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BS: Birdwatching 2014

Related threads:
BS: Birdwatching 2013 (75)
BS: Birdwatching 2012 (259)
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BS: Hummingbird feeders (12)
BS: Birdwatching 2011 (159)
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Janie 10 Jan 14 - 02:34 PM
Janie 10 Jan 14 - 02:38 PM
Janie 10 Jan 14 - 02:40 PM
catspaw49 10 Jan 14 - 02:43 PM
GUEST 11 Jan 14 - 01:53 AM
Joe Offer 11 Jan 14 - 03:00 AM
catspaw49 11 Jan 14 - 10:17 AM
Janie 11 Jan 14 - 11:48 AM
GUEST,hg 11 Jan 14 - 06:00 PM
Joe Offer 11 Jan 14 - 08:40 PM
gnu 12 Jan 14 - 01:28 PM
Janie 12 Jan 14 - 04:30 PM
gnu 13 Jan 14 - 03:36 PM
Janie 13 Feb 14 - 04:38 PM
ragdall 13 Feb 14 - 07:47 PM
Janie 14 Feb 14 - 07:11 AM
Janie 14 Feb 14 - 02:37 PM
ragdall 17 Feb 14 - 07:47 AM
GUEST,Arkie 09 Apr 14 - 06:38 PM
Paul Reade 09 Apr 14 - 06:44 PM
Jeri 09 Apr 14 - 06:51 PM
Janie 09 Apr 14 - 07:08 PM
Janie 09 Apr 14 - 07:12 PM
kendall 09 Apr 14 - 07:56 PM
GUEST,Arkie 09 Apr 14 - 09:03 PM
Janie 09 Apr 14 - 09:34 PM
gnu 10 Apr 14 - 11:18 AM
GUEST 10 Apr 14 - 11:45 AM
gnu 10 Apr 14 - 12:26 PM
GUEST,gillymor 10 Apr 14 - 12:42 PM
gnu 10 Apr 14 - 02:13 PM
GUEST,MikeL2 10 Apr 14 - 02:34 PM
Jeri 10 Apr 14 - 06:17 PM
gnu 10 Apr 14 - 06:37 PM
GUEST 10 Apr 14 - 06:56 PM
Janie 10 Apr 14 - 07:07 PM
GUEST,NightWing, without a cookie 11 Apr 14 - 12:04 AM
gnu 11 Apr 14 - 07:06 AM
Stu 11 Apr 14 - 07:28 AM
GUEST 11 Apr 14 - 08:41 AM
Janie 30 Apr 14 - 06:43 PM
GUEST,Arkie 01 May 14 - 05:26 PM
gnu 01 May 14 - 05:43 PM
Jeri 01 May 14 - 06:59 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 01 May 14 - 08:17 PM
Janie 01 May 14 - 08:37 PM
open mike 02 May 14 - 02:01 AM
GUEST,Eliza 02 May 14 - 03:55 AM
MartinRyan 02 May 14 - 05:31 AM
GUEST,Eliza 02 May 14 - 12:33 PM
MartinRyan 02 May 14 - 05:31 PM
Jeri 20 May 14 - 03:30 PM
GUEST,Eliza 20 May 14 - 05:36 PM
GUEST,Jon 20 May 14 - 06:06 PM
Jeri 23 May 14 - 02:24 PM
Janie 21 Nov 14 - 09:41 PM
GUEST,Arkie 21 Nov 14 - 10:46 PM
Janie 02 Dec 14 - 12:17 AM
GUEST,maeve 02 Dec 14 - 06:11 AM
GUEST,Arkie 02 Dec 14 - 11:25 AM
maeve 02 Dec 14 - 02:29 PM
gnu 03 Dec 14 - 02:30 PM
GUEST,Arkie 03 Dec 14 - 05:32 PM
Janie 03 Dec 14 - 07:10 PM
maeve 03 Dec 14 - 07:33 PM
GUEST 04 Dec 14 - 10:08 AM
gnu 04 Dec 14 - 03:59 PM
Janie 04 Dec 14 - 07:23 PM
GUEST,Jon 04 Dec 14 - 07:53 PM
GUEST,Steve Shaw 04 Dec 14 - 08:33 PM
Janie 04 Dec 14 - 10:22 PM
Rumncoke 05 Dec 14 - 08:00 PM
GUEST,Steve Shaw 05 Dec 14 - 08:24 PM
Janie 08 Dec 14 - 09:05 PM
GUEST,Jon 08 Dec 14 - 11:09 PM
GUEST,driving-rain-maeve without cookie 10 Dec 14 - 02:48 PM
ragdall 11 Dec 14 - 04:44 AM
GUEST,Arkie 18 Dec 14 - 03:34 PM
maeve 18 Dec 14 - 03:49 PM

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Subject: BS: Biirdwatching 2014
From: Janie
Date: 10 Jan 14 - 02:34 PM

OH! MY! GOSH! Yes, I'm shouting out of sheer excitement. Just saw my first Pileated Woodpecker here on the Piedmont since I moved here in 1986. More at the end of this post.

Keeping alive, at least for what I hope is another year, a tradition started by Raptor within the Mudcat community. Understand the community is smaller and also that many folks are more likely to discuss such things on other social media sites now. But I'm a geezer and feel most at home here. Will stick with Raptor's "rules."

Keep a list of all the birds you observe or hear and can conclusively identify from your yard. (or other annually fixed location.) I often see Canada Geese, Killdeer, Great Blue Herons and other waterfowl on my drive through the country to and from work, but they don't go onto my fixed locale list. I see purple martins and seagulls from the strip mall parking lot at the location where I do most of my grocery shopping. They don't go on my fixed locale list. My fixed locale is my yard, but it could be my office window, or for that matter, could be my local mall parking lot.

