Thread: Birders

  1. #1
    NEARfest Officer Emeritus Nearfest2's Avatar
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    Birders

    After NEARfest ended, I had a lot of free time. It took two years to find a new "hobby", but in 2014 I became a birder. I've learned a lot in three short years. I've also equipped myself with a nice camera and zoom lens, good binoculars, a spotting scope, waterproof boots and other accessories. I've even enrolled in an intensive online ornithology course at Cornell Lab.

    Anyone else here a birder?
    Chad

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    Chronic Overspender zombywoof's Avatar
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    Lieto is!
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    Traversing The Dream 100423's Avatar
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    I enjoy watching the birds at the bird feeders in our backyard, but I don't go out actively pursuing different species (or whatever).
    Seems like it would be fun though!

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    Highly Evolved Orangutan JKL2000's Avatar
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    "Watcher of the birds, watcher of all...!"
    Last edited by JKL2000; 03-17-2017 at 09:33 AM.

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    NEARfest Officer Emeritus Nearfest2's Avatar
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    Wow. Just when I thought there would be a thread you wouldn't read and post to, Jud.
    Chad

  6. #6
    Since we put up a hummingbird feeder a few years back, my Wife and I enjoy watching them come to feed. We even notate on the calendar when we have our first sighting of the year.
    G.A.S -aholic

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    NEARfest Officer Emeritus Nearfest2's Avatar
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    Nice. I assume based on your location that they are Ruby-throated Hummingbirds. You should see them soon. SE US is their first stop after migrating north across the Gulf of Mexico each spring.
    Chad

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    Outraged bystander markwoll's Avatar
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    I am a casual birder. My father was a wildlife biologist, among other things.
    All of our family trips involved side trips to Wildlife refuges, parks, etc.
    I learned a lot. Then they retired to Sanibel Island where the J.N. Ding Darling refuge is located. ( a birding hot spot at some times of the year, you Want to go there )
    Both he and my mom worked there for 20+ years as roving SME's for birds, vegetation , and the Calusa shell mounds at the refuge proper and at other locations on the island and in SW Florida.
    So I was marinated in birding by osmosis. Even though Mom does not rove, we always drive through the refuge locations when I vist.
    If you ever get down to that area, carve out some time to go to the Audubon Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary west of Bonita Springs.
    Very cool boardwalk above a Cypress swamp. Every time I have been there ( 5 or 6 times ) there has been a "Stunt Bird" that hangs out by the boardwalk and does not fly away. Hawks, owls, painted bunting, Limpkin(!), Storks ( in nesting season ). Lots of reptiles and butterflys, and florida panther.

    So anyhow, I know the names and some of the calls and can look stuff up in Sibley, Audubon, peterson or what have you. No apps. no thanks, I'm old school.
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    cunning linguist 3LockBox's Avatar
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    So, it's not "bird watcher" anymore it's "birder"?

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    Man of repute progmatist's Avatar
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    Definitely something to tweet about.
    "Well my son, life is like a beanstalk, isn't it?"--Dalai Lama

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    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Train-spotting with wings.

    I suspect, however, there is way more money to be made in birding than in running a progressive rock festival.

  14. #14
    Jefferson James
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    Casual birder here; if I'm hiking or on a backpack spotting birds is just something I do. Got a pocket bird-call I mess with sometimes (drives the cats crazy). Here in the San Bernardino mountains there's a nice variety of birds. Bald eagles winter-over at Big Bear Lake about 25 miles from here, I check the "nest cam" a few times a week, it's cool when Mama snags a trout.

    My prime sightings have involved endangered California condors, I saw three flying over Lake Piru once, and saw one on the side of PCH in Big Sur.

    One time I was backpacking in Santa Paula canyon and I dreamed I was in the place I was camping, naked in the sunlight, and above me in the sky were seven clouds shaped like condors.

  15. #15
    Member Vic2012's Avatar
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    Not really into bird watching but I see a lot of wildlife in the neighborhood being we're in the Everglades. See lots of Ibis, vultures, egrets, and the invasive Muscovee Ducks and roosters running wild occasionally.

