Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Two days of heavy rain...

Good weather for a duck - or a swan*. And for the robins, who are gobbling up the drowning earthworms left and right.

The depression under our feeder is a lake this morning.

We haven't been out to fill the feeders since last week, and also since we realized that it was the House Sparrows who were the primary customers.

Our weekly bird-sighting list, which is tallied with a dry erase marker on a glass partition in the hallway opposite our feeders.

This is the final feeder count for the winter. Starting in November, Lynn submitted weekly lists of activity at our bird feeders to the New Haven Bird Club's annual feeder survey.

A few more wet denizens of West Campus - our Wild Turkey flock took cover from the heavy rain under this ventilation structure.

What --- you don't have turkeys in your parking lot??

*The reference to a swan in my opening line is for a pretty special bird which is making an appearance in Stratford Connecticut this week. Stratford is close enough to us here at West Campus that Lynn and I took a lunchtime trip to see it on Monday.

A pair of Trumpeter Swans, Cygnus buccinator, are feeding and resting in a little inland pond in a wooded residential area of Stratford. For both of us, this was a life bird - the first time we've ever seen one. The largest bird (by weight and length) native to North America, and the largest waterfowl in on EARTH!

link to Lynn's blog to see her photos!!!!!

This majestic swan is easily distinguished from our common Mute Swan by its all black bill (Mute's is orange and black), and by its habit of holding its neck very straight (Mute's is often curved). The Trumpeter is less easily distinguished from the Tundra Swan, another native swan which is occasionally seen in Connecticut. Here the primary distinction is in overall size of the bird, and in details of the shape and color of the bill.

I'll refer you now to Cornell's Birds of North American Online - where you can also see range maps of these two native swans, and get an idea of how uncommon they are in Connecticut.

1 comment:

  1. I love the puddle picture under the feeder. At least we finally got them filled up today, even if it did mean having to slosh out there barefoot. Who decided to hang the feeder there? LOL