Trans: Latin prefix implying "across" or "Beyond", often used in gender nonconforming situations – Scend: Archaic word describing a strong "surge" or "wave", originating with 15th century english sailors – Survival: 15th century english compound word describing an existence only worth transcending.

Category: Nature Observations (Page 1 of 4)

Visual NH Research Update :)

Olive-sided Flycatcher (Is Says, "Three Beers!! [please]"

Walking to work in the morning


Song Sparrow

Common Yellowthroat Warbler

I'll let the photos to the talking:  welcome to my world! 🙂 !!!!





Research Year Two: Three Photos

Male Common Yellowthroat Warbler

The field season has officially started in Northern NH!

Male Common Yellowthroat warbler (COYE):   This fellow is defending a small territory in a patch of open thicket.   These warblers rely on early succession forest- patches of substrate that haven't  really grown in yet- to build cryptic, ground-level nests.  They develop complex systems to divert/confuse predators away from their nests.


Female Black-throated Blue Warbler (BTBW):  I was lucky to see this female.   She is paired with a male who defends a large mature forest territory.   They have quite a few BTBW neighbors, which makes for a lot of skirmishes among the males over land.  The females are often silent and move very fast...

Male Mourning Warbler (MOWA):  This is a rare bird here.   Even more amazing, it is defending a territory in our research site- and trying to chase out a male COYE while doing so.  The two species "share" resources, which means thy can't stand each other.   🙂   Each time the male COYE sings near the MOWA, it gets berated and chased away- and vice versa.   It appears the COYE isn't budging either, probably because it hasn't had this domestic, neighborly problem before.


Female Black-throated Blue Warbler

Male Mourning Warbler

Rugby Morning #2

Guess where I went this morning?

Breaking in the new spot.  Additionally, I saw Magnolia, Yellow, and Common Yellowthroat warblers, and heard Black Throated Blue and Green warblers.  Veery, Hermit, and  Ovenbird thrushes were around, in addition to catbirds.


Some Environmental Rugby-Bird Portraits

I scoped out the local "rugby" field this morning.  A retired birder-couple told me "188 Species" of birds have been spotted in the last decade (by them) in this mixed-habitat space.  Here's a start...



Common Yellow Throat

Red Bellied Woodpecker

Hermit Thrush


Wolf Pine @ Fox Park: Silence?

I have an extremely brief update on my Wolf Pine tree; I did my loop and heard nothing.  All I found was an enormous explosion of Beech leaves.   Yes, a peeper here and a Phobe's lone chip call there- but really, as the school year draws to a close, my 29th update on this area seemed to be telling me to just relax and enjoy the scene.  So I did.



Pre-dawn Fox Park Lot Walk (Birding by Ear)

Walking through the 'burbs in the dark can be exciting.  About an 45 minutes before sunrise, I walked to the base area of Fox park and found these 15 birds.  While I didn't see them, I could certainly hear them!

Species Count
Mourning Dove 1
Downy Woodpecker 1
Eastern Phoebe 3
Blue Jay 1
American Crow 3
Black-capped Chickadee 4
Tufted Titmouse 3
House Wren 2
Wood Thrush 1
American Robin 2
Northern Mockingbird 1
Ovenbird 2
Chipping Sparrow 1
Song Sparrow 1
Northern Cardinal 1



Well.  There comes a time when one remembering the right things at the right time equates to a high-stakes venture in academia.

Below is a gallery of photos taken today, comprised almost entirely out of bark, leaves, and twigs.  This is my study guide for the upcoming natural history final exam.  It is not near complete; but for a walk through the woods and a significant number of hours behind a camera, computer, and coffee cup, I think it will do for now.  Frogs, tracks, and birds are not covered here.



Hunting for Trees = BIRDS

Today, I went lurking about Langdon Woods in search of as many trees as possible.  I took over 300 photos of bark, leaves, and twigs, aiming to highlight the growth patterns and key ID features of the trees on the PSU natural history final exam.   This went well, and I will be posting these Tree-I-Dee's as soon as I get through the pictures.

The following photos are the result of chance and some enthusiastic "pishing" I did to draw in the birds, so I would not need to get to off course.

  1.  Redstart Warbler.  This is a breeding male in full attire.   The Redstart song is often heard through these New Hampshire forests these days.  This fellow responded very well to "pish" sounds, and danced over to me to see what the fuss was about.

  1. Black-and-White Warbler.  These Warblers have a weezy, squeaky sound almost identical to a rusty wheel. They act like Nuthatches but "dance" up and down the tree more enthusiastically, which is often a good way to tell which is which.

  1.  Hermit Thrush.  These amber-toned thrushes have a beautiful song, but the only thrush singing today was the large Ovenbird population.   More characteristic to the forests on the sides of white mountains, they will all sing together about an half an hour before sunrise.  The proper thrushes (not including robin) of NH seem to follow an altitude metric:  Wood lives at the bottom, Hermit lives in the low hills, Swainson sings in the mossy forest below the krumholz, and Bicknell rules them all, only breeding above four thousand feet.  !!!


Fox Park to Langdon: Morning Birds!

Without further ado:

This morning, I went birding across the campus starting at sunrise.  Below is the species list, and two ID shots- Ruby-crowned kinglet and Yellow warbler.

2 Canada Goose
2 Mourning Dove
1 Red-bellied Woodpecker
1 Downy Woodpecker
2 Eastern Phoebe
2 Blue Jay
2 American Crow
1 Common Raven
3 Black-capped Chickadee
2 Tufted Titmouse
1 House Wren
2 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
2 American Robin
1 Northern Mockingbird
1 Ovenbird
1 Black-and-white Warbler
1 Yellow Warbler
1 Black-throated Blue Warbler
1 Chipping Sparrow
2 White-throated Sparrow
1 Song Sparrow
1 Northern Cardinal
1 Common Grackle
1 House Finch
1 American Goldfinch
2 House Sparrow

*1 Black-throated Green Warbler, *Yellow-rumped Warbler found later.

Number of Taxa: 26 + 2

Above is a Ruby-crowned Kinglet.  Note the crown is not ruby colored.

Above is a deeply-hued Yellow Warbler.  A pure sounding, "Sweet-sweet-sweet, so-so Sweet!"- heard all over the forest an parking lots alike.


The Big Len List

This morning at 7am, very few birds were singing.  Behind the Rugby  field in a solid rain, a small group of people stood with their noses to the sky.  This is PSU's very own Len R.  -led class on vertebrate zoology.  Now, please note I do not take this class, but I know a thing or two about Len.   Len is a bird master; this means vertebrate zoology in the springtime may just equate to an excellent excuse to find and learn about birds and warblers on the premise of a college class.  Thank goodness warblers have backbones.

The following list was compiled mostly by Len and another student (who also is not taking the course...).

The louisiana waterthrush, black and white warbler, and a glowing male redstart (all of which are warblers, despite the different naming conventions) really hit this walk out of the park for me.



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