This is the Vermont bird report for Friday, April 9, 2004 covering the
period March 3 -April 9.

            There were numerous sightings of TURKEY VULTURES, primarily in
the southwestern part of the state this week, with reports coming in from
Danby, Dorset, Manchester, Middlebury and Norwich.
On April 6th a white ROSS’S GOOSE was spotted among 4,000 GREATER SNOW GEESE
on the north side of Route 17, across from the Dead Creek viewing area.
Spring waterfowl is continuing to show up in flooded fields and ponds
throughout the state.  One or more of the following have been reported at
Herrick’s Cove, the Connecticut River in Norwich, Montpelier, Burlington and
special note are the NORTHERN SHOVELERS (3) seen on the Connecticut River by
the Ledyard Bridge in Norwich on the 4th of April, off Little Chicago Road
in Ferrisburgh on the 6th ( 3 birds), and at Berlin Pond on the 8th  (4

             OSPREYS are back.  There were sightings at Missisquoi NWR and
Little Otter Creek on the 3rd, at Dead Creek on the 4th, and two were seen
building a nest along Basin Harbor Road in Vergennes on the 4th. Only one
report of BALD EAGLES this week; 2 were seen at  Little Otter Creek.
NORTHERN HARRIERS were observed at Shelburne Pond, Brandon, North
Ferrisburgh, Grand Isle and Middlebury.  Reports of RED-TAILED HAWKS came in
from around the state, and first sightings of AMERICAN KESTRELS were
reported in Lunenburg, Craftsbury Common, Grand Isle, Canaan and Charlotte.
A pair of MERLINS was seen at Red Rocks in Burlington, a second pair in
Rutland, one individual in South Royalton and one in Norwich.  A pair of
PEREGRINE FALCONS was reported in Leicester, and the body of one that was
banded at Mt. Horrid in 2002 by VINS biologist Steve Faccio was found
recently 2,400 miles away in Nicaragua – after colliding with a farmer’s
fence.  It is the most distant recovery for a New England-banded peregrine
falcon on record

 RUFFED GROUSE were heard drumming in Huntington on April 4th.  Birders
witnessed two groups of WILD TURKEYS in the middle of courtship displaying.
Apparently a pair in one group was actively breeding, with the tom “dancing”
on top of the hen, while surrounded by a circle of female onlookers.  A
KILLDEER was reported in Middlebury on April 6th.  Two WILSON SNIPES were
reported in Vermont this week, one in Plainfield and one in East Clarendon.
BELTED KINGFISHERS arrived or at least were observed, on April 3rd in both
Danby and Grand Isle.  A RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER was seen on the Green Mt.
College campus in Poultney on the 4th.  YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKERS returned
to Leicester and Woodstock and were drumming on Black Mountain in Dummerston
this week.  A NORTHERN SHRIKE was reported in Craftsbury Common.

            TREE SWALLOWS are back in Essex, Woodstock, Shoreham and Calais.
Reports of BROWN CREEPERS singing have come from all corners of Vermont, and
Norwich and Grand Isle have singing CAROLINA WRENS. WINTER WRENS were
singing in Craftsbury Common on the 4th of April. Two unusual thrushes were
reported in central Vermont this week. The VARIED THRUSH was seen in
Montpelier as recently as April 5th, and a partially albino AMERICAN ROBIN
(all but the red breast) was sighted in Bethel on the same day. A HERMIT
THRUSH was seen at the Green Mt. Audubon Nature Center in Huntington on
April 6th.  BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS continue to be seen in flocks as large as 50
birds.  They were reported in South Burlington, Huntington, Craftsbury
Common and Northfield.  A lone YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER was observed at 1,500
feet in Lincoln. A CHIPPING SPARROW was seen in Wallingford on the 2nd, and
Canaan on the 4th.

A WHITE-THROATED SPARROW was observed in Woodstock on the 3rd of April. An
EASTERN MEADOWLARK was sighted in Grand Isle on April 6th,, and a RED
CROSSBILL in Norwich also on April 6th.  PINE SISKINS continue to linger in
Norwich, Brookline and Rutland, perhaps with nesting in mind.

            Because birders are also often froggers, we’re including the
first reports of SPRING PEEPERS in Bennington on April 3rd, and WOOD FROGS
at the VINS Bragdon Preserve pond on April 9th.

Thanks to the following contributors whose observations were cited above:
Norm and Cherry Angell, Steve Antell, Gregory Askew, Fred Bates, Mike Blust,
Laurie Casserly, Deborah Clark, George Clark, Sean Clarkson, Ken Comeau,
Pete Corradino, Michael Cosgrove, Bonnie Dundas, Susan Elliot, David Falk,
Bruce Flewelling, Pat Folsom, C.J. Frankiewicz, Hector Galbraith, Linnea
Garrepy, Paula Gills, Doug Hardy, David Hoag, Katherine Hood, Sherman Kent,
Maeve Kim, Mike LaBarr, Ann Lafayette, George Lisi, Bruce MacPherson, Lynne
Matthews, Julie Nicholson, Ron Payne, Peter Perino, Bryan Pfeiffer, Bob
Phillips, Connie Provencher, Joe Przypek, Larry and Mona Rogers, Virginia
Rasch, Rick Renard, Chris Rimmer, Bill Shepard, Shelagh Smith, Tom Slayton,
Sharon Tierra, Nate Wallace-Gusakov, Kathleen Upton, Audrey Werner, Aaron
Worthley, Lynn Zeltman,

We encourage you to contribute all your sightings to Vermont eBird, an
on-line database for tracking birds across Vermont and North America.  Visit
Vermont eBird-   for more Information.  If you’re
already a Vermont eBirder- thank you for your contributions to the database.

The Vermont Institute of Natural Science offers natural history trips,
lectures and programs.  To receive  a copy of our program calendar, stop at
one of our centers, call the office during business hours at 802-457-2779 or
visit the VINS’ web site at

This Vermont birding report is a service of the Vermont Institute of Natural
Science.  VINS is a non-profit, membership organization located in Woodstock
with regional centers in Montpelier and Manchester.  Founded in 1972, VINS’
mission is to protect our natural heritage through education and research.
Your membership supports these goals and this reporting service.  Updates
are typically made on Fridays.  Please report your sightings of rare or
unusual birds to VINS, or email reports to [log in to unmask]

This message is also available by phone recording:  call 802-457-1053 and
press 3.  This will put you into a menu where you will be directed to press
5 to hear the RBA.  If you have any interesting birds to report, you can
leave a message by pressing 6, or you can send your sightings to the RBA via
e-mail at:  [log in to unmask]  Or enter your sightings on Vermont eBird at

Mary Holland
Chris Rimmer
Kent McFarland
Roz Renfrew
Vermont RBA Compilers
Vermont Institute of Natural Science
Conservation Biology Department
27023 Church Hill Road
Woodstock, VT  05091