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Posted: Tue Aug 18, 2015 3:04 pm
I'm an avid birder. Well, actually I don't do as much birding as I used to. Running has bumped birding down a peg. I've pretty much birded every local hot spot, and I've seen all the local birds. I follow the local Rare Bird Alerts (RBA) and I'll chase a rare bird if one is reported. If I go on vacation I usually will set aside a day for birding, and I always have my binoculars handy just in case. I've taken trips that were dedicated to birding, Michigan for the Kirtland's Warbler, Texas for the Whooping Crane Festival, etc. I've also gotten interested in butterflies recently so I go out butterfling more than birding.
A couple of very good ID sites that I didn't see mentioned are Bird Forum. http://www.birdforum.net/forumdisplay.php?f=114
They have a great ID section with a lot of helpful birders. Also What Bird has a good ID forum. http://www.whatbird.com/forum/index.php ... fy-a-bird/
Posted: Wed Aug 19, 2015 4:34 am
I had a Eastern Phoebe pair build a nest above my one window, this spring. I'd never noticed them before. I've had King Birds before, which is exactly what Phoebes looks like, only smaller. There was some sort of sparrow, maybe a Chirping, that had a nest out there too.
I love to feed the birds but I just can't in the summer. I refuse to feed the Grackles, who just dump the seed on the ground. I did try using Safflower seed but the birds really didn't seem to care for it. I mean they would eat it but the really pretty birds stopped coming to the feeder. I love the Rose Breasted Grosbeak. They are beautiful birds and have lovely songs, a bird I wouldn't get tired of listening. There are some birds that just sound like nails across a chalk board to me.
Posted: Wed Aug 19, 2015 3:39 pm
There are some birds that just sound like nails across a chalk board to me.
Bluejays!! I hate their noise.
Posted: Wed Aug 19, 2015 8:50 pm
I live not that far from the Housatonic River - and I can hear, and see Bald Eagles now and again.
I have had Red Tailed Hawks hunt in my yard on two occasions- they prefer Mourning Doves. While sad, they have to eat as well.
Posted: Wed Aug 19, 2015 9:55 pm
There are some birds that just sound like nails across a chalk board to me.
Bluejays!! I hate their noise.
They're welcome early harbingers of autumn here.
I had a couple of young ladder-backed woodpeckers checking out one of the cedars for bugs the other day, silly youngsters. Much better hunting in oak trees.
Posted: Fri Apr 15, 2016 12:04 am
Commonest bird seems to be white ibis. I live in Lakeland, FL now. Lakes all over the place. If there isn't one stalking up the street there are 5 of them flying around. Cardinals, I have a nest in the back yard. Jays, doves, mockingbirds, shrikes, bunches of warblers heading north. Bald eagles, ospreys (I used to have a female that would call to me if I didn't look up at her when she settled in for the night in a dead pine near a friend's house.) At least 4 species of owl, one great horned owl chased my osprey off of her tree one night.
Posted: Fri Apr 15, 2016 12:13 am
I have another Black Phoebe pair setting up housekeeping... the male is very sassy and sits on my fence in full view of my cats at the screen door, just hopping back and forth while they tail-lash and chatter up a storm.
Posted: Fri Apr 15, 2016 12:56 am
We have Great Tailed Grackles around here. They congregate in huge, Alfred-Hitchcock-is-on-line-one flocks at shopping centers around here, every night, and have the most annoying calls you'll ever hear. I had long thought they were Boat-Tailed Grackles, but they apparently don't come up this far into central Texas. They come around here, too, sometimes, particularly after the yard is mowed or when I (finally) refill the feeders.
I need to put out the hummingbird feeders. The hummingbirds are back--I saw several at a friend's house this evening, fighting over the bottles. Vicious little buggers, but they're adorable and fun to watch and listen to.
I still hear the red-bellied woodpeckers--there are at least two and maybe more living around here, and the little house wrens are everywhere, with titmice (titmouses?) in droves and cardinals yelling and Goldfinches coming to the nyjer seed feeder. The waxwings make a racket, too, but I rarely see them. The owl has not made much noise lately, but I hear the white wing doves every day while I'm working.
George and Weezie, my pair of breeding ring-neck doves, have laid two clutches of eggs this year so far, but no babies have hatched. I'm concerned--is George getting old and less than...er... rampant, or is it just a bad time of year to have babies? We had a mild winter--no freezes at all, but lots of rain. I have to wonder what's keeping them from raising a brood. I may take the eggs away soon, as they were laid at Easter and hatching time has come and gone, and Weezie gets so upset when I check to see if the eggs are hatched. (Imagine being bitten by a dove!)
