Gray Catbird – 8/28/20

Observer: Ilan Fisher Observation Date: 8/28/20 Observation Time: 2:00 p.m. Observation Location: near intersection of Beach & Harding Streets 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 […]

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Mallard – 8/28/20

Observer: Ilan Fisher Observation Date: 8/28/20 Observation Time: 12:00 p.m. Observation Location: near intersection of Beach & Harding Streets Common Name: Mallard Scientific Name: Anas platyrhynchos Comments: Perhaps the most familiar of all ducks, Mallards occur throughout North America and Eurasia in ponds and parks as well as wilder wetlands and estuaries. The male’s gleaming green head, gray flanks, and black tail-curl arguably make it […]

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Northern Cardinal – 8/22/20

Observer: Ilan Fisher Observation Date: 8/22/20 Observation Time: 5:00 p.m. Observation Location: near intersection of Beach & Harding Streets Common Name: Northern Cardinal (male) Scientific Name: Cardinalis cardinalis Comments: One of the most common birds in Sharon, cardinals are also one of the most striking. Cardinals have a whistle-like voice, and sing strongly. Learn to recognize their various vocalizations at: http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/northern_cardinal/sound Cardinals typically travel in pairs. The female is mostly […]

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Downy Woodpecker – 8/22/20

Observer: Ilan Fisher Observation Date: 8/22/20 Observation Time: 2:00 p.m. Observation Location: near intersection of Beach & Harding Streets Common Name: Downy Woodpecker Scientific Name: Dryobates pubescens Comments:  “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] Downy woodpeckers look very much like hairy woopeckers, but downy woodpeckers are much smaller than […]

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Great Blue Heron – 8/20/20

Observer: Ilan Fisher Observation Date: 8/20/20 Observation Time: 10:00 a.m. Observation Location: Lake Massapoag Common Name: Great Blue Heron Scientific Name: Ardea herodias Comments: Adult great blue herons weigh about 5 lbs. They weigh more than great horned owls, which weigh about 3 lbs., but they are not the largest bird found in Sharon. Bald eagles can reach 14 lbs. More Information: All About Birds

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Scarlet Tanager – 8/6/20

Observer: Deborah Radovsky Observation Date: 8/6/20 Observation Time: 7:15 a.m. Observation Location: Rock Ridge Cemetery Common Name: Scarlet Tanager Scientific Name: Piranga olivacea Comments: Scarlet tanagers are coomon in Sharon, but seldom seen. Their woodland habitat obscures them in the leaves. To find them, learn their song and follow your ears as you wlak along trails through the woods. Check out the trail maps on this web […]

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Spotted Sandpiper – 8/6/20

Observer: Deborah Radovsky Observation Date: 8/6/20 Observation Time: 7:00 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 […]

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Cedar Waxwing – 8/2/20

 Observer: Deb Radovsky Observation Date: 8/2/20 Observation Time: 6:40 a.m. Observation Location: along Lake Massapoag Common Name: Cedar Waxwing  Scientific Name:  Bombycilla cedrorum Comments: Cedar Waxwings typically travel in groups. More Information: All About Birds

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Great Crested Flycatcher – 7/2/20

Observer: Josh Simons Observation Date: 7/2/20 Observation Time: 3:00 p.m. Observation Location: Moose Hill area 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. More Information: All About Birds

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Eastern Kingbird – 6/14/20

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 6/14/20 Observation Time: 4:40 p.m. Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm (TTOR) Common Name: Eastern Kingbird Scientific Name: Tyrannus tyrannus Comments: Kingbirds are members of the flycatcher family. The tip of the tail looks like it was dipped in white paint. Their call has been likened to the sound of arcing electricity. In summer kingbirds eat mostly flying insects. Pairs maintain a […]

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House Wren – 6/9/20

Observer: Josh Simons Observation Date: 6/9/20 Observation Time: 9:30 a.m. Observation Location: Moose Hill area Common Name: House Wren Scientific Name: Troglodytes aedon Comments: House wrens often fill bluebird nesting boxes chock full of twigs, presumably to prevent other birds from nesting in their territory. They have a harsh, jumbled scolding call. Learn it and you will find them around town. More Information: All About Birds

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Song Sparrow – 5/31/20

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 5/31/20 Observation Time: 4:50 p.m. Observation Location: Trustees of Reservations’ Moose Hill 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

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American Robin – 5/31/20

Observer: Josh Simons Observation Date: 5/31/20 Observation Time: 2:15 p.m. Observation Location: Moose Hill area Common Name: American Robin Scientific Name: Turdus migratorius Comments: Robins eat different types of food depending on the time of day: more earthworms in the morning and more fruit later in the day. Because the robin forages largely on lawns, it is vulnerable to pesticide poisoning and can be an important […]

