Sightings – Birds

Observer: Jason Platt

Observation Date: 5/8/18

Observation Time: 8:30 a.m.

Observation Location: under power lines at Moose Hill

Common Name: Prairie Warbler

Scientific Name: Setophaga discolor

Comments: This striking yellow and black warbler has a high-pitched trill that ascends. It can be seen in open fields and under power lines all summer in Sharon.

More Information: All About Birds

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/17/13

Observation Time: 4:30 p.m.

Observation Location: field near Gavins Pond

Common Name: Prairie warbler

Scientific Name: Setophaga discolor

Comments: Prairie warblers are not hard to find in fields and cleared areas under high tension lines in Sharon from May to August. Listen for their ascending trill.

More Information: All About Birds

Prairie Warbler

Prairie Warbler

Prairie Warbler

Prairie Warbler

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/2/19

Observation Time: 1:20 p.m.

Observation Location: on the bluff beneath the power lines that parallel So. Walpole St.

Common Name: Prairie Warbler

Scientific Name: Setophaga discolor

Comments: Prairie warblers are found in scrubby fields and forests throughout the eastern and south-central United States, not on the prairies. Unlike many other warblers that migrate through Sharon in spring and fall, the Prairie Warbler hangs around all summer. You can find them in brushy areas under power lines, especially if you learn to recognize their ascending trill.

More Information: All About Birds

Observer: Josh Simons

Observation Date: 6/25/11

Observation Time: 1:00 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill area

Common Name: Purple Finch

Scientific Name: Carpodacus purpureus

Comments: Probably decreased in Northeast in late 19th century after introduction of House Sparrow. In recent decades has declined further in that area, possibly owing to competition with House Finch.

More Information: audubon.org or All About Birds

Purple Finch

Observer: Rebecca Hickman

Observation Date: 7/17/12

Observation Time: n/a

Observation Location: Back yard

Common Name: Rabbit, Hawk, and Turkeys

Scientific Name: n/a

Comments: This past week, beginning last weekend, has been like watching an episode of National Geograhpic in my back yard. I’m exaggerating, but not by much..

I enjoy watching the little bunny that has taken up residency under our shed in our back yard.. I’m outside a lot, and I see him munching clover all the time.

Sunday morning I was outside having my morning cup of joe, and watching the bunny hop around on the freshly mowed lawn. Just then, what I’m assuming was a hawk came and snatched him. It happened so suddenly! At first I gasped and weakly yelled “no!” as the big bird of prey flew off with the fluffy guy. The area beyond our back yard is heavily wooded, and the trees are very tall so much of the aerial view is obscured by them and I didn’t see much more. I would have known it was a hawk with more certainty if I saw it flying more. My only good view of him was by the back of his wings when he came down, and took off. It was sad to see the bunny go, but mostly it was an amazing thing to see and I’m glad I got too see such a moment in person.

Then, yesterday I went outside to grill some hot dogs and there were two big turkeys in the yard. I grabbed my toddler and brought him out for a peek, but I knew to stay close to the safety of the door. I know from past experience that turkeys can be aggressive. The experience was when my curiousity brought me close to a pack of turkeys while I was driving in Scituate. The turkeys charged and gobble- gobbled and attacked the tires of our mini van. I was so startled that I told my husband to lock the doors. I started laughing at the silliness of my reaction, but when I saw that he actually DID lock his door, I laughed even more.

Observer: Vin Zollo

Observation Date: 11/30/18

Observation Time: morning

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Red Crossbill

Scientific Name: Loxia curvirostra

Comments: The Red Crossbill is so dependent upon conifer seeds it even feeds them to its young. Consequently, it can breed any time it finds a sufficiently large cone crop, even in the depths of winter. A flock of about 20 red crossbills has been repeatedly sighted at Moose Hill through the winter of 2018-2019 until at least May 21, 2019.

More Information: All About Birds

Observer: Josh Simons

Observation Date: 2/9/11

Observation Time: 10:00 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill area

Common Name: Red-bellied Woodpecker

Scientific Name: Melanerpes carolinus

Comments: These birds have extended their breeding range north over the last 100 years.

