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Information Report



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BIRD-BANDING A JOURNALOF ORNITHOLOGICAL INVESTIGATION Vol. XXVII October, 1956 No. 4 EASTERN EVENING GROSBEAK Part I SUMMER RECORDS* SURVEY OF NEW BRUNSWICK, NEW ENGLAãNDA,ND NEW YORK, 1954 AND 1955 By Mary S. Shrub The Eastern Evening Grosbeak,Hesperiphona vespertins, v. has, during the last few years, become such a commonwinter visitor that the initial excitement .observing of thesecolorfuland noisybirdshas all but died down; however, interest summer ,the in nesting records with more
  BIRD-BANDING A JOURNALOF ORNITHOLOGICAL NVESTIGATION Vol. XXVII October, 1956 No. 4 EASTERN EVENING GROSBEAK SUMMER RECORDS* Part I SURVEY OF NEW BRUNSWICK, NEW ENGLAãNDA,ND NEW YORK, 1954 AND 1955 By Mary S. Shrub The Eastern Evening Grosbeak,Hesperiphona . vespertins,has, during the last few years, becomesuch a commonwinter visitor that the initial excitement f .observinghesecolorfuland noisybirds has all but died down; however,the nterest n summernesting ecordswith more and more reports arther southeach year is causingnot a li.ttlestir amongornithological.nvestigators. n a ,previous aper in Bird. banding 25:87-95, July, 1954) the authorattemptedo draw together all reported ecordsof nestingor observationsf EveningGrosbeaks during he summermonths, p to and including1953. With additional records ince hen, t seems ppropriateo tãbul. te thesedata ãor 1954 and 1955.NEW BRUNSWICK 1954 Althoug the PlasterRockarea and several ointsalong he Little T6biqueRiver o thenorthandnortheast id not renortEveningGros- beaksduring he summer f 1954, herewasa concentrationf interest in this speciesn the Green River watershedn northwestern ew Brunswick. . S. MacDougall,whowasassociatedith the GreenRiveã Laboratorywithheadquarterst SummitDepot,madeextensivebserva- tionsduring the summer nd offered he following eport: The GreenRiver Laboratorytself s thecenterof a projectcurrently involvedn .thestudyof the spruce udworm Choristoneuraumi/erana (clem)) and is located n the far northwest orner of New Brunswick. The forest ypeshereare largely boreal nd Laurentian,he former n the more northern areas, the atter in the soathern. A certain amount of bird surveywork is carriedon for this project and the Evening Grosbeak omesunder our legal jurisdiction n this respect. TheEveningGrosbeak as aãtracted groãing amountof interest ue to its suddenncreasen ,breedingumbersn .axeasnderspruce udworm attack, both in New Brunswickand Ontario ... *Contributiono.18 rom heShaub rnithologicalesearchLation. 157  Bird-Banding ã158] SHaUB,veningrosbeakummerecords October ß z oão  'Vol. X'VII ãHAUB,ve,ngGrosbeakummerecords [159 956 Spring rrivals egan n April 25 but no grosbeakseresighted until May 8, when two malesand four femaleswere seennear our laboratoryuildings.From hatdateuntilMay26 thenumbersresent in thisvicinity angedrom wo o eightor ten,usuallyn flocks re- dominantlyemalewithoccasionalairedbirds n evidence.However, afterMay 20 their flockswereof a moreevensex atio, andwereevident all over he Green liver watershedaking n an areaof 250 squaremiles. On May 26 a large lockof about wenty n numberappeared ith a sex ratio of 50:50 and more continued o arrive daily with a slow buitd..upn numbers ntil therewe're etween 6 and 30 by June10th. Sometime etween une 12 and 16 femaleattendance t our feeding location toppedompletelyndnot until June27 was hereevidence of any emaleseturning,nd henonly n verysmall umbersompared with the males..Small locks p to eightor ten birdswere he only evidencef the presenceof the speciesor almost mon.th fter he reappearancef the females, nd then with very mixedratios. On July29 thefirst uvenalwas ecorded, little unsteadyn the wing,but ccomplishednougho carryongood teadylight. From thisday on activity round ur laboratory uildings rewunti} here were omany mall roups ith rom3 to 10birds lying roundhat t wasnext o impossibletogetan estimatef their'numbers. Fromthe first of Augustactivitywasquite steady t a high level exceptwhen nterruptedy bad weather. The noise heymadehere was almost nnoying t times, heir quavering al.ls omingrom every majorpointof thecompassuring he peakperiodof the day. During theseactivehours,usually rom dawn o midday or sometimesater, the birdswereverynervous