Early mornings tend to be much better for hearing owls calling than just after it turns dark. There is far less human activity than at dusk; many fewer humans are awake and driving their cars in the wee hours before dawn than just after dark, and consequently there is far less road noise. Cars traveling along a roadway can be heard well over two miles away.
Nor'easters in November have historically brought to our region “wrecks” of birds in the family called the alcidae (alcids). These include razorbills, thick-billed and common murres, Atlantic puffins and the tiny dovekie (or “pine knot” as they were called by old Cape Codders) that would periodically appear after fearsome November Nor’easters in ponds, yards and fields. Once ashore these cute little black and white birds, resembling a miniature penguin, are doomed. They are helpless and incapable of taking flight.
I derive great pleasure when looking at Arctic-hatched immature sandpipers during the fall months, the birds oblivious to the hulking mammal (that would be me) that outweighs them by thousands of times, allowing for a close approach and excellent views.
Now is the time that northerly nesting loons, grebes, sea ducks and gulls arrive to spend the winter months off our shores.
This is their tropics, a respite from where they have just left where it will be a frozen, inhospitable environment until next May. A look off any favored spot at the water, in the early morning, will reveal long lines of ducks and scattered numbers of flying loons passing by. There are many excellent spots around the Cape and Islands to view large concentrations of sea ducks that are fairly easy to access.
A wayward hummingbird from the mountains of the western U.S. showed up in a small community garden on Nantucket's Hummock Pond Road on the afternoon of October 19th. The Calliope Hummingbird is North America’s smallest bird.
The Columbus Day Weekend lived up to its considerable and deserved reputation as offering some of the best birding of the year with the discovery of an immature Brown Booby, a tropical seabird that was unknown from this part of the world until 3 years ago. In recent years sightings have increased all over the Gulf of Maine; something is clearly going on with this species. The bird was seen all 3 days of the long weekend off of Provincetown.
If you are feeding birds. it's nothing to take lightly. As you enjoy the activity and vibrant colors birds provide, then you are obligated to keep feeding steadily. Now that you have started you are committed and must not stop until the middle of April.
Most people find it most effective to feed different types of seed from different feeders. Some even provide cracked corn on the ground for squirrels, and some real squirrel feeders.
The next few weeks are the best time of the year to see numbers of peregrine falcons as they migrate south. The species is all the way back from the brink of extinction and putting on a show for those who care to view it.
This species has a worldwide distribution, found on every continent except Antarctica. They are found the length and breadth of North and South America. They breed in Greenland as well as in New York City, Boston, and many other cities on skyscrapers and bridges. They are extremely adaptable.