Sightings – Birds

Observer: Josh Simons

Observation Date: 1/1/09

Observation Time: 2:00 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Parkway

Common Name: Carolina Wren

Scientific Name: Thryothorus ludovicianus

Comments: This and the titmouse and junco photos were all taken with a Canon 50D and a Canon 500mm f4 lens from the comfort of my kitchen on Moose Hill Parkway. We have feeders that attract lots of birds who land on a nearby lilac bush while waiting for their turn at the feeders.

In terms of processing, I use very little. The images are cropped and very small
adjustments are made to exposure and contrast with sometimes a little extra sharpening applied.

That and the nice, slanting winter sunlight are all there is to it.

More Information: Cornell Lab of Ornithology “All About Birds”

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 1/17/11

Observation Time: 3:40 p.m.

Observation Location: 284 Mountain Street

Common Name: Carolina Wren

Scientific Name: Thryothorus ludovicianus

Comments: Following the SFOC walk on Martin Luther King Day (January 17), while sipping hot cider at Vera Cross’s house at about 3:40 p.m., a pair of Carolina wrens appeared out the window. It was only 20 degrees outside. The wrens were flitting in and out of an old, unused flue, presumably trying to stay warm. When they perched on a nearby branch, they fluffed their feathers for better insulation.

The Carolina Wren is sensitive to cold weather, with the northern populations decreasing markedly after severe winters. Gradually warming winter temperatures over the last century may be responsible for the northward range expansion seen in the late-1900s and early 2000’s.

A pair bond may form between a male and a female at any time of the year, and the pair will stay together for life. Members of a pair stay together on their territory year round, and forage and move around the territory together.

More Information: All About Birds

Carolina Wren

Carolina Wren

Carolina Wren

Observer: Josh Simons

Observation Date: 1/30/11

Observation Time: 1:30 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill area

Common Name: Carolina Wren

Scientific Name: Thryothorus ludovicianus

Comments: For more than 70 years, no Carolina Wrens were recorded during a Christmas Bird Count in Vermont. Then, in 1975, two were spotted. After being observed sporadically on subsequent counts, the bird began making regular appearances in 1991, and its numbers increased steadily from 1999 to 2006. Once a southern species seen rarely during New England’s traditionally cold winters, the wren is now a regular. And it’s not alone. Milder winters and the earlier onset of spring have spurred a variety of species to spread their wings farther north, including Tufted Titmouse, Red-bellied Woodpecker, and Cape May Warbler.

More Information: Cornell Lab of Ornithology “All About Birds”

Carolina Wren

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/15/15

Observation Time: 7:35 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Cedar Waxwing

Scientific Name: Bombycilla cedrorum

Comments: These striking birds are typically seen in groups. Their tails look as if they were dipped in yellow paint. See:http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Cedar_Waxwing/id

cedarwaxwing

cedarwaxwing3

cedarwaxwing4

Observer: Deb Radovsky

Observation Date: 5/18/2016

Observation Location: Moose Hill area

Common Name: Cedar Waxwing 

Scientific Name:  Bombycilla cedrorum

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/16/15

Observation Time: 8:20 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Chestnut-sided Warbler

Scientific Name: Setophaga pensylvanica

Comments: Dazzling woodland warblers migrate through Sharon every spring on their way from South and Central America to Canada. Catching sight of one leaves an indelible impression.

More Information: All About Birds

chestnutwarbler

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/20/13

Observation Time: 4:20 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Chipping Sparrow

Scientific Name: Spizella passerina

Comments: Chipping sparrows are very common in Sharon. They have a distinctive reddish cap above a white eyeline. Their song is described as a reedy trill that sounds a lot like the songs of the pine warbler and the junco.

More Information: All About Birds

Chipping Sparrow

Observer: Deb Radovsky

Observation Date: 4/24/18

Observation Time: 5:00 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary, near bird feeders

Common Names: Chipping Sparrow and Dark-eyed Junco

Scientific Names: Spizella passerina and Junco hyemalis

Comments: If you want to get an idea of what birds are around, spend some time watching the feeders at the Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary. You’ll see everything from hummingbirds to wild turkeys.

