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 day.
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 climate.
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.