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Tags bird watching , birders , birds , ornithology

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Old 5th April 2012, 03:49 AM   #41
Kotatsu
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Originally Posted by Tricky View Post
Live???!!!!
"Yes".
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Old 7th April 2012, 01:23 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by portlandatheist View Post
This is my first year birding so I'm a total noob. I have a few birds I have yet to identify to add to this list once I figure it out. Maybe I can post them later and get some input. I apologize for the poor formatting. These were all spotted in Oregon, mostly near Portland
It's a lot of fun. I'm terrible at it, honestly. If you have the opportunity, I would strongly suggest that you find a local birding group (the Audubon Society almost surely has a club in Portland) and try a guided walk or other birding event. You'll see lots more birds than you would on your own and will probably be able to learn some good locations for birding nearby.

I went out today and had a pretty disappointing showing for the amount of time I spent. I drove to the other side of Cleveland after an American Bittern (fairly rare for these parts, and this one had been giving people a great show for days) but it had left the night before. I then went on to Headlands Beach State Park, a great lakes sand beach with a small nature preserve attached. Once the migration really gets going, there are often substantial fallouts in the area because of the lake, but nothing much today. Aside from everyday birds, about all I saw were sparrows and gulls, and I stink at identifying either, though I did get to watch a very cute winter wren for some time. I saw a towhee as well, but didn't get a good enough look to figure out which species it was.

Headlands Beach State Park, Mentor, OH 4-7-2012
American crow - Corvus brchyrhynchos
American robin Turdus migratorius
Brown headed cowbird Molothrus ater
Brown thrasher - Toxostoma rufum
Canada goose - Branta canadensis
Common tern - Sterna hirundo
Dark-eyed junco Junco hyemalis
Double-crested cormorant - Phalocrocorax auritus
Downy woodpecker Picoides pubescens
Eastern phoebe - Sayornis phoebe
Herring gull Larus argentatus
House sparrow - Passer domesticus
Mallard Anas platyrhynchos
Mourning dove Zenaida macroura
Northern cardinal Cardinalis cardinalis
Northern flicker Colaptes auratus
Red bellied woodpecker Melanerpes carolinus
Red tailed hawk - Buteo jamaicensis
Red-winged blackbird - Agelaius phoeniceus
Ring billed gull Larus delawarensis
Ruddy duck - Oxyura jamaicensis
Song sparrow - Melospiza melodia
Turkey vulture - Cathartes aura
White-breasted nuthatch Sitta carolinensis
Winter wren - Troglodytes hiemalis

Many many unidentified sparrows/finches and gulls/terns. I really hate these groups. Every bird should have a large, clearly visible patch of distinctive coloration. It's just not fair to barely competent birders like me...
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Old 8th April 2012, 12:09 PM   #43
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Went out again today but conditions were pretty bad for the types of birds present, very windy, too noisy to hear movement, etc. Oh well, I still had a nice walk and got to see the local bald eagle nest, with a parent on the egg(s?) This may be the first time I've gone birding and not seen a single non-native bird.

Brecksville, OH 4-8-2012
American crow - Corvus brachyrhynchos
American robin – Turdus migratorius
Bald eagle - Haliaeetus leucocephalus
Black capped chickadee – Poecile atricapilla
Blue jay – Cyanocitta cristata
Brown headed cowbird – Molothrus ater
Canada goose - Branta canadensis
Great blue heron - Ardia herodias
Mallard – Anas platyrhynchos
Northern cardinal – Cardinalis cardinalis
Palm warbler - Dendroica palmarum
Pine warbler - Dendroica pinus
Red bellied woodpecker – Melanerpes carolinus
Red-winged blackbird - Agelaius phoeniceus
Ring billed gull – Larus delawarensis
Song sparrow - Melospiza melodia
Tufted titmouse – Baelophus bicolor
Turkey vulture - Cathartes aura
Wood duck - Aix sponsa
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Old 8th April 2012, 12:30 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by jasonpatterson View Post
This may be the first time I've gone birding and not seen a single non-native bird.
Since the English sparrows and European starlings are pretty much ubiquitous here (LA), I can't even walk out my front door without seeing a non-native bird. Or stepping on a non-native snail.