More Information: All About Chipping Sparrows and All About Dark-eyed Juncos

Observer: Deb Radovsky

Observation Date: 2/26/18

Observation Time:

Observation Location: Lake Massapoag

Common Name: Common Merganser

Scientific Name: Mergus merganser

Comments: Common Mergansers are sometimes called sawbills, fish ducks, or goosanders. The word “merganser” comes from the Latin and roughly translates to “plunging goose”—a good name for this very large and often submerged duck.

Young Common Mergansers leave their nest hole within a day or so of hatching. The flightless chicks leap from the nest entrance and tumble to the forest floor. The mother protects the chicks, but they catch all of their own food. They start by diving for aquatic insects and switch over to fish at about 12 days old.

More Information: All About Birds

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/5/18

Observation Time: 6:00 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Common Raven

Scientific Name: Corvus corax

Comments: Ravens are considerably larger than crows. Their call is different and they travel in pairs, unlike crows, which travel in larger groups. For more information, see: http://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/common-raven. Sharon is at the southern edge of the raven’s range. Be sure to scroll down and check out the map showing how the raven’s range is expected to retreat northward as the climate heats up.

More Information: All About Birds

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/11/18

Observation Time: 8:35 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Common Yellowthroat

Scientific Name: Geoothlypis trichas

Comments: Common yellowthroats are typically found in or near wetlands. They are a type of warbler, with a distinctive black mask that is reminiscent of a raccoon. Their song sounds like, “witchety, witchety, witchety.”

More Information: All About Birds

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/14/14

Observation Time: 2:35 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Common yellowthroat

Scientific Name: Geothlypis trichas

Comments: This masked warbler is typically found near wetlands or ponds.

More Information: All About Birds

Common Yellowthroat

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/15/15

Observation Time: 10:45 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Common Yellowthroat

Scientific Name: Geoothlypis trichas

Comments: Common yellowthroats are typically found in or near wetlands. They are a type of warbler, with a distinctive black mask that is reminiscent of a raccoon. Their song sounds like, “witchety, witchety, witchety.”

More Information: All About Birds

yellowthroat

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/26/19

Observation Time: 1:30 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm (formerly the Kendall Estate)

Common Name: Common Yellowthroat

Scientific Name: Geoothlypis trichas

Comments: Common yellowthroats are typically found in or near wetlands. They are a type of warbler, with a distinctive black mask that is reminiscent of a raccoon. Their song sounds like, “witchety, witchety, witchety.”

More Information: All About Birds

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 10/1/11

Observation Time: 9:10 a.m.

Observation Location: 4 Gavins Pond Road

Common Name: Cooper’s hawk

Scientific Name: Accipiter cooperii

Comments: This juvenile female Cooper’s hawk alit in the dogwood tree right outside my living room window as I was working at my desk. Without getting up, I reached for my camera and snapped this photo through the window just before it flew away.

Cooper’s hawks look like Sharp-shinned hawks, but Cooper’s hawks have a more rounded tail. Also, the streaks on the breast of a juvenile Cooper’s hawk are narrower than those on the breast of a sharp-shinned hawk.

More Information: All About Birds

Cooper's Hawk

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 8/18/12

Observation Time: 5:20 p.m.

Observation Location: 4 Gavins Pond Road (back yard)

Common Name: Cooper’s hawk

Scientific Name: Accipiter cooperii

Comments: This Cooper’s hawk perched on a branch in my back yard, and I photographed it through the window. Note the rounded tail, which differentiates it from a sharp-shinned hawk.

More Information: All About Birds

Cooper's Hawk

Observer: Josh Simons

Observation Date: 1/1/09

Observation Time: 2:00 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Parkway

Common Name: Dark-eyed Junco

Scientific Name: Junco hyemalis

Comments: This and the titmouse and wren photos were all taken with a Canon 50D and a Canon 500mm f4 lens from the comfort of my kitchen on Moose Hill Parkway. We have feeders that attract lots of birds who land on a nearby lilac bush while waiting for their turn at the feeders.

In terms of processing, I use very little. The images are cropped and very small
adjustments are made to exposure and contrast with sometimes a little extra
sharpening applied.

That and the nice, slanting winter sunlight are all there is to it.

More Information: Cornell Lab of Ornithology “All About Birds”

Dark-Eyed Junco

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 3/8/14

Observation Time: 10:55 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Dark-eyed Junco

Scientific Name: Junco hyemalis

Comments: Juncos are winter birds in Sharon.

More Information: Cornell Lab of Ornithology “All About Birds”

Previous, Subsequent, or Similar Sightings:

Dark-eyed Junco, 1/1/09

Dark-eyed Junco, 5/4/11

Dark-Eyed Junco

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 4/18/11

Observation Time: 11:25 a.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond

Common Name: Dark-eyed Junco

Scientific Name: Junco hyemalis

Comments: Juncos are a type of sparrow commonly seen around Sharon in winter. This individual will soon be heading north for summer.

More Information: Cornell Lab of Ornithology “All About Birds”

Dark-Eyed Junco

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/7/19

Observation Time: 7:42 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Double-crested Cormorant

Scientific Name: Phalacrocorax auritus

Comments: When migrating, cormorants fly loosely in lines, as opposed to the familiar “vees” that geese use.

More Information: All About Birds

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 9/1/12

Observation Time: 4:40 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond outflow pool

Common Name: Double-crested Cormorant

Scientific Name: Phalacrocorax auritus

Comments: Most commonly seen cormorant in the East and usually the only one seen inland. Feeds by diving and swimming underwater, eating mostly fish. After feeding, often stands with wings outstretched to dry.

More Information: All About Birds

Observer: Deb Radovsky

Observation Date: 10/27/17

Observation Time: early morning

Observation Location: Lake Massapoag

Common Name: Double-crested Cormorants

Scientific Name: Phalacrocorax auritus

Comments: The double-crest of the Double-crested Cormorant is only visible on adults during breeding season. The crests are white in cormorants from Alaska, and black in other regions.

More Information: All About Birds

Observer: Rick Dumont

Observation Date: 1/26/08

Observation Time: 4:15 p.m.

Observation Location: Front yard

Common Name: Downy Woodpecker

Scientific Name: Picoides pubescens

Comments: First the male showed up, then along came the female. The male has a moustache and red stripe while the female is clean-shaven and stripeless.

More Information: All-Birds.com

Downy Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker

Observer: Josh Simons

Observation Date: 2/16/14

Observation Time: 9:00 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill area

Common Name: Downy Woodpecker

Scientific Name: Dendrocopos pubescens

Comments: Dendrocopos means “tree dagger” and “pubescens” refers to its downy hairs of puberty compared to those of the Hairy woodpecker, D. villosus.[The Dictionary of American Bird Names by Ernest A. Choate]

More Information: All About Birds

Downy Woodpecker

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/16/13

Observation Time: 6:30 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Downy Woodpecker

Scientific Name: Picoides pubescens

Comments: This pair of small, common woodpeckers was hollowing out a nesting cavity in a dead tree.

More Information: All About Birds

Downy Woodpecker

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/5/18

Observation Time: 7:20 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill area

Common Name: Downy Woodpecker

Scientific Name: Dendrocopos pubescens

Comments: Dendrocopos means “tree dagger” and “pubescens” refers to its downy hairs of puberty compared to those of the Hairy woodpecker, D. villosus.[The Dictionary of American Bird Names by Ernest A. Choate]

More Information: All About Birds

Observer: Ilan Fisher

Observation Date: 8/6/08

Observation Time: 2:00 p.m.

Observation Location: 66 N. Main Street

Common Name: Downy Woodpecker

Scientific Name: Picoides pubescens

Comments: Just visiting in a tree in front of the house.

More Information: All-Birds.com

Downy Woodpecker

Observer: Faith Berkland

Observation Date: 10/8/17

Observation Time: 5:15 p.m.

Observation Location: Fence of horse corral, Willow St, Foxboro

Common Name: Eastern Bluebird

Scientific Name: Sialia sialis

Comments: 3 bluebirds were spotted here, 1 bright blue, one maybe an immature male because less bright, and one female.