More Information: All About Birds

Red-Bellied Woodpecker

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 3/8/14

Observation Time: 11:10 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Red-bellied Woodpecker

Scientific Name: Melanerpes carolinus

Comments: Red-bellied woodpeckers are often victims of European starlings. As many as half of all red-bellied woodpecker nests in some areas get invaded by starlings.

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

Red-Bellied Woodpecker

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/13/16

Observation Time: 9:35 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Red-bellied Woodpecker

Scientific Name: Melanerpes carolinus

Comments: Primarily a bird of the southeast, where its rolling calls are familiar sounds in swamps and riverside woods. Omnivorous and adaptable, this woodpecker has also adjusted to life in suburbs and city parks, and in recent years it has been expanding its range to the north. Despite the name, the faint traces of red on the belly are not often visible in the field.

Red-bellied woodpeckers are often victims of European starlings. As many as half of all red-bellied woodpecker nests in some areas get invaded by starlings.

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

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/8/19

Observation Time: 10:20 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Red-bellied woodpecker

Scientific Name: Melanerpes carolinus

Comments: I kept hearing their distinctive kwirr call in a certain area, so I investigated. When I finally spotted them, I saw they were nesting in a cavity high in a dead tree.

Sharon is at the northern edge of the red-bellied woodpecker’s range. It is a year-round resident.

More Information: All About Birds

Observer: Deborah Radovsky

Observation Date: 12/3/18

Observation Time: 9:10 a.m.

Observation Location: on trail in woods, near Sharon dog park

Common Name: Red-breasted Nuthatch

Scientific Name: Sitta canadensis

Comments: There have been flocks of these for weeks in these woods, more than I have ever observed over many years, possibly due to plentiful food sources. Note that the population of red-breasted nuthatches is shifting northward, according to the National Audubon Society. See: http://climate.audubon.org/birds/rebnut/red-breasted-nuthatch

More Information: All About Birds

Observer: Josh Simons

Observation Date: 2/24/13

Observation Time: 3:00 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill area

Common Name: Red-breasted Nuthatch

Scientific Name: Sitta canadensis

Comments: Small photo due to heavy cropping.

More Information: All About Birds

Red-Breasted Nuthatch

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/6/18

Observation Time: 6:00 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Red-breasted Nuthatch

Scientific Name: Sitta canadensis

Comments: This red-breasted nuthatch was visiting the bird feeder.

More Information: All About Birds

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/29/14

Observation Time: 10:00 a.m.

Observation Location: King Phillip’s Rock trail

Common Name: Red-eyed vireo

Scientific Name: Vireo olivaceus

Comments: Red-eyed vireos sing all day long. Their song sounds like “Here I am. Where are you?” That is fitting, as they are very hard to see in the foliage.

More Information: All About Birds

Red-Eyed Vireo

Red-Eyed Vireo

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/5/16

Observation Time: 10:40 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Red-eyed Vireo

Scientific Name: Vireo olivaceus

Comments: Red-eyed vireos are a common summer resident in Sharon. They sing all day long. Since they are notoriously hard to spot in the canopy, the mnemonic for their song is, “Here I am. Where are you?” Hear a recording at: https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Red-eyed_Vireo/sounds

More Information: All About Birds

Observer: Richard Kramer

Observation Date: 2/11/19

Observation Time: 10:30 a.m.

Observation Location: west side of Lake Massapoag near the Atlantic White Cedar Swamp

Common Name: Red-shouldered Hawk

Scientific Name: Buteo lineatus

Comments: One of the best ways to find Red-shouldered Hawks is to learn their distinctive whistle. Listen for these birds in and around wet forests, where you may find them hunting from a perch along stream or pond.

More Information: All About Birds

Observer: Will Sweet

Observation Date: 2/18/09

Observation Time: 11:45 a.m.

Observation Location: Sharon Community Gardens

Common Name: Red-shouldered hawk

Scientific Name: Buteo lineatus

Comments: The hawk was perched in a large dead tree. It flew across the gardens many times spooking robins and starlings.

More Information: Whatbird.com: Red-shouldered Hawk

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 3/9/14

Observation Time: 2:40 p.m.

Observation Location: 4 Gavins Pond Road

Common Name: Red-shouldered hawk

Scientific Name: Buteo lineatus

Comments: As I sat at my desk talking on the phone, this hawk swooped in and landed on a branch outside my window. I grabbed my camera with my free hand and snapped this shot. I got help with the identification from my friend John Baur.

