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Hi Ian,

I love hearing about your personal observations, also.  Have you ever thought about writing a little blurb in a science journal or at least a magazine?  I know science journals have short entries that aren't actually scientific studies, but observations.  I'm not a researcher, either.    

Ray

> Date: Fri, 24 Jun 2011 12:20:05 -0400
> From: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [VTBIRD] Cerulean couple -- brief Vermont stay?
> To: [log in to unmask]
> 
> Good question.
> 
> The apparently brief stay by Ceruleans in the northern parts of their 
> range is a question I've heard more than once.  I'm not a researcher on 
> the species, but since they inhabit the hill slope behind our house, 
> I've had the opportunity to follow their activity as best I can.  When 
> few in numbers they are hard to keep track of!
> 
> Although very little is known about the habits of Ceruleans in Vermont, 
> I've casually read reports that they are, or are among, the earliest of 
> warblers in other northernish states to depart from locations in the 
> northern part of their range - often in July.  All reported observations 
> of the species in Vermont are in only May and June (May 11th to June 
> 26th) except for one from Grand Isle County in September 2010 and three 
> reports from Winhall (September of 1984, 1986, and 1991).  If not 
> singing, and if there are few birds anyhow, they are maddeningly 
> difficult to discover in the forest canopy.
> 
> On 13 June 2008 Ted Murin and I saw a male carrying food at the location 
> I reported on earlier today.  The first arrivals appear to be quite 
> consistently between May 11 and 15 here and elsewhere in the state.
> 
> Last year the birds arrived at my home site May 11th, were noisy and 
> active till May 23rd, then very subdued until June 4th (a period of 11 
> days) when activity significantly increased.  By June 14th males started 
> wandering from their previous territories, which are approximately 700 
> feet apart.  I followed one for over a quarter mile as it wandered 
> through the woods into terrain farther and farther away from the May 
> territories.   By June 17th it was much harder to find a bird by sound 
> or sight.  The last bird observed was on June 26th, though I looked 
> systematically daily into mid-July and sporadically thereafter till 
> October.
> 
> With those dates in mind, from a May 11th arrival that could give a 
> couple of weeks to settle territory, mate, and build a nest in May, with 
> incubation beginning in the last few days of May or even a bit sooner.  
> Incubation (reported to be 10-12 days) could easily be done by the end 
> of the first week of June or slightly thereafter.  This corresponds well 
> with the 11 day quiet period mentioned above.
> 
> Looking forward to other thoughts and knowledge about the apparent brief 
> residency of these intriguing high canopy dwellers.
> 
> Ian
> =============================
> On 6/24/2011 11:06 AM, Raymond M. Soff Jr. wrote:
> > The Cerulean Warbler leaves Vermont so early in the season?  When do you think the couple you observed started nest building?  I'm surprised.
> >
> >
> >> Date: Fri, 24 Jun 2011 09:29:09 -0400
> >> From: [log in to unmask]
> >> Subject: [VTBIRD] Cerulean couple
> >> To: [log in to unmask]
> >>
> >> This morning, while checking in on the Cerulean Warbler that is nearest
> >> to my home on the southern end of Snake Mountain, for the first time in
> >> the 4 years of observation of the species I recorded a female. It was
> >> in companionship with a male, high in the canopy, right in the center of
> >> the territory posted by the male by its singing since May 13th.
> >>
> >> Being silent, muted in color, and apparently mostly in the high canopy
> >> (where nests, if any, likely would be located), the silent females are
> >> difficult to locate in the best of times .... at least where populations
> >> are scarce.
> >>
> >> Based on the behavioral patterns of males at my location in previous
> >> years, it is about now that the birds begin to stop singing, and may
> >> even be preparing for out-migration from Vermont, heading back south.
> >> Last year the last day I observed multiple birds was June 17th, and the
> >> last bird observed was June 26th. I did not see any birds on that
> >> territory last year any day after June 26th through July 17th when I
> >> quit daily surveying.
> >>
> >> {By the way, if you view the distribution map in eBird for Cerulean
> >> Warbler, you will see pointers at more locations than the birds have
> >> been observed ..... leading to an impression that the species is more
> >> widespread than it actually is. For example, the markers on the map for
> >> three observers seeing the same bird at the same place can show up as
> >> three different locations as much as 12 or more miles apart, depending
> >> on how they are submitted to eBird. This is an artifact of the eBird
> >> reporting process, and is especially magnified for rare species.}
> >>
> >> Ian
> >