More Information: All About Birds

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 4/25/09

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Eastern Bluebird

Scientific Name: Sialia sialis

Comments: Female (above) and male (below)

More Information: Cornell Lab of Ornithology “All About Birds”

Eastern Bluebird

Observer: Faith Berkland

Observation Date: 4/14/18

Observation Time: 3:30 p.m.

Observation Location: 302 Mansfield Street

Common Name: Eastern Bluebird

Scientific Name: Sialia sialis

More Information: All About Birds or Animalia

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Contact Information:  lauenstein@comcast.net   (781) 784-2986

Observation Date: 5/1/18

Observation Time: 8:45 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Eastern Bluebird

Scientific Name: Sialia sialis

Comments: This male bluebird caught a spider and brought it back to the nest to feed its young.

More Information: All About Birds 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/13/19

Observation Time: 11:00 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Eastern Bluebird

Scientific Name: Sialia sialis

Comments: This male was guarding the territory near a nesting box where his mate had laid her blue eggs.

More Information: All About Birds

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/14/14

Observation Time: 2:25 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Eastern Bluebird

Scientific Name: Sialia sialis

Comments: Sharon Fiends of Conservation maintain about 30 bluebird houses in town. Volunteers check the bluebird houses weekly, and the data is used to help determine the optimum locations for bluebird houses.

More Information: All About Birds

Eastern Bluebird

Eastern Bluebird

Observer: Deb Radovsky

Observation Date: 5/2/18

Observation Time: 6:30 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary (Wood Thrush Trail)

Common Name: Eastern Bluebird

Scientific Name: Sialia sialis

Comments: You can find Eastern Bluebirds in open country with patchy vegetation and large trees or nest boxes. Meadows, old fields, and golf courses are good places. Bluebirds typically sit in the open on power lines or along fences, with an alert, vertical posture. When they drop to the ground after an insect, they make a show of it, with fluttering wings and a fairly slow approach, followed by a quick return to the perch.

More Information: All About Birds

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/3/15

Observation Time: 1:55 p.m.

Observation Location: field near Gavins Pond

Common Name: Eastern Bluebird

Scientific Name: Sialia sialis

Comments: I found a couple of sky-blue eggs in one of the nesting boxes near Gavins Pond. Then I saw the parents. As I was snapping photos of the male bluebird, it suddenly stretched out its wing. A moment later it was gone.

More Information: National Audubon Society

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/8/19

Observation Time: 9:40 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Eastern Bluebird

Scientific Name: Sialia sialis

Comments: This male was guarding the territory surrounding a nesting box where his mate had laid her blue eggs.

More Information: All About Birds

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 9/30/10

Observation Time: 9:25 a.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond Road near soccer fields

Common Name: Eastern Bluebird

Scientific Name: Sialia sialis

Comments: Bluebirds are becoming an increasingly common sight in the open fields bordered by woods in the vicinity of the soccer fields on Gavins Pond Road, thanks to the nesting boxes provided by SFOC.

More Information: Cornell Lab of Ornithology “All About Birds”

Eastern Bluebird

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/27/11

Observation Time: 6:10 p.m.

Observation Location: near Gavins Pond

Common Name: Bluebird (Immature)

Scientific Name: Sialia sialis

Comments: SFOC has installed 38 bluebird nesting boxes around Sharon. This young bluebird is among the first this year to roll off SFOC’s “bluebird factory” assembly line. The speckles on its breast and noticeable white eye-ring indicate that it is a juvenile. Other broods have not yet fledged.

More Information: Cornell Lab of Ornithology “All About Birds”

Bluebird (Immature)

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/15/10

Observation Time: 10:50 a.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond Road soccer field parking lot

Common Name: Bluebird (juvenile)

Scientific Name: Sialia sialis

Comments: Young bluebirds that recently left the nest have distinctive white spots on their wings. The presence of this juvenile at the Gavins Pond Road soccer field parking lot indicates the success of SFOC efforts to provide nesting boxes in the vicinity.