Share observations! Keep lists very specific to fixed locale, however. Seems to me fair game to keep multiple lists if one is up to it. Share lists at the end of the year. This old Mudcatter still enjoys the sharing within this community.

Happy Birdwatching!


Posted an hour or so ago on the 2013 bird thread and said I was going to start the 2014 thread. Got distracted by a couple of other threads, so had not done so.

My 'puter is arranged so that I am right by my big window where I can watch the birds in the front yard and most of the feeders. My attention was just grapped by a large movement out in the yard, and a Pileated Woodpecker just landed on a suet feeder! This is the first Pileated I have seen on the Piedmont since I moved here in 1986! They aren't rare, but are not common throughout much of the Piedmont, where there are not many large stands of woodland. I've lived either in small towns or in the middle of cleared farmland since I moved here. Have occasionally, when hiking in tracks of Duke Forest or Eno State Park heard them, but haven't seen one here for lo, these 17 1/2 years.

I love these birds, and am obviously thrilled to see one in my yard. They were common where I was raised, in WV. Love their attention-grabbing call as they power through the heavily forested woods of my homeland. We called them "Ginseng Birds" because they thrive in the same habitats as native patches of ginseng.


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Subject: RE: BS: Biirdwatching @014
From: Janie
Date: 10 Jan 14 - 02:38 PM

Wood a mud-elf kindly correct my typo in the title and change @ to 2?

Thankee kindly.


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Subject: RE: BS: Biirdwatching @014
From: Janie
Date: 10 Jan 14 - 02:40 PM

Fumble fingered. Also the extra i in bird. Sorry.
    You mean, before Spaw sees it? Sorry, Janie, I was too late...
    -Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: Biirdwatching @014
From: catspaw49
Date: 10 Jan 14 - 02:43 PM

So was this one a Pill-lee-ated, Pile-lee-ated, or Pi-lated, woodpecker....LOL....

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Biirdwatching @014
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Jan 14 - 01:53 AM

Snowy owl irruption!
I have seen four in the last month... On Amish farms.


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2014
From: Joe Offer
Date: 11 Jan 14 - 03:00 AM

We spent most of this week in Sarasota, Florida, visiting my dad in his nursing home - he finally had to leave his condo (at the age of 94), but we got to stay in the condo with a view of brown pelicans diving into the harbor. We saw black skimmers and a wide variety of terns at white-sand Siesta Beach on the Gulf of Mexico. The high point of our birdwatching was a visit ten miles inland to Myakka River State Park. Only two alligators, but lots of Sandhill Cranes and Roseate Spoonbills and Wood Storks. We saw three ospreys, and countless herons and egrets and black vultures.
Oh, and we saw some beautiful bufflehead ducks in a pond near the nursing home. There are several ponds surrounding the nursing home, and my dad enjoys watching the birds around the pond - mostly egrets and cormorants and anhingas when we were there.
Florida is a birdwatching paradise.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2014
From: catspaw49
Date: 11 Jan 14 - 10:17 AM

Have you visited the Ding Darling Sanctuary Joe? Helluva' place down that way. We had a wonderful day there....the best day of the entire week (spent with my late M-I-L).


Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2014
From: Janie
Date: 11 Jan 14 - 11:48 AM

Sounds like you were in birdwatching paradise, Joe.   I love hg's bird photos she puts up on Facebook from her kayaking on the rivers there in the panhandle.

We used to spend the winters down in the Keys and spent a lot of time kayaking, camping on keys in the backcountry of Florida Bay and birdwatching. In spring, when birds migrate across Gulf from South and Central America, the lower Keys are the first land they come to after that long flight over water. One spring, when we were camping in the Content Keys, which are right on the edge of the Gulf of Mexico - several migrating Prothonotary Warblers made landfall. We didn't know then that they were migratory, or migrating - had never seen one, but were amazed that they seemed so tame or fearless that they allowed us to walk right up to them. Could probably have picked them up in our hands. Later, the folks at the botanical garden in Key West told us it wasn't unusual in the spring. The birds are simply too exhausted to care or react.

Watching a goldfinch that is so wet from a recent intense downpour it is having trouble flying.


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2014
From: GUEST,hg
Date: 11 Jan 14 - 06:00 PM

Joe took me to Myakka State Park in 2001 wasn't it, Joe? We were on a bridge with the most alligators I have ever seen in a mudhole under the bridge. It was wall to wall and imagining falling off that bridge was mighty anxiety provoking!

I am seeing lots of migratory birds now that are going into breeding...wood storks, great egrets, eagles, and lots of exotic ducks like mergansers. A snowy, owl was near Jacksonville last week and was the talk of the birding community.

I haven't been getting many photos because of caring for dad who we are trying to keep in his Westminster duplex as long as possible before nursing home care. I just moved my office across town and there are some nearby ponds with tons of birds so I am taking my camera to work and stopping for photos along the way.

Both my kayaks have holes and cracks and I have to mix up the epoxy or whatever it is to fix them before I go out again.


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2014
From: Joe Offer
Date: 11 Jan 14 - 08:40 PM

Hi, Harpy -
I saw you at the Florida Folk Festival 2001, a few months before I got married. You bought me a tie-dye T-shirt as a wedding present. But I thought I saw you in Sarasota another time, and we went to Myakka.

I was thinking we should have another thread for bird photography timps, but maybe this thread would be good for that. You and Ferrara are two of the best bird photographers I know, along with a friend of mine named Larry. I get a lucky shot now and then, but the three of you get consistently good bird photos - and I want to know how.

