Wednesday, July 30, 2014

From the Blind - Shorebirds

American Avocet


At the Bill Forward Pool Blind at PRNWR, a Pectoral Sandpiper, Baird's Sandpiper, Stilt Sandpiper, Hudsonian Godwits were seen this
morning as well as one of the American Avocets.

Good birding,
Sue

Essex County & Southern New Hampshire Bird Sightings - July 24, 2014

Newburyport Harbor:
Hudsonian Godwit, Common Tern, Black-crowned Night-Heron

Hay Street, Newbury:
Hooded Merganser

Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, Plum Island:
Cory's Shearwater, American Avocet, Hudsonian Godwit, Stilt Sandpiper, Orchard Oriole, Purple Martin, Whip-poor-will, Canada Goose, Gadwall, American Black Duck, Mallard, American Black Duck x Mallard, Wild Turkey, Double-crested Cormorant, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Osprey, Northern Harrier, Black-bellied Plover, Semipalmated Plover, Piping Plover, Killdeer, Greater Yellowlegs, Willet, Lesser Yellowlegs, Spotted Sandpiper, Stilt Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, White-rumped Sandpiper, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Short-billed Dowitcher, Ring-billed Gull, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Least Tern, Common Tern, Rock Pigeon, Mourning Dove, Alder Flycatcher, Willow Flycatcher, Eastern Kingbird, American Crow, Tree Swallow, Bank Swallow, Barn Swallow, Marsh Wren, Eastern Bluebird, American Robin, Gray Catbird, Brown Thrasher, Northern Mockingbird, European Starling, Cedar Waxwing, Common Yellowthroat, Yellow Warbler, Eastern Towhee, Saltmarsh Sparrow, Seaside Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Northern Cardinal, Bobolink, Red-winged Blackbird, Common Grackle, Purple Finch, American Goldfinch, House Sparrow 

Newman Road, Newbury:
Tree Swallow, Willet, Black-bellied Plover, Glossy Ibis, Snowy Egret, Greater Yellowlegs

Ash Street Swamp, West Newbury:
Marsh Wren, Wood Duck, Eastern Kingbird, Tree Swallow

Topsfield Road, Boxford:
Great Egret, Pileated Woodpecker

Powwow River, Amesbury:
Belted Kingfisher, Baltimore Oriole, Chipping Sparrow, Bald Eagle

Hart Road, Newburyport:
Eastern Phoebe, Cooper's Hawk, Tufted Titmouse, Black-capped Chickadee

Amesbury Line Road, Haverhill:
Sharp-shinned Hawk

New Hampshire Seacoast:
Purple Martin, Yellow-Crowned Night-Heron, Black-crowned Night-Heron, Wilson's Storm-Petrel, White Ibis, Hybrid Snowy Egret x Tricolored Heron, Least Tern, Common Tern, Snowy Egret, Tree Swallow, Barn Swallow, Bank Swallow, Short-billed Dowitcher, Laughing Gull, Ring-billed Gull, Glossy Ibis, Whimbrel, Brant, Roseate Tern, American Black Duck, Black Scoter, Common Loon, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Green Heron, Osprey, Semipalmated Plover, Killdeer, Greater Yellowlegs, Willet, Lesser Yellowlegs, Spotted Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Short-billed Dowitcher, Bonaparte's Gull, Laughing Gull, Bank Swallow, Savannah Sparrow, Nelson's Sparrow, Saltmarsh Sparrow

Tuxbury Pond, Amesbury: 
Carolina Wren, Brown-headed Cowbird 

Merrimack River, Amesbury:
Bald Eagle, Osprey, Mallard, Northern Rough-winged Swallow, Tree Swallow, Belted Kingfisher

St. Mary's Cemetery, Newburyport: 
Willow Flycatcher, Eastern Kingbird, Cooper's Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk

Baker Road, Salisbury:
Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Great Horned Owl, Chipping Sparrow, Tufted Titmouse, Downy Woodpecker, American Crow, White-breasted Nuthatch, Wild Turkey

Seven Seas Whale Watch out of Gloucester: 
Common Eider, Cory's Shearwater, Great Shearwater, Sooty Shearwater, Manx Shearwater, Wilson's Storm-Petrel,
Double-crested Cormorant, Laughing Gull, Ring-billed Gull, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Common Tern, Rock Pigeon,
American Crow, Swallow species


