Date: 4/1/18 5:32 am
From: Joan Collins <joan.collins...>
Subject: [nysbirds-l] Sandhill Cranes/Mating Hairy Woodpeckers/Red & White-winged Crossbills
Mary Cronk (Tupper Lake) emailed on 3/30/18 to let me know there was a
Sandhill Crane back in Tupper Lake - standing in the snow! (She posted the
photo in eBird, but I don't see the record yet - likely still listed as a
rare bird for the area.) Jack Delehanty and I met looking for it
late-afternoon on Friday and we both missed it. Yesterday, 3/31/18, Ben
Tennyson (Tupper Lake) told me the Sandhill Crane pair was observed all day
(in the marsh where they have nested the past 2 years) - until I arrived in
late afternoon! So the pair is back, but I need to visit earlier in the

A few notes regarding climate change: Hairy Woodpeckers have been moving
their nesting dates back earlier and earlier each year. I estimate that
they are now nesting 2 to 3 weeks earlier than they did 15 to 20 years ago.
(I am not seeing the same changes in the year-round Black-backed Woodpecker
or the migratory Yellow-bellied Sapsucker.) I used to show Adirondack
Birding Festival participants active Hairy Woodpecker nest sites (now held
the second weekend in June, but used to be held the 3rd weekend in June) and
now the young have long since fledged when the Festival runs. I was at
Sabattis Bog in Long Lake (Hamilton Co.) on 3/28/18 when a Hairy Woodpecker
pair flew in and mated! (Lots of snow on the ground and it was cold.) This
is a rapid change and I wonder what changes are occurring (from the climate
warming) that are driving them to keep moving back their nesting schedule.
(If anyone on the list happens to be studying Hairy Woodpeckers and has
thoughts on this, I would be interested to hear them.) Also, on another
section of Sabattis Circle Road, on 3/27/18, I photographed a male Hairy
Woodpecker excavating a nest hole in a telephone pole (Clay Spencer was up
birding from downstate that day and sent me a link to his photos - we
photographed the same bird!) - and it was well underway.

Blue Jays: As I have noted, this is the 3rd winter in a row that Blue Jays
have remained in the central Adirondacks - and in larger numbers this year
(Amer. Crows also stayed this year). They continue to steal food from Gray
Jay caches and I am certain this is going to have a negative impact on Gray
Jays. It is clever on the part of Blue Jays to follow Gray Jays to find
food, but it is very disturbing to watch. In addition, on 3/29/18, I
stopped along Sabattis Road when I saw birds acting stealthy - it was a
group of Blue Jays (no vocalizations) flying silently in an area where
several White-winged Crossbills are currently nesting and there were 2 WWCRs
vocalizing and flying at the Blue Jays non-stop. It would appear the Blue
Jays found their nest. Yet another negative impact from our warming

A few sightings from the past week:

3/31/18 Long Lake (Hamilton Co.) and Tupper Lake (Franklin Co.)

Ruffed Grouse - 2 (one standing in Sabattis Road, and one dead (road-killed)
in Sabattis Road where I had observed one (the same bird?) the day before)

Sandhill Crane - pair in Tupper Lake (report from Ben Tennyson)

Turkey Vulture - Tupper Lake FOS

Bald Eagle - 3 in Tupper Lake

Gray Jay - it would appear they are on nests now; I found one bird at a
Route 30 location where I feed them and 1 bird at the Round Lake Trailhead.
The bird at the Round Lake Trailhead is the chatty Gray Jay (I've known this
bird for years it would appear!) and it must be a male. It makes the most
interesting sounds whenever it sees me.

Blue Jay - many, including one bird at Sabattis Bog giving a perfect
Northern Goshawk imitation (a Gray Jay did this several days ago, and the
Blue Jay has been doing it every day since). I mostly hear Gray Jays
imitate accipiters and Blue Jays imitate buteos, so hearing one do a goshawk
is interesting!

3/30/18 Long Lake and Tupper Lake

Ruffed Grouse - 1 in Sabattis Circle Road

Sandhill Crane - 1 in Tupper Lake (Report from Mary Cronk) FOS

Gray Jay - chatty bird at the Round Lake Trailhead and 3 at Sabattis Bog (It
is quite apparent now that the nesting pair is allowing the tailless Gray
Jay ("Stubby") to stay with them. The BNA account mentions that this
behavior, of a nesting pair allowing an un-paired bird to stay, only occurs
in 20% of nesting pairs. I have grown really attached to the adorable
tailless bird, so I am thrilled! This is the first year I've seen the
resident pair allow it.)

3/29/18 Long Lake

Black-backed Woodpecker - male at the Round Lake Trailhead

Gray Jay - 5 (2 at the Round Lake Trailhead and 3 at Sabattis Bog)

Red Crossbill - calling at the Round Lake Trailhead

White-winged Crossbill - many singing and calling! (along Route 30 north of
John Dillon Park for a long way (1 to 2 miles), inlet of Little Tupper Lake,
Round Lake Trail, Marsh along Sabattis Road, (& fighting Blue Jays as
described above), and Sabattis Bog.

3/28/18 Long Lake

Amer. Kestrel - inlet of Little Tupper Lake

Hairy Woodpecker - pair mating at Sabattis Bog!

Black-backed Woodpecker - drumming at Sabattis Bog

Gray Jay - 4

White-winged Crossbill - more than 6 observed along Route 30, calling at the
Round Lake Trailhead, and singing and calling birds at Sabattis Bog

3/27/18 Long Lake: Male Hairy Woodpecker excavating a nest hole in a
telephone pole along Sabattis Circle Road. I found 3 Red Crossbills while
walking on North Point Road in Long Lake. Two gritting White-winged
Crossbills on Sabattis Circle Road. The FOS Raccoon visited our feeders
during the night! (week and a half earlier than last year)

3/26/18 Long Lake, Harrietstown, & Piercefield (St. Lawrence Co.): Red
Crossbill pair continuing to build a nest ~90 up in a White Pine. Two
singing White-winged Crossbills at the Round Lake Trailhead. A huge flock
of Red-winged Blackbirds and Common Grackles along the Raquette River on
Corey's Road (Harrietstown in Franklin Co.).

3/25/18 Long Lake: Gray Jay - 4, including a Gray Jay giving a Northern
Goshawk imitation at Sabattis Bog (a Blue Jay has been giving it every day
since!). Red Crossbill - 6 (4 - two pairs along North Point Road and 2
along Sabattis Circle Road). White-winged Crossbill - 2 at the inlet area
of Little Tupper Lake.

I added a few photos to my Facebook page below.

Joan Collins

Editor, New York Birders

Long Lake, NY

(315) 244-7127 cell

(518) 624-5528 home


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