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Let's Get a Discussion Going

Posted By: kim-birding

Let's Get a Discussion Going - 12/10/09 05:45 PM

I'm in training to be the new birding editor, and I see nobody has posted in two months. Let's get a discussion going! What birds have you added to your list in 2009? I can think of four off hand (without consulting my field guide--there might be more). In Maine, I saw my first Eider Duck, Puffin, and Guillemot. Back home in New Jersey, I saw a Great Horned Owl. I also added the semi-tame Monk Parakeet to my list. They live in a colony of escapees by a strip mall a few miles from my home. So, five exciting birds for me--a better than average year, I think. There might be a couple more from earlier, too, but I'm too lazy to get up right now and get my list. :sick: Oh, yeah, now I remember. I saw an ovenbird, as well. What have you seen? Was 2009 a good year for you?
Posted By: Lori - Marriage

Re: Let's Get a Discussion Going - 12/10/09 05:52 PM

I love birding but don't do any serious birding. Maybe my DH and I should start. What a peaceful activity.

When we do walk about, I love to see the snowy egrets. Can you tell me more about them? Are they a type of crane?

As a Japanese person, I have a love of cranes. My name means a thousand birds or a fluttering bird, depending on how the name is written.
Posted By: Susan - Horses/Animals

Re: Let's Get a Discussion Going - 12/10/09 06:35 PM

Western New York

Pileated Woodpeckers have become more numerous and are now staying year round.

I also had a pair of Rose-breasted Grosbeaks nest near my wetland. Did not see the babies though but hopefully the nest was successful.

One sad thing I have noticed is a decline in owls. We used to have a breeding Great Horned pair but the last few years I have not heard any Great Horned calls at all. Will be listening intently this winter for their mating calls.
Posted By: kim-birding

Re: Let's Get a Discussion Going - 12/11/09 12:27 AM

Egrets and cranes are both very long-legged, but they are not in the same family (remember that from bio?/ Kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus species.) I like cranes, too. The only one I've ever seen in the wild was on the side of the road by Orlando International Airport. They are not common in my area at all. You should take up birding. It can be done at many levels. I hardly spend any money at all, but some people travel the world and buy $1000 binoculars. It's a fun hobby for all.
Posted By: Claybird

Re: Let's Get a Discussion Going - 12/12/09 12:55 AM

I LOVE birding! And I am a lister, too. I know that some birders look down at those of us who keep track of the birds we've seen, but for me it adds a little extra enjoyment to a good day out birding to know that I've added something new to a list.
Last week I drove 30 miles to see an unusual bird, an Arctic Tern that was hanging around the sewage treatment ponds in the little town of Three Oaks, MI. It was the first Arctic Tern on my Michigan list!
Birding is usually the focus of my vacation travels. I recently took a 3 week birding trip to (drum roll, please...) New Zealand! It was wonderful! Beautiful country, friendly people, good food, and exciting birds. I saw 85 species, 60 of them new to me. A perfect trip!
Posted By: kim-birding

Re: Let's Get a Discussion Going - 12/12/09 07:35 PM

Wow! Good for you! I would love to go to New Zealand. Last year I went to Maine tyo see puffins and had a wonderful time (until my flight was canceled and I was dumped at a Portland bus depot at 3:00 in the morning). I don't keep a lot of lists myself (just the big one of everything I've seen). Maybe I'll start this year.
Posted By: Diana-Exotic Pets Editor

Re: Let's Get a Discussion Going - 01/02/10 01:14 PM

Having lived on the Pacific flyway a good portion of my life I had the opportunity to spend considerable time hiking the wetlands such as the Cosumnes River Preserve which is recognized one of California's most significant natural areas with around 250 different bird species. I got to cover that spectacular event (California's most significant natural areas) as well as many others at the preserve as a reporter). It was a blast to check in with the visitor�s center each morning, on a chalk or was it a white board; anyway, visitors listed each animal they had sighted that day on the board.

I loved the sand hill cranes, the green herons, great blue heron, the egrets, geese, ducks, teals, osprey, bald eagles, American Bittern, grebes, and the list goes on and on. Having the luxury of living near this remarkable place was paradise.

The Wetlands Manager Holden Brink taught us a great deal about native species, non native species, even how to do bird counts. The staff at the preserve were wonderful.

However, one of the most amazing sights was after I moved to South Dakota. We are near the Mississippi flyway and saw a great number of geese and ducks. One day we went for a drive. I was watching all the formations heading north. I looked straight up into the sky; and as far as I could see were thousands of what looked crochet patterns, hundreds of crochet patterns made of migrating birds. There was not a single spot in the sky without a big pattern. WE NEVER go anywhere without our camera. Having just recently moved to the area somehow we got out of the house without a camera. In California we could leave the camera in the car without having to worry about its little circuits freezing. In South Dakota we have to bring our electronics in which a pain for two people that has fantastic memories they are just really short.

Birding is an amazing hobby, what is wonderful it really takes no money, just a decent pair of feet.
Posted By: Spotter13

Re: Let's Get a Discussion Going - 01/12/10 02:05 PM

The new year is starting out well for "the usual suspects" on the feeder; so far, we've seen Red and White breasted Nuthatches, Tufted Titmice, Chickadees, House Finches, Downey Woodpeckers, and, of course, the everpresent House Sparrows.
We're in Southeastern Michigan, in town, and on a main highway, but natural adaptation keeps our guest list full on the feeders.