Cherry Hill Reservoir, West Newbury:
Cedar Waxwing, Belted Kingfisher, Gray Catbird, Green Heron, Great Blue Heron, Osprey, Wood Duck, Baltimore Oriole,
Tree Swallow, Barn Swallow, Northern Mockingbird, Eastern Kingbird, Blue Jay, American Goldfinch

Pease Tradeport, Portsmouth, NH:
Red-tailed Hawk, Tree Swallow, Red-eyed Vireo, Willow Flycatcher, Ovenbird, Green Heron, Blue Jay, Red-winged Blackbird, Great Crested Flycatcher, Northern Flicker, Clay-colored Sparrow, Chipping Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Field Sparrow, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, Killdeer, Indigo Bunting, Common Yellowthroat, Winter Wren, Ovenbird, Scarlet Tanager, Killdeer, American Goldfinch, Yellow-billed Cuckoo 

Yankee Clipper out of Gloucester: 
Great Shearwater, Sooty Shearwater, Cory's Shearwater, Manx Shearwater, Wilson's Storm-Petrel, Leach's Storm Petrel, Common Tern, Laughing Gull

Cider Hill Farm, Amesbury:
Osprey

Sandy Point State Reservation, Ipswich: 
Red Knot, Black Skimmer, Solitary Sandpiper, Hudsonian Godwit, Whimbrel 

Woodsom Farm, Amesbury:
Indigo Bunting, Tree Swallow, Barn Swallow, Chimney Swift, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Northern Cardinal, Yellow Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, American Robin, Cedar Waxwing, Northern Mockingbird, Chickadee, Gray Catbird, Blue Jay, Mourning Dove, Red-winged Blackbird, Song Sparrow, Savannah Sparrow, House Sparrow, American Crow, Goldfinch, European Starling, Common Grackle,  Eastern  Kingbird, Eastern Meadowlark, Bobolink, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Downy Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, Willow Flycatcher, Red-tailed    Hawk 

Cape Ann Whale Watch Out of Gloucester: 
Cory's Shearwater, Great Shearwater, Sooty Shearwater, Manx Shearwater, Wilson¹s Storm-Petrel, Great Blue Heron, Short-billed Dowitcher, Northern Gannet, Parasitic Jaeger, Tern species 


Thursday, July 24, 2014

Water Sources on Hot & Humid Days

American Robins and House Sparrow
bathing by Bob Stymiest

Birders,

The bird baths were the "happening spot" with the heat and humidity.  We have 5 baths on the property
and each has its cast of local bathers, dippers and sippers.  No annual pass is required for our watering holes
but a song in the spring or a new behavior for me to observe is well appreciated.  Keep your baths full and clean!



Good birding,
Sue

Lakeville Hawk Makes News

Red-shouldered Hawk by Margo Goetschkes

Lakeville Hawk Makes The News - It's A Red-shouldered Hawk


Check out this clip:

http://boston.cbslocal.com/video/10377312-man-attacked-by-hawk-in-lakeville/ 


Good birding,
Sue

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Draw Down of The Pools at Parker River NWR for the Shorebird Migration - July 18, 2014

Short-billed Dowitchers by Rick Heil

I had a long conversation this morning with the PRNWR's Acting Manager, Frank Drauszewski, regarding the draw down of the Bill Forward and Stage Island Pools for the migrant shorebirds.   The draw downs are underway.  

As birders, we know that the Newburyport area is where nature's most ambitious, long-distance migrants feed during their fall migration. Shorebird numbers are building, and these birds are an important international conservation priority that require proactive efforts as these birds travel pole to pole in migration. 

Parker River NWR and Monomoy NWR are both sites in The Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network which is a conservation strategy launched in 1986 with the designation of the first site, Delaware Bay.  This Network aligns with the simple strategy that we must protect key habitats throughout the Americas in order to sustain healthy populations of shorebirds. WHSRN's site partners are conserving more than 32.1 million acres of shorebird habitat.  WHSRN works to build a strong system of international sites used by shorebirds throughout their migratory ranges. 

