Weekly Bird Report

Mass Audubon

It's a busy time in the birding world.  The spring migration is underway.  Mark Faherty tells us more in this week's Bird Report.

northtexasdrifter.blogspot.com

It’s getting to be late April, which means backyards will soon be humming with an especially kinetic kind of ornithological activity.

stonebird / flickr

I was in the parking lot of a bayside beach in Truro recently when I heard a sound I couldn’t place - a strange, high pitched wail drifting in from somewhere off toward the beach. It wasn’t something I’d ever heard before – like the noise from some unfamiliar construction machine working in the distance.

batwrangler / fickr / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Recently, one of our more flamboyant seasonal residents has been performing at a variety of obscure local venues, venues that you might describe as off-off-off Broadway. Performances generally take the form of a one man show, and they only work nights, so don’t even think about catching a matinee.

Mark Faherty

Every March, usually sometime around St. Patrick’s Day, the first Piping Plover scouts arrive back on Cape Cod beaches. Whether these first arrivals are local nesters or migrants on their way to beaches in further north, they always seem to cause a panic.

Mark Faherty

We should all be jealous of ospreys. They’re way better at fishing than we are. They spend their winters on sun-drenched lagoons in Venezuela and they visit Cuba annually without violating US law. 

Jamie McCaffrey / flickr / CC BY-NC 2.0

Yes, I know, spring is coming. We’ve already had our complement of early spring Red-winged Blackbirds and grackles. Woodcocks are displaying, the first Killdeer have returned, and the increasing day length is starting to simmer the hormones of our resident Song Sparrows and cardinals, who are singing increasingly lusty versions of their territorial tunes.

copyright Steve Arena / used by permission

Lunacy is afoot at Race Point! On Saturday, for the first time in the long ornithological history of the state, a Yellow-billed Loon was seen and photographed at Race Point in Provincetown. 

Mark Faherty

If you feed the birds, then you may be feeding more birds than you had bargained for. Because where there are lots of birds, there are birds that eat birds. You might not be aware of the carnage, but if you look closely, you may see the telltale signs of bird on bird violence in your backyard.

Anita Ritenour / flickr / CC BY 2.0

Sixty hardy souls steamed out of Hyannis Harbor last weekend aboard the Helen H, heading for the offshore waters east of Monomoy. But this boat wasn’t dragging for scallops or longlining for swordfish – it was chartered by the Brookline Bird Club, and their quarry was winter seabirds. 

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