<sigh>

ETA: IIRC, the sparrows and starlings are awfully common in Ohio, too. The snails, not so much.
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Old 8th April 2012, 12:56 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by Kotatsu View Post
"Yes".
I thought trilobites were extinct. Do you have a time machine? Can you get a photo of a pteradactyl?
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Old 9th April 2012, 09:46 AM   #46
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Originally Posted by Kestrel View Post
A photo from last week. It must be spring, the Cormorant's are back in the Denver area:

http://www.internationalskeptics.com...b2fd4e40d6.jpg

Double-crested Cormorant Phalacrocorax auritus
Yes, and the White Pelicans Pelecanus erythrorhynchos should be showing up any day now.
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Old 10th April 2012, 07:48 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by JeanFromBNA View Post
I thought trilobites were extinct.
"Yes".

Originally Posted by JeanFromBNA View Post
Do you have a time machine?
"Yes".

Originally Posted by JeanFromBNA View Post
Can you get a photo of a pteradactyl?
Send me your camera and we'll see.

---

I went birdwatching with my father this weekend, but we didn't get anything special. Lots of lekking places for Black Grouse Tetrao tetrix*, two Hen Harriers Circus cyaneus, Black-throated Diver Gavia arctica, Willow Tit Poecile montana, Black Woodpecker Dryocopos martius, Golden Plover Pluvialis apricaria, Great Grey Shrike Lanius excubitor, Crested Tit Lophophanes cristatus, White Wagtail Motacilla alba, Green Sandpiper Tringa ochropus, Dunnock Prunella modularis, and a hybrid Canada Goose x Greylag Goose Branta canadensis x Anser anser.

On the last observation, are these common elsewhere as well? I think I must have seen twenty this year already, and they are getting more and more common. I have no idea if they used to be this common, but these days, they are everywhere in Sweden. There seems to be many more hybrid ducks and geese in general here, and I've seen at least Branta leucopsis x canadensis, Anser anser x indicus, Anas crecca x platyrhynchos and an unidentified Anas hybrid this year, with several others last year. The central report page here has pictures of almost all thinkable combinations of Anas ducks from the last few years. Is this becoming more common, or are they just photographed more often?

* = I may have some pictures of this.
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Old 10th April 2012, 11:16 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by CORed View Post
Yes, and the White Pelicans Pelecanus erythrorhynchos should be showing up any day now.
I stopped by Sloans Lake (Denver, CO USA) on the way home from work yesterday. I saw pelicans. They're back, though I only saw a few, so I think there will be more showing up in the next few weeks.
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Old 10th April 2012, 02:43 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by CORed View Post
I stopped by Sloans Lake (Denver, CO USA) on the way home from work yesterday. I saw pelicans. They're back, though I only saw a few, so I think there will be more showing up in the next few weeks.
Check out the Black-crowned Night Herons Nycticorax nycticorax nesting on the island in the Denver's City Park Lake.

The island in Duck Lake next to the zoo is mobbed with Double-crested Cormorants Phalacrocorax auritus. An odd sight in the middle of a major city.
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Old 10th April 2012, 02:53 PM   #50
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I mentioned this guy last year.. I'd hoped it wasn't a transient..
Apparently it is local.
It flew by this morning...
Either a birth defect or a mutation, up with which it has coped nicely.
I would have expected after 6 months any accidentally removed feathers would have grown back..
Flies with the standard issue ravens..
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Old 10th April 2012, 02:58 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by I Ratant View Post
I mentioned this guy last year.. I'd hoped it wasn't a transient..
Apparently it is local.
It flew by this morning...
Either a birth defect or a mutation, up with which it has coped nicely.
I would have expected after 6 months any accidentally removed feathers would have grown back..
Flies with the standard issue ravens..