We know that The Great Marsh is famous for shellfish and many recreational activities which benefit our local economy. It's this marsh that also buffers against costly flood and storm damage as it filters coastal pollutants.  Tourism, sportsmen, birders, anglers and recreation are all sources of money for the region. I read a study back in 1994 which was conducted by the University of New Hampshire which showed that local revenues generated by visitors to The Great Marsh amount to approximately six million dollars annually. 
Historically, the soft-shell clam fishery in the Parker River-Plum Island estuary is by far the most valuable commercial fishery in the state.  In the mid 1990's, the commercial value of the soft-shell clam harvest in Ipswich, Rowley and Newbury was reported to be over one million dollars.  The financial impact of the clamming industry is felt by the harvesters, the distributors, the processors and the restaurant owners.

The salt marsh hay framers' commercial value is enormous as well.  Salt marshes were a tremendous resource to the early settlers. Salt marsh hay was used for insulation, roofing and livestock feed and bedding. There was a decline in Salt marsh haying in the 1930's because  farms switched to cultivating upland hay. Today, the salt marsh hay harvests that we see along the Plum Island Turnpike are almost exclusively used for mulch.

Bird On,
Sue

Essex County & Southern New Hampshire Bird Sightings - July 17, 2014

Crane Beach, Ipswich:
Forster's Tern, Roseate Tern, Black Tern, Common Tern, Black Skimmer, Common Loon, Double-crested Cormorant, Great Egret, Semipalmated Plover, Least Tern, Piping Plover, Killdeer, Sanderling, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Dowitcher species, Laughing Gull, Ring-billed Gull, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull,
Mourning Dove, Tree Swallow, Bank Swallow, American Robin, Gray Catbird, Northern Mockingbird, Eastern Towhee, Song Sparrow,
Red-winged Blackbird, Common Grackle

True Road, Salisbury:
Wild Turkey with poults

Scotland Road, Newbury:
Eastern Wood-Peewee, Red-winged Blackbird, Great Horned Owl

Pearson Plaza, Byfield:
Wood Duck, Tree Swallow

Ash Street Swamp, West Newbury:
Marsh Wren, Wood Duck, Eastern Kingbird, Tree Swallow

Hart Road, Newburyport:
Eastern Phoebe, Cooper's Hawk, Tufted Titmouse, Black-capped Chickadee

Amesbury Line Road, Haverhill:
Sharp-shinned Hawk

Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary, Topsfield:
Barred Owl

New Hampshire Seacoast:
Brant, American Black Duck, White-winged Scoter, Black Scoter, Common Loon, Pacific Loon, Red-necked Grebe, Great Blue Heron,
Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Green Heron, Black-crowned Night-Heron, White Ibis, Osprey, Semipalmated Plover, Killdeer, Spotted Sandpiper,
Greater Yellowlegs, Willet, Lesser Yellowlegs, Least Sandpiper, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Short-billed Dowitcher, Bonaparte's Gull,
Laughing Gull, Least Tern, Roseate Tern, Common Tern, Bank Swallow, Savannah Sparrow, Nelson's Sparrow, Saltmarsh Sparrow, Purple Martin

Waters River, Danvers:
Black-crowned Night-Heron, Yellow-crowned Night Heron

Plum Island Turnpike, Newbury:
White-winged Dove

Tuxbury Pond, Amesbury:
Carolina Wren, Brown-headed Cowbird

Andrew's Point, Rockport:
Common Eider, Common Loon, Cory's Shearwater, Great Shearwater, Sooty Shearwater, Manx Shearwater, Northern Gannet, Double-crested Cormorant, Great Blue Heron, Semipalmated Plover, Spotted Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, Laughing Gull, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Common Tern

Merrimack River, Amesbury:
Bald Eagle, Osprey, Mallard, Northern Rough-winged Swallow, Tree Swallow, Belted Kingfisher

St. Mary's Cemetery, Newburyport:
Willow Flycatcher, Eastern Kingbird, Cooper's Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk

Pease Tradeport, Portsmouth, NH:
Red-tailed Hawk, Tree Swallow, Red-eyed Vireo, Willow Flycatcher, Ovenbird, Green Heron, Blue Jay, Red-winged Blackbird, Great Crested Flycatcher, Northern Flicker, Clay-colored Sparrow, Chipping Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, Killdeer, Indigo Bunting, Common Yellowthroat, Winter Wren, Ovenbird, Scarlet Tanager, Field Sparrow, Killdeer, American Goldfinch, Yellow-billed Cuckoo

Yankee Clipper out of Gloucester:
Great Shearwater, Sooty Shearwater, Cory's Shearwater, Manx Shearwater, Wilson's Storm-Petrel, Leach's Storm-Petrel, Common Tern, Laughing Gull

Cider Hill Farm, Amesbury:
Osprey

Governor's Academy, Byfield:
Mallard, Tree Swallow, Marsh Wren

Cherry Hill [Indian Hill] Reservoir, West Newbury:
Great Egret, Great Blue Heron, Osprey, Cedar Waxwing, Green Heron, Yellow Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, Red-winged Blackbird, American Crow, Canada Goose, Eastern Kingbird, Tree Swallow, Belted Kingfisher, American Robin

Sandy Point State Reservation, Plum Island:
Roseate Tern, Least Tern, Black Skimmer, Piping Plover, Whimbrel

Newburyport Harbor:
Black Tern, Least Tern, Common Tern, Royal Tern, Killdeer, Greater Yellowlegs, Willet, Lesser Yellowlegs, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Short-billed Dowitcher, Bonaparte's Gull

Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, Plum Island:
Whimbrel, American Oystercatcher, Royal Tern, Forster's Tern, Sandwich Tern, Gull-billed Tern, Hudsonian Godwit, Laughing Gull, Ring-billed Gull,  Least Bittern, Alder Flycatcher, American Avocet,  Black Guillemot, Wilson's Phalarope, Surf Scoter, Common Loon, Cory's Shearwater, Northern Gannet, Least Bittern, Snowy Egret, Glossy Ibis, Virginia Rail, Stilt Sandpiper, Short-billed Dowitcher, Red-eyed Vireo, Tree Swallow, American Redstart, Orchard Oriole, Purple Martin

"Granite State" out of Rye Harbor, Rye, NH:
Jaeger species, Cory's Shearwater, Great Shearwater, Sooty Shearwater, Wilson's Storm-Petrel, Northern Gannet, Laughing Gull,
Great Cormorant

Newbury Boat Launch Area, Newbury:
Wood Duck

Moulton Street, Newburyport:
Chimney Swift, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Mourning Dove, House Wren, Downy Woodpecker, Chipping Sparrow, Northern Cardinal, Fish Crow, American Crow, Gray Catbird, Tufted Titmouse, Black-capped Chickadee

River Road, West Newbury:
Mallard, Tree Swallow, Barn Swallow, Sora, Bobolink, Gray Catbird, Brown Thrasher, Wood Thrush

Plum Island Point, Newburyport:
Purple Martin

Woodsom Farm, Amesbury:
Whip-poor-will, Eastern Phoebe, Brown Thrasher, Red-winged Blackbird, European Starling, Common Grackle, Mourning Dove, House Sparrow, Savannah Sparrow, Song Sparrow, American Robin, Barn Swallow, Tree Swallow, Gray Catbird, Baltimore Oriole, Willow Flycatcher, Great Blue Heron, Common Yellowthroat, Yellow Warbler, Blue Jay, Northern Cardinal, American  Goldfinch, Northern Mockingbird, Chimney Swift, Eastern Kingbird, American Crow, Northern Flicker, Cedar Waxwing, Bobolink, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Eastern Meadowlark

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Wader Quest's Interesting Article on Sandpipers


Sunday, 29 June 2014


Separating Baird's and White-rumped Sandpipers.

If, like us, you've always thought that telling a Baird's from a White-rumped Sandpiper was nigh on impossible and only for the experts, then this blog may help you. Although we haven't seen these species in all plumages (notably not juvenile Baird's), we think that now we have cobbled together enough experience and knowledge to tell the difference, so, here's how we do it.

I suppose the first thing to establish is that the bird is definitely either one or other of these two species. That first step is thankfully fairly straight forward. The clincher here is the wing length. In both these species the folded wing projects beyond the tail tip giving them a long pointed sort of appearance rather then the more blunt rounded back ends of most other similar Calidris waders.



