VERMONT BREEDING BIRD ATLAS POSTING
We in the SE part of the state are again experiencing heavy
defoliation by the tent caterpillars. It is at times GROSS beyond
comprehension - on our clothes, in our face, masses on houses,
trees, etc. chewing up everything in sight. I even saw them on
nettles!! Too bad that's (or garlic mustard) not a favorite
food. How is this all going to affect the bird populations? How
much is the rest of the state being hit?
Many birds feed in the canopy on a wide variety of insects living
there. No canopy = reduced food sources to say nothing of hiding a
nest on a defoliated limb. So will the birds become concentrated in
areas where there is less defoliation? Will there be enough
territory to "carry the load?"
Species I have been missing during my atlassing: Black-throated
Green Warblers, Kingbirds, Great Crested Flycatchers, Veery, Wood
Thrush (alto lots of Ovenbirds).... Is anyone else noticing fewer
of these species?
Charlie & Ruth Stewart
E. Dorset, Vermont