Life on a family dairy farm
in the wilds of
Upstate New York
Wednesday, October 03, 2012
Habitats are Us
I accompanied Alan on yet another fencing expedition yesterday and found great joy, greater perhaps because it was entirely unexpected. We had chased or rescued cows all the day before....no one was in a very great mood.
We were no more than got half way along the first line of fence, when we found we were surrounded by birds. Migration is in full swing and the trees were bristling with gold finches and fall warblers. Soft, squeaky pishing lured them close enough to narrow down the selection of species.
By way of their incessant singing and iBird Pro on my phone the majority were discovered to be magnolia warblers. Other yellow-rumped species were probably also represented.
At the top of the hill there were flocks of flickers, rafts of robins, blue jays abounding, and lots and lots of other birds everywhere we looked.
It would be hard to estimate how many birds we saw, but there were at least hundreds. I imagine there were many more that we didn't see.
I suspect the sheer numbers of birds and the variety of species are because of the large assortment of habitats available here on the farm or on surrounding abandoned farm land. There are open pastures, dense woods, open woods, brushy areas growing up to woods, and scrub grassland. Something for everyone, whether it is clusters of intense black riverbank grapes, a plethora of insects, or grain left undigested by the cattle.
It sure was a treat for a birder...and I can't say enough about iBird pro. You do have to narrow down the selection of possible IDs for an unknown bird, but once you do, the calls and songs feature is invaluable.