VERMONT BREEDING BIRD ATLAS POSTING
Inspired by the amazing weather this weekend, I decided to try for
owls on my block in the Green Mountain National Forest, on the edge
of the Breadloaf Wilderness. This block has been a tough one because
the habitat is not diverse, making 75 species an impossible goal.
Admittedly, I had been putting off owling on this block. The roads
are closed and snow-covered, and it's a 2-3 mile hike in just to
reach the edge of the block. Plus, the habitat isn't great for owls -
mostly moderate to high elevation forest. But I knew there was also a
chance for Woodcock, because last year GMNF had cleared and mowed the
one open field in the whole block, reducing the encroaching wooded
growth and opening up the area.
Although I struck out on owls, the Woodcock did not disappoint. The
bonus? I won't need to go back for an S code because one of the males
chased off another in an aggressive encounter (breeding code T!). The
highlight was when one flew 10ft over my head after I played a Barred
I encourage everyone to try for owls on their block in the next week
or two, if you haven't already. In particular, Great-horned Owls
seems to be "missing" in southern Vermont blocks where they were seen
in the first atlas...has everyone looked? Last call!