That's pretty cool. Over the past several years we've had a couple of tail-less House Sparrows frequent our feeders. They seem just as agile as any of the others.
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Old 10th April 2012, 04:02 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by Kestrel View Post
Check out the Black-crowned Night Herons Nycticorax nycticorax nesting on the island in the Denver's City Park Lake.

The island in Duck Lake next to the zoo is mobbed with Double-crested Cormorants Phalacrocorax auritus. An odd sight in the middle of a major city.
I see Double Crested Cormarants all the time on Rocky Mountain Lake (I-70 and Federal) which is just a few blocks from my home. I often see them flying over my house around sunrise and sunset. I once saw one come up with about a 12 inch trout. Apparently they roost somewhere east of there (along the South Platte, maybe). Also on Rocky Mountain lake I see American Coots, a variety of ducks ( a Wood Duck a few times, but not recently) and the usual billions upon billions (I exaggerate, but only a little) of Canada Geese.

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Old 10th April 2012, 04:06 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by I Ratant View Post
I mentioned this guy last year.. I'd hoped it wasn't a transient..
Apparently it is local.
It flew by this morning...
Either a birth defect or a mutation, up with which it has coped nicely.
I would have expected after 6 months any accidentally removed feathers would have grown back..
Flies with the standard issue ravens..
It could also be an injury (a predator bit off enough of the the tail to keep the feathers from regrowing, maybe).
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Old 11th April 2012, 07:22 AM   #54
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So, does anyone speak Italian here, or know someone who speaks Italian and who is also interested, however marginally, in birds?

I ask because I am peer reviewing a paper on pigeon lice, and the authors suggest that "Colombo", which is the type host to one species, is currently the name of a female Rock/Domestic Pigeon Columba livia, whereas the male is called "Colomba". As I speak no Italian, I checked this on Wikipedia, and it has Columba livia as "Piccione selvatico occidentale" (or just "Il Piccione"), and "Colombo" as a general female pigeon or dove.

It is not terribly important, but it would be nice to clear up in case this has taxonomic implications.
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Old 13th April 2012, 07:33 AM   #55
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Fascinating thread and great photos. Thanks for starting it.

We feed the birds year round (SE Ohio). We're in a rural area, and off the top of my head we have the usual .... cardinal, junco, various finches, various native sparrows, chickadee, nuthatch, mourning dove, robin, various hummingbirds, various woodpeckers, blue jay, grackle, starling, red winged blackbird, purple martin, barn swallow, titmouse, bluebird, mockingbird, and a few (very few) english sparrows. We also have the occasional red tailed hawk or owl glide through now and again, and turkey vultures are always within sight.

About a week ago we had two pair of something we'd never seen before, but have since identified as a tree swallow. We don't know what to think if them. They have been flitting around and hanging from the entrance of a blue bird house that's next to a large bush in the corner of the yard. Then they'll fly over to the clothes line and sit on the line or on the clothes line pole, like they're "surveying their kingdom" but keep going back to that one bird house to hang from the entrance.

That particular bird house has been attractive to both pair tree swallows as well as a pair purple martins and two pair of bluebirds, but the bird house is only chest high, and is also about ten feet from an empty purple martin house on a 15' pole. As of this morning nothing has started making a nest in it. It's like they're stilll tring to decide if they really want it or not. The blue birds and martins have explored the martin house, but not very often, and the only thing that tried to start a nest in the martin house was a pair of (now deceased) english sparrows.

Like I said, we've never seen tree swallows before and it's kinda cool. Anyone here have any experience with them? We don't know how long they'll hang around and although we're reading up on them on the 'net, we don't know anything about them.
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Old 13th April 2012, 09:07 AM   #56
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Originally Posted by dasmiller View Post
ETA: IIRC, the sparrows and starlings are awfully common in Ohio, too. The snails, not so much.
Indeed. Checking the feeder outside my kitchen window, I currently have:
12 house sparrows
1 chickadee
1 blue jay

I get excited when I see a chipping sparrow hanging around the feeder, just because it's a native. I haven't had many starlings of late, one or two are hanging about but they've been much less common this past winter than they were previously. When I realized that I hadn't seen any house sparrows or starlings on that walk I was pretty well stunned.

