The Fora: A Higher Education Community

General Category => General Discussion => Topic started by: professor_pat on May 31, 2019, 11:08:06 AM

Title: Look! A bird!
Post by: professor_pat on May 31, 2019, 11:08:06 AM
Woohoo—or rather, Who-cooks-for-you—I get to be the one to restart the birders' thread in the new Fora!

After getting increasingly jealous of postings in our regional birders' email about their sightings of Rufous Hummingbirds, I've finally gotten to see some in my own backyard! A female and then a male have been showing up at my feeders. I've also had visits from both a male and female Black-headed Grosbeak. I've been hearing Western Tanagers in the woods around my house but haven't glimpsed any yet.

In other news, a trio of Band-tailed Pigeons have been hanging around and I'm pretty sure there's a nest hidden somewhere. I love hearing their cooing.

Who's arrived recently in your neighborhood?
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: turing_complete on June 01, 2019, 03:06:04 PM
Birds that hang around our feeder include chickadees, sparrows, and finches (house and gold), mourning doves, grackles, cardinals, and we're always happy to see the pair of downy woodpeckers.  We've occasionally seen a cowbird.  Sometimes a bluejay.  And this time of year, there are pairs of ducks wandering around people's front yards.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: happylittletrees on June 01, 2019, 05:48:54 PM
A new thread inspires me to figure out what we have hanging around the yard. We have a pair of hummingbirds plus most of those listed by turing_complete. We also have a pair of pileated woodpeckers and an occasional appearance by a kestrel, although we haven’t seen it since the winter. We have trouble with birds smacking into our picture windows. Any suggestions to prevent that?
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: turing_complete on June 01, 2019, 06:50:58 PM
We tried a few different things, but this one seems to have stopped it completely:

The Warning Web (https://www.livingwithbirds.com/accessories/storage-hygiene-safety/window-strikes/warning-web)
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: Thursday's_Child on June 02, 2019, 10:10:36 AM
My sliding glass door has a warning web on one side and a diving falcon on the other - they have both worked well for years.  If you need a temporary something quick and don't care about looks, try making a lattice from painters or masking tape.  Lots of things work - it can be anything at all so long as it lets them know there's something there to avoid.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: mamselle on June 02, 2019, 01:53:27 PM
One place I worked had a breezeway that had sand littlecsplats every now and again. They did a sort-of lattice (or diagonal matrix) of paper-cut-outs of birds which apparently worked out well.

One of the day care classes on-site was tasked with cutting out all the birds that summer...

M.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: happylittletrees on June 02, 2019, 03:24:36 PM
Thanks for the suggestions. Our windows will be sporting new decor very soon.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: Thursday's_Child on August 11, 2019, 09:01:18 AM
I have goldfinches!  They don't seem to visit the feeder - the old seed heads of coneflowers and such are preferred.

Other recent sightings include a blue-gray gnatcatcher.  I usually spot them by first thinking they're a titmouse and then realizing that the activity pattern is wrong.  T-mice don't skitter through the branches after bugs like these do.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: mamselle on August 11, 2019, 09:13:34 AM
I love seeing goldfinches.

They fly as if they were on swings.

M.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: nebo113 on August 12, 2019, 04:16:05 AM
Twice, hummingbirds have gotten their long beaks stuck in window screen.  Both times, they backed out. 
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: mamselle on August 20, 2019, 12:11:56 PM
Speaking of goldfinches...a treeful of cheery, chatty little yellow-feathered bodies were flitting around my head as I left the library yesterday.

I smiled.

M.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: backatit on August 20, 2019, 01:41:58 PM
I LOVE goldfinches. We are currently inundated with the baby cardinals, which, while adorable, is also fraught. They are attempting suicide every time I let the dogs out, and the dogs are acting like there is a buffet on order for them - gah!

The bats, otoh (not birds, but still flying) are having a field day with the mosquitoes after the recent heavy rain. I really like watching them - I swath myself in mosquito netting and sit out by the pond at dusk so that I can hang out with them.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: mamselle on August 20, 2019, 02:49:31 PM
Upside down?

Like Stellaluna?

   https://www.amazon.com/Stellaluna-25th-Anniversary-Janell-Cannon/dp/0544874358/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=stellaluna&qid=1566337594&s=books&sr=1-1

;--}

M.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: backatit on August 20, 2019, 07:01:29 PM
I wish, but that makes me dizzy :D. I mostly just watch them swoop over the pond.

I'm installing a couple of bat houses in the maple trees this year - we seem to have a lot of bats but given the mosquito population we can never have too many...
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: nebo113 on August 21, 2019, 05:46:02 AM
I wish, but that makes me dizzy :D. I mostly just watch them swoop over the pond.

I'm installing a couple of bat houses in the maple trees this year - we seem to have a lot of bats but given the mosquito population we can never have too many...

I installed a bat house according to guidelines, and I've seen bats (I live in the country) but alas, they spurn my offered lodging.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: backatit on August 21, 2019, 07:08:42 AM
I wish, but that makes me dizzy :D. I mostly just watch them swoop over the pond.

I'm installing a couple of bat houses in the maple trees this year - we seem to have a lot of bats but given the mosquito population we can never have too many...

I installed a bat house according to guidelines, and I've seen bats (I live in the country) but alas, they spurn my offered lodging.

We're also in the country, and it may be that out here, they have too MANY choices. I did see a coyote the other night, too, which was a little disconcerting (it was in the neighbor's field, so hopefully the big dog will keep him out of our field - the little dogs are at risk.

Is this post for general fauna, or just avian? If the latter, I'll make a new thread :D.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: Thursday's_Child on August 21, 2019, 09:58:58 AM
Nebo, I've also offered bats a lodging and have been ignored!  We just don't assess habitat the way they do.

My drive out of the neighborhood this morning was enlivened by a squadron of Canada geese flying, in a precise V, just above the tree tops.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: nebo113 on August 22, 2019, 06:40:13 AM
I wish, but that makes me dizzy :D. I mostly just watch them swoop over the pond.

I'm installing a couple of bat houses in the maple trees this year - we seem to have a lot of bats but given the mosquito population we can never have too many...

I installed a bat house according to guidelines, and I've seen bats (I live in the country) but alas, they spurn my offered lodging.

We're also in the country, and it may be that out here, they have too MANY choices. I did see a coyote the other night, too, which was a little disconcerting (it was in the neighbor's field, so hopefully the big dog will keep him out of our field - the little dogs are at risk.

Is this post for general fauna, or just avian? If the latter, I'll make a new thread :D.

I would support a general fauna thread!
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: mamselle on August 22, 2019, 07:35:17 AM
Yes, and at some points there were (on the old Fora) specific threads for live-cam sightings (I followed the owls for about a year, as I recall....)

So, a separate thread for animal sightings would be cool!

M.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: mamselle on August 23, 2019, 10:47:42 AM
A double a day later...

Saw a nuthatch going upside down down a tree near my student's house. By the time I'd gotten the camera out, he'd scissors his way back up the trunk and (I'm guessing) into a nest in its blasted-out crotch.

Slim little body, light-colored underbelly, pretty dove-grey back feathers.

M.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: sinenomine on August 24, 2019, 01:18:07 PM
I’m on a lengthy housesitting gig at a farm that abuts a nature preserve. I’ve already had two golden eagles hanging out along the fence line, and a sparrow hawk that decided to stand on my car to look for prey.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: nebo113 on August 25, 2019, 06:20:34 AM
I’m on a lengthy housesitting gig at a farm that abuts a nature preserve. I’ve already had two golden eagles hanging out along the fence line, and a sparrow hawk that decided to stand on my car to look for prey.

I've seen one golden eagle in my lifetime; it was an awesome moment.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: Thursday's_Child on August 25, 2019, 09:08:54 AM
A double a day later...

Saw a nuthatch going upside down down a tree near my student's house. By the time I'd gotten the camera out, he'd scissors his way back up the trunk and (I'm guessing) into a nest in its blasted-out crotch.

Slim little body, light-colored underbelly, pretty dove-grey back feathers.

M.

Given your location it was most probably a white-breasted nuthatch.  If you see it again, check the head color - females in the NE have a gray crown, not black.  Also look for red-breasteds!

Sinenomine, I'm jealous!
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: alto_stratus on August 26, 2019, 12:18:18 PM
So many turkeys. . .

The best bird I've seen in the last week was a lovely Quaker parrot who was boarding for a week with a local pet store owner.  It was the cutest - peeking out of a little fleece nest, talking to everyone who came over, and laughing - I think it had a talkative owner!
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: backatit on August 26, 2019, 01:20:03 PM
I was really surprised to see a flock of green parrots in Holland Park in London a few weeks ago. I really did not know that they lived there; they seem like such tropical birds to live in Kensington that it was quite a surprise. I see them when I am in Florida quite often (there are flocks all over beachside there and they fascinate me) but those really threw me for a loop!
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: the_geneticist on August 26, 2019, 03:22:53 PM
We have a resident male Annas hummingbird who jealously sits at the top of the orange tree and guards the feeder.   A flock of local ravens likes to come and sip water from our front yard sprinklers and pick through the compost bin.  A few pigeons and invasive house finches.  I'm hoping we'll get an acorn woodpecker, but none nearby.  They LOVE to store acorns in the trunks of palms.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: mamselle on September 01, 2019, 06:57:46 AM
Last night, walking over the bridge that spans a brook name for the brokeback herring that once spawned here in great numbers...I startled something that took off with a huge wing spread, then settled itself down on a rotting tree about 20 feet upstream.

One it had landed and turned, I saw it was the (or a) blue heron, one of which, at least, I've seen before there.

I guess there are still alewives there ....

M.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: Thursday's_Child on September 11, 2019, 11:52:42 AM
It's migration time again!

Got a good look at a common yellowthroat the other day, plus a couple of probable warblers and an Empidonax flycatcher (don't ask me which one!).  Plus either a newly fledged hummer or a migrant because it was checking out the red peppers - the locals all know that they aren't flowers.  Also, the cardinals may finally have finished nesting b/c I haven't seen any little beggars at the feeder in over a week.