ndseemederyexcited, ever emaining in 'one lace or any ength f time. Thisperiod f greatactivity nd excitementorrespondedith the appearancef the youngand con- tinueduntil the birdsbegan o disappearbout he middleof August. Youngwereseenbeinged pin cherries y the adults s }ateasAugust 10 althoughall birds were strong liers from August 1 on in my estimation. AfterAugust 6 .theirnumbers egan o decline loãwly,allingdied down, and .what flockswere stil.1around seemed arger in size. By August 5 the numbers erewerenegligible ndAugust 7 was he ast record for the summer. Insofar as sightingswere rec.orded aily previously,ãbelievet can be takenor grantedhey had left their breedinggrounds n t'his area. Mr. D. G. Mort has done a considerable mountof flying this year in connectioniththe spruce udworm, t the 300-500-footevel,and he reportshat the EveningGrosbeak asevidentovermuchof this northwesternector f New Brunswick.This, alongwith a numberof ground ecords, uggestshat the EveningGrosbeaks heavilydis- tributedover he entirearea. On a one-dayrip to the headwatersf the Miramichi River in centralNew Brunswick July) we recorded severalrosbeaks,hich uggestsheirbreedingange xtendsastward at least o that area.. How far south rom there is a question. Their }argebreedingange n New Brunswicks quitesignificant in that he firstsummerecord or this vicinitywas n 1951,only hree years go,when he appearancef onebird, a banded neat t.hat,  160] SttAUIã,veningrosbeakummerecords Bird-Banding ctober caused uitea flurry of interest ere. This correspondsuitewell with the growthof the spruce udworm nfestationn this area. Whether there is a coincidenceor a connectionbetween the two is open to question. Informationas o the EveningGrosbeak'satural food is rather scanty. I saw hem eedingn balsam oliageat a periodwhen he budshad ust burst heir coveringsn early spring,but whattheywere feedingon I do not know (I assumet was he buds). DuringMay andearlyJune hey ed argelyon the ground, longdirt roads nd n Pin Cherrygroves, ut I could ind not the slightestignof anything edible fterchasinghemoff. Mineralsmust orma largepartof their diet. Our feedingocation erewaskept attractiven the spring by saltand suet,butaftermatingwas argelyover heir desire-for ak stopped,uly27 being.heastdateonwhichheywere eeneeding t our o,cation. It wasa beautiful ight uring heperiodwhen heonly' visitors eremales,o see flock f 15 or more ackedloselyogether, feedingn hesalt. Whenheywere tart.ledheywo,uldiseasa body in a flurryof whitewings nd brownish-yellowodies,o perch n nearby reesuntil the sourceof disturbance ad passed n.) To giveanother xample f mineralsn their diet,whileon a ts-ipo t.heGounamityiver n Julywenoticed number f Evening rosbeaks, PurpleFinches nd Pine Siskins cting ery suspiciouslyround he ruinsof an oldmill. On examiningheruinsmorecarefully, uspecting nests, e foundnothingwhichwouldbe a source'ãoftt..actiono these three inches,xcept,ossibly,great ileof fine, inesoot eneathhe rustedboilers. Through process f eliminationMr. Mott and I arrivedat the conclusion.hat hismustbe the big attraction, lthough it is not founded n factby .anymeans.Whatsurprised e was he .boldnessndapparentnnoyancehown y all. hreespeciesf birds. Whilesittingn the darknessn the soot. eneathhe boilerseveral birds lewwithin everalnches f my ace, ut herewere bsolutelyo nests there. The EveningGrosbeaksegan o feedon pin cherriesn the vicinity of August when hecherries egano redden. During hisperiodheir cl. sest ssociatesereCedarWaxwings.The sound f snappingeeds from the cherrygrovesas a day-long ccurrenceetweenhe two species.Whileobservingvening rosbeaksloselyneday, noticed theircuriousmethod f eating in cherries. hecherrys pluckedff, pushedhroughthebeakromoneside .o heother,hepulp, kinand jui,ce queezedutoneside, nd heseedtself ept n, to be broken ith a sharpsnapbeforeswallowing. I have oundby trying o plot Evening rosbeakesting reasor rangesn amap hat heseare uite xtensive,nd hat he birds ay travel ongdistancesn flockso feed n clearings. MAINE, 1954 At BigLyford ond, odadjo, aine,Mrs. vanShermaribserved Eveningrosbeaksn thesummersf1950, 952 nd 953.ByJune 8, 1954shehadseen maleoftennear hã camp ndseveralimes bserved two airs f grosbeaksuntilhemiddlef June.A male as oted severalimesuringhe irstwoweeksfJuly.Mrs.Berniceoung
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