Journal archives for February 2023

February 22, 2023

Field Journal 1

7:15 AM - 8:15 AM
February 21, 2023
UVM Bike Path
around 20° F, sunny
habitat: segmented corridor flanked by a major road and a golf course

The main species I observed were American Crows. They are abundant in Burlington, and I have grown to enjoy watching them from my dorm window (see linked photo and audio). Their nature is quite funny to be completely honest. Their various calls and sounds are amusing and the way the hop along the ground occasionally is a source of humor for me. It is no surprise I saw crows here, since they tend to hang out near roadsides and fields. Though, their habitat is not narrow, crows are comfortable making a home in any tree, anywhere.
When landing, crows lead with their feet, and almost float down to the ground before giving some big strokes a few times to create a controlled landing. Their bodies almost seemed a little out of synch from the wings, like the had to control their torsos from swinging for the landing to work. Crows also hop along the ground a lot, and I observed some interesting preening as well.
2 Ring-billed Gulls flew overhead - no surprise in Burlington - and I saw a third later one. Their flight was surprisingly similar to the crows. Their wings are extremely different, but in the moments I watched them, they flapped their long soaring wings multiple times before gliding for a short period. Crows seemed to follow the same pattern. When taking off from trees, they flap continuously until they are sustained in the air, and then glide for a very short period. Though they kind of follow a similar pattern, Ring-billed Gulls and American Crows look very different in flight. Gulls have the high aspect ratio wing of a soaring bird while crows have a more high speed wing, causing them to need to flap their wings quicker and more often, but still allowing them to glide.

Posted on February 22, 2023 02:05 PM by evostal evostal | 4 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment