I watched an Acadian flycatcher singing, bouncing from limb to limb, making a
circle around – and finally landing in – its nest, which is in a forked branch
about 20 ft up in a sourwood sapling. It will be interesting to monitor the nest
over the coming days. The nest is almost directly over the path around the
bottomlands section of the lake trail.
I also heard the wood thrush in the same patch of woods I have heard it from
recently. Surprisingly, it’s not a very big patch of woods, surrounded by tennis
courts on one side, houses on another, a roughly 1/2 acre bog on a third side,
and the Oxford Hunt greenway on the last side. The advantage, I suppose, is that
it’s fairly dense with undergrowth and has a stream running through it.
Regarding the recent wood thrush thread and its steady decline, I read that acid
rain is another possible culprit. The idea is that the acid rain leaches calcium
from the soil, leading to eggshell defects. Excerpted from one article:
“The negative effects of acid rain were magnified in fragmented landscapes, and
at higher elevations. Rain generally increases with elevation, so it makes sense
that in areas with acid rain, more acid would be deposited at higher
elevations. But the combined negative effects of acid rain and forest
fragmentation were somewhat surprising, because they were greater than what
would have been expected if the magnitudes of the two impacts were simply added
The article also mentions a previous study that showed no significant negative
effect due to forest fragmentation.
Here is the whole article:
And here is another facinating study about calcium in arthropods and egg shells:
Interesting to note that millipedes and snails have a lot more calcium than the other arthropods. Wood thrushes that depend on these as a source of calcium during egg laying may find fewer as a result of calcium-depleted soils from acid rain. This effect might be found in other declining species as well.