Loved, Reviled, Sometimes Hunted, Crows Are Cause for Study

As the calendar flips to March in the late winter doldrums, Islanders might be surprised to learn they’re living in the season of the crow.
common grackle

Hints of Spring

The northward migration of birds has begun.
Carolina wren

Beginning Birdsong

It is winter time and, no surprise, the weather is cold. This is not the time of year to expect to hear birds singing. But I have been hearing Carolina wrens singing just about every day this month. Not only their staccato chattering alarm call, but their boisterous, loud, whistled and usually three-syllabled song that is repeated over and over again. The song sounds something like “teakettle” or “committee.”

Backside Bones

Which weighs more: a bird's bones, or its feathers?

A Heated Topic

We all have bird feeders to provide nutritious food for our feathered friends. Likely the feeders are fairly close to our houses, so the birds can be seen up close and personal. All well and good, but we can all do more! They need water to drink and to bathe in. To be most effective, the water needs to be shallow for the smaller birds like the chickadees, and deeper for the larger birds. A small pile of pebbles reaching up to the surface can provide the necessary varied depths.

Black and white warbler photo by Lanny LcDowell

Christmas Bird Count

The 61st annual Christmas Bird Count was held on Jan. 2, but the initial compilation of the data was started the next day when we all gathered via Zoom to review the species we saw in the field.
Great egret in flight, bird photo by Lanny McDowell

Taken for Granted

Some local species may seem ho-hum to us, but visitors from abroad will rave about them.

Felix Neck Concert Benefits Bird-a-thon

Island musicians will play an all-ages Zoom concert Saturday to benefit the Mass Audubon Bird-a-thon and Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary.

Black-Whiskered Vireo Sighting Is a First

In a first for Martha’s Vineyard and Massachusetts, a black-whiskered vireo was spotted near the Edgartown Golf Club on Sunday.

A Gulp of Swallows

One of the most impressive spectacles of the bird world is to be amidst a large swarm of tree swallows as they swirl, swoop and soar around you.