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Indigo Bunting – 5/30/20

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 5/30/20 Observation Time: 2:45 p.m. Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm (TTOR) Common Name: Indigo Bunting Scientific Name: Passerina cyanea Comments: Male indigo buntings are actually black; the diffraction of light through their feathers makes them look blue. This explains why males can appear as various hues from turquoise to black. Female indigo buntings are brown (see photos below). More Information: All […]

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Red-eyed Vireo – 5/30/20

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 5/30/20 Observation Time: 1:40 p.m. Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm (TTOR) 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. Note […]

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Red-bellied Woodpecker – 5/21/20

Observer: Josh Simons Observation Date: 5/21/20 Observation Time: 6:30 p.m. Observation Location: Moose Hill area Common Name: Red-bellied woodpecker Scientific Name: Melanerpes carolinus Comments: Massachusetts is at the northern edge of the range for this species (as implied by its scientific name, Melanerpes carolinus), but they are becoming more common around here as a result of the warming climate. Red-bellied woodpeckers make a very distinctivekwirr call. Learn to […]

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Bobolink – 5/21/20

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 5/21/20 Observation Time: 9:30 a.m. Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm (formerly the Kendall Estate) Common Name: Bobolink Scientific Name: Dolichonyx oryzivorus Comments: The big pasture at the Trustees of Reservations’ Moose Hill Farm is ideal breeding habitat for bobolinks. Meadow habitat is not nearly as prevalent in Massachusetts since industry replaced agriculture, and forests grew back in former pasture lands. More Information: All About Birds

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Indigo Bunting – 5/21/20

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 5/21/20 Observation Time: 9:20 a.m. Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm (TTOR) Common Name: Indigo Bunting Scientific Name: Passerina cyanea Comments: Indigo Buntings are actually black; the diffraction of light through their feathers makes them look blue. This explains why males can appear as various hues from turquoise to black. Note the different color of the bird in the last photo […]

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Wild Turkey – 5/20/2020

Observer: Ilan Fisher Observation Date: 5/20/20 Observation Time: 5:00 p.m. Observation Location: Bayberry Drive Common Name: Wild Turkey Scientific Name: Meleagris gallopavo Comments: Red team vs. Blue team – truly American birds! So much so that Ben Franklin thought the wild turkey would be preferable to the bald eagle as a national symbol. See: https://www.history.com/news/did-benjamin-franklin-propose-the-turkey-as-the-national-symbol More Information: All About Birds

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Red-tailed Hawk – 5/20/20

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 5/20/20 Observation Time: 4:26 p.m. Observation Location: high tension lines opposite Ward’s Berry Farm Common Name: Red-tailed Hawk Scientific Name: Buteo jamaicensis Comments: Red-tailed hawks are often harassed by songbirds. This one was engaged in a dogfight with a redwing blackbird. More Information: All About Birds

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Yellow warbler – 5/20/20

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 5/20/20 Observation Time: 2:35 p.m. Observation Location: wetlands under high tension lines across the street from Ward’s Berry Farm Common Name: Yellow Warbler Scientific Name: Setophaga petechia Comments: The yellow warbler is typically found near wetlands. It has a song that sounds like, “sweet-sweet-sweet-little more sweet.” More Information: All About Birds

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Baltimore Oriole 5-19-20

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 5/19/20 Observation Time: 11:10 a.m. Observation Location: under the high tension lines across the street from the Gavins Pond soccer fields Common Name: Baltimore Oriole Scientific Name: Icterus galbula Comments: The oriole’s flutelike call is quite distinctive, once you know what to listen for. More Information: All About Birds

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Eastern Kingbird – 5/19/20

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 5/19/20 Observation Time: 9:50 a.m. Observation Location: field near Gavins Pond dam Common Name: Eastern kingbird Scientific Name: Tyrannus tyrannus Comments: Kingbirds are members of the flycatcher family. The tip of the tail looks like it was dipped in white paint. Their call has been likened to the sound of arcing electricity. In summer kingbirds eat mostly flying insects. Pairs […]

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Prairie Warbler – 5/18/20

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 5/18/20 Observation Time: 10:25 a.m. Observation Location: under the power lines across the street from the Gavins Pond soccer fields Common Name: Prairie Warbler Scientific Name: Setophaga discolor Comments: Prairie warblers are found in scrubby fields and forest edges throughout the eastern and south-central United States. Unlike many other warblers that migrate through Sharon in spring and fall, the prairie warbler hangs around […]

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Rose-breasted Grosbeak – 5/18/20

Observer: Josh Simons Observation Date: 5/18/20 Observation Time: 9:00 a.m. Observation Location: Moose Hill area Common Name: Rose-breasted Grosbeak Scientific Name: Pheucticus ludovicianus Comments: The male rose-breasted grosbeak is one of Sharon’s more photogenic songbirds, especially on a sunny morning. The female is drab brown. Its song has a melodic, flute-like quality. If you listen to a recording of its song and learn to recognize it, you […]

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