My highly-rated Canon G11 PowerShot camera is not working very well (only 2-1/2 years old), so I bought another to replace it. The new one has a 35 x optical zoom, so I'm hoping that will help with birds.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2014
From: gnu
Date: 12 Jan 14 - 01:28 PM

The small lame robin that is stayed here despite our savage winters will now come to me to be hand fed warm pieces of apples, cherries, suet and cooked meats. I have named him Rob. The rat with the bushy tail chases Rob out of Mum's apple tree and chases him in the pine trees behind my house. I am considering feeding said rat some lead.


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2014
From: Janie
Date: 12 Jan 14 - 04:30 PM

Wow, gnu. Such patience on your part, to bring a bird to hand.


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2014
From: gnu
Date: 13 Jan 14 - 03:36 PM

Patience? Nah. Persistence. I spotted him in August. He was staying under my utility trailer parked in the back yard, in the yews out front, and a few other spots. I noticed he was frail and seldom flew. Messed up wing was my guess. I began talking to him quietly and throwing worms toward him while he was out in the open and then walking away quickly. I then did the same by laying worms on the ground when I knew he was under the trailer. I made "worms" out of bacon when I didn't have worms at hand.

In fall, I started dropping food from my bedroom window in early morn when I knew he would be in the yew. Always talking first. Then, I would go out the front door, stand on the steps and do the same. Then, talk but no grub until he came toward me. That took a while. Then, grub on the railing. Then, grub on the railing removed if he didn't come to get it while I was there. Then, grub in the hand until he came to the railing to be hand fed. And he really likes warm water when it's cold. For that, he has to sit on my finger and drink from the bowl.

What I said about the squirrel and the lead? I would never do that. For one thing, it is illegal to discharge a firearm within city limits. But, I have grub and a hockey stick and if he messes with Rob again, his training will begin. Don't worry. He won't suffer... I am a Canuck and I know how to stick handle.


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2014
From: Janie
Date: 13 Feb 14 - 04:38 PM

The snow cover is bringing birds I don't usually see in my yard, at least not this time of year. Have a large mixed flock of common grackles, brown-headed cowbirds (which I usually only see in my yard in summer, though they do both winter here, plus two red-singed blackbirds, one of which has white tail feathers. Red-wings are common here around ponds and wetlands but these two are the first I have ever seen in my yard.


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2014
From: ragdall
Date: 13 Feb 14 - 07:47 PM

Yard birds are eerily scarce this winter. No sign of the usual large flock of Redpolls at all. Other people in this area report seeing none, too. We wonder what has happened to them?

A tiny female Downy Woodpecker comes for the suet and checks up and down the trunks of my aging trees. The past week or so a flock of about eight Dark-eyed Juncos have been eating seeds on a board outside my window which is also visited by up to 15 House Sparrows. I see several Black-capped Chickadees once in a while. Feb. 8th, a flock of about 30 Bohemian Waxwings came to glean the few berries left on my Mountain Ash trees and High-bush Cranberry bush. Several Northern Flickers come for the suet and to hang on the small bird feeders, eating seeds. This is a female Northern Flicker, and a male Northern Flicker. I'm hoping that I might be able to identify individual Flickers from photos and determine whether or not I'm seeing repeat visitors or they are all "just passing through".

There have been reports in town of a lone American Robin and a lone Varied Thrush. With at least three feet of snow covering the ground in my yard, I don't expect to see either of those anytime soon.
rags


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2014
From: Janie
Date: 14 Feb 14 - 07:11 AM

As always, ragdall, your photos are a delight.


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2014
From: Janie
Date: 14 Feb 14 - 02:37 PM

Just watched a pair of seagulls of undetermined species fly by, quite high. Gulls do come inland here, and I will occasionally see them around big mall lots or if I am visiting the few lakes in the area. Have never sighted them from my yard before. Probably more a function of me being home due to weather on the roads more than usual than for any other reason. Herring Gull is the most likely species, this far inland, but not possible to make a positive identification. Sure they were gulls, and sure of nothing else.


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2014
From: ragdall
Date: 17 Feb 14 - 07:47 AM

Thanks, Janie,

It looks as if my post a couple of days ago to gnu about his robin didn't make it here? Trying again.

gnu, has your robin's mobility improved or do you think he will always need to close to your home and rely on you for care and food?

rags


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Subject: Birds 2014
From: GUEST,Arkie
Date: 09 Apr 14 - 06:38 PM

If anything has been posted for this year, I missed it. Many pardons. Just saw the first hummingbird and first purple martin of the year.


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Subject: RE: Birds 2014
From: Paul Reade
Date: 09 Apr 14 - 06:44 PM

I take it you don't live in the UK!


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Subject: RE: Birds 2014
From: Jeri
Date: 09 Apr 14 - 06:51 PM

"Arkie" is a hint. ;)
The "usual" birds here are getting brighter. Male gold finches getting golder, house finches getting purplier, and cardinals getting their red on. There is a horde of chickadees mugging my birdfeeder and loudly complaining when it's out of seed. No hummingbirds yet, but it's New England and there is still a bit of old snow around in the woods.


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Subject: RE: Birds 2014
From: Janie
Date: 09 Apr 14 - 07:08 PM

Here is the link to the 2014 thread. If it's OK with you, Arkie, can we ask Jeri to add these posts to that one so all is in one place?

Birdwatching 2014


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2014
From: Janie
Date: 09 Apr 14 - 07:12 PM

Wondering about your Robin, gnu. Still around?


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2014
From: kendall
Date: 09 Apr 14 - 07:56 PM

Barred Owl,
Cardinals,
Tufted titmouse,
Robins,
Cooper's Hawk,
Piliated woodpecker,
Two Mallard ducks,
24 Turkeys,
Mourning Doves,
Chickadees,
Nuthatches.
A Great blue heron,
and the usual murder of Crows and flocks of Gulls.


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Subject: RE: Birds 2014
From: GUEST,Arkie
Date: 09 Apr 14 - 09:03 PM

I am fine with combining the threads.
Done


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2014
From: Janie
Date: 09 Apr 14 - 09:34 PM

So glad to see you post and to have started the other thread. I learn from folks like you who are more knowledgeable and more astute observers than am I. As an example, I think it was you who a year or so ago posted about a junco/white-throated sparrow hybrid and maybe posted a picture. At the time I had no idea they hybridized. Juncos are so common here in winter I had never really tried to closely observe them.    Since that time I have watched them much more closely, am so much more aware of how variable they actually are in appearance, had never really noted the differences in males and females, and occasionally wonder if I am looking at a hybrid or just getting familiar with their variability. I took them so much for granted that I don't think I had ever picked up the binocs to look at them and notice the difference between males and females. I appreciate them so much more. Thank you!


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2014
From: gnu
Date: 10 Apr 14 - 11:18 AM

Haven't seen Rob for near two weeks. We had a BAD rain/freezing rain/ice pellet/wet snow/fluffy snow storm with high winds sooo? I will check under the yew in a month when the snow is gone.

I believe I may have seen my first Northern Shrike. Hope to get pics/video soon. Haven't been able to get the binoculars on it among the branches so I may be way off.


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2014
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Apr 14 - 11:45 AM

Kendall's list except no owls, herons or mallards. The blue jays (camp robbers) are about with the chickadees and sparrows. Have no idea how many varieties. The pigeon population is dropping a little thanks to the Cooper's hawk. Woodpeckers (downy and hairy, but have heard the pileated and he's still a one-bird percussion team). I think pickin's must be poor for the crows because this is the first year I have seen this half dozen or so who show up just to check things out. I wish the snow would melt because getting a garden in will be an exercise in futility for anything but plants that grow and ripen quickly. The garden makes the robins happy. And the chipmunk whose name is Charles the III. If he's half as smart as his mother that will be a good thing for him.


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2014
From: gnu
Date: 10 Apr 14 - 12:26 PM

Aggghhhh! I approached Mum's apple tree with camcorder in hand while carefully eying the branches. It was on the snow under the tree munching an apple, flew into the tree, got nervous and took off. I did snap a pick a long way off but I know it won't do much good. However... I saw the white bands on the wings and tail when it flew the second time and also on the third time so I am almost sure I have seen my first Northern Shrike. There were two here a couple of days ago doing that "chase" that birds do.


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2014
From: GUEST,gillymor
Date: 10 Apr 14 - 12:42 PM

Spring is here in SW Florida. I went yak fishing around Lover's Key (a barrier island on the Gulf Of Mexico) last weekend and saw a bunch of Roseate Spoonbills in their mating colors and several pairs of Ospreys building nests and no, I didn't catch any yaks.
Love your pictures ragdall, especially those Waxwings.


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2014
From: gnu
Date: 10 Apr 14 - 02:13 PM

As mentioned above, rag's pics are stunning eh?


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2014
From: GUEST,MikeL2
Date: 10 Apr 14 - 02:34 PM

Hi

Yes ragy's pics are fantastic.

These days we only watch the ever-decreasing number of birds that feed in our garden.

However the picture of the beautiful waxwings brought back our minds to last Autumn when we were walking past our Railway station -almost in the middle of town.

There were crowds of people there, several with cameras taking shots of birds feeding off the rowan berries.

I had never heard of waxwings, never mind having seen any. There were dozens of them.

They made a wonderful sight.

We were told by some bird watchers that the waxwings were very seldom seen in the North West of England.

Thank you for reviving a lovely memory.

Cheers

MikeL2


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2014
From: Jeri
Date: 10 Apr 14 - 06:17 PM

GUEST, is Charlie #2 the one who'd come up in your lap and let you pet her? Is she gone? (Serious sniff-sniff)

Cardinals
Tufted Titmouse
Robin
Hairy Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Two kinds of Nuthatches
Bunch of Mourning Doves
Chickadees
Crows
Grackles
Blue Jays
Gold Finches
House Finches
House Sparrows
Dark Eyed Juncos
The Red-Bellied Woodpeckers were here all winter. I'd guess they aren't too far way
Still too early for hummers, but there are usually a few around here.

Love Ragdall's photos, and Gnu, your robin rescue and subsequent training is fascinating.


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2014
From: gnu
Date: 10 Apr 14 - 06:37 PM

Cedar Waxwings... and Sharp Shinned Hawk.


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2014
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Apr 14 - 06:56 PM

Yeah, that's her, Jeri. However, she was able to nuture Charles the III enough to get him(?) through the winter which has been long and harsh for the little critters. Charly II was the one that came in to get us when she was being hassled by the squirrels. We'd scare the grays away and she load up her cheeks and run off home.


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2014
From: Janie
Date: 10 Apr 14 - 07:07 PM

Stopped by my local bird store at lunch to buy seed. The owner tells me he has had a nest of bluebirds already hatch out and saw his first hummer in his yard this week.

I've seen some species this winter in my yard that I haven't before, but I think it because I'm not commuting as far nor putting in 60 hour weeks, so am home more to see more.

Experimenting with different suet feeders to try to figure out how to keep the starlings and grackles out while allowing the bluebirds in. Have one feeder the big boys can't get into, but the bluebirds, which could, won't go through the grid - other smaller birds have no "issues" with doing so.

