Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Montezuma Audubon Center - Bird Watching

Montezuma Audubon Center - 7 AM

Naturalist Dave Spier conducted an early morning bird monitoring hike around the Montezuma Audubon Center (MAC) today.

At 6:45 AM, our group of four assembled inside the MAC. Dave led our group (Dave from Port Bay, Sheila, a MAC volunteer, Linda from Palmyra and myself) out on the grounds exactly at 7 AM. Carol, MAC Education Manager, joined us to photograph our walk.

In the parking lot looking back over MAC headquarters we counted 40 Canada geese flying east. Also two blue jays were in a tree near the bird feeders.

Two yellow finch at bird feeder

We walked the trail that eventually brought us to the ponds. There our presence put up a great blue heron. This was the first of four blue herons we would see today. Sheila identified a kingfisher. Using the tripod scope Dave focused in a juvenile, several semipalmated plovers and yellow legs as well as a bird he playfully called a peep.

View from observation deck

Dave explained why shore birds' bills had various lengths. This characteristic eliminates competition in that the birds can feed at different levels below the muddy surface and not exhaust the food supply.

Port Bay Dave spotted a green heron. It gave the rest of the group a test in patience. Hiding amongst the cattails and bulrushes, we could not get a good view of it. However, eventually it did stroll out into full sight.

While on the lip of the pond we also caught sight of a double-crested cormorant and several sparrows.

Upon returning to the MAC center we entered our bird data into the e-bird database kiosk located in the lobby.

View from observation deck

All in all a great September day for bird watching.

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