Posted: Fri Apr 15, 2016 7:16 am
I have pileated woodpeckers flying all around here. A roseate spoonbill used to practically land on my shoulder. It would stand looking at me 5 feet away. Every flavor of heron and egret are wading everywhere, great blue, great white, snowy, cattle, green, little blue, mature and immature. Various wading birds are wandering all over the place. I
Posted: Fri Apr 15, 2016 5:12 pm
I went out to check on the doves, and when I lifted George up off the eggs, one was right in the middle of hatching. Ugly-cute little pink chick came wiggling out of the egg, and George and Weezie started making that 'wrrr' sound they make when they're... in a mood of some kind. I don't know what the sound means, really. But he sat there on the edge of the nest while Baby #1 came out of his shell and soon settled back on the nest. So far, these two birds have raised at least six or eight prior broods together, and George is father to countless babies, many of which are back up in PA, delighting their respective owners. George has had several wives--they die, get eaten by varmints, and one one occasion, ran away. George keeps on living. I suspect he's about ten or twelve years old now.
Ring-necked doves are excellent parents, and are remarkably easy birds to keep. They don't bite, like parrots, and they don't make a racket, like dogs, and they don't kill everything in sight, like cats.
Posted: Mon Apr 18, 2016 2:06 am
I have 2 great horned owls bickering across the street from each other from opposing trees. That lasts till daylight. For the last half hour or so the mourning doves start to get tuned up. Totally different voices. Some over eager baby dove tried to go flying yesterday. I have a Jack Russell. She stood 5 feet from it, it's mom and dad while they sat in a flower box yesterday morning, completely oblivious. If it isn't a rodent or an insulting lizard, various animals can hold the Mad Hatter's Tea Partyon the front lawn. She figured out about birds flying a long time ago.She looked right at them and barely twitched her ears. She was more interested in sniffing the morning news on the median strip.
Posted: Mon Apr 18, 2016 10:26 am
I don't know if you ever watched Frasier, but Eddie the Jack Russel developed a 'friendship' with a pigeon, in one episode. It was injured, so Niles and Martin brought it in to nurse it back to health. Eddie grabbed the wounded pigeon and ran off and ate it.
Posted: Mon Apr 25, 2016 4:25 am
I saw my first Swallow Tailed Kite yesterday. Unmistakable.
Posted: Thu Jun 16, 2016 9:51 am
Something else I've seen for the first time. Two bald eagles playing in a cloud together. Swooping in and out of an early thunderhead. They swoop in, disappear for a moment, then spiral back out. Looked like lots of fun.
Posted: Thu Jun 16, 2016 10:54 am
Saw my first live Rose-breasted Grosbeak the other day.
Posted: Thu Jun 16, 2016 11:12 pm
This is a completely mundane sighting, but... my 4th/5th summer school kids today saw a mama duck hidden in the ivy at the foot of the fence where we went to line up for our fire drill today. It's sad/amazing to see how excited they were, and to realize that it might have been the first time they'd seen an actual live duck.
They were so excited and outnumbered me 28-1 and I was trying to keep them back enough not to freak mama out and get my head count (not that anyone ever verified we were all accounted for, LOL) and I had just about managed it when mama made a break for it, followed by what seemed like a clown-car endless line of wee fuzzy yellow-and-brown ducklings. They just. kept. coming.
Of course THAT sent the kids all off into paroxysms of amazement and glee, but mama stayed calm and level-headed and just led the parade down the fence line to another patch of ivy.
I am so earning every cent of my summer school pay, I swear.
Posted: Fri Jun 17, 2016 1:34 pm
serenassong wrote:Saw my first live Rose-breasted Grosbeak the other day.
They are beautiful birds and their songs are lovely. They kind of sound like a robin but a much better singer.
We were working on my house the week before Memorial Day and the male Grosbeaks would sing to us and then make a mad noise because we were to close to the feeder. Then they just started coming down, regardless of where we were. The female was especially unafraid. I can't wait for when they bring their babies to the feeder.
Posted: Sat Jun 18, 2016 6:19 pm
Now I have something very large and very green living in a clump of oaks south if me. I saw it landing yesterday. Saw it flapping around this afternoon. I figure it for an escaped Military macaw. It definitely is equipped with a tail. In this area it can make plenty of veggie and fruit farmers pissed to the gills. You get a lot of escapees down this way. Lots of bird breeders. There's thousands of acres of strawberries in flying distance to the west. Oranges are just west of me. This is Fruit Salad USA.
Posted: Sun Jun 19, 2016 4:36 pm
I left my screen porch door propped open because during the non-buggy months, it's just easier to let the dogs out if the screen door is already open--they can go straight to the yard from the house instead of waiting impatiently on the porch for me to open that door, too.
A pair of little brown birds has sneakily made a home inside one of my wall-mounted candle lanterns ON my porch, so now I can't close the screen door until they're done. Moving the lantern involves a bunch of unmounting hardware, and mama is sitting on her eggs all the time--afraid if I move the whole thing they might abandon it, or not realize where I moved it to.
My dogs saw one of the birds fly into it the other day, so now they're obsessed with the lantern. This is turning out to be a giant pain in the ass over two little birds the size of salt and pepper shakers.
Posted: Sun Jun 19, 2016 5:40 pm
Awww, but you are good to let them stay. Little brown birds FTW! <3