Friday, November 9, 2012

American Goldfinch

I stopped at Wildwood Cemetery this morning, but there was no visible bird activity there.  I did see Tom Turkey roosting on top of a tombstone, but I chose not to disturb him.  Next, I drove over to Hopkinton State Park.  I thought this was going to be another bust, seeing only a distant gull in the lake.  I was slowly driving the edge of the parking lot next to the reservoir when I noticed three birds in a birch tree ~~  pretty little goldfinches having breakfast.  One was hanging upside down nearly the entire time (working so much harder than the other two), but there were too many branches between us to get a clear photo.  It was 39 degrees at 7:30AM.  Click on any photo for an enlargement.

 Don't you just love the fluffy down feathers?

Just past the goldfinches, I noticed a bird's nest.  Not until I saw it on the computer did I realize that it's made primarily of fishing line.  Interesting.  I wonder if it's stronger than natural fibers?   Fishing line is typically a serious problem for our bird friends.  Click here to see a photo I took this past September of a Double Crested Cormorant tangled in fishing line and trying to work itself free.

A second next was just a few trees down from the first - also incorporating fishing line.  They look like they could be Baltimore Oriole nests, but I am no expert on nests.    Click here to see a link to a Baltimore Oriole nesting sight I discovered earlier this year at Wildwood Cemetery.

Mass Audubon sponsors a Birds to Watch project that includes Baltimore Orioles.  Through it, they are building a database with info about the breeding status of birds whose populations are in decline.   Citizen scientists are asked to record and report on their observations of Baltimore Orioles and their nests from April to July.

It looks like Hopkinton State Park is worth a return visit for Baltimore Oriole sightings next spring.

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