This morning the barred owl gave a last hoot about 5:45.  Ten minutes later the first day bird - a titmouse - started calling.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: backatit on September 14, 2019, 09:50:10 AM
So I have a question about hummingbirds. I have a large backyard, probably about a half acre, surrounded by woods. I have some bushes at the perimeter that probably do have hummingbirds (they have flowers that look appropriate). If I put a feeder by my kitchen window, where I could actually SEE the birds, do you think they would venture all the way over, or should I plant some bushes to lure them in? The septic tank is right next to the house near the kitchen (great placement!) so I can't really block it with a bigger garden or anything (it's one reason that's a big open grass area, for the drainfield. I know not to use colored water or anything, but I'd like to be able to see the little boogers. I could maybe plant some vines.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: Thursday's_Child on September 14, 2019, 10:38:41 AM
So I have a question about hummingbirds. I have a large backyard, probably about a half acre, surrounded by woods. I have some bushes at the perimeter that probably do have hummingbirds (they have flowers that look appropriate). If I put a feeder by my kitchen window, where I could actually SEE the birds, do you think they would venture all the way over, or should I plant some bushes to lure them in? The septic tank is right next to the house near the kitchen (great placement!) so I can't really block it with a bigger garden or anything (it's one reason that's a big open grass area, for the drainfield. I know not to use colored water or anything, but I'd like to be able to see the little boogers. I could maybe plant some vines.

Try it and see!

They're so fast and agile that I don't think crossing a half acre will make them feel vulnerable to predators.  If you give them a perch (open bush or vine) near the house they might appreciate it.  You also may find one male deciding to dominate the feeder from that perch!  If that happens, then add a few other feeders around the perimeter (iron shepherd's crooks make easy and unobtrusive hangers of you don't have suitable tree limbs) so the others can tag-team him - and provide even more fun for you!
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: mamselle on September 14, 2019, 12:32:43 PM
More goldfinches flitting up into a tall pine and chattering at me [or, more likely, each other] on my way to a student's home yesterday.

The nuthatch didn't reappear, but that student has a local bird ID guide (plus six feeders, binoculars, and a telescope--by which they spotted an eagle last month) and confirmed the ID as a white-breasted nuthatch--they've seen it (or its brother, across the street from mine), too.

They haven't yet seen (or heard) wrens. I was surprised by the raspy call the first time I saw one on a porch post awhile ago. They're so pretty, I expected a more mellifluous sound. But there it was, croaking at me...

M.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: Thursday's_Child on September 15, 2019, 11:03:39 AM
Yet another unidentifiable fall warbler - very drab, white on tail feathers, rarely still, eats small caterpillars, didn't seem to match anything in the book.  Hummer feeder still being controlled by an adult male who was busily giving all the others some flying practice.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: nebo113 on September 16, 2019, 05:35:54 AM
Check for wing bars.  That might help with ID.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: Catherder on September 17, 2019, 09:40:30 AM
So I have a question about hummingbirds. I have a large backyard, probably about a half acre, surrounded by woods. I have some bushes at the perimeter that probably do have hummingbirds (they have flowers that look appropriate). If I put a feeder by my kitchen window, where I could actually SEE the birds, do you think they would venture all the way over, or should I plant some bushes to lure them in? The septic tank is right next to the house near the kitchen (great placement!) so I can't really block it with a bigger garden or anything (it's one reason that's a big open grass area, for the drainfield. I know not to use colored water or anything, but I'd like to be able to see the little boogers. I could maybe plant some vines.

Has anyone mentioned putting something bright red on or near the feeder?  Hummingbirds love that colour.

Today there are at least 20 swans in two different groups on the lake. Two groups because the trumpeters and mute swans don't get along.  Also two birds I can't identify--cormorants by their shape, but black-winged, red- breasted and yellow- beaked.  Anyone know?



Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: professor_pat on September 17, 2019, 02:28:52 PM
Check for wing bars.  That might help with ID.

Hahaha! Thanks, Nebo, I needed a good laugh.

Kidding aside,  I’m sure wing bars help many folks and I’m totally impressed that you’re one of them. But since those little warblers sit still for only about 12 nanoseconds, I can never get a good enough look to make any useful observations.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: nebo113 on September 18, 2019, 04:57:37 AM
Check for wing bars.  That might help with ID.

Hahaha! Thanks, Nebo, I needed a good laugh.

Kidding aside,  I’m sure wing bars help many folks and I’m totally impressed that you’re one of them. But since those little warblers sit still for only about 12 nanoseconds, I can never get a good enough look to make any useful observations.

Believe me, I understand!!!!
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: Thursday's_Child on September 21, 2019, 08:49:54 AM
Check for wing bars.  That might help with ID.

Hahaha! Thanks, Nebo, I needed a good laugh.

Kidding aside,  I’m sure wing bars help many folks and I’m totally impressed that you’re one of them. But since those little warblers sit still for only about 12 nanoseconds, I can never get a good enough look to make any useful observations.

Believe me, I understand!!!!

It had wing bars, but I still can't find it in the book.  It was so drab that I was hoping for worm-eating warbler, but the head pattern wasn't there.

Other bird news:

I've seen no adult male hummers for over a week.  Another (male juvie, perhaps?) took over trying to dominate the feeder for a few days and then also migrated.  The two around this morning are mostly feeding rather than chasing - one of them is not only a newbie in the yard (checked out the red peppers for nectar) but is also a country-cousin because it ignored the feeder.  It chased a chickadee right up to the feeder (c-dee was getting a drink from the ant guard) and then went right back to sipping from a Salvia.

I'm pretty sure I saw a drab blue-headed vireo.  At first I thought it was a ruby-crowned kinglet, but it wasn't flitty enough and then a titmouse got close enough for scale so I knew for sure it wasn't a kinglet.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: nebo113 on September 22, 2019, 05:49:25 AM
My hummers seem to have moved on, though it's a bit early.  I put out fresh juice anyway, as others may migrate through.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: Thursday's_Child on September 22, 2019, 08:57:08 AM
My hummers seem to have moved on, though it's a bit early.  I put out fresh juice anyway, as others may migrate through.

Yes!  I wish more people realized that it isn't the availability of food that drives migration - it's day length.  For a late migrant - blown off course by a storm, spent a week lost in a maze of sky scrapers, etc. - a feeder can make the difference between life and death.

Plus, I'm far enough south that having off course western species stop by and stay for the winter is a possibility!  I keep a feeder up until late December - just in case.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: mamselle on September 22, 2019, 01:26:57 PM
You're the bird concierge.

M.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: nebo113 on October 02, 2019, 05:41:43 AM
The male bluebird of happiness reappeared, though he may have been tucked into the woods since mating earlier this year.  I put out dead meal worms, just in case.

And a hummer has been flitting around, but I don't know if it's one of the regulars so is en route to somewhere elsewhere.

As for being the bird concierge:  Thank you!!!  I confess to buying the cheapest seed and it doesn't seem to deter them!
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: AmLitHist on October 03, 2019, 06:39:05 AM
We've had more hummingbirds the past few days than all summer put together.  (It was so ungodly hot here I just assume the little guys were sitting in the AC somewhere.)  I put out fresh nectar for them over the weekend, and they've been enjoying it--and I, them.  It's remained hot here (still 93 degrees yesterday), so they'll be around a good while yet. Most years they stay almost until first frost, which looks to be pretty late according to forecasts.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: professor_pat on October 03, 2019, 08:23:23 PM
I'm realizing it's been a while since I've seen a rufous hummer at my feeders - such gorgeous little guys 'n' gals. I had a Townsend's Warbler and even a Wood-pewee in the last week, late for both but so delightful to see.

It's pretty quiet out there these days. Can't wait for the winter birds to start showing up.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: Thursday's_Child on October 06, 2019, 08:29:54 AM
Late yesterday afternoon, for a couple of hours, I thought I was getting a glimpse of birder heaven - or perhaps hell.  Every time I finished noting (and saying them outloud in hopes of remembering them better) all the field marks that I'd been able to see and reached for the book, another would flit into view.  By the time they stopped, all I knew for sure was vireos! a thrush! warblers! catbird! something else entirely! because all the lists had merged into a complete scramble in my paltry brain.  Eyes with and without rings; eyebrows not obvious or white or yellow; necks and chests white or yellowish or bright yellow; sides white or yellow and striped or not; wing bars 0 or 1 or 2, white except one obviously yellowish; butts not contrasting or bright yellow (on a bird that clearly wasn't a yellow-rumped warbler); tails uniform or with white flashes; undertail feathers white or yellow; etc.

To top it all off, this morning I got a good look at and description of --- yet another warbler that isn't in the book.

I think I need those binocs that have a built-in camera.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: nebo113 on October 07, 2019, 04:30:05 AM
Horde of starlings yesterday.  Gone today.

And Thursday's Child:  I get it!!!!
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: cathwen on October 10, 2019, 09:58:36 AM
A Yellow-Rumped Warbler visited our dogwood tree this morning.  I was excited to have been able to identify it, since fall warblers are hard!  We're also getting a lot of house finches.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: nebo113 on October 10, 2019, 01:18:34 PM
A Yellow-Rumped Warbler visited our dogwood tree this morning.  I was excited to have been able to identify it, since fall warblers are hard!  We're also getting a lot of house finches.

In my neck of the woods, we often call them "yellow rumps" but in Arizona I heard them referred to as "butter butts." 
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: backatit on October 14, 2019, 12:23:52 PM
We had a caracara in the yard this morning, which was very cool. DH got a good picture but I don't really have a way to post it.

Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: mamselle on October 14, 2019, 02:51:20 PM
Is Photobucket still around?

We used to post photos 'n' stuff to accounts set up using fora names to preserve pseudonymity...

M.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: backatit on October 14, 2019, 04:48:14 PM
Yes, that works :).

https://i1146.photobucket.com/albums/o526/backatit123/caracara_zps6pqpyjxt.jpg
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: mamselle on October 14, 2019, 08:43:09 PM
Yes, that works :).

https://i1146.photobucket.com/albums/o526/backatit123/caracara_zps6pqpyjxt.jpg

Cool!

Thanks!

M.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: nebo113 on October 15, 2019, 05:48:14 AM
Yes, that works :).

https://i1146.photobucket.com/albums/o526/backatit123/caracara_zps6pqpyjxt.jpg

Cool!

Thanks!

M.

