Friday, June 30, 2017

A Bird Sanctuary In Killingworth, CT Pt. II

The sanctuary for birds over time has continued to evolve and entertain.


The Northern Cardinal with Blue Jay above (image 1) was photographed at Casa Almeida in February 2017.

It was fairly quickly learned that the feeders used to attract wildlife didn't entice just the birds. In mid-winter as the squirrels appeared to become more numerous, they became destructive and a disturbance to the winged creatures.


The Carolina Wren above (image 2) was photographed at Casa Almeida in February 2017.


The Gray Squirrel above (image 3) was photographed at Casa Almeida in February 2017.


The Common Grackle above (image 4) was photographed at Casa Almeida in April 2017.

Eastern Bluebirds briefly investigated a pair of bird houses that had been hung for them but the squirrels were even more so interested in what was inside. The chewing on the holes of the homes by the squirrels made the boxes of no interest to the birds.


The Song Sparrow above (image 5) was photographed at Casa Almeida in April 2017.


The Northern Flicker above (image 6) was photographed at Casa Almeida in April 2017.


The Northern Flicker above (image 7) was photographed at Casa Almeida in April 2017.

The squirrels were often observed through a window which on one occasion allowed the photography of a Carolina Wren seen in the Killingworth sanctuary over only a few day's time. A few of the birds appeared angry due to being harassed by the squirrels though it is merely their particular nature. The Brown Creeper was observed only in the Winter.


The House Finch above (image 8) was photographed at Casa Almeida in April 2017.


The Downy Woodpecker above (image 9) was photographed at Casa Almeida in April 2017.


The Eastern Bluebird above (image 10) was photographed at Casa Almeida in April 2017.

In addition to the squirrels destroying all the plastic feeders despite my best effort to keep the feeders available using parts from one and another with duct tape, they were eating the buds of the rhododendrons thought to be ravaged only by White-tailed deer. The Chipmunks appear attracted to digging in disturbed ground while doing even more damage to the plants and other vegetation.


The Chipmunk above (image 11) was photographed at Casa Almeida in April 2017.


The Turkey Vulture above (image 12) was photographed at Casa Almeida in April 2017.


The Red-shouldered Hawk with prey above (image 13) was photographed at Casa Almeida in April 2017.

The extremely effective design and effectiveness of traps made for the capturing and relocation of small mammals by the Havahart company cannot be understated. Numbers mentioned in this blog might not be believed.


The copulating Red-bellied Woodpecker above (image 14) was photographed at Casa Almeida in April 2017.


The American Robin above (image 15) was photographed at Casa Almeida in April 2017.


The Northern Cardinal above (image 16) was photographed at Casa Almeida in April 2017.

It has been extraordinary to capture a pair of Chipmunks in the same Havahart trap on two different occasions. Photos will be available to view in the last of this series of blog articles with emphasis on backyard birding.


The Red-shouldered Hawk above (image 17) was photographed at Casa Almeida in April 2017.


The European Starling above (image 18) was photographed at Casa Almeida in April 2017.


The Wild Turkey above (image 19) was photographed at Casa Almeida in April 2017.

Travel was made to the Jersey Shore in April offering an encounter with the White-throated Sparrow which was a life bird for me. All of the other bird species seen in Jersey have been at the feeders in Killingworth. A Red-shouldered Hawk nest had been re-constructed in the 2017 season with a fledgling off the nest a mere two days ago from this publication making emphasis of success with prey obviously found just a little bit further away.


The Pine Warbler above (image 20) was photographed at Casa Almeida in April 2017.


The Red-shouldered Hawk above (image 21) was photographed at Casa Almeida in April 2017.


The Brown-headed Cowbird above (image 22) was photographed at Casa Almeida in April 2017.

A Gypsy moth outbreak in Connecticut in the 2017 Spring season might be considered a plague after a couple of years of drier conditions favorable for the decades long invasion. The National Audubon Society has taken the ridiculous position of advocating for the extremely destructive pest which will be mentioned again in the last post of this series.


The Turkey Vulture above (image 23) was photographed at Casa Almeida in April 2017.


The Chipping Sparrow above (image 24) was photographed at Casa Almeida in April 2017.


The White-throated Sparrow above (image 25) was photographed at Casa Kuzminski in April 2017.

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The Red-shouldered Hawk above (image 26) was photographed at Casa Almeida in April 2017.

Please also see A Bird Sanctuary In Killingworth, CT Pt. I


The Pileated Woodpecker above (image 27) was photographed at Casa Almeida in April 2017.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

A Bird Sanctuary In Killingworth, CT Pt. I

The creation of a sanctuary for birds with a few feeders offering a variety of food to sustain them in the winter months was actually an afterthought.