Originally Posted by GeeMack View Post
Other than the white stripe near the edge of the wing I'd guess it could have been a couple of female Brown-Headed Cowbirds.
In other news, it turns out you were right GeeMack. One of the birds has continued to lurk about in the yard, and lately she's been sticking with a male. I have yet to get a picture (I have neither the skills nor the equipment to get anything other than a gray blob, unfortunately) but she has very odd, dark coloration for a cowbird.
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Old 13th April 2012, 10:36 AM   #57
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Originally Posted by jasonpatterson View Post
I get excited when I see a chipping sparrow hanging around the feeder, just because it's a native. I haven't had many starlings of late, one or two are hanging about but they've been much less common this past winter than they were previously. When I realized that I hadn't seen any house sparrows or starlings on that walk I was pretty well stunned.

We like the Chipping Sparrows, too. When the White Throated Sparrows and American Tree Sparrows head north, and the Chipping Sparrows come back, it's "officially" Spring for us.

Quote:
In other news, it turns out you were right GeeMack. One of the birds has continued to lurk about in the yard, and lately she's been sticking with a male. I have yet to get a picture (I have neither the skills nor the equipment to get anything other than a gray blob, unfortunately) but she has very odd, dark coloration for a cowbird.

Female Brown Headed Cowbirds are pretty much just gray blobs. My wife says they're the generic yard bird, average size and shape, no particular markings, just a plain old ordinary bird. There does seem to be some variation in their color from a dark charcoal gray to almost silvery. It seems to be as much dependent on the lighting as it variations from one bird to another. In spite of that nondescript-ness, or maybe because of it, they seem to cause more confusion at first glance than most other feeder/yard birds in our neighborhood.
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Old 13th April 2012, 04:16 PM   #58
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Jason, I'm glad you're still getting chipping sparrows. We used to see them by the score, but recently all I seem to get are house sparrows.
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Old 14th April 2012, 08:20 AM   #59
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Not really a bird-watcher, but spotting wildlife is something I enjoy. This morning I spotted a bird I thought was rather unusual for Southern Arizona. A front blew through, bringing wind and rain and cooler temps for our desert.
As I was returning from an errand this morning, I saw a large bird fly over my car. I am used to spotting crows and hawks and occassionally owls in the desert, but this bird didn't look like one. It reminded me of the wetland birds I saw growing up on the Texas coast. After a second, I realized it was a Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias). I am not a 100% certain, but it definitely had the size and coloration, and it was a heron. It landed in the parking lot of our apartment complex. I rushed to get the camera and take a picture. Unfortunately, it walked behind a tree as I was snapping the shot, and then a car chased it off. However, I still will present my terrible photo as evidence the heron was here. I never thought herons were present in the Sonoran desert! (click to enlarge)

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Old 14th April 2012, 09:46 AM   #60
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Originally Posted by Ixion View Post
After a second, I realized it was a Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias). I am not a 100% certain, but it definitely had the size and coloration, and it was a heron.
Definitely looks like a heron, but from the posture and color of the legs, I'd suggest that it might also be a Black-crowned Night Heron Nycticorax nycticorax.

Quote:
I never thought herons were present in the Sonoran desert!
I've taken heron pictures in Henderson, NV. Of course, the heron was wading in a pond, but Henderson is definitely desert. I don't know if they simply fly over open desert or try to follow streams and lakes.
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Old 14th April 2012, 12:03 PM   #61
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I see a black crowned night heron, too
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Old 14th April 2012, 01:29 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by dasmiller View Post
Definitely looks like a heron, but from the posture and color of the legs, I'd suggest that it might also be a Black-crowned Night Heron Nycticorax nycticorax.