I had to google this bird.  So exciting that you saw it.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: the_geneticist on October 15, 2019, 10:46:35 AM
Yes, that works :).

https://i1146.photobucket.com/albums/o526/backatit123/caracara_zps6pqpyjxt.jpg

Cool!

Thanks!

M.

I had to google this bird.  So exciting that you saw it.

Wow!  That's a beautiful bird!  In my part of the country, a "cara cara" is a type of citrus.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: nebo113 on October 16, 2019, 05:32:53 AM
Cedar waxwings spent a long weekend here, an annual event.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: backatit on October 16, 2019, 06:49:00 AM
Cedar waxwings spent a long weekend here, an annual event.

They have always been one of my favorite birds. I am not even sure why - I just love seeing them. They are like "not cardinals" to me; like very rare and beautiful cardinals (I love our cardinals but that's our predominant bird here).
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: Thursday's_Child on October 16, 2019, 09:57:44 AM
Lovely caracara, Backatit!

I haven't had a hummer in the yard for a week, but Nebo's report of cedar waxwings gives me hope that they'll make it to my place soon.  The flood of 'just-passing-through' migrants has slowed.  Now it's time for the 'we'll be here all winter!' folks to start arriving.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: nebo113 on October 17, 2019, 06:05:20 AM
Lovely caracara, Backatit!

I haven't had a hummer in the yard for a week, but Nebo's report of cedar waxwings gives me hope that they'll make it to my place soon.  The flood of 'just-passing-through' migrants has slowed.  Now it's time for the 'we'll be here all winter!' folks to start arriving.

I've still got the "confusing fall warblers" passing through but they generally stay down in the woods, so I am not forced to attempt to ID them....though I do love hearing them.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: paultuttle on October 19, 2019, 03:49:16 PM
Earlier this afternoon as I was turning into our driveway, two large dark-brown hawks followed each other into a stand of trees near the other side of the park in front of our house.

The crows and smaller birds nearby were kicking up quite a fuss, and the squirrels and chipmunks were most definitely in hiding, as they were not to be seen.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: Thursday's_Child on October 20, 2019, 09:07:14 AM
A hummer - another country cousin who's never seen a feeder - stopped by yesterday & again this morning.  It seems rather late and I'm not entirely sure it was a ruby-throat.  It had a dark patch low on the throat and I couldn't see the white patch near the eye, but it was so fluffed up against the cold that I'm not sure my observations are accurate.  It was very fluffy - nearly a sphere with head, wings and tail!
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: backatit on October 20, 2019, 02:02:02 PM
I went down back into the woods this afternoon and saw a ton of warblers, and our two resident barred owls (we also have a great horned owl and a screech owl who are less-frequent visitors). The two barred owls were deep in the shade, right up against the trunk of a big oak tree, so I'll likely hear them this evening before they go out to hunt. They alternate between ours' and our neighbors' woods and once this summer when I was in the pool one late in the evening one came and sat on a branch very close to the pool and watched me swim for a really long time. I love the owls.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: mamselle on October 20, 2019, 04:11:30 PM
That's reminding me of the poster formerly known as Barred Owl (who did indeed see and love owls, as I recall).

Wonder what they're doing?

M.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: backatit on October 20, 2019, 06:21:32 PM
Oh yes, I remember them (they are not me). I agree; hope they are well and getting lots of owl time. And yes, they did come out tonight.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: nebo113 on October 21, 2019, 04:58:43 AM
Oh yes, I remember them (they are not me). I agree; hope they are well and getting lots of owl time. And yes, they did come out tonight.

I live in the country with woods back and one side...and the only owls I hear are across the road near the lake.  I hear them in the wee hours when little canine goes out to pee.  never ever see one.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: backatit on October 21, 2019, 11:19:51 AM
I think we have a particularly large and active population here (not just in this particular set of woods). Where I used to live was across the street from a nature preserve but it wasn't really that rural (it was quiet though and had a lot of trees) and 4 juvenile horned owls flew into my front yard when I was sitting on my front porch steps on evening. They were trying to to learn to fly, and hopping all over the place quite awkwardly. I've seen a lot of owls, but they aren't easy to see when they are in the trees.

Here are our resident owls a while back https://i1146.photobucket.com/albums/o526/backatit123/owls_zpsvfndbdqm.jpg

I sit quietly outside a lot in the evenings, and we have a screened back porch that overlooks the most densely wooded part of our property, so we're pretty well set up to see them (part of the reason this picture is fuzzy is that I'm taking it through the screen).
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: Catherder on October 21, 2019, 01:18:00 PM

I heard an owl hooting last night as a vague grey shape (a rabbit?) fled across the lawn.  But I was distracted by a huge orange half moon rising in the trees across the road.  Until it cleared the treetops I was sure it was a fire, and was ready to dial the local fire department.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: mamselle on October 21, 2019, 08:43:10 PM
I think they were calling that a "Hunter's Moon," from a headline I saw in passing.

It's been very ashy at the lowest part of the horizon due to some fires and volcanoes in the last month or so, I think, causing more refraction of light in the red/orange range at sundown/moonrise. (?maybe I heard it interthreadually)...

An owl silhouetted against something like that must have been quite a sight.

M.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: nebo113 on November 05, 2019, 04:41:56 AM
Saw either two myrtle warblers....or one myrtle warbler twice.  Have never seen one in these parts.  My guess is that it was on its way to warmer climes.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: Thursday's_Child on November 10, 2019, 08:16:27 AM
Saw either two myrtle warblers....or one myrtle warbler twice.  Have never seen one in these parts.  My guess is that it was on its way to warmer climes.

Myrtle?  The more showy sub-type of yellow-rumped?  Hopefully it's joined the small flock in my neighborhood.

In other news, I splurged a bit yesterday.  New, but inexpensive, binocs and the 2nd edition of Sibley!  Binocs give slightly more magnification and field of view than my old ones.  I'll get used to the difference in feel soon - especially since they're not cranky about focusing!  The updated Sibley is worth it.  More birds illustrated, updated range maps, some increase in the useful notes, replaced the green dots showing out-of-range sightings with a gray shading, etc.  The range updates, when compared to the 1st edition, can be quite stunning - I suspect climate change in many cases.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: mamselle on November 10, 2019, 11:04:47 AM
Coming home from a dance at 2 AM...

   Nine geese honking, flying en diagonale.

M.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: nebo113 on November 11, 2019, 11:31:14 AM
Saw either two myrtle warblers....or one myrtle warbler twice.  Have never seen one in these parts.  My guess is that it was on its way to warmer climes.

Myrtle?  The more showy sub-type of yellow-rumped?  Hopefully it's joined the small flock in my neighborhood.

In other news, I splurged a bit yesterday.  New, but inexpensive, binocs and the 2nd edition of Sibley!  Binocs give slightly more magnification and field of view than my old ones.  I'll get used to the difference in feel soon - especially since they're not cranky about focusing!  The updated Sibley is worth it.  More birds illustrated, updated range maps, some increase in the useful notes, replaced the green dots showing out-of-range sightings with a gray shading, etc.  The range updates, when compared to the 1st edition, can be quite stunning - I suspect climate change in many cases.

I call those little yellow rump/butter butts "Myrtle Warblers."  Perhaps I am not correct??
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: Thursday's_Child on November 11, 2019, 11:41:55 AM
Saw either two myrtle warblers....or one myrtle warbler twice.  Have never seen one in these parts.  My guess is that it was on its way to warmer climes.

Myrtle?  The more showy sub-type of yellow-rumped?  Hopefully it's joined the small flock in my neighborhood.

In other news, I splurged a bit yesterday.  New, but inexpensive, binocs and the 2nd edition of Sibley!  Binocs give slightly more magnification and field of view than my old ones.  I'll get used to the difference in feel soon - especially since they're not cranky about focusing!  The updated Sibley is worth it.  More birds illustrated, updated range maps, some increase in the useful notes, replaced the green dots showing out-of-range sightings with a gray shading, etc.  The range updates, when compared to the 1st edition, can be quite stunning - I suspect climate change in many cases.

I call those little yellow rump/butter butts "Myrtle Warblers."  Perhaps I am not correct??

You're correct!  The western populations are called "Audubon's" - I suspect it's one of the cases where they were originally considered different species.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: cathwen on November 11, 2019, 02:02:45 PM
Yesterday I saw a huge bird swoop past my living room window.  I ran to look and saw it land on the roof of the condo units across the way--it was a great blue heron!  It perched there for about a minute, then took off, presumably for some nice pond or creek. 

We've also had a lot of cedar waxwings; I also saw a red-bellied woodpecker--not really rare around here, but not an everyday sighting, either.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: nebo113 on November 13, 2019, 05:59:54 AM
Yesterday I saw a huge bird swoop past my living room window.  I ran to look and saw it land on the roof of the condo units across the way--it was a great blue heron!  It perched there for about a minute, then took off, presumably for some nice pond or creek. 

We've also had a lot of cedar waxwings; I also saw a red-bellied woodpecker--not really rare around here, but not an everyday sighting, either.

Blue, yellow, red.... a rainbow of birds...
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: mamselle on November 15, 2019, 05:46:06 PM
Cool image!

Am I imagining it, or isn't there an Egyptian tomb painting of a meticulously realized blue heron with a frog dangling from its mouth?

M.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: professor_pat on November 17, 2019, 07:50:13 PM
Backatit, your yard full o' owls sounds like a wonderful place. When we moved in, we had both screech-owls and Barred Owls. Now it's just a Barred, though I'm hoping a new screech-owl discovers this nice little habitat soon.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: nebo113 on November 23, 2019, 10:27:38 AM
Just back for the 50th state, where I  saw, for the first time:  zebra doves, mynah birds, and red crested cardinals (which are not cardinals).  It was not a bird watching expedition and I did not have binocs.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: Thursday's_Child on December 01, 2019, 09:19:39 AM
Cedar waxwings have arrived, so I've now got a typical contingent of winter birds!

A hermit thrush and a ruby-crowned kinglet are frequently showing up in the hanging feeder.  This isn't what I typically expect from their species, but there've been other times, with other species, where there's one who shows odd-ball behavior.  Maybe that flexibility in foraging behavior will prove adaptive.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: nebo113 on December 02, 2019, 05:19:37 AM
Wood storks galore!  Pushing egrets from their usual nesting/roosting location.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: Thursday's_Child on December 05, 2019, 07:46:28 AM
Wood storks galore!  Pushing egrets from their usual nesting/roosting location.

