Aviatlas Sightings Record

February 14, 2010
Bridle Creek/Gold Hill
US · Virginia
Lon. -81.251278, Lat. 36.613047, Alt. 2,680 ft

Member: Scott Jackson-Ricketts
Hotspot: Bridle Creek/Gold Hill

Perhaps the sun and relative warmth, (up to 41 F. this afternoon), brought more activity to the feeders and general locomotion. I also spent a bit more time outside today, shoveling snow and paying attention. For instance, the three bluebirds counted were startled by my sudden arrival, and though I did not see them eating from the suet cake, that is from whence they flew. And looking up in mid afternoon, I caught two black vultures in a thermal, against a stunningly clear blue sky. Still no sign of the hermit thrush, and I fear the worst alas.

I would like a more thorough conversation on the ongoing argument as to whether we actually help birds by providing easy food. I stand by providing water without concern, but the question as to how we alter bird behavior and thus create dependencies has me wondering. There is no question that we humans benefit from feeding stations, at least as far as entertainment goes. And there are all the stats out there based upon feeder birds going to migrational and population records through the years. But are these records skewed by our middle management schemes of bringing the birds closer to us, rather than our going out in the field to find them in less compromised situations...is the question.

20 Species Reported: Black Vulture (2), Mourning Dove (4), Red-bellied Woodpecker (2), Downy Woodpecker (1), Carolina Wren (2), Eastern Bluebird (3), Carolina Chickadee (5), Tufted Titmouse (4), White-breasted Nuthatch (2), Blue Jay (6), American Crow (4), Purple Finch (3), House Finch (10), American Goldfinch (9), Yellow-rumped Warbler (1), Eastern Towhee (2), Song Sparrow (1), White-throated Sparrow (13), Dark-eyed Junco (6), Northern Cardinal (15)

This sightings record was recorded at: www.aviatlas.com

-Scott Jackson-Ricketts