Weekly Bird Report | CAI

Weekly Bird Report

The Weekly Bird Report with Mark Faherty can be heard every Wednesday morning at 8:45am and afternoon at 5:45pm.

Mark has been the Science Coordinator at Mass Audubon’s Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary since August 2007 and has led birding trips for Mass Audubon since 2002. He is past president of the Cape Cod Bird Club and current member of the Massachusetts Avian Records Committee.

Vern Laux

Despite the recent cold and wintry weather, spring is imminent. On the Weekly Bird Report, Vern Laux notes that the days are getting longer - and the natural world is highly attuned to the photoperiod. Among the birds we can soon expect to become more prominent are woodcocks and migrating red-winged blackbirds.

Click through the pictures above, and listen to the audio.

Blizzard Brings Puffins in Spectacular Numbers

Feb 13, 2013
Vern Laux

The Blizzard of 2013 left in its wake plenty of damage, but it also brought to our coast an impressive variety and number of birds. In the Weekly Bird Report, Vern Laux tallies the sightings, which include a count of 52 Atlantic Puffins - what he calls, "far and away the most ever seen from anywhere on the Cape and Islands." Also noteworthy were hundreds of other Alcids, including over a thousand Razorbills, a single Dovekie, and a Thick-billed Murre. Other interesting seabirds included 4 tubenoses in the form of Northern Fulmars, 65 Northern Gannets, and 105 pelagic gulls called Black-legged Kittiwakes.

Taking Pleasure in Gulls

Feb 6, 2013
Vern Laux

Enjoy them - they're everywhere. On the Weekly Bird Report, Vern Laux says gulls are an excellent bird group for learning observational skills that can be useful in identifying all birds. There are 22 species of gulls that breed in North America.  The Cape and Islands are one of the premiere gull-watching locations on the eastern seaboard, as more than half the species found on the continent may be seen by an active field observer in a year.

Bird News: The Hour-long Premiere

Feb 2, 2013
V. Laux

Bird News debuts as a monthly, one-hour show with Mindy Todd and Vern Laux. A discussion of alcids, lots of listener calls, and special guest Sandy Komito, who holds the Big Year record with 745 species seen.

Audio posted above

Goatsuckers of the Cape and Islands

Feb 1, 2013
Vern Laux


Some early settlers believed these night-flying birds stole milk by suckling on goats and sheep, giving them their common name, goatsuckers. On the Weekly Bird Report, Vern Laux considers these increasingly rare summer residents of our region. They're also known as Whip-poor-wills and Chuck-wills-widows.

Dovekies a More Common Sighting This Winter

Jan 23, 2013
Vern Laux

Dovekies are usually scarce around the Cape and Islands, but this winter large numbers have been sighted. On the Weekly Bird Report, Vern Laux details sightings in the near-shore waters of Nantucket, and in Wellfleet and Provincetown harbors. Dovekies are a variety of auk, and Vern says the birds resemble a cute, wind-up bathtub toy.

A Winter Bird Wonderland

Jan 16, 2013
Vern Laux

A staggering number of birds winter on Cape Cod and the Islands.  On Bird News, ornithologist Vern Laux tells us of the many eiders, razorbills, alcids, and other birds attracted to the cold seasonal life in this part of the world.

For Birders, New Year a Time for New Lists

Jan 1, 2013
Vern Laux

Birders like to keep lists of all kinds. They keep lists of birds they see in their yard, the town they live in, the state, the country, the continent, the world and more. Many keep a year list so the start of each New Year is time again to start a whole bunch of new lists.

Vern Laux has more, including further updates on this year's Christmas Bird Count, in this week's Bird News.

Audio posted above

First Year-end Bird Count Results Are In

Dec 26, 2012

Birders on the Cape and Islands have been counting every bird and species.  On Bird News, Vern Laux relays the first round of results.

Christmas Bird Count a Year-end Highlight

Dec 20, 2012
Hilary Wood / Audobon.org

Count every bird and every species - that's the goal of the annual tradition known as the Christmas Bird Count. Bird News's Vern Laux admits it's not humanly possible - but it is an endeavor, he says, that produces meaningful statistics, as well as much joy.

Audio posted above

Going Owling a Different Approach to Birding

Dec 17, 2012
E. Vern Laux

On this week's Bird News, Vern Laux offers pointers for going owling. For birders, owling poses a unique set of challenges - and memorable rewards. Tune up your ears! 

White-winged crossbill
Christopher L. Wood / ebird.org

The Audubon's 113th annual Christmas Bird Count officially gets underway tomorrow, December 14th, and runs through January 5th. For ornithologist Vern Laux, it's a whirlwind few weeks, but also an anticipated holiday tradition and a chance to catch up with friends. Of course, it's also an invaluable source of data that scientists use to study everything from evolution to climate change. There are counts all over Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard, and Nantucket. Find a Christmas Bird Count near you ... then tell us what you saw!

Bird News: Not What You Expected

Nov 27, 2012
Vern Laux

There's more wildlife awing than you might expect this time of year. And in this week's Bird News, Vern recommends a surprising vantage for birdwatching (hint: don't pay extra for the fast one...!).

Audio posted above.

Northern Lapwings Continue on Nantucket

Nov 14, 2012
Ian Barker / http://ibc.lynxeds.com


Northern Lapwings, Eurasian Plovers that are fairly common in parts of Europe, have exploded onto the North American scene after the passage of Mega Storm Sandy. It began with the discovery of two Lapwings in a field on Nantucket on the morning of October 30th.

Brown Pelicans

Nov 7, 2012

In this week's Bird News with Vern Laux, rare Northern Lapwings continue on Nantucket - and then go off.  Also, Brown Pelicans, blown in by the storm, find refuge.

Northern Lapwings Cause Excitement

Oct 31, 2012
Vern Laux

Hurricane Sandy largely spared us, but the storm did deliver a small "invasion" of a bird very rare indeed to New England.  

Gray-Tailed Tattler

Oct 24, 2012

Blackpoll Warblers

Oct 17, 2012

Fall is "the time" for birding on the Cape and islands - a chance to see a diversity of species that pass through on their way south for winter. Ornithologist Vernon Laux talks fall migration and brings us up to date on the latest bird news.

Columbus Day Weekend Birding

Oct 10, 2012