What is everyone else seeing this year?
Posted By: Claybird

Re: Let's Get a Discussion Going - 01/13/10 02:38 AM

My back yard is a winter wonderland, with piles of snow on all of the tree branches. Today while eating lunch I saw a crow carrying a big chunk of bread fly into a tree. He stuffed the bread into a heap of snow, then brushed more snow over it to completely hide it from view. A nice litle cache, I hope he finds it again before the wind picks up and blows the snow down.
Posted By: kim-birding

Re: Let's Get a Discussion Going - 01/13/10 05:36 PM

Isn't that cute? It's so windy by my house that I don't think I've seen any birds at all in the last couple of weeks. I see some ducks if I go down by unfrozen salt water, but that's about it. Besides pigeons and house sparrows and starlings, of course. It's supposed to be 46 on Friday, I hope it really is.
Posted By: Angie

Re: Let's Get a Discussion Going - 02/07/10 09:57 PM

Australia and New Zealand are beautiful. Three weeks would be grand. We were in South America over the holidays and we spent a wonderful three weeks there. While in Peru, there was this bird singing like crazy. I finally found him in a tree top but he blended in so well with the tree that it was fruitless to take a photo.

Many people keep a list of the birds they see. What is that called, a 'life list?'
Posted By: Claybird

Re: Let's Get a Discussion Going - 02/08/10 12:14 AM

A Life List is the list of all the species you have seen in your lifetime of birding. Then there are the lesser lists: Country lists, State lists, year lists and even yard lists. I keep a yard list and I figure that my yard goes all the way up, that's why I have birds like Sandhill Cranes and Ringbilled Gulls on my yard list...they flew over and I saw them from my backyard!
Posted By: Melissa - Birds

Re: Let's Get a Discussion Going - 07/05/10 02:22 AM

To revive an old thread...

I was extremely lucky this past winter: we had a gyrfalcon visit! It was amazing; I'd never seen one this far south before. The raptors really seem to be making something of a comeback in my area, the last few years.

Last month I was lucky enough to watch a peregrine falcon hunting, as well- we have a couple nesting pairs here. I see them fairly regularly but have never seen one hunt before. I have to admit, I felt a little sorry for the pigeon, but what a thrill! I think it was the male hunting; the pair I see most often has four chicks to feed this year!
Posted By: Claybird

Re: Let's Get a Discussion Going - 07/06/10 12:39 AM

Congrats on the Gyrfalcon visit, that is really special!

The most memorable Peregrine sighting I ever had was at the canyon of the Little Colorado River, where it is very deep and narrow. I saw 2 peregrines flying over the canyon and suddenly one of them dove straight down into the canyon. I followed his dive in my binocs and watched him pull out just above the water, then slowly circle up and up until he rejoined the other bird far above the canyon. The sight of the blue-grey bird circling against the red canyon walls is something I will never forget!
Posted By: UndertheSun

Re: Let's Get a Discussion Going - 11/18/10 02:04 PM

Has anyone experienced aggressive Cardinals attacking the mirrors of your vehicles? We have a male cardinal, or perhaps several male cardinals, that attack our mirrors! The cardinals actually caused damage to the mirrors so we now cover the mirrors with t-shirts. They also attack one specific window of the house. It sounds like it will bust the window! I have trimmed back the bushes near that window to try to deter the birds but that hasn't helped. We love the wild birds that visit our yard. We get several different kinds from woodpeckers to blue jays to hawks, and of course the cardinals. We toss them the seed our domestic indoor birds don't consume. We have a white face cockateil and a rescued mourning dove. Our indoors birds are also aggressive, that is, when they hear a bag of chips being opened, lol.
Posted By: Mary - Irish Culture

Re: Let's Get a Discussion Going - 11/18/10 03:28 PM

We have a lot of birds, as the property is ocean on one side and old protected forest on the other. Flickers, woodpeckers, the small fellows, wrens, chickadees, titmice, and more....

Yesterday, I was out on the front lawn with the dog, a small, white fellow, who was playing with his squeaky toy. The red-tailed hawk made a slow, low pass, circled and came in again low, and then a third time...it was almost comical, the bird checking out the dissonant messages, sounds like an edible mouse...looks like something else. Very interesting. We confused the hawk. Or maybe he was laughing?
Posted By: Diana-Exotic Pets Editor

Re: Let's Get a Discussion Going - 11/18/10 04:00 PM

Or both, that's cute!
Posted By: Anne, Current Events

Re: Let's Get a Discussion Going - 12/04/10 07:40 PM

For over three months this year, I had the pleasure of drinking my morning coffee on my deck while watching a visiting peacock amble through my yard. He had escaped from a peacock farm about 2 miles away. What a wonderful way to start the day!
Posted By: Heather - Birds

Re: Let's Get a Discussion Going - 02/15/11 08:19 PM

On vacation to Wyoming we stopped at a Scenic View. We were blessed to see several Steller's Jays. My daughter and I had hoped to see them but didn't really expect to. It was so cool.
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