May 21, 2013
Written by Jack Sanders
Friday, 01 October 2010 23:00
The White-tailed Kite that showed up at Stratford at the beginning of August is still there and apparently enjoying him- or herself.
This raptor, the first one ever found in Connecticut, is native to the American Southwest and the West Coast and likes warm, open territory. The Long Island Sound shoreline is certainly open enough, and this summer has been warm enough, so the kite has been having, well, a field day.
Kevin Doyle of Ridgefield has been down at Stratford Point a lot this season, photographing a nest of Ospreys from its creation, egg-laying, hatchings, fledgings, and lately, preparations for migration. But he’s been “distracted” a bit by the kite’s appearance.“We are surprised it’s still here,” he said last week. “No one knows what sex this bird is. It’s molted its tail weeks ago and to date is not filled in — it’s been 56 days with no signs of it leaving any time soon. With an ample supply of voles and water rats, it’s doing very well.”
Kevin says that “for a raptor, it’s very tolerant of people up to a certain distance, then it moves ... doesn’t leave, just gets to a position where it feels safe. Sometimes the show is minutes or hours, depends on its mood. One day this week, we never saw it (three hours), then the next night, three hours waiting for three minutes of shooting.”
Kevin has photographed it all times of the day, including one session where it started hunting at 6 a.m. and in four and a half hours, caught five voles.
“It’s been a great experience,” Kevin said. “Now what to do with thousands of pictures.”
Kevin adds that veteran bird photographer Paul Fusco “believes along with the Audubon experts this bird may come back next summer and bring a mate along. Now that would be something!”
“We’ve had more hummers this year than ever before and we have had two on a feeder on several occasions,” writes Vivien Cord who, with Ed McClure, lives in Armonk. “We also have a couple of cages indoors with birds and the hummers fly up to the windows to check them out. When Ed is out watering the plants, one seems to wait for him and flies into the spray. It’s been our most successful year so far. We have two feeders about four feet apart to lessen the competition.”
Janice Calkin of Cos Cob wonders: “Should I take down my hummingbird feeders now since the females are still active here. Am I preventing them from heading south?”
Wild birds do not depends on our feeders for food, though they certainly enjoy taking advantage of them. Consequently, you can leave the feeder out year round, and the hummers will still head south when they are ready. By now, most should have departed.
Some people like to leave hummingbird feeders up until at least the end of October to serve late migrants and the very occasional Rufous Hummingbird that may wander into our area from the West.
Autumn Morning Bird Walks: Saturdays, Oct. 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 Wednesdays, Oct. 6, 13, 7:30, free, Audubon Greenwich, 613 Riversville Road, Greenwich.audubon.org, 203-869-5272 x221.
Autumn Birding Series, trips and talks with Luke Tiller: “Raptor Migration” lecture (Oct. 14) and trip to Lighthouse Point (Oct. 17); “Little Brown Jobs” lecture (Oct. 21) and trip to Allen’s Meadows (Oct. 24); talks Thursdays at 7 p.m. , trips at 7:30 am; $15 per lecture/trip or $60 for all six; RSVP to store: 203-869-5272 x221 Audubon Greenwich, 613 Riversville Road, Greenwich.audubon.org
Birds in Their Habitat, show of bird paintings and sculpture for sale by 24 artists, Oct 2 and 3, Connecticut Audubon Center, 2325 Burr Street, Fairfield, 203-259-6305, ctaudubon.org.
Fall Migration, with hawk counter Arthur W. Green and naturalist Tait Johansson Saturday, Oct. 2, 9 to 11:30 Bedford Audubon, at Chestnut Ridge Hawk Watch, Arthur Butler Sanctuary, 261 Chestnut Ridge Road, www.bedfordaudubon.org.
Breakfast With the Hawks with Bedford Audubon Society Hawk Counter Arthur W. Green and Westmoreland Sanctuary Naturalist Adam Zorn, Sunday, Oct. 3, 9 a.m. Arthur Butler Sanctuary, 261 Chestnut Ridge Road, Bedford Corners, 914-666-8448. www.bedfordaudubon.org
HawkWatch Weekend and Green Bazaar, many exhibits, vendors, talks, live birds of prey, etc., Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 9 and 10, 11 to 5, Audubon Greenwich, Audubon Greenwich, 613 Riversville Road, Greenwich.audubon.org.
Drawing Bird Songs with Katie Lee, how to draw birds in the wild, Saturday, Oct. 9, 1 to 3, $45, Connecticut Audubon’s Birdcraft Museum, Unquowa Road, Fairfield, 203-259-0416, ctaudubon.org.
Lessons from a Bird’s Brain, how birds learn their songs, with Fernando Nottebohm, Ph.D. Wednesday, Oct. 13, 7:30 p.m., free, Katonah Memorial House, 71 Bedford Road, Katonah www.bedfordaudubon.org
Kenn Kaufman, noted bird author and editor, speaking on the Ivory-billed Woodpecker, Friday, Oct. 22, 7 p.m., with book signing at 6, $20, Audubon Greenwich, 613 Riversville Road, Greenwich.audubon.org, 203-869-5272 x239.
Copyright 2010 by Jack Sanders. Send sightings or comments to: jackfsanders [at sign] yahoo.com, or to Bird Notes, Box 1019, Ridgefield, CT 06877; or call 203-438-1183, extension BIRD (2473), and leave a message with your report, spelling your first and last names and telling us your town. If you need help identifying a bird, try your local nature center. If you find an injured bird, call wildlife rehabilitator Darlene Wimbrow of Redding, 203-438-0618, Wildlife in Crisis of Weston, 203-544-9913, or Wild Wings of Greenwich, 203-637-9822. The columnist’s website is www. sandersbooks. com.
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