Look how horribly similar these two birds are! If you look at the colour and pattern of the upperparts they are almost identical, the brown mask and brown cap also very similar. But if you look at the back end of the bird and flick your eyes from one to the other you can detect that the bird on the right looks so much more pointed; attenuated they call it in the books. Look more closely and you'll see why. The bird on the right is a White-rumped Sandpiper in breeding plumage and you can see that its wing tips are noticeably beyond the tail tip. The other bird is a Semipalmated Sandpiper in breeding plumage and its wingtips are more or less in line with the tail tip. The birds behind are Dunlins. Connecticut, USA 17/05/2012; Both photos Elis Simpson.



So, we have seen the projecting wing tips so we know we have a Baird's/White-rumped to deal with. Naturally we do not encourage anyone to flush a feeding or roosting bird to make it fly, but if your bird does fly or preen itself conveniently, as one did for us at Cley on the first day of Wader Quest back in 2012, then you will not find it hard to spot the white uppertail coverts on the White-rumped Sandpiper, or, if your bird is a Baird's, that this feature is absent.



White-rumped Sandpipers do not have white rumps! As you can see they have white uppertail coverts. We don't have a suitable photo showing a Baird's rump and uppertail but trust me, they do not have white rumps, uppertail coverts or anything remotely similar. If you see this feature, you can forget the rest of this blog. São Paulo, Brazil 25/11/2011.

As conscientious birders you will not want to disturb the bird and the other birds around it, so you may have to make your identification based on other features. A lot of books talk about the Baird's being browner, but if you have a single bird, comparisons of this nature are useless, especially as tones and colours depend so much on light condition.



Side by side you can see that the White-rumped Sandpiper on the right is greyer than the Baird's on the left, but alone this difference is too subtle to detect easily and bear in mind that the Baird's is in the clear Andean sunshine, while the White-rumped is on a beach in Brazil on an overcast day. If they had been taken in the same light the difference could well be even less marked. For interest the White-rumped Sandpiper is a juvenile bird moulting into its first non-breeding plumage. I has not moulted any of the coverts which it will keep until it moults again and it still retains one or two of the bright rufous scapulars from its attractive juvenile plumage. Baird's Sandpiper, Antofagasta, Chile 31/10/2013 - White-rumped Sandpiper; São Paulo, Brazil 24/10/2013

So what do we look for? Well we often start with looking at the flanks of the bird. In Baird's it will normally be clear white, whereas on White-rumped you will usually be able to detect some dusky streaks. Although Baird's will sometimes show one or two fine feather shaft-streaks high up on the rear of the flanks; there is one on this bird.



Here the flank markings can be seen on the White-rumped Sandpiper (right) quite clearly whilst the Baird's Sandpiper (left) has unmarked flanks.  Baird's Sandpiper, Antofagasta, Chile 31/10/2013 - White-rumped Sandpiper; Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil 25/10/2013.

A further pointer is the bill. That of the Baird's is straighter and finer than White-rumped's with a narrower tip. If you can compare the two it is fairly obvious, but again a lone bird may not be so easy and there is some degree of individual variation, however you may find another useful feature often apparent on the bill of White-rumped Sandpiper, is a brownish patch at the base of the lower mandible. There is also a feature that I have not seen written anywhere, but looking at the base of the bill where the feathers end, on the lower mandible of Baird's Sandpiper it seems to extend much further forward along the bill then on the upper mandible; on White-rumped, although the lower feathering is further forward it is much less markedly so. Looking at many photos on the internet and in books, although this is not absolutely diagnostic in all individuals and the angle the bird is seen at can make a difference, it does seem to hold true in general. I would described the detail in Baird's as 

looking like the profile of a person whose bottom lip protrudes slightly.



White-rumped Sandpiper (left) shows a less straight bill although the curvature on this one is rather exaggerated, the culmen (top edge of the bill) can often be as straight as the Baird's Sandpiper but it is not as finely tipped, is broader based and tapers more. It also shows the tell tale brown spot at the base of the lower mandible. Here too the feature of the feathering at the base of the bill can be seen quite clearly. Baird's Sandpiper, Antofagasta, Chile 31/10/2013 - White-rumped Sandpiper; Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil 25/10/2013. Both photos Elis Simpson.