Nebo, are you visiting the Everglades?  Regardless, I'm jealous.

This morning I got a really good look at a bird that isn't in the book.  I hate it when this happens.  Bird was feeding - nervously and out-of-sync with the others - on the ground, eating millet and perhaps safflower.  It was large sparrow size and shape (crouched while eating) with a short conical bill without a distinctively different color, overall dark greyish with the top of the head seemingly darker, dark eye, an obviously off-white throat that faded into an apron over the chest, tail and wings slightly darker than body with very faint suggestions of two wingbars.  I couldn't match it to any sparrow or sparrow-like bird - the closest it came was a Brewer's blackbird, but the legs didn't seem long enough, nor did the beak.

Does anyone have any ideas?
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: Catherder on December 05, 2019, 12:11:36 PM
Possibly a junco?
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: apl68 on December 05, 2019, 12:20:16 PM
Most mornings I walk to the city park and walk the trail around it before getting ready for work.  The park is centered on a large pond with a three-mile (almost) trail around it.  The trail goes from one of the main roads through town, past picnic shelters, playing fields, and a menagerie of school 4-H livestock, through a stretch of woods, past a subdivision, and back to the road.  It's a great place for wildlife sightings.

Today I saw a large grey heron.  I see at least one of these most days.  There's been an egret around quite a bit lately as well, but not today.

Though I didn't see them, I heard a pair of owls hooting back and forth in the wooded section.  It sounded like they were trying to sing a duet.  Maybe they were trying to locate each other just before settling down for a good day's sleep?
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: Thursday's_Child on December 05, 2019, 12:47:37 PM
Possibly a junco?

I don't think so, unless they have a really dark color-morph that the book doesn't include.  Junco illustrations always show white underparts and white feathers on the outside of the tail, plus a pale beak and this one didn't have those.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: Thursday's_Child on December 17, 2019, 10:05:05 AM
Mystery solved - a few days after the previous post, much better lighting enabled its identification as a female brown-headed cowbird.

In more recent news, we're having lots of rain again.  This is making numerous mini-lakes that are very popular with the phoebes.  One was closely patrolling the largest lake in my back yard this morning, both picking up morsels while walking along the edges and from the surface while hovering.  The rather larger lake near the post office also had a phoebe.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: mamselle on December 21, 2019, 11:30:10 PM
This was about ten days ago, but I've been a tiny bit busy...

It was about 10 PM, and very cloudy/dark, as I walked across the bridge near my place. Nothing visible, so I kept going.

After I got about 1/2 block away, I heard a raw-throated "Shrwak!" and the rush of wings that heralds the local blue heron, flying under the bridge (He must have seen the old British film, "Piece of Cake," he does this a lot. His wingspan just about reaches the bridge's arches).

I turned around and got several very grainy pictures of him, silvery-shadowy in the dark, doing his ploppy-footed walk in the icy water.

Their legs must be nerveless, it was freezing out but he seemed unfazed.

M.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: nebo113 on December 22, 2019, 04:58:12 AM
This was about ten days ago, but I've been a tiny bit busy...

It was about 10 PM, and very cloudy/dark, as I walked across the bridge near my place. Nothing visible, so I kept going.

After I got about 1/2 block away, I heard a raw-throated "Shrwak!" and the rush of wings that heralds the local blue heron, flying under the bridge (He must have seen the old British film, "Piece of Cake," he does this a lot. His wingspan just about reaches the bridge's arches).

I turned around and got several very grainy pictures of him, silvery-shadowy in the dark, doing his ploppy-footed walk in the icy water.

Their legs must be nerveless, it was freezing out but he seemed unfazed.

M.

Oh my.  Big blues are awesome.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: apl68 on December 23, 2019, 01:17:28 PM
This was about ten days ago, but I've been a tiny bit busy...

It was about 10 PM, and very cloudy/dark, as I walked across the bridge near my place. Nothing visible, so I kept going.

After I got about 1/2 block away, I heard a raw-throated "Shrwak!" and the rush of wings that heralds the local blue heron, flying under the bridge (He must have seen the old British film, "Piece of Cake," he does this a lot. His wingspan just about reaches the bridge's arches).

I turned around and got several very grainy pictures of him, silvery-shadowy in the dark, doing his ploppy-footed walk in the icy water.

Their legs must be nerveless, it was freezing out but he seemed unfazed.

M.

Oh my.  Big blues are awesome.

Several days ago I got within a few yards of one of our local herons before it flew.  It's amazing how they seem almost to levitate with a few slow beats of those huge wings.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: Catherder on December 24, 2019, 08:21:01 AM
There are several pairs of great  blues in my neighbourhood but I've taken against them since I watched them staking out a nest of baby otters and pulling a mole out of its hole.  They are cowards (I chased them away from the otters just by banging on my window) and mean hunters.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: nebo113 on December 25, 2019, 04:34:34 AM
There are several pairs of great  blues in my neighbourhood but I've taken against them since I watched them staking out a nest of baby otters and pulling a mole out of its hole.  They are cowards (I chased them away from the otters just by banging on my window) and mean hunters.

Seeing that would have been something!!  Lucky you!
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: apl68 on December 30, 2019, 09:23:48 AM
Saw another great grey heron take-off.  As a bonus, there was a large egret visible in the background at the same time, just across the pond.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: apl68 on January 02, 2020, 07:55:27 AM
Spent much of New Year's Day hiking at a state park.  Part of the trail ran along a rise overlooking a lake that hosts a lot of migratory waterfowl.  You get better views of them from the trail on the levee across the lake, but I did see several wood ducks swimming around down below on the side I was on.  I saw as many as five at a time at once through my binoculars.  There were at least seven or eight all together.  It's hard to count wood ducks, since they keep submerging and surfacing and disappearing behind stumps and such.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: Puget on January 02, 2020, 08:09:15 AM
Just got back from two week in southern Arizona -- lots of birds, most unusually an Elegant Trogan (we never would have spotted it except there were people on the trail with scopes on it). Also lots of hawks of various kinds, several road runners, and tons of birds at my grandmother's feeder (my holiday present to her was monthly deliveries of bird seed via an amazon subscription).
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: mamselle on January 02, 2020, 10:48:21 AM
I'm seeing birds I've never seen before. Two yellow-bellied, blue-backed warblers (I think...), one of which landed in the 3/4 coconut spherical feeder my friend hangs on her side windowsill. He took one look at me, startled, and flew off.

Also some cool black-and-white "pie"s (bavard, possibly, is their second name) that look very dramatic when the lift off mid-field.

My friend has pictures she's taken of an emerald-and-ruby-feathered creature that I'd love to see but I don't know where they're from.

M.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: nebo113 on January 03, 2020, 05:52:04 AM
Just got back from two week in southern Arizona -- lots of birds, most unusually an Elegant Trogan (we never would have spotted it except there were people on the trail with scopes on it). Also lots of hawks of various kinds, several road runners, and tons of birds at my grandmother's feeder (my holiday present to her was monthly deliveries of bird seed via an amazon subscription).

Heading that way soon.  Where were your birding?
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: Puget on January 03, 2020, 06:24:17 AM
Just got back from two week in southern Arizona -- lots of birds, most unusually an Elegant Trogan (we never would have spotted it except there were people on the trail with scopes on it). Also lots of hawks of various kinds, several road runners, and tons of birds at my grandmother's feeder (my holiday present to her was monthly deliveries of bird seed via an amazon subscription).

Heading that way soon.  Where were your birding?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madera_Canyon
Excellent area for hiking, with lots of different zones from desert up into forrest (there is snow up higher).
(I should note that I'm decidedly not a birder, but others in my family are and I so I come along for the hike and enjoy seeing them).
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: nebo113 on January 04, 2020, 04:17:26 AM
Just got back from two week in southern Arizona -- lots of birds, most unusually an Elegant Trogan (we never would have spotted it except there were people on the trail with scopes on it). Also lots of hawks of various kinds, several road runners, and tons of birds at my grandmother's feeder (my holiday present to her was monthly deliveries of bird seed via an amazon subscription).

Heading that way soon.  Where were your birding?



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madera_Canyon
Excellent area for hiking, with lots of different zones from desert up into forrest (there is snow up higher).
(I should note that I'm decidedly not a birder, but others in my family are and I so I come along for the hike and enjoy seeing them).

LOVE Madera Canyon.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: mamselle on January 16, 2020, 05:44:08 PM
A turn to the right,
He's hidden from sight,
But now I see
My Blue Heron....

(Even got more dark, grainy pix of him....)

M.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: nebo113 on January 17, 2020, 04:14:32 AM
A turn to the right,
He's hidden from sight,
But now I see
My Blue Heron....

(Even got more dark, grainy pix of him....)

M.

Love it
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: mamselle on January 17, 2020, 06:36:16 AM
I just don;'t get how he can stand to stand in that icy cold stream.

My ankles would turn blue.

Oh.

M.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: Thursday's_Child on January 19, 2020, 07:59:23 AM
The heron almost certainly has a counter-current flow arrangement in the arteries & veins in the upper leg.  This means that while hot blood is flowing down into the leg it's right next to the vein bringing cold blood back.  Thus, the heat tends to move sideways - from hot artery to cold vein - and gets swept back into the body before too much gets lost.

Engineers have now adapted this for providing constant air-exchange in buildings in extreme climates.  With proper adjustment of length and flow rate you get very little heat exchange between building & outside, while getting constant fresh air indoors.  If I ever get to build a house, I'm getting one!
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: mamselle on January 19, 2020, 09:30:29 AM
Wow, makes sense and I never knew that!

M.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: apl68 on January 21, 2020, 08:22:55 AM
On Saturday I witnessed a confrontation in the sky between a crow and what looked like a large hawk.  The crow kept cawing at and darting at the hawk until it left the area. 
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: mamselle on January 21, 2020, 08:47:07 AM
I see a lot of that: my Wednesday students live up on a wooded hill where the hawks love to prowl--and the crows love to yell at them and attack them.