More Information: All About Birds

Observer: Deb Radovsky

Observation Date: 4/9/18

Observation Time: evening

Observation Location: Cottage and Ames Streets

Common Name: Red-shouldered Hawk

Scientific Name: Buteo lineatus

Comments: Although the American Crow often mobs the Red-shouldered Hawk, sometimes the relationship is not so one-sided. They may chase each other and try to steal food from each other. They may also both attack a Great Horned Owl and join forces to chase the owl out of the hawk’s territory.

More Information: All About Birds

Observer: Andrea & Herb Daroff

Observation Date: 5/15/08

Observation Time: 11:00 a.m.

Observation Location: Pilgrim Drive

Common Name: Red-shouldered hawk

Scientific Name: Buteo lineatus

Comments: This young hawk settled in a branch not more than 20 feet from our deck. I was able to get a number of shots and since he moved around a bit before flying away, I was able to shoot from different angles. We have seen him again in the yard but never again has he perched so conveniently, so cooperatively or so close.

More Information: Whatbird.com: Red-shouldered Hawk

Red-Shouldered Hawk

Observer: Ilan Fisher

Observation Date: 4/3/19

Observation Time: 2:00 PM

Observation Location: Junction of E. Foxboro St. & Harding St.

Common Name: Red-tailed Hawk

Scientific Name: Buteo jamaicensis

Comments: Red-tails are big, but they only weigh a maximum of about 3 lbs. They can live up to 30 years. They feed predominantly on small mammals.

More Information: All About Birds

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/2/18

Obseration Time: 8:00 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Red-tailed hawk

Scientific Name: Buteo jamaicensis

Comments: This red-tail had caught something – either a mouse or a frog. The hawk lost its grip on its prey, which dropped to the ground. The hawk immediately swooped down to the ground to retrieve its prize.

More information: All About Birds

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 8/14/13

Observation Time: 7:00 a.m.

Observation Location: 4 Gavins Pond Road

Common Name: Red-tailed Hawk (juvenile)

Scientific Name: Buteo jamaicensis

Comments: Red-tails are big, but they only weigh a maximum of about 3 lbs. They can live up to 30 years. They feed predominantly on small mammals.

I took these photos out the kitchen window.

More Information: PBase

Observer: Deborah Radovsky

Observation Date: 12/3/18

Observation time: 9:30 a.m.

Observation Location: Lake Massapoag, swimming very close to shore

Common Name: Red-throated Loon

Scientific Name: Gavia stellata

Comments: Adult, non-breeding plummage. Breeds in the arctic.

More information: Wikipedia

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 3/1/11

Observation Time: 5:10 p.m.

Observation Location: near Gavins Pond

Common Name: Redwing blackbird

Scientific Name: Agelaius phoeniceus

Comments: First redwing I’ve seen this season. The ground is blanketed in old snow and the pond is still frozen solid. In fall and winter they eat weedy seeds such as ragweed and cocklebur as well as native sunflowers and waste grains.

More Information: All about Birds

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/15/14

Observation Time: 5:10 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond Road

Common Name: Redwing blackbird

Scientific Name: Agelaius phoeniceus

Comments: Redwing blackbirds are typically found near water.

More Information: All about Birds

Redwing Blackbird

Redwing Blackbird

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 3/19/09

Observation Time: 4:00 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavin’s Pond

Common Name: Ring-necked Duck

Scientific Name: Aythya collaris

Comments: I saw ring-necked ducks last spring at Gavins Pond. They must use Gavins Pond to rest and feed during their migration.

More Information: All About Birds: Ring-necked Duck

Ring-Necked Duck

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 3/25/11

Observation Time: 5:20 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavin’s Pond

Common Name: Ring-necked Duck

Scientific Name: Aythya collaris

Comments: Ring-necked ducks migrate through Sharon, and can be seen in spring and fall.

More Information: All About Birds: Ring-necked Duck

Ring-Necked Duck

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 4/18/13

Observation Time: 2:20 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavin’s Pond

Common Name: Ring-necked Duck

Scientific Name: Aythya collaris

Comments: Ring-necked ducks migrate through Sharon, and can be seen in spring and fall.

More Information: All About Birds: Ring-necked Duck

Observer: Deb Radovsky

Observation Date:

Observation Time:

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Rose-breated Grosbeak

Scientific Name: Pheucticus ludovicianus

Comments: Look for these birds in forest edges and woodlands. Listen, too, for their distinctive voices. They sound like American Robins, but with an extra sweetness. They also make a sharp chink like the squeak of a sneaker.

More Information: All About Birds

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/12/16

Observation Time: 6:40 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Center

Common Name: Rose-breasted Grosbeak

Scientific Name: Pheucticus ludovicianus

Comments: Look for these birds in forest edges and woodlands. Listen, too, for their distinctive voices. They sound like American Robins, but listen for an extra sweetness, as if the bird had operatic training; they also make a sharp chink like the squeak of a sneaker. 

More Information: All About Birds

rose-breasted grosbeak-2

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/23/16

Observation Time: 7:50 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Rose-breasted Grosbeak

Scientific Name: Pheucticus ludovicianus

Comments: The male rose-breasted grosbeak is one of our more photogenic songbirds, especially on a sunny morning. The female is drab brown.

More Information: All About Birds

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/2/14

Observation Time: 11:50 a.m.

Observation Location: in the woods near Gavins Pond

Common Name: Rose-breasted Grosbeak

Scientific Name: Pheucticus ludovicianus

Comments: I found this specimen by listening to its call.

More Information: All About Birds

Observer: Josh Simons

Observation Date: 6/25/11

Observation Time: 1:00 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill area

Common Name: Rose-breasted Grosbeak

Scientific Name: Pheucticus ludovicianus

Comments: A female just after a bath.

More Information: All About Birds

Rose-Breasted Grosbeak

Observer: Deb Radovsky

Observation Date: 5/18/2016

Observation Location: Moose Hill area

Common Name: Rose-breasted Grosbeak

Scientific Name: Pheucticus ludovicianus

Observer: Josh Simons

Observation Date: 10/31/12

Observation Time: 1:00 p.m.

Observation Location: Wolomolopoag Pond

Common Name: Ross’s Goose

Scientific Name: Chen rossii

Comments: Tight crop, some light dodging and burning to allow black tail to be seen a little better against the background.

More Information: All About Birds

Ross's Goose

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 11/12/12

Observation Time: 5:05 p.m.

Observation Location: Wolomolopoag Pond

Common Name: Ross’s Goose

Scientific Name: Chen rossii

Comments: The Ross’s goose resembles a snow goose, but smaller, and with a shorter neck. It is snow white with black wing tips. This individual was seen among dozens of Canada geese on their way south for the winter, and attracted a number of bird watchers to Wolomolopoag Pond.

More Information: All About Birds

Ross's Goose

Ross's Goose

Ross's Goose

Ross's Goose

Ross's Goose

Observer: Deb Radovsky

Observation Date: 5/18/16

Observation Location: Moose Hill area

Common Name: Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Scientific Name: Archilochus colubris

Comments: Ruby-throated hummingbirds are the only species of hummingbird commonly seen in New England. They overwinter in Costa Rica, and arrive in Massachusetts around May 1 every year. That’s a good time to put out a hummingbird feeder. If you’re lucky, and you change the sugar water in the feeder regularly, they’ll nest nearby and visit your feeder all summer.

More Information: All About Birds

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/16/14

Observation Time: 6:45 p.m.

Observation Location: 4 Gavins Pond Rd.

Common Name: Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Scientific Name: Archilochus colubris

Comments: Ruby-throated hummingbirds migrate all the way from New England to Central America and back every year – a journey of about 2,500 miles including 500 miles over the Gulf of Mexico. They can live up to 10 years, so they log a lot of miles for a creature that weighs less than a dime.

More Information: All About Birds

Observer: Josh Simons

Observation Date: 6/25/11

Observation Time: 1:00 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill area

Common Name: Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Scientific Name: Archilochus colubris

Comments: Female

More Information: All About Birds

Ruby-Throated Hummingbird

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/21/16

Observation Time: 7:10 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm (The Trustees of Reservations)

Common Name: Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Scientific Name: Archilochus colubris

Comments: Ruby-throated hummingbirds are the only species of hummingbird commonly seen in New England. They overwinter in Costa Rica, and arrive in Massachusetts around May 1 every year. That’s a good time to put out a hummingbird feeder. If you’re lucky, and you change the sugar water in the feeder regularly, they’ll nest nearby and visit your feeder all summer.

More Information: All About Birds

 

Observer: Josh Simons

Observation Date: 1/1/14

Observation Time: 4:42 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Rusty Blackbird

Scientific Name: Euphagus carolinus

Comments: Low light, hand-held, not such a great photo. Confirmed by Christine Turnbull as a Rusty.

More Information: All About Birds

Rusty Blackbird

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/6/15

Observation Time: 3:41 p.m.

Observation Location: soccer field parking lot near Gavins Pond

Common Name: Savannah Sparrow

Scientific Name: Passerculus sandwichensis

Comments: Savannah sparrows are often seen in flocks feeding on the ground.

More Information: All About Birds http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Savannah_Sparrow/sounds

Sparrow

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/16/13

Observation Time: 6:15 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Scarlet tanager

Scientific Name: Piranga olivacea

Comments: Scarlet tanagers live in the woods, so they are seldom seen due to the foliage. However if you learn their call, which sounds like a robin with a sore throat, you can hear them singing and follow your ears until you find them.

They are often found in pairs. The females are as drab as the males are flashy.

More Information: All About Birds

Scarlet Tanager

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/16/14

Observation Time: 12:35 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Scarlet Tanager

Scientific Name: Piranga olivacea

Comments: Scarlet tanagers are common in Sharon, but few people see these brilliantly colored birds because they live in the woods where they are concealed by foliage. If you learn their song, which sounds like a robin with a sore throat, you can find them in wooded areas fairly easily.

More Information: All About Birds

Scarlet Tanager

Scarlet Tanager

Scarlet Tanager

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/23/16

Observation Time: 12:35 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Scarlet Tanager

Scientific Name: Piranga olivacea

Comments: Scarlet tanagers are common in Sharon, but few people see these brilliantly colored birds because they live in the woods where they are concealed by foliage. If you learn their song, which sounds like a robin with a sore throat, you can find them in wooded areas fairly easily.

More Information: All About Birds

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/27/19

Observation Time: 1:10 p.m.

Observation Location: Conservation land near Morse & Lakeview

Common Name: Scarlet Tanager

Scientific Name: Piranga olivacea

Comments: Scarlet tanagers often play host to eggs of the brown-headed cowbird (male and female shown below), particularly where the forest habitat has been fragmented. When a pair of tanagers notices a female cowbird approaching, they aggressively drive her away. If they don’t notice, the cowbird gets rid of a tanager egg and replaces it with one of her own. The tanagers apparently can’t tell the difference, either before or after the egg hatches, and they raise the imposter along with the rest of their brood.

More Information: All About Birds

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/8/19

Observation Time: 11:10 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Scarlet Tanager

Scientific Name: Piranga olivacea

Comments: Scarlet tanagers often play host to eggs of the brown-headed cowbird (male and female shown below), particularly where the forest habitat has been fragmented. When a pair of tanagers notices a female cowbird approaching, they aggressively drive her away. If they don’t notice, the cowbird gets rid of a tanager egg and replaces it with one of her own. The tanagers apparently can’t tell the difference, either before or after the egg hatches, and they raise the imposter along with the rest of their brood.

More Information: All About Birds

Observer: Molly DellaRoman

Observation Date: 7/1/13

Observation Time: morning

Observation Location: Trustees of Reservations Moose Hill Farm

Common Name: Scarlet Tanager

Scientific Name: Piranga olivacea

More Information: All About Bird

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/3/18

Observation Time: 10:05 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Scarlet Tanager (male & female)

Scientific Name: Piranga olivacea

Comments: Scarlet tanagers are common in Sharon, but few people see these brilliantly colored birds because they live in the woods where they are concealed by foliage. If you learn their song, which sounds like a robin with a sore throat, you can find them in wooded areas fairly easily.

Scarlet tanagers tend to travel in pairs. The males is bright red with jet-black wings. The female is drab greenish yellow with gray wings.

More Information: All About Birds

Observer: Deb Radovsky

Observation Date: 5/24/18

Observation Time: 6:15 a.m.

Observation Location: Billings Loop, Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Scarlet Tanager (male)

Scientific Name: Piranga olivacea

Comments: This scarlet and black woodland bird is common in Sharon but seldom seen. However, you can find them by learning what their song sounds like.

