Archivos de Diario para febrero 2023

20 de febrero de 2023

FJ2: ID and Flight Physiology

Date: 2/19/23
Start time: 12:00 pm
End time: 1:15 pm
Location: Oakledge Park
Weather: Overcast, very windy
Habitat: Woodland, coast (lake)

Upon arrival, I decided to walk a couple of the paths before heading down to the beach area. By the tree house, there were many American Crows circling overhead and in the tops of the trees. I also heard an occasional call from a Tufted Titmouse, but I was not able to spot it anywhere. There was also another call that was far away and sounded like it could have been a Black-capped Chickadee, but I was unable to identify it. When observing the crows flying overhead, I noticed how they were soaring in circles and not flapping their wings very often. They seemed to primarily be using the wind currents to stay aloft, and when they did land, they tended to stay high up in the trees or in more open areas. Though I was not able to get a closer picture, I did see through my binoculars that their wings were long, broad, and ended in very prominent primary feathers. This shape and size likely help them to stay aloft for longer periods of time, and allow them to travel over farther distances than those with shorter, smaller wings. This makes sense since crows are known to travel a lot.

After spending around 20-30 minutes there, I moved to the beach area of the park. There were other people and some dogs there making noise, which definitely decreased the number of birds that I was able to observe there. However, I was hopeful that I would see some kind of waterbird, and I ended up seeing what I believed to be a Herring Gull circling overhead briefly. Due to the noise and the very high wind speeds, I thought I might have better luck spotting birds in a more covered area, so I moved to one of the woodland paths. There, I happened upon a clearing with a thicket of bramble bushes where there were many Black-capped Chickadees foraging. I sat there for a while and watched them, noticing how they flitted among the brush with very short wing flaps. They tended to hop along the ground or use quick flaps to get around in the dense thicket. Compared to the crows, apart from being smaller birds in general, the Black-capped Chickadees had much rounder and proportionally smaller wings. Given the habitat I saw them in, this makes sense-- they needed to get around in tight spaces, not soar. While I was watching this area, I also saw and heard a couple of Tufted Titmice, which have similarly-shaped wings. I also heard a Blue Jay somewhere in the woods behind me, but was unable to spot it.

Overall, the expedition was a lot less fruitful than I had thought it would be. This is likely due to the presence of other people and the dogs at the location, as well as the high wind speeds and the time of day. If I had gone at an earlier time, that would likely have given better bird-spotting odds (with fewer visitors and at a time where birds are more active). However, I was able to observe how differences in bird wings and flight patterns are helpful in identifying what kind of bird it is. Birds that have longer, larger wings (bonus if the primaries are prominent) are likely to be soaring birds who travel long distances, and will be found up in the sky or in places that they can spread their wings. These birds are likely scavengers or hunters. Birds that have smaller, rounder wings will likely be found in dense areas, like in the woods or shrubbery near the ground. These wings are more conducive to foraging and moving shorter distances quickly; they likely do not travel long distances.

Publicado el 20 de febrero de 2023 a las 04:19 AM por sillaystring sillaystring | 6 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario