Thread: Birders

  1. #801
    NEARfest Officer Emeritus Nearfest2's Avatar
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    Hummingbird Moths are awesome. Great find!

    Yesterday, I saw a Yellow-crowned Night Heron for the first time in Chester County (and in PA for that matter).
    Chad

  2. #802
    This year, amateur bird photographer KATHRIN SWOBODA achieved a career-changing shot. Like many photographs of birds, her portrait of a blackbird stars a perched, singing subject. What sets this photograph apart from others, however, is that viewers can actually see his song—an element expertly captured by the strategic photographer.
    Early on March 17, 2019, Swoboda set out toward Huntley Meadows Park, an island in Virginia favored by nature photographers for its wildlife-friendly wetlands. Here, she hoped to photograph the male red-wing blackbird, a robin-sized species of bird known for its crimson shoulder markings and distinctive throaty song. “Specifically,” Swoboda tells us, “I wanted to photograph their breath, which when expelled would condense in the cold air.”

    Fortunately, Swoboda found a suitable subject: a “quite vociferous” blackbird. As he vigorously called out for a potential mate, the bird began “forming smoke rings with his spring song.” Due to both the chilly early morning temperatures and her strategic use of the morning sun as backlighting, Swoboda was able to capture this phenomenon in a pair of stunning photographs, with one even earning Swoboda the grand prize of this year’s Audubon Photography Awards.



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  3. #803
    Moderator Duncan Glenday's Avatar
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    WOW!
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    Duncan

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  4. #804
    NEARfest Officer Emeritus Nearfest2's Avatar
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    Incredible shots!
    Chad

  5. #805
    Outraged bystander markwoll's Avatar
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    Very cool pictures. I had seen them around, but didn't realize where they were taken.
    Huntley Meadows is just down the road from me.
    Mostly boardwalks over a marsh.
    Depending on rainfall there can be a large population of critters. Beaver ( sometimes ) birds, reptiles, and amphibians.
    The first place I saw a Virginia Rail and American Bittern.
    It is surrounded by suburbs and has been the target of development a few times over the last 40 years or so.
    There is a large population of photographers that hang out there. Much gear envy.
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it."
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  6. #806
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    Red-winged blackbirds can really be dicks to us bicyclists, but those are amazing pictures. Thanks for sharing!
    David
    Happy with what I have to be happy with.

  7. #807
    Moderator Duncan Glenday's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by proggy_jazzer View Post
    Red-winged blackbirds can really be dicks to us bicyclists...
    ??

    I'm cycling on the road, out in the countryside, 2 to 3 times a week - typically, 25-or-so miles at a time. I've often seen red-winged blackbirds in the grass etc., but they've never cause me any problems.

    How have they bothered you?

    Perhaps it's a regional thing..?

    EDIT -

    I see you're in Iowa. I've done 2 RAGBRAIs, but I doubt many birds would attach 19,000+ cyclists
    Last edited by Duncan Glenday; 1 Week Ago at 10:43 AM.
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  8. #808
    NEARfest Officer Emeritus Nearfest2's Avatar
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    Perhaps you unknowingly ride too close to their nesting areas.
    Chad

  9. #809
    Insect Overlord Progatron's Avatar
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    Male red-winged blackbirds are notoriously territorial. I've had them swoop down and peck me on the head right in front of my house when they have their nest in a nearby tree. You can tell the difference between their docile and aggressive behaviour by the noises they make. Their typical song means friendly (well, they're never friendly, but let's say neutral), and that short, guttural chirp means "watch out". Oddly enough, I've never had them act overly aggressive on my hikes, where there are hundreds of them at all times. But then, their nests there are usually out in the marsh areas in the tall grasses and bullrushes. Males will come to me for peanuts, but they won't get too close (unless on the attack). I've had females land in my hand for seeds, sometimes for 30 seconds at a time. They look nothing like the males, as you probably know.
    Two boys have been found rubbing linseed oil into the school cormorant.

  10. #810
    Banned Dave (in MA)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duncan Glenday View Post
    WOW!
    +1



    Sunday there was a small hawk-type bird flying around and perching on the very top of the tallest pine in the wooded area across the street. It was a very bright pale yellow or white on its front, and its call was more of a SQUEAK than the familiar hawk sound. I'm guessing maybe a sharp-shinned hawk or northern harrier. Earlier in the late spring/early summer I noticed similar-looking birds had built a pretty large nest at the top of another pine on the border of my yard and my next-door neighbor, but the sound that they made was the more familiar hawk cry. I wonder if the one from Sunday was a juvenile out of that nest. Do their calls change with age?

  11. #811
    Banned Dave (in MA)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Progatron View Post
    They look nothing like the males, as you probably know.
    Well, I do now.

  12. #812
    NEARfest Officer Emeritus Nearfest2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave (in MA) View Post
    Sunday there was a small hawk-type bird flying around and perching on the very top of the tallest pine in the wooded area across the street. It was a very bright pale yellow or white on its front, and its call was more of a SQUEAK than the familiar hawk sound. I'm guessing maybe a sharp-shinned hawk or northern harrier.
    If it was small, it could have been a Sharp-shinned Hawk or an American Kestrel.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave (in MA) View Post
    Earlier in the late spring/early summer I noticed similar-looking birds had built a pretty large nest at the top of another pine on the border of my yard and my next-door neighbor, but the sound that they made was the more familiar hawk cry. I wonder if the one from Sunday was a juvenile out of that nest. Do their calls change with age?
    The juveniles do have begging calls.
    Chad

  13. #813
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duncan Glenday View Post
    ??

    I'm cycling on the road, out in the countryside, 2 to 3 times a week - typically, 25-or-so miles at a time. I've often seen red-winged blackbirds in the grass etc., but they've never cause me any problems.

    How have they bothered you?

    Perhaps it's a regional thing..?
    Don't know about regional variations, but in Iowa it's common to be riding on a country road and be dive-bombed and even followed by red-winged blackbirds. I had it happen just a couple weeks ago while riding a paved bike trail. I've also had it happen while running in the country, which is more disconcerting, as my potential escape velocity is much lower than on two wheels. I've always assumed it was a nest/territory protective thing.

    But they're still dicks.
    David
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  14. #814
    Moderator Duncan Glenday's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by proggy_jazzer View Post
    ...
    But they're still dicks.
    :LOL

    I've done 2 RAGBRAIs. But I doubt many birds would attack 19,000+ cyclists.
    Regards,

    Duncan

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  15. #815
    Quote Originally Posted by Progatron View Post
    Male red-winged blackbirds are notoriously territorial. I've had them swoop down and peck me on the head right in front of my house when they have their nest in a nearby tree.
    Did you just label yourself a pecker head?

    I've never had an issue with the RWBBs. But, any time they see me, I'm either doing yard work or feeding them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nearfest2 View Post
    The juveniles do have begging calls.
    Don' they all? I have three daughters and it seems that way to me.
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  16. #816
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    Quote Originally Posted by ronmac View Post
    Did you just label yourself a pecker head?
    No! The birds did!
    Two boys have been found rubbing linseed oil into the school cormorant.

  17. #817
    NEARfest Officer Emeritus Nearfest2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ronmac View Post
    I've never had an issue with the RWBBs.
    Technically, the banding code is RWBL since "Blackbird" is one word.
    Chad

  18. #818
    NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF STUPID PEOPLE IN LARGE GROUPS!

  19. #819
    ^
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  20. #820
    My brother-in-law found this one in his yard.

    Any ideas what it came from? Someone suggested a pheasant, but it's not quite right, IMO.

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  21. #821
    Banned Dave (in MA)'s Avatar
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    Clip from my dashcam on my commute home this evening, in Dover, MA along the Charles: https://goo.gl/maps/3BLHdwpPMvpmFgjX7


    A swan?

  22. #822
    Boo! walt's Avatar
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    Hollis Taylor is an Australian violinist/composer.Over the last decade she has recorded the songs of the Australian Pied Butcherbird, noted for its songs and calls.The fruits of her research results in a 2cd collection titled Absolute Bird.I bought it last year and it's an endlessly fascinating listen.Taylor brings together musicians to "play" the transcriptions and recordings she made throughout Australia of birdcalls.It may interest readers of this thread.

    http://awsrg.org.au/hollis-taylor-ab...ird-cd-review/


    Her book"Is Birdsong Music" is a good read.I recommend it.

    http://www.iupress.indiana.edu/produ...ucts_id=808577

    Two short excerpts from the album

    https://soundcloud.com/realtime-arts...-bird-excerpts
    Last edited by walt; 3 Days Ago at 09:08 AM.
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  23. #823
    Member ForeverAutumn's Avatar
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    I just got back from a week at a cottage on Lake Simcoe in Ontario. I spent four days listening to a Belted Kingfisher but couldn't spot it. I was rewarded on days five and six with a beautiful view of it flying past our beach. I couldn't get a photo of it, but I made up for it by catching a mature and juvenile Osprey in their nest.

    IMG_4890.jpgIMG_4891.jpgIMG_4892.jpgIMG_4893.jpg

  24. #824
    Member ForeverAutumn's Avatar
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    Not a bird, but also got this cool shot of a little blue dragon fly resting on a blade of grass.

    fullsizeoutput_17cc.jpg

  25. #825
    NEARfest Officer Emeritus Nearfest2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave (in MA) View Post
    Clip from my dashcam on my commute home this evening, in Dover, MA along the Charles. A swan?
    Looks like a domestic goose.
    Chad

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