Current Journal


Nature of New England                           


Nature Journal

Notes about birds, mammals, wildflowers, insects, and more
Sunday, March 30, 2003
I've been listening to the crows over the past several weeks and observing their behavior. A small flock of crows has been flying around in the vicinity of the house every day for quite a while now.

They've been very vocal - much more so than during the winter. I don't hear them all day, but mostly in the mornings - and then for briefer periods later during the day.

Over the past few days, their vocalizations have not been as loud or as frequent. I'm not sure why crows become more vocal at certain times of the year, but I've read that they become very quiet during the nesting period. So, I'll be listening for that quiet time.
Saturday, March 29, 2003
There've been reports that the black bears are coming out of hibernation now.

The male bears usually emerge from their dens first. The females and their cubs leave their dens a little later.

The bears are pretty hungry this time of year and they're on the move - looking for food.
Friday, March 28, 2003
The wild turkeys came by for their first visit since last fall! They were wandering around scratching in the leaves - which is typical foraging behavior. There was at least one male and about six or seven females.

The male turkey's beard was quite long - which is supposed to be an indication of its age. Although mating season hasn't begun yet, the male's head and neck were conspicuously red.

The beginning of turkey breeding season never goes by unnoticed. The sound of the male turkey's gobbling will fill the woods - especially at night.
Thursday, March 27, 2003
Dark-eyed JuncoSaw a good-sized flock of juncos when I was out walking today. Haven't seen much of them at all this winter.

I just learned from The Birder's Handbook (by Ehrlich, Dobkin, &
Wheye) that, for many species, the
color of a bird's eye changes with age.

For the junco, the eye color changes from gray (or gray-brown) to red-brown. So if you see a reddish-brown twinkle in eye of a junco, you'll know it's not a young bird.
Wednesday, March 26, 2003
Since the bluebirds are beginning to arrive in New England, you might want to check out the website for the North American Bluebird Society.

It includes nest box plans, bluebird facts, and information about bluebird trails. A mailing list for those interested in bluebirds is also available.
Tuesday, March 25, 2003
Red FoxSaw the tracks of the red fox today. This mammal is mainly nocturnal - hunting during the night and sleeping during the day.

However, it's not unusual to see one during the daylight hours - especially
in the spring when the pups are old enough to leave the den.

Red foxes only use dens during the breeding season. Otherwise, they bed down out in the open - even in the winter. If the weather is bad, they may seek a more sheltered spot for sleeping.
Monday, March 24, 2003

About 10 pm last night, I heard some Canada geese migrating northward. While I was listening to the geese, I heard two barred owls calling back and forth to each other - not far from the house. And another flock of geese flew by this evening.

The peak time for the migration of waterfowl is usually around the end of March or beginning of April. This includes ducks, geese, the great blue heron, and other water birds.

Top of page

Birds  |  Butterflies  |  Mammals  
Garden Shop  |  Outdoor Gear 

New England:   
Connecticut, Maine,
Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont