Community Event Spotlight: Audubon Bird Walk

Community Event Spotlight: Audubon Bird Walk

On a rainy morning in late June, several community members arrived at The Uplands for a birding walk with Delaware Otsego Audubon Society’s Director, Charlie Scheim, and Bird Sightings author Sandy Bright. Braving the less-than-ideal weather, participants arrived donning raincoats and binoculars, eager to discover what avian delights await in Uplands’ fields and forest.

photo by Maxine Locherer

The group began walking slowly under the canopy cover the Wellness Walk, keeping ears attuned to bird songs muffled by the sound of rain dripping from the trees above. The woods were relatively quiet on this wet morning, but a few songs were heard from the Ovenbird, Hermit thrush, Veery, Chickadee, and others forest dwellers. Despite attending to focus on flying friends, the birders admired dozens of red efts along the trail. These newts send a clear message to birds with their bright red skin, signaling their toxicity to the would-be predators.

As the group exited the forest, an Indigo Bunting caught their attention with a burst of bright blue. After watching the bird for a few moments and noticing a worm in his mouth, it became clear that he was carrying food back to his partner or his young. This was a good opportunity to discuss with participants the Breeding Bird atlas, an initiative that the leaders of the walk are involved in. The Breeding bird atlas, created by NY Department of Environmental Conservation, is a citizen science effort designed to survey the breeding behaviors, and therefore populations, of birds in New York. “Breeding behaviors” could include mating rituals, food carrying (like the Indigo Bunting presented), nest building, and more. The data collected from the atlas is used in New York environmental planning efforts and has long-lasting impacts on bird conservation.

photo by Maxine Locherer

By the time the group left the forest in favor of the Vista Shed path, the rain let up and the grassland came alive with bird activity. Flashes of scarlet from flying Red-wing blackbirds brought color to the grey morning, and the bubbly metallic song of Bobolinks surrounded the birders as they meandered through the mid-summer meadow. Goldfinches flitted toward the forest edge and a Meadowlark graced the visitors with his plaintive, flutelike tune.

We thank DOAS, Charlie Scheim, and Sandy Bright for making this event possible and for their tireless dedication to protecting birds.

photo by Maxine Locherer

 

 

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