Thread: Birders

  1. #151
    Member Jerjo's Avatar
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    We rarely see ravens up here on the northern plains but I did see one a couple days ago. But we're seeing a wider variety of birds than we did when I was growing up, particularly blue jays and cardinals. We also get loads of grackles which are just a pain in the ass. What's strange is that I can drive to the farm, seven miles NW of town and the bird population changes entirely. Red-wing blackbirds and meadow larks rule out there, and are much more pleasant to the ear.

    Growing up, I only rarely saw eagles and always goldens, never baldies. Now I see bald eagles near Lake Sakakawea often and a lot more goldens. And there's no mistaking them for hawks, not with those wing spans. A few years ago we were walking among the ruins of an old meat-packing plant in the badlands. Our little pom/corgi cross was sniffing around. I heard my wife yelling to get him in the car and pointing to the sky. About a hundred feet or so above us two goldens were circling, 6-7' wing spans. I hustled that dog into the car in record time.
    Last edited by Jerjo; 04-04-2017 at 04:17 PM.
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  2. #152
    Jazzbo manqué Mister Triscuits's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ronmac View Post
    Yep, I never see robins eating at the feeder. I figured they were basically carnivores, like crows. Then again, maybe crows aren't.
    Crows will eat just about anything. I have a few local ones that have learned to come to my door and beg for cheese puffs. They won't take them from my hand, though, which is what I was trying to accomplish when I first offered them the treats. I've easily hand-trained scrub jays, but the crows remain a little wary.

  3. #153
    Boo! walt's Avatar
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    Crows have taken walnuts and peanuts that i scatter.Mourning doves don't;along with robins, mourning doves are the only birds i come into contact with that don't eat nuts.There are Baltimore orioles in a patch of parkland near me.I'll see if they like nuts.

    A few weeks ago an old lady on the grounds of my co-op yelled at me for feeding the birds and squirrels.She claimed the pigeons and squirrels were "harassing" her.I asked her for details about this alleged harassment and she said the animals get too close to her and she feels threatened.She said she would complain to the co-op board about my actions;she got nasty, cursing me and telling me i should "move out".

    Lovely lady.Makes me appreciate birds and squirrels even more.
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  4. #154
    Member Jerjo's Avatar
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    Wait until nightfall and dump a load of seeds and nuts outside her bedroom window.
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  5. #155
    Boo! walt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerjo View Post
    Wait until nightfall and dump a load of seeds and nuts outside her bedroom window.
    "please do not understand me too quickly"-andre gide

  6. #156
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerjo View Post
    We rarely see ravens up here on the northern plains but I did see one a couple days ago. But we're seeing a wider variety of birds than we did when I was growing up, particularly blue jays and cardinals. We also get loads of grackles which are just a pain in the ass. What's strange is that I can drive to the farm, seven miles NW of town and the bird population changes entirely. Red-wing blackbirds and meadow larks rule out there, and are much more pleasant to the ear.

    Growing up, I only rarely saw eagles and always goldens, never baldies. Now I see bald eagles near Lake Sakakawea often and a lot more goldens. And there's no mistaking them for hawks, not with those wing spans. A few years ago we were walking among the ruins of an old meat-packing plant in the badlands. Our little pom/corgi cross was sniffing around. I heard my wife yelling to get him in the car and pointing to the sky. About a hundred feet or so above us two goldens were circling, 6-7' wing spans. I hustled that dog into the car in record time.
    We were in Myrtle Beach a few years ago out on the fishing pier and a bald eagle swooped out of the woods and over the waves. Pretty cool.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Triscuits View Post
    Crows will eat just about anything. I have a few local ones that have learned to come to my door and beg for cheese puffs. They won't take them from my hand, though, which is what I was trying to accomplish when I first offered them the treats. I've easily hand-trained scrub jays, but the crows remain a little wary.
    We have a really nice aviary in Pittsburgh that used to have a talking crow. He would say, "Who what why where!" in the coolest voice you ever heard come out of a bird. It sounded like a mature woman's deep voice.

