[CT Birds] Barn Island - BB Cuckoo

David F Provencher david.f.provencher at dom.com
Tue Jul 17 13:18:05 EDT 2012

Glenn I know what you mean about the bugs! The species of mosquito flying at Barn Island is a sizable and hardy one to be sure. Repellant, specifically DEET, works by confusing the senses of mosquitoes. As you know mosquitoes (well the females) sense us by detecting the CO2 we emit. Supposedly when they get close to a person wearing DEET, they are unable to sense where to land and bite. So they swarm around the CO2 cloud and keep trying to sense a feeding site. If you miss any part of your body with the repellant (and it could be an area as small as penny), they WILL find it and nail you. Green-heads and Deer Flies find their prey (again it is the females that bite, though "slash" is a better description) mostly by sight, with CO2 detection playing a much smaller role. These odious little buggers are not deterred in any appreciable way by DEET in my experience. Since they use color contrast and movement to find targets, wearing clothes that approximate the color of the environment you're in, and moving slowly, can lower the amount of Deer Flies/Green Heads that find you. Also running as fast as you can helps when you have been driven absolutely insane by these winged curses, a tactic I have used (read as been driven to) on occasion. It admittedly only works for a few precious moments, and has somewhat of a deleterious effect on birding!


David Provencher

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