They're nearly fearless, keep cawing and flying at the hawk (or sometimes, an owl) and they can keep it up for awhile.

I presume they're protecting their nests; they do the same thing if a cat's around on the ground.

M.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: backatit on January 21, 2020, 02:49:25 PM
The hawks are building a nest in the trees in my backyard, which isn't as cool as it sounds. You open the back door now at your peril, I'm thinking of getting a stuffed owl to scare them away from the immediate back yard, but I don't want to scare them off their nest. It promises to be an interesting spring; they usually nest further from the house...
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: apl68 on January 27, 2020, 07:33:38 AM
During this morning's walk I heard the herons croaking in a much louder and scratchier voice than usual.  It almost didn't sound avian.  I hope one of them doesn't have a sore throat.  That would be a lot of throat to feel sore!
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: mamselle on January 27, 2020, 07:57:38 AM
My friend Brigitte counted 9 birds in the French "Birds in your garden" census the other day.

I'll have to come back and list them when I can bring up her email and this screen at the same time.

M.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: nebo113 on February 02, 2020, 03:54:41 PM
Pyrrhuloxias and curved bill thrashers
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: apl68 on February 03, 2020, 07:35:39 AM
Heard owls hooting in the distance again on my morning walk before sunrise.  It's nice to take a long walk that spans the morning twilight time and hear the birds gradually waking up around you.  I wonder--do they feel sleepy when they wake up?  Or do they simply snap fully awake when the biological clock tells them to?

In recent days I've also been seeing flocks of geese heading back north.  Short winter, huh?
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: Catherder on March 04, 2020, 07:32:22 AM
  4 juvenile bald eagles are perched on the edge of the ice.  10 swans are floating on the open water with a gaggle of geese.  Two doves, half a dozen chickadees,and  one female and one brilliant male cardinal are occupying the cherry tree. A pair of robins are chasing each other and another pair of chickadees are renovating last year's nest in the lilac bush.

Spring? Maybe?
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: Thursday's_Child on March 04, 2020, 11:24:37 AM
It's trending toward spring here - lots of songs and the beginnings of territorial disputes.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: nebo113 on March 05, 2020, 06:24:17 AM
  4 juvenile bald eagles are perched on the edge of the ice.  10 swans are floating on the open water with a gaggle of geese.  Two doves, half a dozen chickadees,and  one female and one brilliant male cardinal are occupying the cherry tree. A pair of robins are chasing each other and another pair of chickadees are renovating last year's nest in the lilac bush.

Spring? Maybe?

WOW!!!
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: apl68 on March 05, 2020, 07:30:50 AM
Swarming starlings swoop
To light in a bare tree-top
Swish of many wings
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: mamselle on March 05, 2020, 08:39:33 AM
Swarming starlings swoop
To light in a bare tree-top
Swish of many wings

Like^

M.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: apl68 on March 11, 2020, 10:34:44 AM
Something I witnessed this morning that I've never seen before:


I hear a soft smack
Of feathers striking feathers
Spring birds colliding
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: nebo113 on March 12, 2020, 07:06:40 AM
Something I witnessed this morning that I've never seen before:


I hear a soft smack
Of feathers striking feathers
Spring birds colliding

Thanks.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: mamselle on March 12, 2020, 07:11:17 AM
Not a present bird, but the haunting thought of a tiny bird/dinosaur preserved in ancient amber flits about in my mind's eye and makes me wonder.

M.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: Catherder on March 24, 2020, 05:48:58 AM
OK now I understand the phrase "lovey-dovey".   A pair of mourning doves is building a nest in the cherry tree directly in front of my desk.
Since the branches are still bare I can watch their affectionate canoodling. 

So where does  "canoodling" come from?
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: apl68 on March 24, 2020, 09:25:02 AM
Apparently there are several theories.  "Canoodle" looks kind of like a Swedish word knulla, which apparently has to do with fornication, and a German word, knuddeln, which is supposed to mean "to cuddle."  Alternatively it's been suggested that it might be derived from an old English dialect word that has to do with foolish behavior.

Its earliest recorded usage was in the mid-nineteenth century United States.  There were lots of German immigrants in the U.S. then, so I'd guess that knuddeln was the origin.  Not knowing German myself, I don't know whether that's correct.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: Catherder on March 24, 2020, 09:33:59 AM
Tks.  The male flies off to collect a twig or some soft lining material every 10 minutes or so, then comes back, places the twig, and then cuddles with the female until he goes for another twig.

I'm enjoying watching them too much to put a sign in my window warning them to practice social distancing.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: apl68 on March 24, 2020, 10:14:12 AM
Pretty sure they have nothing to worry about!

With less traffic on the streets and highways, the birds in general are probably having a more pleasant time this spring.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: nebo113 on March 25, 2020, 07:27:33 AM
Tks.  The male flies off to collect a twig or some soft lining material every 10 minutes or so, then comes back, places the twig, and then cuddles with the female until he goes for another twig.

I'm enjoying watching them too much to put a sign in my window warning them to practice social distancing.

Sweet.  Smiling.  Thank you.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: mamselle on March 25, 2020, 07:42:33 AM
A very insistent cardinal keeps singing, for the last three days now, just outside my window.

Since I occasionally "talk" with them (they will answer a reasonably similar whistled call to their own for several iterations) I wonder if he misses me?

(Very bright red, so it's definitely a "he"; the females are brownish).

Also, at 5 AM....just as I was dropping off to sleep....the morning chorus started up.

It was nice music to fall asleep to.

M.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: apl68 on March 26, 2020, 08:18:31 AM
While gathering trash
I hear fluttering above
Birds in the branches
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: Thursday's_Child on March 26, 2020, 09:13:13 AM
First hummer yesterday!
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: Catherder on March 27, 2020, 03:16:27 PM
Mother mourning dove has been sitting in her nest continually for three days now.  Once or twice a day she gets relief from her mate who takes her place in the nest.

According to the Cornell site, that probably means two eggs due to hatch in about 10 days.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: mamselle on March 27, 2020, 04:25:31 PM
Are they still billing and coping?

M.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on March 29, 2020, 08:28:51 AM
A very insistent cardinal keeps singing, for the last three days now, just outside my window.

Since I occasionally "talk" with them (they will answer a reasonably similar whistled call to their own for several iterations) I wonder if he misses me?

(Very bright red, so it's definitely a "he"; the females are brownish).

Also, at 5 AM....just as I was dropping off to sleep....the morning chorus started up.

It was nice music to fall asleep to.

M.

Mamselle:

Have you used the Auduban bird app? It has a TON of bird calls on it which I play for the birds to hear. I've had several cardinals, titmice and Carolina wrens fly near me to see who was making all the noise!
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: Thursday's_Child on March 29, 2020, 08:33:05 AM
Mamselle:

Have you used the Auduban bird app? It has a TON of bird calls on it which I play for the birds to hear. I've had several cardinals, titmice and Carolina wrens fly near me to see who was making all the noise!

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! 

Yes, I know I'm yelling, but please stop doing that.  It makes them think there's a challenger in their territory, can cause them to leave nests unprotected, and generally adds stress and disruption to their daily lives.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on March 29, 2020, 09:16:00 AM
Mamselle:

Have you used the Auduban bird app? It has a TON of bird calls on it which I play for the birds to hear. I've had several cardinals, titmice and Carolina wrens fly near me to see who was making all the noise!

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! 

Yes, I know I'm yelling, but please stop doing that.  It makes them think there's a challenger in their territory, can cause them to leave nests unprotected, and generally adds stress and disruption to their daily lives.

Yikes! I didn't know. I did find an article about it.

https://www.audubon.org/news/how-use-birdcall-apps
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: Catherder on March 29, 2020, 09:59:40 AM
A few years ago I played a Cornell recording of loons at a pair on the lake in front of me. They took off immediately and it was two years before a loon returned to my part of the lake.  As E-P-W says, often these recordings are aggressive.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: mamselle on March 29, 2020, 11:36:29 AM
Are they still billing and coping?

M.

That was supposed to be "cooing," not "coping"! I'm sooo tired of the aggressive spell-correct on this phone (and yes, I've tried to turn it off!)

I didn't realize my "bird-conversations" were upsetting to the birds. They usually only last a little while (5 might. max) as I'm walking down the street. I don't really want their tree, I thought I was just saying "hi!"

But I'll have a re-think about that.

M.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: Catherder on March 29, 2020, 12:05:04 PM
Are they still billing and coping?

M.

That was supposed to be "cooing," not "coping"! I'm sooo tired of the aggressive spell-correct on this phone (and yes, I've tried to turn it off!)

I didn't realize my "bird-conversations" were upsetting to the birds. They usually only last a little while (5 might. max) as I'm walking down the street. I don't really want their tree, I thought I was just saying "hi!"

But I'll have a re-think about that.

M.


The she-dove is coping--sitting now in a cold rain for hours. The he-dove is awol.  So no more canoodling.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: mamselle on March 29, 2020, 12:07:37 PM
Awww....hope he's just gone out for food.

M.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: Thursday's_Child on March 30, 2020, 06:45:04 AM
Are they still billing and coping?

M.

That was supposed to be "cooing," not "coping"! I'm sooo tired of the aggressive spell-correct on this phone (and yes, I've tried to turn it off!)

I didn't realize my "bird-conversations" were upsetting to the birds. They usually only last a little while (5 might. max) as I'm walking down the street. I don't really want their tree, I thought I was just saying "hi!"

But I'll have a re-think about that.

M.

Mamselle, how do they behave when you 'talk back' to them?  If they're flying at or toward you then you're probably upsetting them.  If they just answer with another normal-sounding song, then there's a good chance they are saying something like "nice try!" because the true tonal complexity of many of their calls is probably too much for human abilities.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: nebo113 on March 30, 2020, 07:28:10 AM
Mamselle.....Thank you for your very civil response to our concerns.  And I absolutely mean that!  I'm soooooo tired of people who tell me to f*ck off when I do a gentle, tactful pushback....on other boards, of course.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: mamselle on March 30, 2020, 09:40:39 AM
You're welcome.

We're all, always, learning.

M.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on April 06, 2020, 07:12:32 PM
I saw three crows chasing a red-shouldered hawk today. Actually, I heard the hawk and crows before I saw any of them.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: mamselle on April 06, 2020, 10:31:56 PM
Crows are fierce on hawks and owls.

