Thursday, June 7, 2007

Breeding Birds

6/7/07 - Observed a pair of Scarlet Tanagers in the Charles River Reservation, south of Wells Avenue. It is very likely that these birds were attempting to breed here in Newton. With the spring migration now over, we can turn our attention to breeding birds. Although most birdwatchers are very familiar with our migrants, less attention is given to documenting breeding birds. There is much we don't know about the distribution and abundance of breeding birds in Newton. For example, how often do forest species such as the ovenbird, wood thrush, and black and white warbler breed in Newton, and where? There is an extensive literature showing that many forest-dwelling bird species tend to drop out of smaller forest patches such as those found in Newton. Interestingly Scarlet Tanagers are less likely to be found in smaller forest fragments, but this is less true in the highly forested northeast than in the largely deforested Midwest & Atlantic Coast regions. What about the status of shrubland species such as the blue-winged warbler and brown thrasher in Newton? It would be great to organize a breeding bird survey one year...

1 comment:

veggiefahmah said...

Greg and I have seen red tail hawks, and a killdeer (possibly nesting) at the Farm. I saw what I think were swallows. All common on farms. May have seen a bluebird at my feeder close to Morses Pond in Wellesley. Light blue, not a bluejay, darker patch on top of the head. Wondering whether barn owls have been seen locally. Wondering if we could encourage nesting at the Farm. Tom Libby