Call is often cited as a distinguishing mark too, but to be honest with you, the chances of hearing one call on its own, in isolation, in the general hubbub and din of a marsh and its denizens, or over the crashing waves on a beach, without actually disturbing the bird, are small. I'm not sure about you, but I'm not confident I'd be able to tell them apart in isolation anyway. Listening to the two one after the other on xeno canto it is possible to hear that the calls of the White-rumped are more squeaky, high pitched and, I think mouse-like, and those of Baird's more bubbly and liquid in tone, but to hear one on its own? I know my personal limitations and I would not be happy if I couldn't see a visual identification feature.

The scientific name of White-rumped Sandpiper is Calidris fuscicollis, the fuscicollis part of the name means dusky necked. Look now at the bird on the right in the picture and this will give you another good indication, where a comparison is available, of the difference. So, given all the above, although this is not the full story, it should give you some easy ways to at least have a confident stab at what you are looking at.



In the above photo there is one of each of the species, taken in conditions in which you typically may well see them, not up close and in feather perfect detail in good light, but a little distant and in a gloomy overcast ambience. However, given everything we have said above, even though all the features are not visible, you should now be able to see enough to tell which is which here... Tierra del Fuego, Chile 06/11/2013.

If you identified the birds above as Baird's on the left and White-rumped in the right you'd be spot on. See? It's not that hard after all... is it?

Essex County & Southern New Hampshire Bird Sightings - July 9, 2014

Merrill Street, Salisbury:
Wild Turkey, Black-crowned Night-Heron, Eastern Bluebird

J. B. Little Road, Groveland:
Eastern Bluebird, Green Heron, Great Blue Heron, Wood Duck, Great Crested Flycatcher, Eastern Kingbird,
Willow Flycatcher

Ferry Road, Newburyport:
House Wren, Black-capped Chickadee, American Robin, Gray Catbird, Northern Cardinal

Route 110, Salisbury:
Cedar Waxwing, Tree Swallow, Spotted Sandpiper, Killdeer, Mallard, Indigo Bunting, Chipping Sparrow, Ovenbird, Gray Catbird, Red-eyed Vireo,
Tufted Titmouse

Plum Island Airfield, Newburyport:
Wild Turkey, Willow Flycatcher, Song Sparrow, Red-tailed Hawk

Great Bay National Wildlife Refuge, Newington, NH:
Eastern Bluebird, Osprey, Tree Swallow, Great Crested Flycatcher, Red-tailed Hawk, Cedar Waxwing, Willow Flycatcher, Yellow Warbler,
Common Yellowthroat

Parker River, Newbury:
Wood Duck, Eastern Kingbird, Tree Swallow, Belted Kingfisher, Yellow Warbler, Common Yellowthroat

Route One Traffic Circle, Newburyport:
Sora, Great Egret, Killdeer, Green Heron

New Hampshire Seacoast:
White-winged Scoter, Black Scoter, Common Loon, Cory's Shearwater, Wilson's Storm-Petrel, Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Green Heron,
Bald Eagle, Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, Least Sandpiper, Short-billed Dowitcher, Bonaparte's Gull, Laughing Gull, Roseate Tern,
Common Tern, Purple Martin, Nelson's Sparrow

Powwow River, Amesbury:
Bald Eagle, Belted Kingfisher, White-breasted Nuthatch, American Robin

Pease Tradeport, Portsmouth, NH:
Western Kingbird, Eastern Kingbird

Pleasant Valley Road, Amesbury:
Wild Turkey, Red-tailed Hawk

Ash Street Swamp, West Newbury:
Tree Swallow, Eastern Bluebird, Wood Duck, Canada Goose, Song Sparrow, Great Egret, Red-tailed Hawk, Red-winged Blackbird,
Downy Woodpecker, Cedar Waxwing

Gloucester Harbor:
Long-tailed Duck

Plum Island Point, Plum Island:
Purple Martin, House Sparrow, Mourning Dove, Tree Swallow, Killdeer, Great Egret