I've taken heron pictures in Henderson, NV. Of course, the heron was wading in a pond, but Henderson is definitely desert. I don't know if they simply fly over open desert or try to follow streams and lakes.
.
I've seen herons at an artificial lake out in the boonies in Nevada. Just like everywhere else, they're skittish and fly as soon as they see you.
The Blue has a more pronounced fundament.
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Old 14th April 2012, 02:53 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by Ixion View Post
I never thought herons were present in the Sonoran desert! (click to enlarge)

But...from the heron's point of view, it's not in the Sonoran Desert--it's in a water-filled habitat. An artificial one, known as the City of Tucson, created by humans, with their lawn sprinklers and gardens and watered street trees and golf course water hazards and borrow pits and suchlike. Look at your photo: the pavement is wet. Rain, or sprinklers? Either way, there are shade trees and shrubbery and gardens and weeds, which means bugs to eat, which means it isn't the desert.

The black-crowned night heron has a range that spans, basically, most of North America, which includes Arizona.

http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/b...on/lifehistory
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Old 14th April 2012, 03:40 PM   #64
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I went out for a walk in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park today and had a pretty decent day. In addition to all of the usual suspects I saw -
4-14-2012 - Brecksville, OH
Belted kingfisher - Ceryle alcyon
Blue-gray gnatcatcher - Polioptila caerulea
Eastern towhee - Pipilo erythrophthalamus
Hairy woodpecker - Picoides villosus
Louisiana waterthrush - Seirus noveboracensis
Ruby-crowned kinglet - Regulus calendula
White throated sparrow - Zonotrichia albicollis

Nothing terribly unusual, though the waterthrush, gnatcatcher, and kingfisher were each lifetime firsts for me, and all of these were first time birds for the year for me. There was a big fallout of kinglets, dozens of them were in the bushes all along my walk. It eventually became a game of figuring out which tiny birds weren't kinglets.
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Old 14th April 2012, 06:37 PM   #65
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Today on our backyard pond, we had, in addition to a pair of Canada Geese, branta canadensis, a pair of very elegant Wood Ducks, aix sponsa. We're hoping they plan to stay. Last year we seemed to have some geese but they left, and we fear perhaps their goslings were eaten, but perhaps they'll have better luck this year. The wood ducks appear and then hide again, so we don't know where or whether they're planning to nest, but we can hope for some ducklings this year if the snappers and bobcats and other nasties don't gobble them up.
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Old 14th April 2012, 06:50 PM   #66
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Obviously not my birds here, but I figure those who like raptors will enjoy this little video of ospreys plying their trade:

YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE
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Old 15th April 2012, 08:25 AM   #67
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There are still a few White-Throated Sparrows in central Illinois. They don't breed here, but the ones we're seeing and hearing seem to be trying to attract mates. They won't stay around much longer before they all head north.

They're gorgeous little birds...

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Old 15th April 2012, 07:45 PM   #68
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Colorado Springs, CO, today. It was cold and windy and I was wandering around the campus of an unusually scenic hotel.

Yellow-rumped warbler
American crow
Canada Geese (rather a lot of them)
Lesser Scaup
Mallard
Green-winged Teal
Black-billed magpie (probably)
Mute Swan

