NATURE MONCTON INFORMATION LINE, 11 September 2021 (Saturday)
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Edited by: Nelson Poirier firstname.lastname@example.org
Transcript by: Catherine Clements
Info Line #: 506-384-6397 (384-NEWS)
**The young-of-the-year YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER plumage is very different from either of its parents, and often leads to queries as to what bird it is. Peter Gadd got some excellent photos of a juvenile Yellow-bellied Sapsucker that show its intricate feather pattern, even if it does lack the bright colours. It was going after sap with patterned penetrations of a MOUNTAIN-ASH tree in the Gadd’s yard.
**Mac Wilmot sends photos of HOBBLEBUSH in fruit and WITCH-HAZEL showing the developed nuts.
The fruit clusters on Hobblebush are red at the moment and will finally turn purple-black when fully ripe. The literature advises the fruit reportedly may be eaten and is said to taste somewhat like raisins. You can see the naked buds developing on the branch in one photo (arrowed). These will overwinter and become a new leaf next spring (arrowed).
The Witch-Hazel is an interesting shrub. It does not flash its yellow stringy blooms until very late in the season and can be seen blooming as late as December. Interestingly, Mac’s photo also shows the gall of the SPINY WITCH-HAZEL GALL APHID, which is arrowed in the photo.
**Diana Hamilton from the ornithology section of Mount Allison University advises all catching/tagging of shorebirds this year is at Petit-Cap beach. They are doing 3 studies from this work. I’m quoting Diana below, where she explains just what great research they’re doing from samples on captured birds. Her graduate student, Allie Toms, provides the dates that the photos we submitted were tagged. The tagged bird photo sent by Leon Gagnon in Miscou has been submitted, but no results in as yet.
Quoting Diana and Allie below:
“1) Looking at movements and habitat use in several species. We tend to catch a good number of SESA, SEPL, LESA, and WRSA, so we have at least 15 radio tags out on each of these species (30 when we have enough juveniles and adults). We are also looking at other species that are more occasional captures. So far this year we have also tagged a few Lesser Yellowlegs, and a few Sanderlings. We hope to get more of the latter in the next few weeks, and later in the fall we may try for a few Dunlin. The idea is to examine both fine scale habitat use, and regional movements. The latter is related to a broader province-wide project looking at overall movements of birds (not just shorebirds), with an objective of helping to provide guidance in positioning of wind farms.
2) We are using stable isotope analyses in feathers to look at the breeding origin of SESA using the region. This involves collecting feathers from juvenile SESA (because we know they grew their feathers where they hatched) and measuring deuterium levels in the feathers.
3) We are looking at direct measures of weight gain in SESA. This involves capturing and flagging birds, then attempting to re-capture them. So far, I think we have around 18-20 recaptures, and have been able to take blood samples from 11 of them. We are hoping for a few more of the latter. We can then look at weight gain relative to levels of plasma metabolites, which are often used as an index of fattening.
Interesting anecdote - they just got word today that a SESA we flagged on Aug 10 was spotted in Guadeloupe, so nice to see a successful migration south documented.”
Allie Toms (graduate student working with Diana Hamilton) advises the birds from photos submitted to Nature Moncton blog were captured at Petit Cap beach on the following dates:
PH8 (SEPL) - August 25th, 2021
NJ4 (SEPL) - September 5th, 2021
N9N (SESA) - September 7th, 2021”
**Aldo Dorio sends a few photos from Hay Island to show a female NORTHERN FLICKER flashing the signature white rump of this species. The CEDAR WAXWINGS are enjoying the plentiful ripening fruit crop and a BALD EAGLE was surveying its territory.
**The TWO-COLORED BOLETE is a common colourful mushroom. It is readily recognized, with the brick-red cap and stem contrasted by a yellow undersurface (pores). It is one of the mushrooms that the interior turns a bluish colour when bruised or cut in half and exposed to oxygen. Some mushrooms that turn blue like this do have a toxic component, but this one does not.
**A LARGE TOLYOPE MOTH visited my moth light Thursday night. The stretched perched posture helps to identify it as a Tolyope species. Several more visited on the cool Friday night to suggest this species flies on cooler nights.
Several CADDISFLIES also visited, as they often do. We have many Caddisfly species in New Brunswick, and all have this delta-winged posture when perched. They are a good insect for Mother Nature’s community, especially for fish fodder during their immature aquatic life, and for insect-eaters, especially birds, in their mature land-breeding stage. They’re also a good indicator of clean unpolluted water.