[CT Birds] good birds, bluebird boxes, & our site guide

Dave Rosgen drosgen at optonline.net
Sun May 20 20:28:17 EDT 2007


Since I just got chased inside by a heavy rain shower, I figured that I
should use this time to good advantage to list today’s notable birds, and
reply to comments about bluebird boxes and my book.

>From Dave Rosgen:

5/20 – Winchester, 121 Laurel Way (Rosgen Wildlife Sanctuary) – 3 Purple
Finches at the feeders, 1 Blackburnian Warbler in the White Pines; also,
about 25 warblers of 5 different common species feeding on small
caterpillars in the old Sugar Maple in the front yard.

Litchfield, Webster Rd. (White Memorial’s Bantam R. Marshes) – 1 Solitary
Sandpiper; Also, 1 Northern Rough-winged Swallow

>From Dave Rosgen, w/ Candace Kalmick:

5/20 – Litchfield, Webster Rd. (White Memorial’s Catlin Woods) – 3 Common
Nighthawks overhead, 1 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, 1 Brown Creeper, 2 Magnolia
Warblers, 2 Blackburnian Warblers, 1 Purple Finch; Also, 2 Pileated
Woodpeckers, 6 Blue-headed Vireos, 2 Hermit Thrushes, 10 Black-throated
Green Warblers, 8 Pine Warblers

White’s Woods Rd. (White Memorial’s Pine Island) – 2 Blackburnian Warblers;
Also, 2 Blue-headed Vireos, 2 Black-throated Green Warblers, 4 Pine Warblers

>From Candace Kalmick:

5/20 – Litchfield, White Hall Rd. (White Memorial’s Museum Feeders) – 1
White-crowned Sparrow

White’s Woods Rd. (White Memorial’s Little Pond Trail & Boardwalk) – 1
Solitary Sandpiper, 1 Brown Creeper, 1 Magnolia Warbler; Also,1 Great Blue
Heron, 2 Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, 3 Willow Flycatchers, 1 Eastern
Bluebird, 2 Pine Warblers

 

For those interested in buying the site guide to 450 birding spots in
Connecticut that Gene Billings and I co-authored in 1996, I still have about
20 copies available to sell in my office at the White Memorial Foundation’s
Museum. I can’t deal with mailing them out, and have no idea what the
postage would cost, so it is best for anyone who wants to buy one to pay us
a visit on a Saturday around lunch-time and give me $25 (or $20 plus lunch).
I’m usually off-duty on Sundays and Wednesdays, and am impossible to find at
all on additional days and times if the weather is nice. If it is raining,
I’ll be in the Museum. This guide is comprehensive, with sites listed for
150 towns, and maps shown for many of them. I wish that I had time to do an
updated supplement with 75 more sites that I’ve discovered and/or that have
been placed in protected status since 1996, but I don’t. I also would need a
co-author with writing ability since Gene is no longer available due to
being murdered (along with many other innocent people) by a scum Islamic
terrorist in the 1999 Egypt Air incident.

 

So as not to take up a lot of space here, now, I’ll just say that in the 23
years that I have directed the operations of the CT. Bluebird Restoration
Project, I have learned a lot (much of it the hard way) about managing for
maximum productivity of cavity-nesting birds. That is the subject of another
book that I should write someday. I may try to do another article for the
Connecticut Warbler (like Jim Zingo and I did in 1993) on this subject in
the next year or two. As for raids on nest boxes by bears, I experienced my
first one in 1989 at Barkhamsted Reservoir. From then through 1999, it only
happened about once a year; and only in Hartland, Barkhamsted, or New
Hartford. Since then, with the increase and expansion of the bear
population, the problems that they cause for nest boxes has increased and
expanded. From 2000 through 2006 the number of nest boxes raided has been
anywhere between 2 and 7 per year, with a general increase each year. That
is still very minor compared to the problems that good-for-nothing,
non-native House Sparrows and rotten, scum teenage human vandals cause us.
We have successfully thwarted Raccoons, Cats, and other climbing predators
through the use of 3’4” sleeves of 4” diameter PVC solid sewer pipe around
each nest box pole. This is essential! Absolutely never mount a nest box on
a tree or on an unprotected pole. It will only become a death trap for any
birds using it. PVC pipe or conical predator guards are ESSENTIAL. However,
they don’t stop bears unless the pole is a sign stake, or a very heavy duty
garden stake, or a > 1 ½” diameter cast iron water pipe. These work when the
box is securely bolted to them by 3” long, ¼” diameter bolts, the pole is
sunk and anchored 3’ in the ground, and the box is mounted at a height of 6’
with the 3’4” PVC pipe fastened loosely around the pole immediately below
the nest box. A light coating of axle grease on the bottom half of the PVC
adds greater protection as long as there is no chance that the box will be
used by House Wrens, Chickadees, or Titmice. They have been known to get
into grease like this and suffer ill effects from it. I have more info
available upon request; but don’t expect a quick response. I am severely
over-worked!

Dave Rosgen, Wildlife Biologist




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