The juncos appear to have headed north sometime this week. Tell 'em hello for me when you see them. Have a few white-throated sparrows year round, but most of them have headed out also.

Gonna have to have some trees taken down that pose a threat to the house - didn't realize they were not in great shape until the recent ice storm called attention to holes and hollows high up. I am pretty sure they account for my high population of red-bellied, downy and hairy woodpeckers. Hoping they don't all abandon me. Placing my faith in the suet feeders and the little woodlot across the street.

Robins and cardinals courting but haven't spotted any nests yet.

Spring has really sprung here. Azaleas starting to bloom.


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2014
From: GUEST,NightWing, without a cookie
Date: 11 Apr 14 - 12:04 AM

I've been following this blog since I was shown it, back around the end of February: Biking for Birds.

Dorian Anderson is a birder from Boston. He threw up his job (neuroscientist) to take year off and do a Big Year ... but not a normal Big Year. He is doing a 100% "green" Big Year. He has not used ANY power except for his legs for his travel. He started in New England in January, rode through the worst of the "Polar Vortex" in New York and Pennsylvania, just spent about two weeks in Florida, and is now working his way across the Gulf Coast to reach the Galveston vicinity for the peak of cross-Gulf migration.

He has ridden over 4,000 miles and seen (as of yesterday) 268 species of birds and he is not only riding all this way (with no support vehicle, mind you: I said 100% "green"), he is also blogging about it ... so far has not missed a day.

He intends to continue from there across to Arizona in early summer, then north through Colorado, west to Oregon, south to California, then back west to Texas and the Central Plains for wintering northern birds.

He is hoping to gain donations for several environmental funds.

Seriously cool blog!!!

BB,
NightWing


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2014
From: gnu
Date: 11 Apr 14 - 07:06 AM

Indeed it is a cool blog. Thanks.


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2014
From: Stu
Date: 11 Apr 14 - 07:28 AM

Over here in the UK I had the good fortune to spot a Treecreeper yesterday, and then watched as it dashed in and out of it's nest site, in the woody tangle of old ivy trunks clinging to a huge tree. Wonderful!


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2014
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Apr 14 - 08:41 AM

well, the pileated woodpecker showed up for a brief appearance on the dead poplar tree earlier this week and the osprey is back at the office pond - nice thing about our conservation office is the pond and freshwater wetland next to the buildings.

heard a kildeer calling this morning, as the snow finally is disappearing & there's a hint of green on the hill.


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2014
From: Janie
Date: 30 Apr 14 - 06:43 PM

Was delighted when I got home this evening to have a visitor I have never seen before at one of the sunflower feeders. Rose-Breasted Grosbeak. I'm not on a migratory fly-way. I wonder if the storms have caused it to take a detour on is migration north? Or maybe even blew it off course a bit?


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2014
From: GUEST,Arkie
Date: 01 May 14 - 05:26 PM

They are indeed beautiful birds and a joy to find in your backyard. There is usually a two or three week stretch when they visit Arkansas feeders but I have not seen any until today. There was one at the feeder.


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2014
From: gnu
Date: 01 May 14 - 05:43 PM

I wait and I wait...

http://www.hummingbirds.net/map.html


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2014
From: Jeri
Date: 01 May 14 - 06:59 PM

I occasionally see rose-breasted grossbeaks when they pass through here. None yet, though. I sometimes hear a pilliated woodpecker, but I have yet to see one. I seem to have been invaded by grackles.

The coolest thing I've seen was a pair of hawks dancing with each other in the air yesterday. I don't know if they were sharp-shinned or cooper's hawks since I only saw them in the air, with the sun above/behind them.

So far, the damned yellow warbler alarm-clock bird hasn't shown up. I don't think he got lucky last year, despite being loud enough to attract females from 100 miles away for more than two months, and may try elsewhere. Like the song goes, "If I had a rocket launcher..." (not really).


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2014
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 01 May 14 - 08:17 PM

Our Phoebe is back. A plain little bird, but I like to hear them.

My daughter got all the bluebird nests bordering their land (Alberta Foothills) cleaned out, before the male scouts came. Winter was slow leaving this year.


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2014
From: Janie
Date: 01 May 14 - 08:37 PM

Good website that I just joined to share observations and contribute to tracking the distribution and populations of birds. Linked to it from the Cornell website to report the grosbeak which is very uncommon in my immediate neck of the woods. http://ebird.org/content/ebird/


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2014
From: open mike
Date: 02 May 14 - 02:01 AM

i posted a video i took of the local alarm clock bird...i believe it is a red headed wood pecker...or perhaps a red breasted sap sucker...any way he loves to rat-a-tat-tat on the (metal!) satellite dish early each morning!! the clip is on my facebook page...laurel woodsorrel...plus we have goldfinches...pigging out on the thistle seeds (nyger) plus blue birds, blue jays, indigo buntings, flickers, crows, ravens, osprey, great blue herons, snowy egrets, wild turkey, cow birds, Calif. quail and the larger Mountain Quail, wrens and I hear   Swainson's Thrush. Also hummingbirds, black capped chickadees, Rufous Sided Towhees , mourning doves, and an occasional flock of sand hills cranes migrating overhead. Also Canada Geese.


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2014
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 02 May 14 - 03:55 AM

The house martins are back, zooming around twittering. Hope the cold spell isn't harming them. Saw the red kite again early yesterday morning, soaring in the sky. It really is a huge bird, with its forked tail. And lastly, a little egret which seems to live down by the small river and mill race in the village. Still haven't heard a cuckoo. That always makes me tearful with joy. I know they're a menace to the small birds who have to feed the chick, but that call is so haunting and poignant.