    Apparently, the aviary is one of the most haunted places in the area, too. There used to be a Civil War-era prison there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerjo View Post
    Wait until nightfall and dump a load of seeds and nuts outside her bedroom window.
    Or, buy a rubber rat and put it on her doorstep.
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  7. #157
    NEARfest Officer Emeritus Nearfest2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerjo View Post
    Wait until nightfall and dump a load of seeds and nuts outside her bedroom window.
    Or some nice fresh roadkill so she has vultures in the morning.
    Chad

  8. #158
    Member ForeverAutumn's Avatar
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    I just discovered this thread. I'm a birder. We have four feeders in our front yard and get a lot of different species. My best sighting so far this year has been a leusictic Starling. I wasn't sure what it was at first, but had the sighting confirmed by our local Wild Birds Unlimited store and by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology Facebook page.

    P1030839-1.jpg

    Unfortunately, the only camera available to me was my phone. Birds never stick around long enough for me to grab a better camera. They're so selfish!

  9. #159
    Estimated Prophet notallwhowander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wideopenears View Post
    Stellar's are a bit north of us, usually. I've seen tons in Mendocino County but don't recall seeing any in the Bay Area. Then again, I'm not actively looking.
    There are plenty of Stellar's Jays in the Santa Cruz Mountains. They seem to like tall forests.
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  10. #160
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    Quote Originally Posted by ForeverAutumn View Post
    My best sighting so far this year has been a leusictic Starling.
    Pretty neat! I had a leucistic Red-winged Blackbird in the fall.
    Chad

  11. #161
    Jazzbo manqué Mister Triscuits's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by notallwhowander View Post
    There are plenty of Stellar's Jays in the Santa Cruz Mountains. They seem to like tall forests.
    I get both Stellar's and scrub jays in my neighborhood in San Mateo.

  12. #162
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Triscuits View Post
    I get both Stellar's and scrub jays in my neighborhood in San Mateo.
    Cool. I will keep an eye out, maybe I'll see one here.
    Stellar's Jays are quite striking, I think.
    "And this is the chorus.....or perhaps it's a bridge...."

  13. #163
    Here's a mug I have that changes when it gets hot. Thought you'd get a kick out of it.

    bluebird-mug.jpg

    I didn't see my first bluebird in the wild until just a few years ago. I caught a fleeting glimpse of one in a local park earlier, but it wasn't util I got a bluebird house that I really got to see one. I learned that, since they tend to arrive and build their nests a bit later, another bird (here, it would likely be a black-capped chickadee) will take up residence before they get a chance. I have been known to clear out a fresh nest so the bluebird has a chance to move in.

    Here's one shot I got of one. (nothing special)

    bluebird-2016.jpg
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  14. #164
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    Surf Scoter.jpgAmerican Robin.jpgMarsh Wren.jpg

    Just found this thread. I've always been interested in birds. Not real serious, but more serious than the average person.
    I retired a few months ago and thought I would try to get decent photos of birds. A friend got me a decent camera as retirement/birthday gift so I've been practicing. I've never uploaded any phots here so let's see if it worked out.

  15. #165
    Quote Originally Posted by notallwhowander View Post
    There are plenty of Stellar's Jays in the Santa Cruz Mountains. They seem to like tall forests.
    When I worked at Big Basin, Steller’s jays were everywhere. I remember one of my co-workers hated the *rasp rasp rasp* noise they made.

    One time when I was munching on my turkey sandwich in Wildcat Canyon, I heard the sound of a red-shouldered hawk. I looked up and saw a Steller’s jay, imitating a hawk cry, hoping I’d abandon my lunch. Sorry, Mr. Jay, I’m not afraid of hawks, I’m a bigger predator!
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  16. #166
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    Two quick stories.

    Many years ago we were in Alberta in Jasper National Park. We woke up early for a birding walk with a guy who had lived in the area all his life. He wouldn't tell us his age, only that he'd been birding in the park for over 70 years. It was a beautiful hike that took us way off the marked trails into parts of the park that we would have otherwise never seen.

