• October 31, 2014
October 31, 2014, 8:16:45 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with your Chronicle username and password
News: For all you tweeters, follow The Chronicle on Twitter.
 
Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 136
  Print  
Author Topic: Birders' Thread!  (Read 614778 times)
barred_owl
Elegant yet understated
Distinguished Senior Member
*****
Posts: 9,465


« on: September 14, 2009, 2:04:07 PM »

Over on the "Exciting Posts" thread, Pollinate suggested we start a birders' thread, based on some of the exciting posts discussing bird sightings.

So, here it is!

Feel free to post your bird stories, exciting or otherwise, suggestions for places to watch birds, and any other ornithological adventures you wish to share.  Questions about birds, bird identification, and so forth are welcome, too!

--Barred Owl, whose moniker pretty much gives away her interest in our feathered friends
« Last Edit: September 14, 2009, 2:04:47 PM by barred_owl » Logged

...I can't help rooting for the underdog underbird.
southerntransplant
A man on a porcupine fence and a
Distinguished Senior Member
*****
Posts: 11,105

No recess.


« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2009, 2:23:21 PM »

Leaving the house to go to the gym last week (about 5am), my headlights caught an owl perched in a low branch of a tree next to the house. I think it was actually a barred owl (taa-daa!), though I didn't think we had them around here. Not 100% sure though.

Our property is just a little under an acre. Three -quarters of it is woods and a creek runs through part of it. Yesterday we saw buzzards circling over part of the wooded area. I wonder what's getting their attention...
Logged

"...And on the other side of this wall is a whole 'nother studio that you'll never get to see...because, you know, fvck you guys."

Steve Albini, showing Dave Grohl and the Foo Fighters around his studio
scampster
Distinguished Senior Member
*****
Posts: 10,879


« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2009, 2:25:39 PM »

Leaving the house to go to the gym last week (about 5am), my headlights caught an owl perched in a low branch of a tree next to the house. I think it was actually a barred owl (taa-daa!), though I didn't think we had them around here. Not 100% sure though.

Our property is just a little under an acre. Three -quarters of it is woods and a creek runs through part of it. Yesterday we saw buzzards circling over part of the wooded area. I wonder what's getting their attention...

Do you have a birthday coming up? ;-)
Logged

When you are a scientist your opinions and prejudices become facts. Science is like magic that way!
southerntransplant
A man on a porcupine fence and a
Distinguished Senior Member
*****
Posts: 11,105

No recess.


« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2009, 2:31:17 PM »

Leaving the house to go to the gym last week (about 5am), my headlights caught an owl perched in a low branch of a tree next to the house. I think it was actually a barred owl (taa-daa!), though I didn't think we had them around here. Not 100% sure though.

Our property is just a little under an acre. Three -quarters of it is woods and a creek runs through part of it. Yesterday we saw buzzards circling over part of the wooded area. I wonder what's getting their attention...

Do you have a birthday coming up? ;-)

No, and my next one isn't sufficiently advanced as to warrant a death watch from a group of raptors. :)

Unless someone else has plans for me...

(Note to self - take STSpouse to dinner and a movie soon....)
Logged

"...And on the other side of this wall is a whole 'nother studio that you'll never get to see...because, you know, fvck you guys."

Steve Albini, showing Dave Grohl and the Foo Fighters around his studio
thundering_m
Distinguished Senior Member
*****
Posts: 1,896


« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2009, 2:40:31 PM »

Great thread. My thoughts on the topic are tangential: I'm planning an avian-friendly garden and just found a great book on the topic. There is quite a busy community trafficking the conifers and lilacs but I am going to add chokecherry and grasses of interest to our residents. Nothing exotic to report although I finally discovered that some little bitty birdies (technical term) like to take dirt baths, causing all the small impressions in the one as-yet-unlandscaped area. It appears to be the sunniest patch amid the towering trees, warmed by a bit of cement path. If I'm very still they forget I'm there and proceed with their dust dance. 
Logged

-TM
Thundering Marshmallow
gennimom
Somewhat Southern (Have I really posted that much?)
Distinguished Senior Member
*****
Posts: 18,467

Let's get summer over with! Me want snow!


« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2009, 2:48:03 PM »

We've had rain in the last 24 hours so there are puddles in my driveway. As I backed out of the garage, I noticed a bird standing in one of the puddles. It may have been a cedar waxwing or maybe a female bluejay. I'm not sure. Anyway, it flew away when I drove past it. I'm afraid I disturbed its bathtime.
Logged

...only after reading gm's post, my new mantra is "always listen to gennimom".
Monday reeks! - Garfield
The outside of a horse is good for the inside of a person (or something like that).
johnr
Distinguished Senior Member
*****
Posts: 2,631


« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2009, 2:50:24 PM »

Good timing!  Sailing back home from the wooden boat festival in Port Townsend, WA this weekend I saw a Tufted Puffin in breeding plumage. Very exciting.
Logged
ms_turtle
"Pull up a turtle and sit down." -- Nick Charles, Shadow of the Thin Man
Distinguished Senior Member
*****
Posts: 2,282


« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2009, 2:51:15 PM »

I've sat in a blind at a prairie chicken booming grounds. Not only did we see mating activity, we also saw the whole lek scatter when a snowy owl swooped in.
Logged

'I get paid to think, and today I prefer to do my thinking lying down.' -- Inspector Morse

"Oh, PLANS, PLANS, PLANS -- how we make plans into the future, as if the future will most certainly be there!" -- John Irving
barred_owl
Elegant yet understated
Distinguished Senior Member
*****
Posts: 9,465


« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2009, 2:54:11 PM »

I like the description of the dust-bathing birds, TM.  When I taught ornithology, we used to call small, plain-colored birds like that "LBJ's"--little brown jobs.