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2014
From: MartinRyan
Date: 02 May 14 - 05:31 AM

I was in Spain a couple of weeks ago (teaching English - but that's another story). We were based in a lovely hotel in the Sierra de Gredos, about 100 miles west of Madrid. At breakfast on the first morning, several people were complaining of being kept awake at night by what they thought was a malfunctioning smoke alarm looking for new batteries! In fact, it was this little guy nesting in the roof space:

Scops Owl

Regards


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2014
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 02 May 14 - 12:33 PM

Lovely, Martin! Was that a second owl replying towards the end? It does really sound like a bleeping device on an alarm. Reminds me of a Catholic Mass in Diouloulou, Casamance (southern Senegal) There's a funny bird in W Africa which goes "Ping!" every 2 or 3 minutes. No idea what it's called. This bird was just outside the grille on one of the church windows. (no panes of glass - far too hot!) The priest would intone a sacred prayer, then - "Ping!" He finished with Amen, and "Ping!" It started to get very funny. (I need no encouragement to get the giggles) Finally, at the end of the Mass, he exorted us to go in peace in the name of Christ and of course, "Ping!" I'd love to know what this bird could have been. I never caught sight of it, so no clues there.


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2014
From: MartinRyan
Date: 02 May 14 - 05:31 PM

HI GUESTEliza,

The Youtube clip was just the handiest sample I could find - there may well be two birds involved. In the hotel, there seemed to be several both in the main building and in a second, stable-block building. Fortunately, the call is quite soothing, ultimately, so we learned to live with it.

Regards


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2014
From: Jeri
Date: 20 May 14 - 03:30 PM

The damned yellow warbler alarm-clock bird is back (heard but not seen). There are a pair of phoebes in a pre-owned nest above a window, and...
a whole entire pair of rose-breasted grosbeaks. I was watching the female in the birdfeeder from the porch, which is only about 015' away. She was in there until a catbird flew in and scared her off.


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2014
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 20 May 14 - 05:36 PM

Hurray! Heard two cuckoos yesterday morning at dawn, and one today. They've decreased in numbers by about 50% in the last ten years, and ornithologists don't know why. The one this morning sounded very close to our house, but even though I ran out in my dressing gown, I couldn't catch a glimpse of it. (Neighbours are quite accustomed to the mad woman next door creeping around inappropriately clad, breaking up cat-fights or looking for birds.) A number of Norfolk cuckoos were ringed recently and tracked on their migration to Africa. Amazingly, they took widely different routes, but ended up in Congo within five miles of eachother!


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2014
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 20 May 14 - 06:06 PM

A couple of years back we had a treecreeper stun itself by hitting our sliding doors. I managed to get a picture as my mother released it.

New to me this year here has been a yellow hammer in the field/veg plot. There are also a pair of mallards nesting in that area.


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2014
From: Jeri
Date: 23 May 14 - 02:24 PM

Add Indigo Bunting
I looked at my feeder, and was trying to figure out if it was a catbird, but it was a little too small, and then it turned a little, and it was obviously blue. It was a very dark blue, but it's a dark, cloudy day, and we have no other birds with that much blue on them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2014
From: Janie
Date: 21 Nov 14 - 09:41 PM

Saw my first Juncos last weekend. They may have arrived earlier, but this time of year only home in daylight on the weekends. Saw white-throated sparrows in quantity the weekend before.

Found a suet cage last summer that the outer cage is large enough to really keep the suet in the inner cage out of reach of starlings and grackles. However, the inner cage that holds the suet blocks holds 3 blocks. Too deep. The smaller birds that can get into the outer cage can't reach all the suet through the wire of the inner cage. So essentially a poor design. I think I'll measure and saw off a suet-cake sized block of wood to insert in the middle to support two outer suet cakes against the wire so the birds can get to all of it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2014
From: GUEST,Arkie
Date: 21 Nov 14 - 10:46 PM

Saw the first Juncos of the year this week here in the Arkansas Ozarks. Same date as last year. They arrived about the same time as the big snow.

Also a big flock of Robins arrived yesterday. We have Robins all year round. I suspect these are migrating. We do usually see big flocks about this time of year.


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2014
From: Janie
Date: 02 Dec 14 - 12:17 AM

Arkie, you and I may be "the last men standing" so to speak, regarding birding threads on Mudcat. I think you know a bunch more than I do, so am asking for your thoughts on something.

This past weekend I sadly had to have a lot of trees removed. I'm not as concerned about the narrow wind-row/thicket near the rear of the house that provided cover plus lots of bird-cherries - I can pretty quickly grow a variety of other shrubs that will provide cover and food within a few years without being so tall they threaten the house when ice-storms hit.

I am most concerned about how to compensate for the 3 maples that were taken down. One was nearly dead. The other two had extensive dead tops, which I did not realize until big parts of those tops came down in a late ice storm last spring. I have a lot of bluebirds, downy, hairy and red-bellied woodpeckers who come to the feeders in my yard and when I examined the trees after they came down, there is no doubt they were prime nesting spots. I had thought until that ice storm the birds were nesting somewhere in the area but were in my yard only because of the feeders. Do you have any experience with woodpecker boxes? If so, just how high up to they have to be placed to be attractive to nesting pairs? I have a long extension ladder but am a bit phobic about height. From what I read, however, I question whether I could place them high enough on the trunks of the oaks and remaining maples using a tall step ladder. Any thoughts?


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2014
From: GUEST,maeve
Date: 02 Dec 14 - 06:11 AM

Janie, I'm here! I'm sure Arkie will respond.