    We're about 10 minutes into the hike when he suddenly stops us and points. About 15 feet in front of us is a Rose-breasted grossbeak. It sat on that tree for several minutes while we all held our breath. When it finally flew away, he told us that was only the 3rd sighting in the park since they started keeping records. He was ready to pack it in and go home at that point. His day was made. Grosbeaks aren't common where I am, but I've since had more migration sightings at my feeder than they've ever had in Jasper Park.

    On the same hike, the same gentleman got very excited when we spotted a pair of mallard ducks in a small pond. Also a rare sighting for the park. We had to laugh. We have so many mallards here in Ontario that people find them swimming in their pools. It's fun to see how a bird that is common for some, can create so much excitement for others.

  17. #167
    NEARfest Officer Emeritus Nearfest2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tdotdo View Post
    I've never uploaded any photos here so let's see if it worked out.
    Nice shots! Surf Scoters are very cool.
    Chad

  18. #168
    Moderator Duncan Glenday's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nearfest2 View Post
    Nice shots! Surf Scoters are very cool.
    "Surf scooter"?

    I thought it looked like a coot.

    (I just dived into Wikipedia to learn the differences...)
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  19. #169
    Member Jerjo's Avatar
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    Every summer we get coots/mud hens by the thousands. Hilarious to watch them take off because they run across the water but they're so common one barely pays attention to them.
    I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means 'put down.'- Bob Newhart

  20. #170
    Moderator Duncan Glenday's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerjo View Post
    Every summer we get coots/mud hens by the thousands. Hilarious to watch them take off because they run across the water but they're so common one barely pays attention to them.
    Yep - when I lived in Africa, the red knobbed coot was abundant. Same behavior. And they had a soft, soothing call, which I miss...
    Regards,

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  21. #171
    Jazzbo manqué Mister Triscuits's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tdotdo View Post
    I've never uploaded any phots here so let's see if it worked out.
    Very cool shots. Love that wren. I used to see surf scoters in the bay near my office every winter years ago, but since I took up photography they haven't been coming around. Love those neon-orange bills.

  22. #172
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Triscuits View Post
    Very cool shots. Love that wren. I used to see surf scoters in the bay near my office every winter years ago, but since I took up photography they haven't been coming around. Love those neon-orange bills.
    The surf scoters are here in Puget Sound every year. Also have the Trumpeter Swans and Snow Geese nearby. They should be leaving very soon. But the swallows and Osprey have started to show up.
    Has anyone ever seen a puffin? Every place I go on the East and West Coasts claims to have them in their area but I never seen them in the wild.

  23. #173
    Outraged bystander markwoll's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tdotdo View Post
    The surf scoters are here in Puget Sound every year. Also have the Trumpeter Swans and Snow Geese nearby. They should be leaving very soon. But the swallows and Osprey have started to show up.
    Has anyone ever seen a puffin? Every place I go on the East and West Coasts claims to have them in their area but I never seen them in the wild.
    We saw Puffins and Murre's off the coast of Sitka Alaska at St. Lazaria Island. A major nesting spot. The whole beak full of fish and all that. Pretty cool.
    There are some off of the coast of Maine. We saw some on a whale watching cruise from Bar Harbor. Not nearly as many.
    There are some specific nesting islands off of the Maine coast, all require a boat trip.
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  24. #174
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    Quote Originally Posted by tdotdo View Post
    Has anyone ever seen a puffin? Every place I go on the East and West Coasts claims to have them in their area but I never seen them in the wild.
    I saw Puffins in Nova Scotia. It was almost 23 years ago. My husband and I were honeymooning in Nova Scotia and we took a Birding boat tour to a protected island. There were thousands of them!

    I'll be in Halifax for businees this week and staying in a hotel right on the harbour. I'll keep my eye out for them.

  25. #175
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    Quote Originally Posted by tdotdo View Post
    Has anyone ever seen a puffin? Every place I go on the East and West Coasts claims to have them in their area but I never seen them in the wild.
    Yup! Scotland is full of them in the summer, albeit in the more remote areas and islands.

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