Rocks Village, Haverhill:
Chimney Swift

Turkey Hill Road, West Newbury:
Red-eyed Vireo, Mute Swan, Canada Goose, Eastern Wood-Pewee

Stackyard & Patmos Roads, Rowley:
Tree Swallow, Barn Swallow, Eastern Kingbird, European Starling, Eastern Kingbird, American Robin, Cedar Waxwing, Killdeer, Gray Catbird, Glossy Ibis, Red-winged Blackbird, Common Yellowthroat, Brown Thrasher, American Woodcock

Sandy Point State Reservation, Plum Island:
Royal Tern, Piping Plover, Least Tern

Woodsom Farm, Amesbury:
Eastern Meadowlark, Barn Swallow, Chimney Swift, Great Blue Heron, Baltimore Oriole, Northern Cardinal, Cedar Waxwing, Northern Mockingbird, Eastern Phoebe, Barn Swallow, European Starling, Red-winged Blackbird, Bobolink,  House Sparrow,  Song Sparrow, Savannah Sparrow, Gray Catbird, Common Yellowthroat, Yellow Warbler, American Robin, Brown Thrasher, Willow Flycatcher, Northern Flicker

Annisquam River, Gloucester:
American Oystercatcher

Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, Plum Island:
Virgina Rail, American Bittern, American Avocet, Purple Martin, Bald Eagle, Wild Turkey, American Woodcock, Black Bellied Plover, Spotted Sandpiper, Canada Goose, Mute Swan, Gadwall, Mallard, Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shoveler, Double-crested Cormorant, Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Glossy Ibis, Turkey Vulture, Osprey, Killdeer, Willet, Herring Gull, Least Tern, Common Tern, Mourning Dove, Eastern Kingbird, Red-eyed Vireo, American Crow, Tree Swallow, Barn Swallow, Marsh Wren, American Robin, Gray Catbird, Northern Mockingbird, Brown Thrasher, European Starling, Cedar Waxwing, Common Yellowthroat, American Redstart, Yellow Warbler, Eastern Towhee, Saltmarsh Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Northern Cardinal, Bobolink, Red-winged Blackbird, Common Grackle, Brown-headed Cowbird, Baltimore Oriole, Purple Finch

Hummingbirds

Ruby-throated Hummingbird - Female

Ruby-throated Hummingbird - Male
By Phil Brown

HUMMINGBIRDS 

Hummingbirds are a thrill to watch! Their brain is about the size of a BB. The 
nest is constructed of plant down, spider webs, lichen & tree sap. Hummers 
eat about every 10 minutes. Their long tongues aid in nectaring. Hummingbirds' 
hearts are larger proportionally to their body than any other bird or mammal. 
There are over 325 species of hummingbirds, making them the second largest 
family of birds in he world, second only to flycatchers. 

Here's a primer on hummingbird vocabulary. You'll appreciate these gems more & 
share their beauty knowing these terms... 

Bill - The bony, keratin-covered projection of a bird's mouth - A hummingbird's 
long, thin bill is specially designed for sipping nectar & is one of the most 
distinctive features of these birds. The length, thickness, color & curve of the bill 
varies by species. 

Dimorphic - The distinct physical differences between genders - Most hummingbird 
males are brightly colored & iridescent while females are plain, affording them 
to stay camouflaged while nesting. Young male hummingbirds often resemble 
females but will attain more color as they mature. 

Gorget - The brightly colored throat patch - Many male hummingbirds have 
distinctly colored gorgets that serve as key field marks for proper 
identification based on the gorget's color & shape. The gorget is often flared 
to show off its brilliance while breeding or defending territory. 

Hyperphagia - A hormonally-induced state of extreme appetite & overeating prior 
to migration - Hummingbirds may increase their mass by 50 percent or more before 
migrating so they have enough energy for the journey. Bird feeders are 
especially important to help hummingbirds gain this weight. 

Insectivorous - A diet that consists primarily of insects - While hummingbirds 
are known for drinking nectar, they also eat a great number of insects as a 
source of protein, often picking them from spider webs or out of the air. 
Insects are especially important for young birds so they will develop properly. 

Iridescent - Shimmering feathers with metallic-like colors that may change color 
when seen from different angles - Many hummingbirds have iridescent throats & 
upperparts, & the exact colors, when seen in good light, are a key to proper 
hummingbird identification. 

