Tag Archives: Massachusetts Audubon Society

The Uncommon Common Redpoll

 

Common Redpoll (carduelis flammea)

Common Redpoll (Carduelis flammea)

How lovely to receive a visit from this charming flock of redpolls. I knew it to be a new-to-our garden species, but did not realize visits were much more uncommon than common. Oh how I wish I had taken more snapshots! Common Redpolls are another “irruptive species” from the boreal forests of North American (see Pine Siskins, below), and there have been numerous sightings reported throughout New England. To learn whether we had Hoary Redpolls or Common Redpolls I emailed Chris Leahy, Mass Audubon’s Chair of Field Ornithology:

Hi Chris, Last week I found this inexpensive Nyjer seed bird feeder at Whole Foods, hung it in the garden next to the finch feeder, and was immediately visited by what I think are redpolls. They stayed for a few days and have not been seen again. It was dreary and rainy, so my photos are gray, not crispy. Do you think they are Common Redpolls or Hoary Redpolls or are the photos not clear enough?

I posted a link on my blog re your talk at the Sawyer Free and was disappointed it was cancelled. Click on the photo–Chris Leahy and the Birds of Cape Ann–I think it looks like the three sparrows on the right are listening to a talk by the sparrow on the left–please forgive the “bird” humor. Let me know when you are giving the talk and I will repost.
From Chris–Great, Kim! Send some over to my side of the harbor please! They are Common Redpolls – which are by no means common most winters. There’s a lot of plumage variation in both species and several races of Common Redpolls.  Hoary’s are much rarer of course and tend to hang out in flocks of Commons. Their best marks are a very tiny bill and pure white (or nearly so) under tail coverts (not always easy to see). Sometimes they appear much whiter, but not always and Commons can get very pale especially late in the year as the brown tips of the feathers wear.
 

Keep your eyes on your fruiting shrubs for Bohemian Waxwings. We had a flock of 5 (with Cedars) at Halibut Point during the Birding Weekend on Saturday. And Mary in East Gloucester found a dead one on her deck. I’ve had Cedars in my privet hedge during the last 10 days but no Bohemians (yet!?).

 

 

Also sent from Chris is the following summary of the many birds seen on Cape Ann during the annual Cape Ann Winter Birding weekend.

CABirdingWkndList2011.xls CABirdingWkndList2011.xls
40K   View as HTMLOpen as a Google spreadsheetDownload

Scroll halfway down Cornell’s All About Birds page, under the the heading and bird in silhouette to hear the Typical Voice:

 

 


 

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylim: Chordata (Vertebrates)
Class: Aves (Birds)
Order: Passeriformes (Passerine or perching birds)
Family: Fringillidae (True finches)
Genus: Carduelis
Species: C. flammea

Chris Leahy and The Birds of Cape Ann

Bird Talk

Come hear Mass Audubon’s Chair of Field Ornithology and Gloucester’s own Chris Leahy at the Sawyer Free Library on Tuesday, February 1 at 7pm, main floor. Chris promises a lively and comprehensive talk about the myriad beautiful bird species that surround us here on Cape Ann. His published works include Birdwatcher’s Companion to North American Birdlife, Introduction to New England Birds, and The Nature of Massachusetts.

This lecture is free and open to the public

Postponned: New date to be Announced

Cape Ann Winter Birding Weekend

Dear Gardening Friends,

Tim Burton from the local Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce (no affiliation with the US Chamber of Commerce) emailed with a reminder to the upcoming Cape Ann Winter Birding Weekend, February 4th through February 6th. For information about registering and schedule of events visit their website  at Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce.

Cape Ann is known to birdwatchers worldwide for its exciting concentrations of winter seabirds. Loons, grebes, gannets, sea ducks, alcids, and gulls gather in impressive concentrations and variety, and a careful exploration of the area’s gorgeous coastal geography is quite likely to turn up such winter bird specialties as our logo bird, the Harlequin Duck. Working with the Mass Audubon Society, the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce is planning a weekend filled with opportunity for bird lovers of all skill levels to join expert guides on a tour of Cape Ann’s birding hot spots- including a sea trip on the 7 Seas Whale Watch boat the Privateer IV!

About Mass Audubon

Mass Audubon works to protect the nature of Massachusetts for people and wildlife. Together with more than 100,000 members, we care for 33,000 acres of conservation land, provide educational programs for 200,000 children and adults annually, and advocate for sound environmental policies at local, state, and federal levels. Mass Audubon’s mission and actions have expanded since our beginning in 1896 when our founders set out to stop the slaughter of birds for use on women’s fashions. Today we are the largest conservation organization in New England. Our statewide network of 45 wildlife sanctuaries welcomes visitors of all ages and serves as the base for our conservation, education, and advocacy work. To support these important efforts, call 800-AUDUBON (800-283-8266) or visit www.massaudubon.org.

About the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce

The Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce promotes the area as a premier, year round destination. The Cape Ann Winter Birding Weekend allows the Chamber to highlight Cape Ann’s beauty and the wealth of opportunities for birding and outdoor activities in the region.