More Information: Cornell Lab of Ornithology “All About Birds”

Bluebird (juvenile)

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 10/8/14

Observation Time: 4:00 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond soccer field

Common Name: Eastern Bluebird

Scientific Name: Sialia Sialis

Comments: This bluebird was still hanging around Sharon in October. Bluebirds actually overwinter in Sharon, feeding on seeds. On cold nights they huddle in groups inside nesting boxes to keep warm.

More Information: All About Birds

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 4/25/13

Observation Time: 2:30 p.m.

Observation Location: near Gavins Pond Dam

Common Name: Eastern Bluebird (male)

Scientific Name: Sialia sialis

Comments: This male bluebird was guarding a nest with five sky-blue eggs in a nesting box provided by Kurt Buermann, President of the Sharon Friends of Conservation. The blue color is more or less vivid depending on the brightness and angle of the ambient light.

More Information: All About Birds

Eastern Bluebird (male)

Observer: Deb Radovsky

Observation Date: 4/23/18

Observation Time: 6:00 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary, Billings Loop

Common Name: Eastern Towhee

Scientific Name: Pipilo erythrophthalmus

Comments: The Towhee’s song sounds like, “Drink your tea,” making it easy to remember when you’re in the woods. It’s call sounds like its name, “Toe-wee.”

Eastern Towhees are often victims of the parasitic Brown-headed Cowbird. Female cowbirds lay eggs in towhee nests, then leave the towhees to raise their cowbird young. In some areas cowbirds lay eggs in more than half of all towhee nests. Towhees, unlike some other birds, show no ability to recognize or remove the imposter’s eggs. Female cowbirds typically take out a towhee egg when laying their own, making the swap harder to notice.

More Information: All About Birds 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/11/19

Observation Time: 7:30 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Eastern Towhee (male)

Scientific Name: Pipilo erythrophthalmus

Comments: Towhees are common birds in Sharon, especially along edges between woods and open fields, but they are heard more than seen. The male’s song sounds like he’s singing, “Drink your tea.” They are sometimes seen scratching among dead leaves on the ground, presumably looking for insects to eat.

Note its deep red eye.

More Information: All About Birds

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/15/14

Observation Time: 3:40 p.m.

Observation Location: field near Gavins Pond dam

Common Name: Eastern Towhee

Scientific Name: Pipilo erythrophthalmus

Comments: The Eastern towhees is the largest member of the sparrow family. Its call, “Drink your tea.” can be heard much more often than it is seen, but once you become aware of them, you will realize that they are very common in Sharon.

More Information: All About Birds

Eastern Towhee

Eastern Towhee

Eastern Towhee

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/19/19

Observation Time: 7:45 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Eastern Towhee (male)

Scientific Name: Pipilo erythrophthalmus

Comments: Towhees are common birds in Sharon, especially along edges between woods and open fields, but they are heard more than seen. The male’s song sounds like he’s singing, “Drink your tea.” They are sometimes seen scratching among dead leaves on the ground, presumably looking for insects to eat.

Note its deep red eye.

More Information: All About Birds

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/27/19

Observation Time: 5:30 p.m.

Observation Location: Under high tension wires across the street from Ward’s Berry Farm

Common Name: Eastern Towhee (male)

Scientific Name: Pipilo erythrophthalmus

Comments: This male towhee tried to scare me away by repeatedly raising one wing or the other to make itself look more intimidating. Note its deep red eye.

More Information: All About Birds

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/4/11

Observation Time: 1:50 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond

Common Name: Eastern towhee

Scientific Name: Pipilo erythrophthalmus

Comments: Towhees are the largest of the sparrows. They are quite common in Sharon. They have a distinctive call that sounds like “Drink your tea.”

More Information: All About Birds.org

Rufus-Sided towhee

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/4/13

Observation Time: 5:55 p.m.

Observation Location: Soccer parking area on Gavins Pond Road

Common Name: Eastern Towhee

Scientific Name: Pipilo erythrophthalmus

Comments: The Eastern Towhee is our largest sparrow. This male was scuffing for food in the dry leaves on the ground in a grove of trees beside the soccer parking lot. The racket he was making attracted my attention.