I was typing a paper one morning, heard a tremendous racket, and there was a whole convention of them all screeching at an owl up in the tree outside.

Finally, the owl flew away--and then it was suddenly dead quiet.

The crows had chased it over the houses and followed it for quite awhile.

Then I went back inside and kept typing.

Made for an interesting break in my work...

M.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: cathwen on April 07, 2020, 07:19:46 AM
I am enjoying the sounds and sights of spring.  A few days ago I saw my first goldfinch of the season in his summer plumage.  The song sparrows are singing their little hearts out, joined by a chorus of house finches and phoebes, with downy woodpeckers drumming in the background.  Then there are the tufted titmice, Carolina wrens, blue jays, cardinals, robins...  The usual suspects, in other words--nothing exotic--but they make my heart glad.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: mamselle on April 07, 2020, 07:58:46 AM
I can just hear them from your description.

I'm especially delighted to find goldfinches--there are two or three spots where I've seen them in the last few years and it's always a tiny bit of joy in my day.

This post documents another urban avian presence, one of several sightings in unexpected places:

   https://publish.twitter.com/?query=https%3A%2F%2Ftwitter.com%2FOnlyInBOS%2Fstatus%2F1244300835988832260&widget=Tweet

M.
   
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: cathwen on April 07, 2020, 08:40:07 AM
Mamselle, I love that photo!

That reminds me of when we first moved to Manhattan (we're no longer there).  One of my husband's colleagues described seeing a turkey strolling down W. 23rd Street while she was on her way to work.  She thought that was odd, but then a police officer stopped her and said, "Hey lady, is that your turkey?"  Well, I guess in New York, nothing is too strange!  I suppose that one *could* have a pet turkey.

Battery Park used to have a resident turkey named Zelda.  I actually saw Zelda once!  I've been out of New York for years now, so I don't know what the current status of turkeys is in the city!
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: mamselle on April 07, 2020, 10:39:56 AM
There are many urban turkeys about; I saw four in the side yard of an apartment I once rented.

"Mr Gobbles" was legendary in his day:

   https://www.bostonmagazine.com/news/2008/03/11/farewell-mr-gobbles/

and

   https://cambridge.wickedlocal.com/article/20080311/NEWS/303119832

note his popularity.

More recently, I got photos of twelve of the critters wandering around, foraging in the back gardens of a legal institution.

I suspect they were the for the education, not the food.

M.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: paultuttle on April 07, 2020, 11:19:17 AM
. . . .

More recently, I got photos of twelve of the critters wandering around, foraging in the back gardens of a legal institution.

I suspect they were the for the education, not the food.

M.

Dare I suggest how well they might fit in with some of the current crop of law school graduates?

<ducks (no pun intended) and runs>
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: FishProf on April 07, 2020, 11:23:10 AM
A pair of Goldfinches, a pair of Cardinals, and one Downy woodpecker.

Alas, My virtual office puts my back to the window.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: mamselle on April 07, 2020, 12:43:53 PM
. . . .

More recently, I got photos of twelve of the critters wandering around, foraging in the back gardens of a legal institution.

I suspect they were the for the education, not the food.

M.


Dare I suggest how well they might fit in with some of the current crop of law school graduates?

<ducks (no pun intended) and runs>

Just don't let the turkeys get you down!

M.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: Thursday's_Child on April 08, 2020, 09:03:44 AM
Mockingbird nestlings in a large shrub.  I'll just leave the necessary yardwork in that area for later...
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: apl68 on April 08, 2020, 10:52:56 AM
A bluebird hopping
Among the yellows and whites
And the tall, green grass
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on April 08, 2020, 12:42:51 PM
Today I heard quite a ruckus. Crows were mobbing the hawk again, only this time there were TWO hawks, but one of them way much farther away. I could hear them calling to each other.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: Nightshade on April 08, 2020, 12:59:01 PM
Our flicker came to the feeder again today while I sat almost directly underneath it! They are such flashy birds, but look quite silly trying to hold onto our platform-style feeder. They make a hot mess throwing out most of the seed before pecking at a peanut incessantly, but I love them. Also saw our towhee, a variety of chickadees, noisy finches of all kinds, red-breasted and white-breasted nuthatches, a robin, juncos, and some creaky blue jays! They took turns drinking water from our critter bowl. It's been a good day for birds. Can't wait for the western tanagers to make their spring appearances though!
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: mamselle on April 08, 2020, 01:13:03 PM
Today I heard quite a ruckus. Crows were mobbing the hawk again, only this time there were TWO hawks, but one of them way much farther away. I could hear them calling to each other.

I wonder if both species are nesting and the crows know what hawks do to nestlings...

M.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: Catherder on April 08, 2020, 03:23:21 PM
Babies!  The mourning doves have hatched.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on April 08, 2020, 09:50:02 PM
Today I heard quite a ruckus. Crows were mobbing the hawk again, only this time there were TWO hawks, but one of them way much farther away. I could hear them calling to each other.

I wonder if both species are nesting and the crows know what hawks do to nestlings...

M.

Maybe, but crows have also been known to eat baby birds. Unfortunately, I witnessed this on campus once.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: apl68 on April 09, 2020, 07:30:22 AM
So...it's a contest to see who eats whose young first?  The natural world can be a harsh place.

I guess if they each play it defensively enough, nobody's chicks will get eaten.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: apl68 on April 09, 2020, 07:33:05 AM
On a happier note, got a close look at a beautiful bluebird while walking to work today.  I've been seeing them in my back yard as well, as noted above.  Thanks to my inability to get my yard mowed so far, I currently have what's euphemistically known as a "meadow lawn."  The birds love it.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on April 09, 2020, 11:50:37 AM
On a happier note, got a close look at a beautiful bluebird while walking to work today.  I've been seeing them in my back yard as well, as noted above.  Thanks to my inability to get my yard mowed so far, I currently have what's euphemistically known as a "meadow lawn."  The birds love it.
Bluebirds are awesome! We have several families in my neighborhood.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on April 09, 2020, 11:53:49 AM
So...it's a contest to see who eats whose young first?  The natural world can be a harsh place.

I guess if they each play it defensively enough, nobody's chicks will get eaten.

Yep, well, I doubt crows go after hawk chicks, but I could be wrong- I'm not an ornithologist. The crow I saw on campus took a mockingbird chick. :(
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: apl68 on April 09, 2020, 12:34:29 PM
So...it's a contest to see who eats whose young first?  The natural world can be a harsh place.

I guess if they each play it defensively enough, nobody's chicks will get eaten.

Yep, well, I doubt crows go after hawk chicks, but I could be wrong- I'm not an ornithologist. The crow I saw on campus took a mockingbird chick. :(

That crow was living dangerously!  Mockingbirds are notoriously aggressive in protecting their young.  When I was a child I made the mistake of trying to grab a baby bird I saw perched on my dad's motorcycle outside.  Turned out it was a baby mockingbird.  The next thing I knew, I saw a beak with wings darting right at my head.  I fled inside.  I don't know how long it took for the birds outside to quiet down--or for my eyes to return to their normal size.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: Morden on April 09, 2020, 01:00:34 PM
We had a beautiful sharp-shinned hawk perch on our fence for a while today. Two magpies watched him suspiciously for a while and then went back to building their nest.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: Thursday's_Child on April 15, 2020, 08:01:57 AM
Yesterday was made more beautiful by a male Rose-breasted grosbeak trying to dominate the feeder - tanking up after a long migration, I guess.  I need to make more time to look for other migrants.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: namazu on April 15, 2020, 11:59:52 AM
Ooh!  I've never seen a rose-breasted grosbeak, Thursday's_Child (though a range map suggests that they ought to at least pass through here, if not stay).  What a striking bird!


All three barred owlets on the Cornell Lab of Ornithology/Wild Birds Unlimited webcam (https://www.allaboutbirds.org/cams/barred-owls/) have hatched!  They're still in the helpless, floppy fluffball stage.

I continue to be amazed at the diversity of the owls' diet -- fish, crustaceans, frogs, earthworms, various small birds, snakes, assorted rodents...
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: Puget on April 15, 2020, 02:14:43 PM
The House Finches have returned-- I've acquired a finch feeder and special finch food (they came fast, maybe Amazon thinks they are "essential household items"?), but so far have only seen them eating spilled seed from the regular bird feeder next to it. Fine, be that way.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: namazu on April 15, 2020, 03:08:43 PM
The House Finches have returned-- I've acquired a finch feeder and special finch food (they came fast, maybe Amazon thinks they are "essential household items"?), but so far have only seen them eating spilled seed from the regular bird feeder next to it. Fine, be that way.
Such ingrates! 

Around here, they seem to really like coco-coir planter liners as nesting material.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: AmLitHist on April 16, 2020, 09:58:07 AM
The House Finches have returned-- I've acquired a finch feeder and special finch food (they came fast, maybe Amazon thinks they are "essential household items"?), but so far have only seen them eating spilled seed from the regular bird feeder next to it. Fine, be that way.
Such ingrates! 

Around here, they seem to really like coco-coir planter liners as nesting material.

I just hung my baskets last week, and I've already seen three birds trying to dismantle the new liners in the basket closest to my desk. (Luckily, the ones I got at Lowes this year are really tightly pressed and don't lend themselves to being unraveled very easily. The ones I had last year looked pretty shaggy by mid-may, thanks to the finches, robins, and cardinals!)
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: Thursday's_Child on April 16, 2020, 12:13:05 PM
I've sort of gotten accustomed to birds ragging the coco-fiber baskets.  Squirrels doing that is another matter - they will shred them in a few days!

Sad news - something got the mockingbird nestlings last night.  I'm assuming it was a cat b/c the remains had puked up nearby.  My two are innocent - neither one is known to eat their kills and they were in all night.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: FishProf on April 17, 2020, 07:13:00 AM
I intentionally put out the coco-fiber for nesting material and the birds won't touch it.

