 70 degrees in New York City on Friday. This increase in temperature is expected to bring in some of the first migratory birds, such as Eastern Phoebes and Rusty Blackbirds. Migrants typically arrive 10-15 days later in Burlington, so I have a bit of waiting to do before they arrive. Still, I look forward to witnessing the progression of spring in the Centennial Thicket, even if it’s a little later.

Is Spring Here Yet?

Posted in Uncategorized on March 8, 2019 by Jordan Spindel

Friday, March 8, 2019

Weather: Sunny, 10-15 degrees

Snow cover: 6 inches

Birds at this spot: Black-Capped Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse (heard), Northern Cardinal (heard), American Goldfinch (heard).

I went to visit my site today to see if the grip of winter has lessened. I was able to witness a few faint signs of spring. The first of these was hearing a cardinal singing, one of the first birds to break into song. I also noticed many rodent trails around the woods, indicating that they are starting to wake up from hibernation. In fact, there were many tracks all around.

Sometimes I like to look back on how much Centennial Thicket has changed since I first started visiting. Below is a picture taken on my first visit to this place, and then today’s visit.

I would classify my spot as part of a young (overall) Northern Hardwood Forest, since many deciduous trees, such as Horsechestnut, Boxelder, and Black Cherry, are found there. However, many of these trees are quite short, not more than 40 feet tall. This leads me to believe that the forest is pretty young, as imagery from the 1930s shows no forest at all. My spot does border some mixed forest that mainly consists of Eastern White Pines, but it only takes up a small portion of the area. I’m sure I’ll be able to see more defining details of Centennial Thicket’s main natural community in the future. I look forward to seeing spring arrive in all of its vibrant colors, and wonder what I might find then!

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