The call of the Towhee, which sounds like “Toe-wee,” accounts for its name. It has another call that is said to sound like “Drink Your Tea.” Once you learn to recognize the Towhee’s call, you will begin to realize that these shy birds are quite common around here, even though you may not see them in the foliage.

More Information: All About Birds

Eastern Towhee

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/6/15

Observation Time: 3:30 p.m.

Observation Location: field near Gavins Pond

Common Name: Eastern Towhee

Scientific Name: Pipilo erythrophthalmus

Comments: The Eastern Towhee is our largest sparrow. Its song can be remembered easily because it sounds like it is singing, “Drink your tea.”

More Information: All About Birds 

 Towhee

 

Observer: Jason Platt

Observation Date: 5/8/18

Observation Time: 10:00 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Eastern Towhee (female)

Scientific Name: Pipilo erythrophthalmus

Comments: Towhees are common birds in Sharon, especially along edges between woods and open fields, but they are heard more than seen. The male’s song sounds like he’s singing, “Drink your tea.”

More Information: All About Birds

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/29/11

Observation Time: 11:40 a.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond

Common Name: Eastern Towhee (female)

Scientific Name: Pipilo erythrophthalmus

Comments: This female Rufous-sided Towhee chirped “towee” repeatedly as it hopped around in a shrub. It’s a common bird that is heard more than seen. The male’s song sounds like he’s singing, “Drink your tea.”

More Information: All About Birds

Rufous-Sided Towhee (female)

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/23/16

Observation Time: 7:00 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Eastern Wood-Pewee

Scientific Name: Contopus virens

Comments: The unmistakable song of the wood-pewee (“pee-a-wee”) sounds like its name. It’s a member of the flycatcher family that is typically found in or near forested areas.

You can find and play bird songs online. The more bird calls you memorize, the more bird species you will be able to identify in the field, where the birds themselves are often concealed by foliage.

More Information: All About Birds

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/24/18

Observation Time: 6:55 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Eastern Wood-Pewee

Scientific Name: Contopus virens

Comments: The unmistakable song of the wood-pewee (“pee-a-wee”) sounds like its name. It’s a member of the flycatcher family that is typically found in or near forested areas.

You can find and play bird songs online. The more bird calls you memorize, the more bird species you will be able to identify in the field, where the birds themselves are often concealed by foliage.

More Information: All About Birds

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 4/19/15

Observation Time: 4:50 p.m.

Observation Location: field near Gavins Pond

Common Name: Field Sparrow

Scientific Name: Spizella pusilla

Comments: The song of the field sparrow is a series of chirps that gets progressively more rapid like a bouncing ping-pong ball. Check it out at: http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Field_Sparrow/sounds

FieldSparrow

 

Observer: Deb Radovsky

Observation Date: 5/12/18

Observation Time: 9:10 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm (TTOR), Powerline Trail

Common Name: Field Sparrow

Scientific Name: Spizella pusilla

Comments: The clear trill of the Field Sparrow is a familiar summer sound in brushy fields and roadsides of the East and Midwest. The tempo of its song accelerates like a bouncing ping-pong ball.

More Information: All About Birds

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/26/14

Observation Time: 5:55 p.m.

Observation Location: field near Gavins Pond dam

Common Name: Field sparrow

Scientific Name: Spizella pusilla

Comments: The song of a field sparrow starts out slowly and then gets faster, like a bouncing ping-pong ball. There are at least 18 species of sparrows in Massachusetts. Learning their respective calls is a good way to find and identify them.

More Information: All About Birds

Field Sparrow

Field Sparrow

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/27/19

Observation Time: 5:05 p.m.

Observation Location: Rocky bluff under power lines near So. Walpole Street

Common Name: Field Sparrow

Scientific Name: Spizella pusilla

Comments: Field sparrows have a relatively long tail, a thin white eye ring, and a pinkish conical bill. They have a gray face and a rust-colored cap. However, the best way to tell them apart from other sparrows is their song, an accelerating trill reminiscent of a bouncing ping-pong ball.

More Information: All About Birds

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/2/19

Observation Time: 2:40 p.m.

