Jacob Spendelow from www.tringa.org
Veery photo by Darlene Knox
Cedar Waxwing photo by Bob Stanowski
The U.S. Geological Survey's Breeding Bird Survey of the Warren-to-Northfield route was conducted by Dave Rosgen on Sunday, June 19, 2011. This is an annual event that is always undertaken in June or early July on a day with sunny skies and little or no wind. White Memorial has assisted with this survey and the one that runs from Woodbury to Goshen every year since 1965. I've been doing it since 1998. So, why did I wait until December 8th to post the results on this blog? Simple. Even though I sent the field data sheets to the U.S.G.S. in late September, I haven't had time until now to tally-up all the numbers for our analysis purposes. Nicole Morin was an invaluable assistant with this effort. The photos above illustrate some of the species that highlighted this year's survey. Tops among them was our first-ever American Bittern at Hart Pond Wildlife Management Area in Cornwall. Otherwise, this year's survey produced an average total of 75 species and an above-average total of 2,081 individual birds. More species were found in higher numbers this year than in lower numbers. Since this standardized survey involves spending only 3 minutes at each of 50 stops, it is actually very hard to compare the numbers of birds found from one year to the next due to the variables of weather and other things that affect the detectablity of birds. However, it is interesting to note that almost all of the birds found in higher-than-average or lower-than-average numbers on this survey were also found in similar situations on the Litchfield Hills Summer Bird Count and on White Memorial's Breeding Bird Censuses. Species which were found to be much more numerous this year than last year included Red-bellied, Downy, and Pileated Woodpeckers, Eastern Phoebe, Veery, Wood Thrush, Gray Catbird, Cedar Waxwing, Yellow, Black-throated Green, and Black & White Warblers, Ovenbird, Red-winged Blackbird, and American Goldfinch. Less numerous species included Eastern Kingbird, Red-eyed Vireo, American Crow, Barn Swallow, Black-capped Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, and Common Yellowthroat. The top 5 most abundant species this year were Veery, Gray Catbird, Cedar Waxwing, Red-eyed Vireo, and American Goldfinch.