In the meantime, here's a link we used when siting flicker nest box l year or so ago. We had at least two, and likely more, flicker families raised in or near the nest box this year. .. so quite successful. Be sure to pack the box with wood chips so your local birds can excavate.

Ours were set about 15 feet high, but note that the suggested range is 8-20 feet...you have some flexibility so can evaluate clear flight zones, etc. and you will want the option to check and clear out the box yearly, refilling with about 4" fresh wood chips.

Maeve


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2014
From: GUEST,Arkie
Date: 02 Dec 14 - 11:25 AM

Janie, sorry you lost so many trees. They, no doubt provided cover and nesting sites for song birds. I am afraid that I know very little about natural cover and nesting habits so I can be of little help here. I have quite a few downy woodpeckers and suspect they nest in the area since at various times of the year I see adults and juveniles at the feeders. I do not provide any nesting for them. I also see red-bellied woodpeckers frequently at the feeders. I do not see hairy woodpeckers that often any longer. A significant loss of cover may result in some loss of bird population, but if you still have standing trees you may not notice a loss. I hope you are able to keep the birds who have made your yard their home.


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2014
From: maeve
Date: 02 Dec 14 - 02:29 PM

This morning we watched an adult Bald eagle fly along the treetops to a perch in a tall White pine. We were trying to get a couple of clear photos through our south windows when ravens began calling. As I pressed the shutter button a pair of ravens glided in toward the eagle, one landing on the pine as the eagle shrugged and departed toward the river. The ravens cheered before also gliding away north to their usual roosts by the hayfield.

Janie, if any of the cut trees' stumps or big branches are still there, they can be fine bird feeding stations.
Maeve


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2014
From: gnu
Date: 03 Dec 14 - 02:30 PM

Yeah... ravens don't put up with eagles or many large birds of prey except owls. I was WAY back in the bush one spring when a HUGE eagle lit on a tall pine on the edge of a BIG bog. A lone raven circled it (female back on the nest?). The eagle ignored the raven. The raven went up to about 200' and began to call. There had to be at least 20 big* ravens arrive in less than 5 minutes. Not only did the eagle leave but they kicked his ass on the way out. Feathers were had!

* What I call "bog ravens". The ravens along the back roads? Tiny compared to the ravens that have the choice nesting grounds way back in the bog country. I've seen a half dozen of them work together to kill large rabbits that wander out to eat blueberries. They take turns eating the rabbits. Dominant female first and then her mate and they leave enough for the others and those eat in turn. It's gruesome but somehow "understandable", for lack of a better term.


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2014
From: GUEST,Arkie
Date: 03 Dec 14 - 05:32 PM

I would like to get in on the eagle spotting. We have them in this area but seeing them here is very rare. I did see a Pileated Woodpecker this morning. It has been several years since seeing the last one. Or maybe this was the same one I saw a couple of years ago. A little Pine Warbler came calling at the feeder yesterday and today. I have not seen it for a while.


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2014
From: Janie
Date: 03 Dec 14 - 07:10 PM

Oh maeve, so happy to see you here! And you also, gnu!

That link to the NWF page is perfect. I've looked at a few links but the information on the NWF is the most complete I've seen. Have bookmarked it. I read somewhere else about packing the box with wood chips for the woodpeckers to excavate. On the NWF site it says to fill with about 4" of shavings as nesting material. I'm a little confused about whether the box should be filled with wood chips to the top for the birds to excavate to their desired depth, or if adding 4 inches of wood shavings is considered packing the box. Can you clarify?

I do see flickers in my yard, usually in early spring when the ant colonies get active. Had not considered I could put nesting boxes out for them also.

I'd have to go out birding to see eagles on regional lakes. Doubt I'll ever see one from my yard, which is where all my birding takes place. Would be a thrill, though. One New Year's a few years ago, coming back from New York, we detoured and stopped to take a walk along the Susquehanna River just below the Conowingo Dam, near Port Deposit. It was unseasonably warm. There was some sort of fish run or swarm just below the dam, and there were Bald Eagles everywhere! The only time I have ever seen them in the wild. Several were wheeling over the water, and others roosted on low branches along the path so we could observe them quite closely. It is a popular path and these birds were obviously pretty acclimated to gawking hikers.

Did you get your picture, maeve?

Arkie, this past spring I saw the first Pileated Woodpecker I have seen on the NC Piedmont where I live since I moved to this area 28 years ago. Sitting at my computer, saw movement out the window and there was a male, clinging to a tree trunk about 10 feet away. They were common, and one of my very favorite birds in the hills of WV where I hail from and I have missed seeing them flash through the woods, and the sound of their calls. Figured he was just passing through, and probably he was. Then, this past Saturday morning, sitting on my carport with my second cuppa I heard a woodpecker drumming on the oak behind me, turned to look, expecting a red-belly or a downy, and to my delight, saw it was a Pileated. Turned my head back when I saw something moving in the woodlot across the road, and there was another one! Watched both of them for about 20 minutes. It was great.

I don't usually see pine warblers at the feeder until January or early Feb. I'm guessing that is when it either gets cold enough or the winter foraging gets scarce enough that they come down to the suet.

We don't have ravens here. I think they may have them in the NC Mountains, but am not sure. Have never seen one of them in the wild either.

I did see seagulls flying overhead this weekend. They come inland around shopping malls and I've seen them a few miles away, but never flying overhead here before. Don't know what species.

So happy to be talking and hearing about all y'all's birds here. These bird threads have long been some of my favorite on Mudcat.


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2014
From: maeve
Date: 03 Dec 14 - 07:33 PM

Quick reply, Janie- If you have enough shavings/chips fill the box. Four inches is considered a minimum for nesting. When the birds have to excavate they seem to feel more ownership.


