Weekly Bird Report


The Weekly Bird Report with Mark Faherty can be heard every Wednesday morning at 8:45am and afternoon at 5:45pm.

Mark has been the Science Coordinator at Mass Audubon’s Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary since August 2007 and has led birding trips for Mass Audubon since 2002. He is past president of the Cape Cod Bird Club and current member of the Massachusetts Avian Records Committee.

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. 

Jim Kelly bit.ly/2nPwRbZ / bit.ly/1mhaR6e

When I was a weird little birder kid growing up in the wilds of Brockton, the Common Raven was an almost mythical bird to me. They lived in wilderness areas, like the big woods of northern Maine, where I assumed they soared around over densely forested hills looking for deer carcasses or whatever it was they ate. Or maybe they only hung around haunted houses and dark castles where they kept company with murderous madmen.

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.

Rick Leche bit.ly/2nswwPJ / bit.ly/OJZNiI

I’d like to talk today about a network of shadowy figures infiltrating our communities. This vocal but seldom seen group operates primarily at night, and strikes fear in the hearts of the small and the vulnerable. I am talking about owls.

Disney / Pixar

I’m sure all of you are still basking in the glow of the Oscar win for Pixar’s beautiful animated short “Piper."  The six minute piece, and winner of the Oscar for Best Animated Short, is about a sandpiper chick too afraid of the crashing waves to learn to feed himself. The combination of gorgeous, cutting edge animation and a cute, wordlessly conveyed story explain the win, but as is typical of anything having to do with birds in Hollywood, they definitely didn’t get the Oscar for biological accuracy.

Mark Faherty

When it comes to late winter on Cape Cod, and the knowledge that beach weather is still four months away, it’s the little signs of better things to come that keep you going. If you are paying attention to the birds around you every day, you should be brimming with hope, because they clearly are, too.

Mark Faherty

Here we are in mid-February, and with the snow flying and storms raging, you’d think we’d be done with finding new rare birds overwintering here on the Cape and Islands. Fall migration, which brings most of our rare birds, seems a distant memory. We scoured the landscape during the Christmas bird counts, the hotspots have all been birded countless times, and all the rare feeder birds have been called in and documented. Or at least one would think so. But one would be wrong, because wacky birds that we have somehow missed continue to turn up each week.

 

likeaduck bit.ly/2lnhAOu / bit.ly/1dsePQq

Have you heard of “bird feeder fight club”? If not, that’s probably because I just made it up. But it totally could be a real thing, according to scientists using Cornell’s vast Project FeederWatch data set.

Allan Hopkins bit.ly/2koWQYp / bit.ly/OJZNiI

Here in coastal Massachusetts, we have some unique bird problems. Such as, what to do with that Dovekie in your driveway? Or, how did that puffin get in my bathtub? Both of these things actually happened, and, believe it or not, they are not isolated incidents.

Michael Ransburg bit.ly/2jb5rtv / bit.ly/OJZNiI

Back in November, I pronounced somewhat prematurely that the season of alcids was upon us. But, as is often the case, the flight didn’t really get going until January this year. So if you haven’t yet mounted a search for your first puffin or Dovekie, you’re in luck, because things are just starting to heat up up now.

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