The female is drab olive-green with dark (but not jet black) wings.

More Information: All About Birds

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/9/19

Observation Time: 6:45 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Scarlet tanager (orange variant)

Scientific Name: Piranga olivacea

Comments: Male scarlet tanagers are typically bright red with jet black wings (females are drab green). This male, however, was as orange as a Baltimore oriole. Its song was unquestionably that of a scarlet tanager.

More Information:  Flickr

Observer: Richard Kramer

Observation Date: 6/28/11

Observation Time: 11:59 p.m.

Observation Location: Shores of Lake Massapoag

Common Name: Screech Owl (fledgling)

Scientific Name: Otus asio

Comments: Pair of fledglings were calling and testing their wings.

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

Screech Owl (Fledgling)

Observer: Josh Simons

Observation Date: 11/20/07

Observation Time: 9:00 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Parkway

Common Name: Sharp-Shinned Hawk

Scientific Name: Accipiter striatus

Comments: Male is much smaller than the female. The female is about the size and appearance of a Cooper’s hawk. This web page is helpful for distinguishing between these two species of hawks: https://feederwatch.org/learn/tricky-bird-ids/coopers-hawk-and-sharp-shinned-hawk/

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

Hawk

Observer: Josh Simons

Observation Date: 3/28/11

Observation Time: 9:00 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Parkway

Common Name: Sharp-shinned Hawk

Scientific Name: Accipiter striatus

Comments: Sharp-shinned Hawks are birds of the forest and forest edge, and are not found where trees are scarce or scattered, except on migration. They require dense forest, ideally with a closed canopy, for breeding.

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

Sharp-Shinned Hawk

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 12/26/08

Observation Time: 1:00 p.m.

Observation Location: Dirt road by soccer field near Gavins Pond

Common Name: Snow Bunting

Scientific Name: Plectrophenax nivalis

Comments: Flock of around a dozen birds was gleaning seeds on the dirt road.

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

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 12/12/08

Observation Time: 10:00 a.m.

Observation Location: Ward’s field near Heights Elementary School

Common Name: Snow Goose

Scientific Name: Chen caerulescens

Comments: There was a flock of about 10 snow geese in Ward’s field. They were all white except for black wing tips.

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

Observer: Josh Simons

Observation Date: 2/10/14

Observation Time: 5:00 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill area

Common Name: Song Sparrow

Scientific Name: Melospiza melodia

Comments: Melos meaning “song”, “spiza” meaning “a finch” and “melodia” meaning “a pleasant sound”. “Sparrow” comes from the Anglo-Saxon “spearwa” or “sparrow”, literally “flutterer”. [The Dictionary of American Bird Names by Ernest A. Choate]

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

Song Sparrow

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 4/7/11

Observation Time: 5:40 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond Road near soccer fields

Common Name: Song Sparrow

Scientific Name: Melospiza melodia

Comments: This song sparrow was gleaning seeds. Their distinctive, melodious song is a good one to memorize because it is so common.

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

Song Sparrow

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/29/16

Observation Time: 1:50 p.m.

Observation Location: near Lake Massapoag boat ramp

Common Name: Song Sparrow

Scientific Name: Melospiza melodia

Comments: There are at least 18 species of sparrows in Massachusetts. Learning their respective calls is a good way to find and identify them. The spot on its chest also helps with identification.

More Information: All About Birds

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/29/14

Observation Time: 11:25 a.m.

Observation Location: Borderland State Park

Common Name: Song Sparrow

Scientific Name: Melospiza melodia

Comments: 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

Song Sparrow

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/2/19

Observation Time: 3:45 p.m.

Observation Location: in the wetlands beneath the power lines across the street from Ward’s Berry Farm

Common Name: Song Sparrow

Scientific Name: Melospiza melodia

Comments: 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

Observer: Deb Radovsky

Observation Date: 5/12/18

Observation Time: 7:30 a.m.

Observation Location: Lake Massapoag

Common Name: Spotted Sandpiper

Scientific Name: Actitis macularius

Comments: The Spotted Sandpiper is the most widespread breeding sandpiper in North America. Female Spotted Sandpipers sometimes practice an unusual breeding strategy called polyandry, where a female mates with up to four males, each of which then cares for a clutch of eggs.