Nectar - The sugary water produced by many flowers that is a main food source 
for hummingbirds - The exact sugar concentration of nectar from different flower 
types can vary. Use the simple recipe of sugar & water to fill hummingbird 
feeders ~ no red dye please! 

Nectivorous - A diet that consists primarily of nectar - All hummingbirds are 
nectivorous & may feed dozens of times a day, visiting different flowers & 
feeders. Hummingbird feeding is important for the pollination of many flowers, & 
hummingbirds will frequently visit nectar feeders as well. 


FLOWERS FOR HUMMERS 

Using Flowers to Attract Hummingbirds by Chad Kremp 

http://www.kremp.com/using-flowers-to-attract-hummingbirds.htm

Monday, July 7, 2014

FREE Program on Ticks at Newburyport Public Library Thurs. 7/ 17 at 6:30 pm

Attention Outdoor Enthusiasts!

Did you know that “the majority (about 75%) of Lyme disease cases are associated with activities (play, yard or garden work) around the home!”

The Newburyport Health Department is sponsoring a FREE presentation on ticks and landscaping tips on  Thursday, July 17th at the Newburyport Library from 6:30- 8:30 pm.

This presentation will feature a live display of deer resistant plants and will include informative talks from local experts. Chris Imlach, a local landscaper, will provide garden/landscaping tips to reduce tick populations. Dr. Alfred DeMaria, Infectious Disease Medical Director from the MA Department of Public Health, will address new tick-borne illness and ways to protect yourself and your loved ones. This event is open to all.  

For more information on landscaping and tick borne illness follow the link below to Tick Management HandbookPrepared by Kirby C. Stafford III, Ph.D.
Vice Director, Chief Entomologist Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, New Haven.

Newburyport Birders July Birding Programs

JULY BIRDING PROGRAMS 

EARLY BIRDS AT ASH STREET SWAMP 
Date: Sunday, July 13, 2014 
Time: 6:00 am - 8:30 am 
Fee: $20 
Pre-registration is required ~ please contact Sue at newburyportbirders@comcast.net 
Meeting Location: Park & Ride Ticket Office at Exit 57 off Route 95 [Route 113/Newburyport] 

The early morning is the best time to bird at West Newbury's Ash Street Swamp. Participants 
should be able to walk on unpaved terrain.  Waterproof shoes or boots are suggested. 
Participants should be prepared with a long-sleeved shirt, long pants and sunscreen. 


PURPLE MARTINS OF PLUM ISLAND 
Date: Thursday, July 17, 2014 
Time: 6:30 pm to dusk 
Suggested Donation: $25 
Pre-registration is required ~ please contact Sue at newburyportbirders@comcast.net 
Location: North End of Plum Island by the Plum Island Lighthouse 

Join Sue for a round of nest checks. Your donation will help provide housing for 
this human-dependent songbird.  Wear long pants & a long-sleeved shirt & bring 
a lawn chair. Light refreshment will be provided.


EVENING BIRDING AT CHERRY HILL RESERVOIR 
Date: Wednesday, July  23, 2014 
Time: 6:30 pm to dusk 
Fee: $20 
Pre-registration is required ~ please contact Sue at newburyportbirders@comcast.net 
Meeting Location: Meet at the Moulton Street end of the Cherry Hill [Indian Hill] Reservoir in 
West Newbury in the pull off on the Reservoir side. 

Join us as we search for birds at the Reservoir. Participants should be able to walk on unpaved 
surfaces.  The pace will be slow. 


EARLY BIRDS AT ASH STREET SWAMP 
Date: Sunday, July 27, 2014 
Time: 6:00 am - 8:30 am 
Fee: $20 
Pre-registration is required ~ please contact Sue at newburyportbirders@comcast.net 
Meeting Location: Park & Ride Ticket Office at Exit 57 off Route 95 [Route 113/Newburyport] 

The early morning is the best time to bird at West Newbury's Ash Street Swamp. Participants 
should be able to walk on unpaved terrain.  Waterproof shoes or boots are suggested. 
Participants should be prepared with a long-sleeved shirt, long pants and sunscreen.