Maybe they need to thrill of illicit usage?  I'll plant stiff in them this weekend and see if it changes their behavior.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: Catherder on April 30, 2020, 08:03:30 AM
6 baby Canada geese about the size of my fist on the lawn yesterday evening.  That cheers me up after the mourning dove chicks didn't survive.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: apl68 on April 30, 2020, 10:01:53 AM
Inspired by a sighting yesterday afternoon, during a blustery walk home to lunch, after the morning's overcast had blown away:

An eagle soaring
At play in a bright blue sky
Looks like so much fun
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: Catherder on April 30, 2020, 10:41:59 AM
Now there are two families of geese on my lawn with at least 11 goslings between them--the little ones keep moving around so it's hard to count them.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on April 30, 2020, 12:57:11 PM
I just saw a female ruby-throated hummingbird fly by my window! It hovered for a bit and when I looked to see what attracted it, I noticed quite a bit of spider webbing. I know that this material is used for nest-making, so I can only assume that it was looking to build (or look at its reflection in the window?). Well, maybe it was just nosy and was wondering what I'm doing at my desk, but really, I'm betting on nest-making.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on April 30, 2020, 02:13:24 PM
I just saw a female ruby-throated hummingbird fly by my window! It hovered for a bit and when I looked to see what attracted it, I noticed quite a bit of spider webbing. I know that this material is used for nest-making, so I can only assume that it was looking to build (or look at its reflection in the window?). Well, maybe it was just nosy and was wondering what I'm doing at my desk, but really, I'm betting on nest-making.

It came back just now! I saw it actively tugging at the spiderweb. So cool! This really made my day.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: nebo113 on May 01, 2020, 04:33:24 AM
I just saw a female ruby-throated hummingbird fly by my window! It hovered for a bit and when I looked to see what attracted it, I noticed quite a bit of spider webbing. I know that this material is used for nest-making, so I can only assume that it was looking to build (or look at its reflection in the window?). Well, maybe it was just nosy and was wondering what I'm doing at my desk, but really, I'm betting on nest-making.

It came back just now! I saw it actively tugging at the spiderweb. So cool! This really made my day.

Didn't know that about spider webs.  Very cool!
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: apl68 on May 01, 2020, 07:31:24 AM
I just saw a female ruby-throated hummingbird fly by my window! It hovered for a bit and when I looked to see what attracted it, I noticed quite a bit of spider webbing. I know that this material is used for nest-making, so I can only assume that it was looking to build (or look at its reflection in the window?). Well, maybe it was just nosy and was wondering what I'm doing at my desk, but really, I'm betting on nest-making.

It came back just now! I saw it actively tugging at the spiderweb. So cool! This really made my day.

Didn't know that about spider webs.  Very cool!

Using spider webs for nesting material?  There's something fairy-like about that.  But that's hummingbirds for you.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: FishProf on May 01, 2020, 11:11:36 AM
We saw our first Turkey in our yard ever.  The cats were quite excited by this.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on May 01, 2020, 03:32:12 PM
We saw our first Turkey in our yard ever.  The cats were quite excited by this.
You might need to catch it to supplement your diet in this lockdown world. Just kidding.... or am I?
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on May 01, 2020, 03:35:10 PM
I just saw a female ruby-throated hummingbird fly by my window! It hovered for a bit and when I looked to see what attracted it, I noticed quite a bit of spider webbing. I know that this material is used for nest-making, so I can only assume that it was looking to build (or look at its reflection in the window?). Well, maybe it was just nosy and was wondering what I'm doing at my desk, but really, I'm betting on nest-making.

It came back just now! I saw it actively tugging at the spiderweb. So cool! This really made my day.

Didn't know that about spider webs.  Very cool!
Yep. Apparently, they use lichen and moss.

https://www.audubon.org/content/how-create-hummingbird-friendly-yard (https://www.audubon.org/content/how-create-hummingbird-friendly-yard)
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on May 01, 2020, 03:36:06 PM
I just saw a female ruby-throated hummingbird fly by my window! It hovered for a bit and when I looked to see what attracted it, I noticed quite a bit of spider webbing. I know that this material is used for nest-making, so I can only assume that it was looking to build (or look at its reflection in the window?). Well, maybe it was just nosy and was wondering what I'm doing at my desk, but really, I'm betting on nest-making.

It came back just now! I saw it actively tugging at the spiderweb. So cool! This really made my day.

Didn't know that about spider webs.  Very cool!

Using spider webs for nesting material?  There's something fairy-like about that.  But that's hummingbirds for you.

Yep yep. We found a nest years ago in the back yard. It was so tiny and fragile.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: cathwen on May 02, 2020, 07:34:16 AM
Last night, while watching the news, I glimpsed a large moving object out of the corner of my eye.  I looked through the window in time to see a great blue heron alighting onto the roof of one of the condo units across the way.  S/he sat there for a few moments, then took off, gliding elegantly away.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: Thursday's_Child on May 02, 2020, 09:34:05 AM
A pair of Great crested flycatchers spent a few minutes foraging in my back yard this morning!  I hope they nest in the area again - without the crows finding it this year, of course.

Last weekend seems to have been the last blast of winter birds.  I saw a Yellow-rumped warbler, a small flock of Cedar waxwings, and the last of the White-throated sparrows.  It was also a bad weekend for two pairs of nesting Cardinals - a Bluejay(!) raided their nests, literally diving into the foliage and quickly heading off with the nestling - and the parents in noisy pursuit!  That was a new one for me, especially since they really like peanut pieces and I keep the feeder well stocked.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: nebo113 on May 03, 2020, 06:18:20 AM
A pair of Great crested flycatchers spent a few minutes foraging in my back yard this morning!  I hope they nest in the area again - without the crows finding it this year, of course.

Last weekend seems to have been the last blast of winter birds.  I saw a Yellow-rumped warbler, a small flock of Cedar waxwings, and the last of the White-throated sparrows.  It was also a bad weekend for two pairs of nesting Cardinals - a Bluejay(!) raided their nests, literally diving into the foliage and quickly heading off with the nestling - and the parents in noisy pursuit!  That was a new one for me, especially since they really like peanut pieces and I keep the feeder well stocked.

Blue jays eat baby birds!?!?!?!  Yikes.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: nebo113 on May 04, 2020, 05:14:38 AM
A pair of young cardinals beak to beak appearing to exchange  a seed. 
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: Penna on May 04, 2020, 06:19:08 AM
Inspired by a sighting yesterday afternoon, during a blustery walk home to lunch, after the morning's overcast had blown away:

An eagle soaring
At play in a bright blue sky
Looks like so much fun

^I love that!

My favorite recent bird sighting was an adorable Common Yellowthroat I saw hopping nearby while I was out on my porch doing some grading.  I also have a bush right outside my home office window that  sometimes attracts small birds.  Sometimes they pause and seem to be looking directly in at me as I sit at my desk, and it always makes me feel happier!
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: backatit on May 04, 2020, 06:21:59 AM
Heard an enourmous racket out back in the woods yesterday morning, and seriously thought there was a bobcat up a tree or something. I went up as close as I could to it, and realized it was a red-headed woodpecker thrashing around in some vines working his way around the tree. I don't think it was stuck, but it sure was making a racket!
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: FishProf on May 04, 2020, 06:47:31 AM
I was out for a walk and heard the most peculiar drumming sound.  Like a woodpecker in rhythm, but not on wood.  I finally found the flicker perched on a plastic street light case on the swamp edge of a parking lot.  The light amplified like a drum.

So I recorded it for my class on sounds in nature(~ish).
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: backatit on May 04, 2020, 07:36:52 AM
If you want some barred owls making horrific noises I can see if I can record ours one evening. It may take me a while - they're a bit erratic in their travel patterns. The big horned owl seems to have taken over this corner of the woods so I haven't heard them in a few nights...
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: Thursday's_Child on May 04, 2020, 08:38:40 AM
Barred owls have a tremendous repertoire!  Diverse cackles and screams, in addition to recognizable hoots.  Backatit, I'll happily listen to the big horned owl for a while - just send it on over.

It's now fledgling season - the bluebirds are feeding two, a downy woodpecker is feeding one (but I hope the other parent is still on nestling duty), and it sounds like the hedge is full of wrens but I haven't seen the little beggars yet.  What's surprising is that I haven't seen chickadee or titmouse fledglings - they're usually among the first.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: Puget on May 04, 2020, 09:40:14 AM
I was out for a walk and heard the most peculiar drumming sound.  Like a woodpecker in rhythm, but not on wood.  I finally found the flicker perched on a plastic street light case on the swamp edge of a parking lot.  The light amplified like a drum.

So I recorded it for my class on sounds in nature(~ish).

My parents have problems with flickers hammering on their rain gutters-- it is truly startling from inside the house, like a machine gun going off on the roof. They apparently do it to advertise their presence and declare their territory to fellow flickers, and so are delighted to find things that make much more noise than a tree.

We finally have warm weather and the birds are very vocal and active in the yard. There currently seem to be two robins sparring for territory, the jays seem to be searching for nesting materials and flying off with them, and the usual assembly of little brown birds and doves is noisily hanging around the feeder. Haven't seen the cardinals yet today, but there is a pair of them that have been around all winter. Saw another house finch yesterday, again on the regular feeder not the finch feeder. Almost time to put the hummingbird feeder out.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: Catherder on May 04, 2020, 11:42:58 AM
Breeding season is in full swing (or flap) here. Goldfinches chasing goldfinches in brilliant flashes of yellow. Male grackles and red-winged blackbirds hunching up like small Count Draculas and chasing their respective females. Sparrows chasing sparrows and everyone chasing the ravens and crows.

Here the flickers only pound the ground but for racket the pileated woodpeckers win beaks down.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: nebo113 on May 05, 2020, 05:30:46 AM
Breeding season is in full swing (or flap) here. Goldfinches chasing goldfinches in brilliant flashes of yellow. Male grackles and red-winged blackbirds hunching up like small Count Draculas and chasing their respective females. Sparrows chasing sparrows and everyone chasing the ravens and crows.

Here the flickers only pound the ground but for racket the pileated woodpeckers win beaks down.