Observation Location: Rocky bluff under power lines near So. Walpole Street

Common Name: Field Sparrow

Scientific Name: Spizella pusilla

Comments: Field sparrows have a relatively long tail, a thin white eye ring, and a pinkish conical bill. They have a gray face and a rust-colored cap. However, the best way to tell them apart from other sparrows is their song, an accelerating trill reminiscent of a bouncing ping-pong ball.

More Information: All About Birds

Observer: ILAN FISHER

Contact Information:  ilanfisher@hotmail.com   (781) 784-5232

Observation Date: 6/12/2018

Observation Location: Lake

Scientific Name: Quiscalus quiscula

Comments: I love this guy and he loves this feeder. With his yellow eyes and black cape, I call him “Count Gracula.” He is fun to watch

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/9/13

Observation Time: 1:55 p.m.

Observation Location: 4 Gavins Pond Road (back yard)

Common Name: Gray Catbird

Scientific Name: Dumetella carolinensis

Comments: Catbirds are one of three mimics in our area. Mockingbirds and Brown Thrashers are the other two. Catbirds repeat sounds just once, whereas Brown Thrashers repeat sounds twice, and Mockingbirds repeat them three or four times before moving on to the next sound. Sometimes you can hear the calls of other common birds echoed in the calls of these mimics.

Catbirds also make a “mewing” sound, hence their name.

More Information: All About Birds

Gray Catbird

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 11/11/12

Observation Time: 4:25 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond Dam

Common Name: Great Blue Heron

Scientific Name: Ardea herodias

Comments: These magnificent birds are often seen wading in shallow ponds looking for a meal of fish, frogs, snakes, and even small mammals.

More Information: All About Birds

Great Blue Heron

Observer: Alison Siegel

Observation Date: 4/16/10

Observation Time: 6:00 a.m.

Observation Location:

Common Name: Great Blue Heron

Scientific Name: Ardea herodias

Comments: Great Blue Heron was walking across beach off of Lakeview Street in shallow water.

More Information: All About Birds

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/26/10

Observation Time: 5:15 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond

Common Name: Great Blue Heron

Scientific Name: Ardea herodias

Comments: Great blue herons primarily feed on small fish, but they are opportunistic feeders and will eat whatever comes within striking distance. They occasionally snack on shrimp, crabs, small mammals, amphibians, small birds, rodents, and insects.

More Information: All About Birds

Great Blue Heron

Observer: Ilan Fisher

Observation Date: 7/20/14

Observation Time: 12:00 p.m.

Observation Location: Massapoag Ave/Community center

Common Name: Great Blue Heron

Scientific Name: Ardea herodias

Comments: Probably checking out Sucker Brook, which flows into Lake Massapoag nearby, for a snack.

More Information: All About Birds

Great Blue Heron

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/15/13

Observation Time: 1:40 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Great Blue Heron Rookery

Scientific Name: Ardea herodias

Comments: These three juvenile herons were occupying a huge nest in a big tree, waiting for their parents to bring food. They will fly away soon to fend for themselves.

Note the eyes of the right-most bird in the photo. Being able to look down has obvious utility for a wading hunter. Although Great Blue Herons have a wingspan of around six feet, they only weigh about five pounds because they have hollow bones. This helps them fly. They can live up to 24 years, according to banding records.

Great Blue Herons prey on fish, amphibians, reptiles, insects, rodents, and even birds.

More Information: All About Birds

Great Blue Heron Rookery

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/26/10

Observation Time: 3:10 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Great Blue Heron Rookery

Scientific Name: Ardea herodias

Comments: Comments: The great blue heron nest shown in the photos below was part of a rookery consisting of many heron nests clustered in a pine grove.

While walking in the woods on a summer afternoon, we heard a clattering cacaphony, and followed out ears to find out what was making the racket. We came to a place where the forest floor was splotched in white guano. We looked up and saw many huge nests scattered among the tall pine trees.

It appears from the photo that the juvenile herons were as interested in us as we were in them. Note how their eyes stick out a little and are able to swivel so they can peer downwards. I imagine this trait is useful when the herons are wading around the edge of a pond looking for fish.

This observation occurred late in the nesting season when the young herons were almost ready to fly away.