on Flickr

Not quite sure if the swans were there voluntarily or not. I'll try to get more pictures over the next few days. It's a learning experience; the initial Magpie pictures were . . . best if we don't discuss it further.
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Old 15th April 2012, 07:52 PM   #69
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Two gigantic pileated woodpeckers in my backyard this morning.
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Old 15th April 2012, 07:53 PM   #70
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Originally Posted by JerryGarcia View Post
Two gigantic pileated woodpeckers in my backyard this morning.
Neat!
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Old 15th April 2012, 07:56 PM   #71
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I never knew they were so big.
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Old 15th April 2012, 08:15 PM   #72
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Originally Posted by JerryGarcia View Post
I never knew they were so big.
I love them, they're big and loud, and when they're not rat-tatting they sound like the soundtrack to an old jungle movie, and to add to their oddity, they squeak when they fly.
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Old 16th April 2012, 04:30 AM   #73
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Came back from a three-day bird watching trip up north late yesterday. Observations included:
Bittern Botaurus stellatus
Three-toad Woodpecker Picoides tridactylus
Caperciallie Tetrao urogallus
Black Grouse Tetrao tetrix
Twite Carduelis flavirostris
Linnet Carduelia cannabina
Snow Bunting Plectrophenax nivalis
Mountain Tit Poecile montane
Pintailed Duck Anas acuta
Pink-footed Goose Anser brachyrhynchus
Hen Harrier Circus cyaneus
Tawny Owl Strix aluco
Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe
Lots of Great Grey Shrike Lanius excubitor
Even more Mistle Thrush Turdus viscivorus
Woodcock Scolopax rusticola
Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita
Black Woodpecker Dryocopus martius
Rough-legged Buzzard Buteo lagopus
Goldfinch Carduelis carduelis
Redwing Turdus iliacus
Green Sandpiper Tringa ochropus
Red-throated diver Gavia stellata
Long-tailed Tit Aegithalos caudatus

In all, we had 97 species. I missed Bullfinch Pyrrhula pyrrhula and was in the wrong car and thus scared, rather than observed, the only two Grey-headed Woodpeckers Picus canus we saw. We were supposed to see a lot of other northern species, but missed Hazel Grouse Bonasia bonasa, Willow Ptarmigan Lagopus lagopus, Hawk Owl Syrnia ulula, Ural Owl Strix uralensis, Siberian Jay Perisoreus infaustusand Great Grey Owl Strix nebulosa. Maybe next time...
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Old 16th April 2012, 05:17 AM   #74
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Originally Posted by JerryGarcia View Post
I never knew they were so big.
They're always a shock, especially if you happen to be walking in a forest and come across one that is pecking at a rotten log and not making too much noise. All of a sudden they take off and scare the bejeezus out of you and every time this happens to me, I think, "Pterodactyl!" They're big.

I've heard them a few times this spring but haven't spotted one yet. That crazy monkey call is fantastic.
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Old 16th April 2012, 06:56 AM   #75
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[quote=bruto;8202532]I love them, they're big and loud, and when they're not rat-tatting they sound like the soundtrack to an old jungle movie, and to add to their oddity, they squeak when they fly.[/QUOTE]

Learned something new today. Thanks. I'll have to google that 'coz I'm imagining a sound like a mourning dove taking flight.
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Old 16th April 2012, 07:07 AM   #76
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Hmmm. Lots of calls and drumming but finding the "squeak" is easier said than done.
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Old 16th April 2012, 08:36 AM   #77
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[quote=Poison Oak;8203650]
Originally Posted by bruto View Post
I love them, they're big and loud, and when they're not rat-tatting they sound like the soundtrack to an old jungle movie, and to add to their oddity, they squeak when they fly.[/QUOTE]

Learned something new today. Thanks. I'll have to google that 'coz I'm imagining a sound like a mourning dove taking flight.
.
Night Hawks make a squeaking noise when they fly. Very distinctive.
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Old 16th April 2012, 04:01 PM   #78
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[quote=I Ratant;8203876]
Originally Posted by Poison Oak View Post
.
Night Hawks make a squeaking noise when they fly. Very distinctive.
TWO things I've learned today. Thanks.
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Old 16th April 2012, 08:32 PM   #79
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And the Night Hawk appears to keep its head level as it's flying around.
The body moves with the bank angle, but the head stays level.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 8-3HeadPositions.jpg (81.3 KB, 2 views)
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Old 17th April 2012, 06:36 PM   #80
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My best spotted towhee picture so far. Not that "get a good picture of a spotted towhee" was ever high on my list of lifetime goals.


Spotted Towhee, morning song (on Flickr)

Also a few Flickers and another Brown Creeper. Plus the usual (for this place) Canadian geese, mute swans (!?), English sparrows, crows, magpies, house finches, etc.

ETA: "this place" is Colorado Springs, CO, for the next couple days
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