I have a log house much loved by carpenter bees who bore perfectly round holes into the wood for nesting.  larva are much loved by pileateds.  Much racket ensues as pileateds drill after the larvae.  Much expense every few years sealing holes and resealing wood...but worth it.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: Catherder on May 05, 2020, 06:36:02 AM



I have a log house much loved by carpenter bees who bore perfectly round holes into the wood for nesting.  larva are much loved by pileateds.  Much racket ensues as pileateds drill after the larvae.  Much expense every few years sealing holes and resealing wood...but worth it.
[/quote]

When I started teaching at an Eastern school, the street by my building was lined with the first elm trees I'd seen since childhood--Dutch elm disease had killed off most elms in Canada. A few years later the elms in my university town were gone, killed by the pileated woodpeckers.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: Thursday's_Child on May 05, 2020, 06:48:55 AM


I have a log house much loved by carpenter bees who bore perfectly round holes into the wood for nesting.  larva are much loved by pileateds.  Much racket ensues as pileateds drill after the larvae.  Much expense every few years sealing holes and resealing wood...but worth it.

When I started teaching at an Eastern school, the street by my building was lined with the first elm trees I'd seen since childhood--Dutch elm disease had killed off most elms in Canada. A few years later the elms in my university town were gone, killed by the pileated woodpeckers.

Do you remember if the pileateds were nesting or foraging?  They'll make lots of huge holes in trees when going after favored food - around here it's mostly carpenter ants.  Dutch elm disease is spread by a beetle, so it seems possible that the elms were infested with the beetle larvae - especially if the town wasn't spraying every tree annually to prevent them.

Yes, I am trying to exonerate the pileateds!  Also, I admire your tolerance - letting your house be part of the local habitat.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: Catherder on May 05, 2020, 07:16:02 AM
That was Nebo's house. But you might be right about the beetles. What I remember is the large deep square holes made by the woodpeckers in the elms. Certainly the university blamed them.

Here, they tend to only pulverize the dead trees and stumps.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: apl68 on May 05, 2020, 07:33:57 AM
Still seeing flying (and hopping) flashes of blue in my back yard when I sit on the patio.  One stayed in the yard feeding for quite a well yesterday evening.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: cathwen on May 05, 2020, 08:08:11 AM
The trees were full of cedar waxwings this morning, swooping in groups from one tree to the other. 
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: nebo113 on May 06, 2020, 04:38:41 AM
Good article on marauding back yard birds, though may be behind paywall: 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/a-birdhouse-provides-an-opportunity-to-see-nature-up-close-its-not-always-pretty/2020/05/05/d11262f0-8eda-11ea-a9c0-73b93422d691_story.html
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: nebo113 on May 08, 2020, 04:57:09 AM
Painted bunting feeding on seed on porch rail!!!  Haven't seen one in years.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: apl68 on May 08, 2020, 12:10:28 PM
While walking to lunch today I saw the eagle that inspired the haiku the other day being blown sideways by the stiff breezes.  Birds must have strong stomachs if they can get buffeted by the winds like that without getting airsick.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: FishProf on May 08, 2020, 01:31:27 PM
There is a headless rabbit in my driveway.  The squirrels are intrigued.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on May 08, 2020, 07:30:59 PM
There is a headless rabbit in my driveway.  The squirrels are intrigued.


Ewww. How is this bird-related?

:P

I saw a Carolina wren with his/her fledgling hanging out on the front porch today. Cute.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: FishProf on May 09, 2020, 05:49:30 AM
There is a headless rabbit in my driveway.  The squirrels are intrigued.


Ewww. How is this bird-related?


Umm, when the eagle/hawk/vulture/owl/crow comes to get it...it will be?

(This was intended for the Fauna thread)

Or, you could give me the finger for posting here....
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on May 09, 2020, 11:56:42 AM
There is a headless rabbit in my driveway.  The squirrels are intrigued.


Ewww. How is this bird-related?


Umm, when the eagle/hawk/vulture/owl/crow comes to get it...it will be?

(This was intended for the Fauna thread)

Or, you could give me the finger for posting here....

Point taken. No fingers needed.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: Thursday's_Child on May 12, 2020, 07:52:53 AM
Reports from the last few days:

Bluebirds everywhere!  At least two families, maybe three, seemingly hanging out together (seven in the feeder or sitting on its hanger at once while several others foraged on the ground!)!  I've never seen this before - I'm afraid it might be an indicator of food availability, so I'm stocking the feeder even more lavishly.

Fledgling bluejays, plus one each of cardinal and chickadee.

No titmice yet, but before this last cold snap one pulled several head-sized clumps of fur - I save pet fur and put it out in a suet cage - so they're nesting.

Rose-breasted grosbeaks really hung around a long time this spring, but they are apparently gone now.  I'm now much better at spotting the females.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: Catherder on May 13, 2020, 02:52:47 PM
The first Baltimore oriole of the year just landed on my cherry tree (blooming for the first time in 3 years).  Also 3 varieties of warbler are enjoying the blossoms.

And there are now at least 6 families of Canada geese using my lawn-about 30 goslings.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: Thursday's_Child on May 21, 2020, 09:40:43 AM
I'm sure I saw an oriole a couple of days ago - a good-sized but slender flame-colored bird sitting on a small branch in a sunbeam doesn't fit much else around here.  Binocs weren't easily at hand, so I can't confirm it.

Bluebirds continue in abundance; a phoebe hung out for several days; pine warbler is back to visiting the feeder (this suggests he's feeding nestlings); and, I got several really close looks at a male blackpoll warbler!

Also, I'm relieved that so many birds who prefer mealworms will eat peanut pieces, because live mealworms are in short supply.  Apparently they became essential for zoos several weeks ago so the various stores that stock them are being strictly rationed.  I got my usual thousand the other day and am trying to stretch it for at least a week.  This does not please the wrens, but they just can eat peanuts and suet dough with everyone else.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: nebo113 on May 22, 2020, 05:20:01 AM
I'm sure I saw an oriole a couple of days ago - a good-sized but slender flame-colored bird sitting on a small branch in a sunbeam doesn't fit much else around here.  Binocs weren't easily at hand, so I can't confirm it.

Bluebirds continue in abundance; a phoebe hung out for several days; pine warbler is back to visiting the feeder (this suggests he's feeding nestlings); and, I got several really close looks at a male blackpoll warbler!

Also, I'm relieved that so many birds who prefer mealworms will eat peanut pieces, because live mealworms are in short supply.  Apparently they became essential for zoos several weeks ago so the various stores that stock them are being strictly rationed.  I got my usual thousand the other day and am trying to stretch it for at least a week.  This does not please the wrens, but they just can eat peanuts and suet dough with everyone else.

Peanut pieces?  Regular peanuts or from farm/pet supply store?
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: clean on May 22, 2020, 04:54:19 PM
The mockingbirds are out of the nest!
They are 'hunting' in my back yard in the afternoons (last 2 days anyway). 
One in particular is still learning, but wanting to make a good impression. It runs, sort of lifts (rather than opens) its wings and then Looks UP (to see if mama is looking and going to reward him/her with a bug).

Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: mamselle on May 22, 2020, 06:15:48 PM
Awww.....

I remember quite a long time ago, now, what must have been a mother grackle and her baby.

I think she was trying to teach him to find food for himself, but it wasn't working.

The baby kept following her, she'd pull up a bug or something and swallow it, and then look over to him to see if he'd gotten the idea--put head down, open beak, grab food--from seeing it done live.

Instead, he'd hop over closer to her and open his beak and start HOWLING (I'd never heard a bird that small make such a racket) as if to say (as I imagined), "What are you doing? That was MINE! You're supposed to feed MEEEeeeee!!!"

Reminded me of some people I know, actually...

M.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: Thursday's_Child on May 23, 2020, 07:14:35 AM

Peanut pieces?  Regular peanuts or from farm/pet supply store?

Pet supply store, for me.  They taste like the roasted unsalted grocery store ones, but cost less.

The only issue I'm aware of is that young birds might choke on the larger pieces.  I see lots of birds hammering them into smaller chunks, but others just grab and swallow (or stuff...).
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: nebo113 on May 24, 2020, 05:25:59 AM

Peanut pieces?  Regular peanuts or from farm/pet supply store?

Pet supply store, for me.  They taste like the roasted unsalted grocery store ones, but cost less.

The only issue I'm aware of is that young birds might choke on the larger pieces.  I see lots of birds hammering them into smaller chunks, but others just grab and swallow (or stuff...).

Thanks.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: Puget on May 24, 2020, 07:48:45 AM
Sparrows have brought their fledglings to the feeder. Earlier they were picking up seeds and dropping them in the fledglings' mouths, but the young ones seem to be learning to peck for themselves now.

The grackles and robins have been very interested in my gardening activities and barely wait for me to move out of the way before coming to see what worms and bugs I may have turned up for them. In return they are providing free lawn aeration services.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: mamselle on May 24, 2020, 08:57:13 AM
Just saw this...

   https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/woman-reunites-with-missing-pet-bird-after-it-lands-on-strangers-windowsill-152704204.html

So glad for the happy ending.

M.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: Catherder on May 28, 2020, 03:18:17 PM
It's a yellow and orange spring.  There are at least 15 goldfinches pecking on the lawn and 5 Baltimore orioles in the cherry tree.

Then there are geese, swans and a great blue heron at the edge of the lake, and red-wined blackbirds, cat birds and robins all over the place.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: FishProf on May 28, 2020, 03:28:21 PM
Great Blue Heron in the 3 inch deep Kiddie Pool out back.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on May 28, 2020, 05:56:13 PM
Great Blue Heron in the 3 inch deep Kiddie Pool out back.

Awesome! Do you plan to stock it with fish? Just kidding.

The local Carolina Wrens have been teaching their kids how to be birds. I see them around the yard most days.
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: nebo113 on May 29, 2020, 04:49:14 AM
It's a yellow and orange spring.  There are at least 15 goldfinches pecking on the lawn and 5 Baltimore orioles in the cherry tree.

Then there are geese, swans and a great blue heron at the edge of the lake, and red-wined blackbirds, cat birds and robins all over the place.

WOW!  Just.....WOW!
Title: Re: Look! A bird!
Post by: Catherder on May 29, 2020, 07:37:21 AM
Wow indeed!  I didn't mention the crowd of bumblebees buzzing around the lilac bushes. They are very welcome as long as they stay out of my house.

CBC just ran a story about dandelions and how we should not treat them as weeds because they encourage the birds and the bees.

The impressive crop on my front lawn explains the goldfinches' interest.  There are now 8 geese on my back lawn chowing down on them there.