Cool that you saw an owl, ST.  I can call in Barred Owls, you know (I'm a better owl caller than singer, actually).  The vultures are still here where we are, but in a couple of months there may be more down your way, since ours migrate out when the cold weather comes.

There are several active Bald Eagle nests in our state.  This is worth mentioning since they were considered nearly gone from here a couple of decades ago.  I have yet to see the pair with the active nest that is nearest to us, but have seen others in the state.  Quite the contrast to when we lived in the Pacific Northwest and we had eagles perch atop the telephone pole at the end of our driveway!

Oh my goodness--3 replies while I typed this!  Johnr--I've been to that festival!  Tufted Puffins are cool!  I have yet to see the Prairie Chicken booming behavior, Ms_T, and would have loved seeing the Snowy.
Logged

...I can't help rooting for the underdog underbird.
locutus
Wielder of the Chillax
Distinguished Senior Member
*****
Posts: 2,222


« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2009, 3:00:07 PM »

Seen a bald eagle in the wild once or twice. On of those occasions was a very close fly by about 3 seconds before the beginning of the procession at my wedding (in DC of all places).
Logged

Render unto Geedorah what is Geedorah's.
anthroid
hyperdiffusionist wackaloonery!
Distinguished Senior Member
*****
Posts: 16,512

No happy socks because nobody gets Manitoba.


« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2009, 3:17:32 PM »

I'm so excited you started this thread, Barred Owl.  I was going to start one but didn't get to it quickly enough.

I moved to my current location a few weeks ago and was surprised NOT to hear many birds despite being in a rural area.  Various folks suggested that I put up bird feeders, so I did that this weekend.  The result:  Birds, birds, birds!  Nuthatches started showing up within a couple of hours of the front yard bird feeder going up, but then <cue scary music> big, angry, stupid crows tried to take over.  They've taken over the bird feeder in the back.  See if I fill that one again!  I also put water out; the crows took over the backyard bird bath but seem to be leaving alone the bowl of water I have out in the front yard.  Any hints for getting rid of <cue scary music> big, angry, stupid crows?

Also, I'm now lucky enough to be in a part of the country where bald eagles are a permanent part of the landscape.  It is totally cool to see them flying around, riding the thermals on a warm afternoon.

And--I know this isn't the bug-lover's thread (I was going to say bugger but figured that would get the wrong response) but I don't have roaches.  I have earwigs.  Mainly they're staying in the garage but that is one scary-looking bug.
Logged

Am I the only one who even remembers Up with People??
barred_owl
Elegant yet understated
Distinguished Senior Member
*****
Posts: 9,465


« Reply #11 on: September 14, 2009, 3:29:28 PM »

Ah, crows.  I suggest you don't rent Hitchcock's The Birds any time soon, anthroid!  Crows are stubborn and smart, but the good thing is that they tend to travel in family groups over a wide area, so they will hog your birdbath and feeders for a while, but then should mosey off to somewhere else.  They are a great early warning system, though--if there's a hawk or other predator in the neighborhood, the crows (and jays, their relatives), will let you know!
Logged

...I can't help rooting for the underdog underbird.
pollinate
Distinguished Senior Member
*****
Posts: 5,324


« Reply #12 on: September 14, 2009, 3:33:19 PM »

I don't have crows, probably b/c they're large enough to interest the dog, but I periodically do get grackles and others of the blackbird group.  They will empty the suet (non-melt dough type) in one day and are very non-picky eaters of large seeds and peanuts.  Between aggression and voracity they push most of the other birds into just sneaking bites.  The only thing I've found is to put food out in small amounts (discourages the huge appetites) and do so early and late in the day (so the residents get a chance).
Logged
john_proctor
Distinguished Senior Member
*****
Posts: 7,035


« Reply #13 on: September 14, 2009, 3:58:19 PM »

did some hiking last weekend and spotted a pair of black-throated blue warblers.  I was on the very limits of their range.
Logged

"Look upon me! I'll show you the 'life of the mind.'"
anthroid
hyperdiffusionist wackaloonery!
Distinguished Senior Member
*****
Posts: 16,512

No happy socks because nobody gets Manitoba.


« Reply #14 on: September 14, 2009, 4:19:18 PM »

Ah, crows.  I suggest you don't rent Hitchcock's The Birds any time soon, anthroid!  Crows are stubborn and smart, but the good thing is that they tend to travel in family groups over a wide area, so they will hog your birdbath and feeders for a while, but then should mosey off to somewhere else.  They are a great early warning system, though--if there's a hawk or other predator in the neighborhood, the crows (and jays, their relatives), will let you know!
There are in fact hawks around, so that's an interesting fact, Barred Owl!  Thanks for the reassurance as well.  As for The Birds, well, after the crows began hogging the front yard feeder yesterday, I began hearing a tapping on one of the outside walls (perhaps a wooden door to the garage?); it wasn't a woodpecker kind of tapping.  I swear the crows were trying to get into my house, and visions of Janet Leigh dominated for a while...
Logged

Am I the only one who even remembers Up with People??
Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 136
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.9 | SMF © 2006-2008, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
  • 1255 Twenty-Third St., N.W.
  • Washington, D.C. 20037
subscribe today

Get the insight you need for success in academe.