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Koomori Koomori is offline
Posted 1st July 2015, 12:59 PM
Join Date: Mar 2015
Country: United States
Location: Upstate NY
Posts: 145

Feeder Watch, Anyone?

Hello anyone who reads this,

I'm a pretty avid bird watcher but due to some medical restrictions, I don't get to get out much to actually travel, especially to anywhere outside of New York State (where I live). I'm wondering if anyone would like to share some feeder watching data with me through here so that possibly, I could note the location (or even see pictures) of some birds that are outside of my area.

To participate, just set up a feeder and devote maybe 10-15 minutes (can be broken up, or even if you just randomly glance, whatever I'm not picky) to noting the birds that visit.

At the end of each week, just post the species here. If you don't know the species but still want to participate, just post a picture and I would enjoy trying to figure out what's at your feeder for you.

I am doing this for an avian record I will be submitting to my DEC office so here is how I am collecting my data in case anyone is wondering. Keep in mind that while school is out and I am not employed - I have no life. I don't expect this much out of anyone. But you can use it as a template if you'd like. I do three sessions a day (so I devote about 45 minutes a day to my feeders).

Session #:
Session Duration:
Feeder Location:
Feeder Type(s):
Food Supplied:
Species Seen:
Species Heard:
Species Nearby:

A finished write-up looks like this:

Date: 7/1/2015
Session #:
Session Duration: 15 minutes
Time (at start): 2:41 PM EST
Weather: 79(F), Precip. 24%, Hum. 58%, Wind 11mph
Feeder Location: Facing deciduous woodlot and stream, rear of house on window, 17.5 ft. in air
Feeder Type(s): 14'' hanging tray with 16'' squirrel buffer overhead
Food Supplied: Black Oil Sunflower seed, crumbled bits of fruit and nut suet, left-over basic pigeon food, halved blueberries
Species Seen:
  • Gray Catbird
  • Hairy Woodpeckers (5)
  • Downy Woodpeckers (2)
  • Black-capped Chickadees (4)
  • Northern Cardinal (male)
  • Tufted Titmice (3)
  • White-breasted Nuthatches (6)
Species Heard:
  • Pileated Woodpecker (wok-wok call, drumming)
  • American Goldfinches
  • European Starlings
Species Nearby (Not at feeders, ground foragers):
  • Mourning Doves (2)
  • American Robins (2)
  • House Wren (male)

The Hairy Woodpeckers seem to be a family grouping, with young still begging to be fed and still too clumsy to fly to the feeders without collision. They mainly wait in the trees nearby making begging rattle-noises until they are fed by what I am assuming are older siblings because they lack the size of what I have previously noted as the parents. The young boys will play and compete and the girls seem more likely to approach my window but reluctant to engage in acts of aggression with other birds.

The Tufted Titmice and American Goldfinches seem to have begun their moult, I have found several discarded feathers and photographed several members of each species with patches of moulted feather tracks inconsistent with a brood patch.

The Mourning Doves seem to be attracted by the food I discard from Archimedes's cage each morning, and they visit frequently compared to the rare visits before I began chucking pigeon food out there. Makes sense. Increased chipmunks and squirrels though so, downside. Buffer has been working great on feeder box but it discouraged the regulars from approaching it for a solid day.

.... so that's it. That's my log for today, actually. I collect data over a 15 week period so I figured, now that a lot of the babies have fledged, many of the wild birds will be moulting and then preparing to migrate so I'm going to be covering the data from now, up until the end of the September migration and probably conclude my study at the end of October, just to be certain the winter migrants have come and the summer migrants have left.

I'll keep posting here, if that's okay, and I welcome anyone to join me with any observations, pictures or location data (especially if you're out of state). One of the focuses of my work in ornithology so far as been migration patterns and diversity in migrating species.

/sciencey nerd stuff

"ナンバーワンには興味ない。オンリーワンでい続けるだけ" - ガクト
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