Season Opener Bird Walk

Posted on April 15, 2016

The mid-thirties temperature at 7:00AM did not dampen the enthusiasm of the half dozen stalwarts who showed up for a nice two hour walk at Mass Audubon’s Boston Nature Center and Wildlife Sanctuary (BNC) in Mattapan. This 60 acre urban oasis is just right for birds; lots of briers, tangles and marshy areas. There are several “target birds” at the BNC, and we picked up some of them.


Killdeers have nested in the community gardens at the BNC for over ten years; we located only one today but I bet they will nest again.

Wild Turkeys can be seen almost anywhere these days, but BNC is a reliable site for them year around. We had at least 12 today:

This beautiful Wild Turkey was one of several we saw in full display.

Another nice spring migrant gave the group great looks along the boardwalk path:

This Hermit Thrush displays the eye ring, spotted breast and rufous tail typical of the species.

Hermit Thrushes are typically one of the earliest migrants. We were hoping for some migrant warblers, but struck out on that score. Here is our list for the walk:

Boston Nature Center Wildlife Sanctuary, Suffolk, Massachusetts, US

Apr 15, 2016 7:00 AM – 9:00 AM

22 species

Canada Goose 8

Wild Turkey 10

Killdeer 1

Herring Gull 2

Mourning Dove 2

Red-bellied Woodpecker 2

Downy Woodpecker 5

Blue Jay 5

Tree Swallow 12

Black-capped Chickadee 2

Tufted Titmouse 3

Hermit Thrush 1

American Robin 35

Northern Mockingbird 1

European Starling 3

Dark-eyed Junco 3

Song Sparrow 5

Northern Cardinal 5

Red-winged Blackbird 6

Common Grackle 40

House Finch 2

House Sparrow 4

View this checklist online at

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (

After the walk I stopped at the Great Horned Owl nest in the conifer section of the Arboretum. Yesterday there was some activity there. A local resident and birder visited the nest and discovered a young bird on the ground. He made some calls and various agencies were contacted and responded. In contrast to the response for the bird that fell out of this nest about two weeks ago, the decision this time was to let nature take it’s course. This owlet was older, the weather has improved and the baby got itself hidden away pretty well. Here is an image of it I took yesterday:

This owlet it trying it’s best to look big, brave and scary.

When I revisited the site today I found no evidence of the youngster, dead or alive. But I noticed that the third owlet was alone on the nest; a good sign I think as the mother hopefully was watching over the displaced one somewhere nearby.

The smallest of the trio of baby Great Horned Owls, still on the nest.

Owls never stop fascinating!

My next walk is this Sunday:

Sunday April 17 9-10:30 AM Kick off Earth Day with a walk beginning at the parking lot on the Brookline side of Leverett Pond, just off Route 9 on Pond Street, behind the Brook House. We will cover Leverett Pond, Olmsted Park and Ward’s Pond looking for spring migrants and any lingering waterfowl on the ponds. Sponsored by the Brookline GreenSpace Alliance.

Hope you can join me. Good birding!

Posted in Avian, Bird walks, Owls