More Information: All About Birds

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/31/10

Observation Time: 11:15 a.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond outflow pool

Common Name: Spotted Sandpiper

Scientific Name: Actitis macularia

Comments: Though you may think of the beach as the best place to see a sandpiper, look for Spotted Sandpipers alone or in pairs along the shores of lakes, rivers, and streams.

More Information: All About Birds

Spotted Sandpiper

Spotted Sandpiper

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/27/19

Observation Time: 9:35 a.m.

Observation Location: Conservation land near Morse & Lakeview

Common Name: Swainson’s Thrush

Scientific Name: Catharus ustulatus

Comments: I lucked into this one. As I was walking down a trail through the woods I saw it fly from the trail up to a nearby branch, and I got just one photo before it flew away. I assumed it was a hermit thrush, but a friend studied the photo and told me it’s a Swainson’s. I had never seen one before.

More Information: All About Birds

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/17/15

Observation Time: 7:45 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Tennessee Warbler

Scientific Name: Setophaga magnolia

Comments: This bird was flitting around in a flowering crabapple tree.

More Information: All About Birds

Observer: Kurt Buermann

Observation Date: 5/12/11

Observation Time: 1:30 p.m.

Observation Location: Laveview Street meadow

Common Name: Tree swallow

Scientific Name: Tachycineta bicolor

Comments: Very commonly nests near bluebirds. Tree swallows may defend bluebirds against other tree swallow if they occupy adjacent nesting boxes.

More Information: All About Birds.org

Tree Swallow

Observer: Deb Radovsky

Observation Date: 5/18/16

Observation Location: Moose Hill area

Common Name: Tree Swallow

Scientific Name: Tachycineta bicolor

Comments: Tree swallows compete with bluebirds for nesting boxes.

More Information: All About Birds

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/30/10

Observation Time: 4:35 p.m.

Observation Location: field near Gavins Pond

Common Name: Tree swallow

Scientific Name: Tachycineta bicolor

Comments: Tree swallows nest in bluebird nesting boxes. One strategy is to locate two bluebird houses within 10 yards of each other. Tree swallows nesting in one box will drive other tree swallows away from the other box, but allow bluebirds to move in.

More Information: All About Birds.org

Tree Swallow

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/4/11

Observation Time: 1:00 p.m.

Observation Location: near Gavins Pond Dam

Common Name: Tree swallow

Scientific Name: Tachycineta bicolor

Comments: Tree swallows compete for bluebird nesting boxes. Bluebird house are often set out in pairs. One box gets taken by a pair of tree swallows. They drive other tree swallows away from the other box, but allow bluebirds to move in.

More Information: All About Birds.org

Tree Swallow

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/8/14

Observation Time: 7:10 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Tree swallow

Scientific Name: Tachycineta bicolor

Comments: Tree swallows compete with bluebirds for nesting boxes. However, if nesting boxes are sited in pairs, a tree swallow will occupy one box and drive away other tree swallows from the other box. That will allow bluebirds to nest there.

More Information: All About Birds.org

Tree Swallow

Tree Swallow

Observer: Josh Simons

Observation Date: 1/1/09

Observation Time: 2:00 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Parkway

Common Name: Tufted Titmouse

Scientific Name: Baeolophus bicolor

Comments: This and the junco 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”

Tufted Titmouse

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/1/18

Observation Time: 9:00 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audbon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Tufted Titmouse

Scientific Name: Baeolophus bicolor

Comments: Often seen in the company of chickadees.

More Information: All About Birds

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 4/11/11

Observation Time: 6:10 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond

Common Name: Turkey Vulture

Scientific Name: Cathartes aura

Comments: Turkey vultures are gliders. They ride thermal updrafts, so they rarely need to flap their wings.

More Information: All About Birds

Turkey Vulture

Observer: Rick Dumont

Observation Date: 7/28/09

Observation Time: 2:00 p.m.

Observation Location: Belcher Street

Common Name: Turkey Vulture

Scientific Name: Cathartes aura

Comments: A bad smell invaded my yard during a rainy, humid spell. The buzzard must have been attracted to it. The smell went away shortly after the buzzard did.

More Information: All About Birds

Turkey Vulture