  16. #16
    Member WHORG's Avatar
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    Our son had a science project back when we first moved to Chapel Hill - he was in the 4th grade.

    At the time - I was battling squirrels and starlings/blackbirds eating all the seed. (Eventually purchased a Squirrelbuster Plus - best investment ever for squirrels and larger birds BTW).

    So he eventually identified 17 different birds in our backyard - including ducks, hawks, vultures, heron, and all the others too . . . it was our start into birding.

    There's a Mom & Pop bird store close to our house that offers outings most every weekend - and I've attended a few times, it was great leveraging their experience against my meager backyard skills.

    People spend some SERIOUS money on the technical end of this hobby: camera, lenses, binoculars, clothing, etc . . .

    Now my kids can identify/name every single bird they see everywhere we go in the state - impressing the older folks !!!

    ~jk
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  17. #17
    Member Steve F.'s Avatar
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    I'm an extremely casual birder, but I really enjoy seeing them!
    Steve F.

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  18. #18
    NEARfest Officer Emeritus Nearfest2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    Train-spotting with wings.
    Not quite.

    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    I suspect, however, there is way more money to be made in birding than in running a progressive rock festival.
    I'm sure you're kidding, but there isn't money in either one.

    Quote Originally Posted by 3LockBox View Post
    So, it's not "bird watcher" anymore it's "birder"?
    Depends on how you go about it. "Birding" implies being more active than "birdwatching," such as walking preserves, taking trips, chasing rarities, etc.

    Speaking of rarities, I got a lifer yesterday (and saw it again this morning). We had a Northern Shrike show up at one of our local ecological parks here in Chester County, PA. Very exciting!

    NorthernShrike_20170316.jpg
    Last edited by Nearfest2; 03-17-2017 at 01:35 PM.
    Chad

  19. #19
    cunning linguist 3LockBox's Avatar
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    Does it mean the same thing in Britain?

  20. #20
    Member Lopez's Avatar
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    Not a serious birder here, but I do like identifying what I can in the backyard or on trips. I've noticed in November or December the chickadees in the backyard start getting mighty fat. I always contend if they and the sparrows get pretty fat, we'll have a bad winter.

    There are some dedicated birders here in Medford where I live. Down by the Mystic Lakes in west Medford, these folks have seen a bald eagle and have published pictures of it in the local paper. Never seen it myself, but I have seen plenty of red-tailed hawks and a snowy owl.

    Never heard of the Squirrelbuster Josef mentions though I'm sure I've seen it. But I do have a quick squirrel story. One would climb up a tree in the front of the house, go over the roof to the back of the house, and set up a nest under solar panels we have there. We did everything we could to get rid of him. One day the panels stopped generating electricity. We got a crew to come over, take off the panels, replace all the wires that little turd chewed through, put the panels back, and install a CritterGuard all the way around the panels. And we cut down the tree. The installer said it was the worst squirrel damage he'd ever seen under solar panels. Cost us a bundle.
    Lou

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  21. #21
    Jazzbo manqué Mister Triscuits's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nearfest2 View Post
    Speaking of rarities, I got a lifer yesterday (and saw it again this morning). We had a Northern Shrike show up at one of our local ecological parks here in Chester County, PA. Very exciting!
    Ooh, nice!

  22. #22
    Member Staun's Avatar
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    Cool, now if someone would come and get these damned Canadian Geese.
    The older I get, the better I was.

  23. #23
    NEARfest Officer Emeritus Nearfest2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3LockBox View Post
    Does it mean the same thing in Britain?
    They're called Twitchers in England.
    Chad

  24. #24
    NEARfest Officer Emeritus Nearfest2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Staun View Post
    Cool, now if someone would come and get these damned Canadian Geese.
    Canada Geese, not Canadian Geese.
    Chad

  25. #25
    Member adap2it's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nearfest2 View Post
    They're called Twitchers in England.
    Because of the OTHER kind of birds in Britain, the watchers are called HORNYoligists....
    Dave Sr.

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