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Sunday, February 04, 2024

Week 5 - Green-Wood Cemetery

The most noticeable change over the past week was the shift in menu. The birds that have relied on the fruiting trees have mostly depleted the crabapples and persimmons. The holly trees with remaining berries each have their own tenacious Northern Mockingbird standing guard. We'll see how long that lasts. Flocks of hungry songbirds have now moved on to a stretch of Japanese Pagoda trees (Styphnolobium japonicum) along Vernal Avenue.

Japanese Pagoda tree

American Robins were the first to arrive. Most were acrobatically plucking the stringbean-like fruit from the trees. The lazy individuals just stood on the ground below and picked up the dropped fruit.

The five trees along this short road have been a hive of activity, not just for robin, but also, European Starling, Cedar Waxwings and even Red-bellied Woodpecker. Was surpised to see a Brown Creeper climbing along the trunk of one tree. Creepers are way too tiny to eat the fruit but apparently find small insects and insect eggs within the bark fissures.

During my early morning tour yesterday we spotted a young Red-tailed Hawk sitting in a large oak tree beside the feeding frenzy. I imagined that he was trying to figure out how to grab one of those tasty songbirds. He took off flying and the flocks scattered. Breakfast would have to wait.

In terms of botanics, I noticed one budding plant, one starting to flower and another blooming.

Multiflora rose beginning to bud.

Honeysuckle getting ready to bloom.

Leatherleaf mahonia in bloom.

Finally, it was nice to see some waterfowl other than Canada Goose, Mallard and American Black Duck on Sylvan Water. A few Northern Shovelers and a single female Bufflehead are now enjoying the accommodations.

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