The Brown Creeper above (image 1) was photographed at Casa Almeida in January 2017.

This was when flowering plants and shrubs were planted in the late Fall at the Almeida residence among native Mountain Laurel in Killingworth, Connecticut, a town named in 1667. A few bird feeders were hung among the plants and trees, and dozens of birds responded.


The Dark-eyed Junco above (image 2) was photographed at Casa Almeida in January 2017.


The Eastern Bluebird above (image 3) was photographed at Casa Almeida in January 2017.


The Dark-eyed Junco above (image 4) was photographed at Casa Almeida in January 2017.


The Tufted Titmouse above (image 5) was photographed at Casa Almeida in February 2017.

In fact, hundreds of birds hung around through the Winter with their numbers increasing as more feeders were added. Upwards of 90 American Goldfinch were observed at one time at their peak presence primarily feeding on Nyjer seed made available to them.


The Downy Woodpecker above (image 6) was photographed at Casa Almeida in February 2017.


The American Goldfinch above (image 7) was photographed at Casa Almeida in February 2017.


The White-breasted Nuthatch above (image 8) was photographed at Casa Almeida in February 2017.


The Tufted Titmouse above (image 9) was photographed at Casa Almeida in February 2017.

Predation was an eventuality and it was observed a few times. There was one occasion when a bird was seen actually taken down. A Sharp-shinned Hawk engaged a Dark-eyed Junco in a spruce tree in the area of the feeders. An extraordinary sight it was to see the hawk in action.


The Brown Creeper above (image 10) was photographed at Casa Almeida in February 2017.


The House Finch above (image 11) was photographed at Casa Almeida in February 2017.


The Black-capped Chickadee above (image 11) was photographed at Casa Almeida in February 2017.


The American Goldfinch above (image 12) was photographed at Casa Almeida in February 2017.

A variety of sustenance provided in the feeders included the Nyjer seed, suet, an all purpose mix and dried mealworms with the Brown Creeper the only species seen with regularity not attracted to any of them. 400 pounds of Nyjer seed was consumed in a few months. For a bird attracted to it that weighs less than an ounce, the goldfinch (for the most part) went through it amazingly quickly.


The Mourning Dove above (image 13) was photographed at Casa Almeida in February 2017.


The White-breasted Nuthatch above (image 14) was photographed at Casa Almeida in February 2017.


The Downy Woodpecker above (image 15) was photographed at Casa Almeida in February 2017.


The Red-bellied Woodpecker above (image 16) was photographed at Casa Almeida in February 2017.

Problems began to arise shortly after Black Oil sunflower seed feeders were added with extremely effective countermeasures to be mentioned in the next post.


The Northern Flicker above (image 17) was photographed at Casa Almeida in February 2017.

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The Eastern Bluebird above (image 18) was photographed at Casa Almeida in February 2017.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

A Lost Opportunity At Hammonasset

For a handful of days after mid April 2017 Hammonasset Beach State Park was host to a rare species of bird for its time and place.

The Killdeer above (image 1) was photographed at Hammonasset Beach State Park in April 2017.

A conscientious effort on my part to avoid bad weather led to a late attempt to observe a Lapland Longspur that was reported by a handful of Connecticut birders.


The Tree Swallow with prey above (image 2) was photographed at Hammonasset Beach State Park in April 2017.


The Willet above (image 3) was photographed at Hammonasset Beach State Park in April 2017.


The Little Blue Heron above (image 4) was photographed at Hammonasset Beach State Park in April 2017.


The Northern Mockingbird above (image 5) was photographed at Hammonasset Beach State Park in April 2017.


The Glossy Ibis above (image 6) was photographed at Hammonasset Beach State Park in April 2017.


The Osprey above (image 7) was photographed at Hammonasset Beach State Park in April 2017.


The Ring-billed Gull above (image 8) was photographed at Hammonasset Beach State Park in April 2017.


The Double-crested Cormorant above (image 9) was photographed at Hammonasset Beach State Park in April 2017.


The European Starling above (image 10) was photographed at Hammonasset Beach State Park in April 2017.


The Red-winged Blackbird above (image 11) was photographed at Hammonasset Beach State Park in April 2017.

In the brief time I devoted to observe the longspur at Hammonasset Beach State Park it was regrettably absent while other familiar species made brief appearances.


The Greater Yellowlegs above (image 12) was photographed at Hammonasset Beach State Park in April 2017.

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The American Robin above (image 13) was photographed at Hammonasset Beach State Park in April 2017.