More Information: All About Birds

Great Blue Heron Rookery

Great Blue Heron Rookery

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/11/18

Observation Time: 2:30 p.m.

Observation Location: meadow at Lakeview & Morse (see photo below)

Common Name: Great crested flycatcher

Scientific Name: Myiarchus crinitus

Comments: The great-crested flycatcher has a pale yellow breast. The memory hook I use to remember its call is “weep, weep, weep.”

More Information: All About Birds

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/26/14

Observation Time: 11:45 p.m.

Observation Location: Borderland State Park

Common Name: Great crested flycatcher

Scientific Name: Myiarchus crinitus

Comments: The great-crested flycatcher has a pale yellow breast. The memory hook I use to remember its call is “weep, weep, weep.”

More Information: All About Birds

Great Crested Flycatcher

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/27/19

Observation Time: 5:10 p.m.

Observation Location: Rocky bluff under power lines near So. Walpole St.

Common Name: Great Crested flycatcher

Scientific Name: Myiarchus crinitus

Comments: The great-crested flycatcher has a pale yellow breast. The underside of its tail is reddish brown.

The memory hook I use to remember its call is “weep, weep, weep.”

More Information: All About Birds

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 8/21/12

Observation Time: 5:30 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond

Common Name: Great Egret

Scientific Name: Ardea alba

Comments: The great egret, symbol of the National Audubon Society, is almost as big as a great blue heron, but it is pure white. The legs are black and the beak is yellow. They summer in North America, where they nest, and winter in Central and South America.

Great egrets are easily confused with the white-phase great blue heron, but great egrets have black legs while white-phase great blue herons have much lighter legs. Herons also have slightly heavier beaks and “shaggier” feathers on their breast.

More Information: All About Birds

Great Egret

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 4/17/16

Observation Time: 11:00 a.m.

Observation Location: woods near Gavins Pond

Common Name: Great Horned Owl

Scientific Name: Bubo virginianus

Comments: Half-grown owlet on a branch with its mother, which is partially obscured by branches.

More Information: All About Birds

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 1/20/10

Observation Time: 4:30 p.m.

Observation Location: Ward’s Berry Farm

Common Name: Greater White-fronted Goose

Scientific Name: Anser albifrons

Comments: Note the white at the base of the beak, the mottled breast and the orange legs that differentiate the white-fronted goose from the Canada geese with which it was mingling.

More Information: All About Birds: Greater White-fronted Goose

Greater White-Fronted Goose

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 12/14/09

Observation Time: 1:50 p.m.

Observation Location: Wolomolopoag Pond

Common Name: Greater White-fronted Goose

Scientific Name: Anser albifrons

Comments: White-fronted geese, barnacle geese, and snow geese, which summer in the arctic, depend on Sharon’s open spaces for winter refuge. Catching a glimpse of one is a reminder of the role Sharon’s open spaces play in global ecosystems. Scan flocks of Canada geese for one that looks different.

More Information: All About Birds: Greater White-fronted Goose

Greater White-fronted Goose

Greater White-fronted Goose

Observer: Will Sweet

Observation Date: 2/22/09

Observation Time: 9:30 a.m.

Observation Location: Ward’s Fields

Common Name: Greater White-fronted Goose

Scientific Name: Anser albifrons

Comments: The Greater White-fronted Goose I saw was with about 180 Canada Geese. This is at least the second individual this winter. The other one was seen from November to mid December

More Information: All About Birds: Greater White-fronted Goose

Observer: Keevin Geller

Observation Date: 8/5/13

Observation Time: 5:00 p.m.

Observation Location: Saw Mill Pond, Sharon

Common Name: Green Heron

Scientific Name: Butorides virescens

Comments: Green Herons are common breeders in coastal and inland wetlands. They nest along swamps, marshes, lakes, ponds, impoundments, and other wet habitats with trees and shrubs to provide secluded nest sites. They may even nest in dry woods and orchards as long as there is water nearby for foraging. Green Herons spend the winter in southern coastal areas of their range, and in marine and freshwater habitat throughout Mexico and Central America.

More Information: Cornell Lab of Ornithology “All About Birds”

Green Heron