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2014
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Dec 14 - 10:08 AM

This time of the year is one when you sometimes see birds that are not uncommon round here but don't often come into our garden to try to get food. The woodpecker in particular is a very rare sight to me. A couple of shots from my window:

Here is a cropped one of a (Eurasian) jay who's picked up a couple of peanuts.

Here is a Great spotted woodpecker


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2014
From: gnu
Date: 04 Dec 14 - 03:59 PM

Eagles are cool. I had a camp on Salmon River, Kent Co., NB.ca. I used to sit between two huge pines with large "crag" braches sticking out over the river. Eagles would perch on them (one at a time) waiting for fish and ducks. They were about twenty feet over me and, staying still, they didn't see me. Quite a show. Even more so were the ospreys that never lit.

The best was "Beaker". A peregrine falcon who would perch on my upper deck railing. I was below in a screened in porch or sitting on the lower deck railing. It was unperturbed by my presence after we became friends. I watched it go after mice for hours and hours. Quite a show.

Then, there were the Moose Birds, the owls and many others... even the whippoorwills (which I never saw as they were out only at night... good thing because when you keep up a man that owns a 12 gauge shotgun up half the night, yer pokin the dragon eh?). I miss my camp.


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2014
From: Janie
Date: 04 Dec 14 - 07:23 PM

Wow, gnu. I can see why.

Thanks for the bird pics, guest. A treat to see photos from catters of birds in the backyards of folks across the pond. Guessing from the URL on the photos you are our old friend Jon? Hope you are doing well.

Thanks maeve. Will do so.


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2014
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 04 Dec 14 - 07:53 PM

Sorry Janie. I didn't mean to go anon. It is that Jon on one of his rare visits...


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2014
From: GUEST,Steve Shaw
Date: 04 Dec 14 - 08:33 PM

We've had an incredibly warm autumn and the bushes are laden with berries. The redwings and fieldfares have had the luxury of not having to hurry south. Two fieldfares under the apple trees this morning, first sighting of the winter. The bird feeders are swarming at the moment, the little buggers eating me out of house and home. No long- tailed tits yet, but they won't be long.


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2014
From: Janie
Date: 04 Dec 14 - 10:22 PM

Well don't be so rare, Jon, at least on the bird threads, which I think you might find quite tolerable! Very good to have you chime in.

Those are a couple of pretty thrushes, Steve. Is the long-tailed tit as tiny a bird as it looks in the photographs I googled?


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2014
From: Rumncoke
Date: 05 Dec 14 - 08:00 PM

The tits full name is titmice - they are not large

I see great tits - which are small birds, blue tits and coal tits in the garden around the compost bins after insects.

We also have house sparrows, goldfinches, robins, blackbirds, thrushes, swifts, wood pigeons, ringdoves, siskins, black headed gulls and thrushes - just what I can remember seeing from the
kitchen window.

I'm on the south coast of England, close to the sea.


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2014
From: GUEST,Steve Shaw
Date: 05 Dec 14 - 08:24 PM

Long-tailed tits are one of the tiniest British birds. As I understand it they are not especially closely-related to the other tits.

I'm north Cornwall,near Bude, Rumncoke.


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2014
From: Janie
Date: 08 Dec 14 - 09:05 PM

All we have here is the
tufted-titmouse (east coast USA.) My Peterson's Fieldguide (Eastern USA)has drawings of Great Tits and Blue Tits as accidentals from Europe or Asia (probably up north and east coast of Canada. Our tufted titmouse is apparently not related to Tits.

Is the tufted titmouse I linked to the same bird you call titmouse, Rumncoke? If not, I wonder if they are related? (if my typos are worse than usual, please forgive. Am having to type one-handed for week or so.) I know from previous bird threads that what we call goldfinch over here on the east coast usa is a separate but related species to what you call goldfinches. Love learning about backyard birds across the pond. Common to you, but quite exotic to me!


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2014
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 08 Dec 14 - 11:09 PM

Janie, these Wikipedia articles may help.

Tits (Paridae)

Long tailed tits (Aegithalidae)


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2014
From: GUEST,driving-rain-maeve without cookie
Date: 10 Dec 14 - 02:48 PM

I was delighted yesterday to see a (three year) Bald eagle fly directly over the yurt thrice yesterday, allowing me to do a visual confirmation of very mottled underwing coloration/colouration, indicating age of about three years. Many birds (and now planes and helicoptors) have been using our yurt as a visual flight marker, something we never observed in the pre-fire house.

Also, Redpolls visited today, landing in the nearest cherry tree in driving rain. They snarled , "No food here and it's still raining and freezing!" before departing just as suddenly.


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2014
From: ragdall
Date: 11 Dec 14 - 04:44 AM

Today I saw the first Redpolls in my yard since two winters ago. A flock of at least 40 arrived just as I was leaving for an appointment so I wasn't able to get photos. I hope that they'll stay here this winter.

rags


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2014
From: GUEST,Arkie
Date: 18 Dec 14 - 03:34 PM

Saw something three days ago, that I have not seen before. A crow was at one of the hanging feeders. It has been there three days in row. We have lots of crows and many are frequently visitors to my yard and they feed on the ground beneath the feeders.


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2014
From: maeve
Date: 18 Dec 14 - 03:49 PM

Crows are indeed intelligent and innovative- always finding something new to try!

We conducted a feeder watch for the Christmas Bird Count in our area. Besides the expected Black-capped chickadees, goldfinches, Blue jays, crows, ravens, Hairy woodpecker etc, the compilers were pleased we saw one or more Pileated woodpeckers and heard two Great Horned owls.


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