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Tags bird watching , birders , birds , ornithology

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Old 2nd September 2012, 08:45 AM   #201
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Well, I'm not a birder, but while I was in Michigan I was visiting one, and we saw a buff-breasted sandpiper, which was apparently migrating, and a Whimbrel, which was standing on one leg. (Both at Whitefish Point).
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Old 2nd September 2012, 11:19 AM   #202
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Originally Posted by dasmiller View Post
Went to Ballona Creek yesterday morning. There's just not a lot there this time of year, and even at the best of times, I rarely get really good pictures there.

I think I counted 15 species, not including a few passing gulls. But that 15 does include crows, mourning doves, mallards, a starling, and other not-terribly-noteworthy birds.

But there was a white-tailed kite flying around, and while it wasn't close enough for great pictures, it was close enough for 'maybe' pictures. This is only the 2nd time I've seen a kite, and the previous time was much farther away and I had to identify it from the picture once I got home.

So not-quite-a-first for me, but close.

http://i1263.photobucket.com/albums/...7C3265crop.jpg

That's a nice looking bird. The longest lens I have is 300mm, so I take a lot of 'maybe' pictures. We get more than the occasional grab shot of something distant or flitting around in the brush, knowing it won't be a keeper photo, but hoping to make an ID when we get home.
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Old 2nd September 2012, 11:28 AM   #203
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I did some flyfishing yesterday morning, float tubing Seventeen Mile Lake. It rained the entire time and I didn't get bite one but on the way back to the truck, a pair of common loons let me get quite close before diving. It looked like I might have caught on napping.
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Old 6th September 2012, 05:40 PM   #204
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About this time of year we have these wonderful huge flocks of American White Pelicans moving south along the Illinois River...


These guys have a wingspan of almost ten feet, pretty much the largest of any bird in North America. Sometimes the flocks are several hundred birds. They do this smooth graceful synchronized flying thing. When they turn edgeways the whole flock sort of disappears, then as they turn back flat-ways, the whole flock slowly fades back into view. It's a gorgeous sight.

Last edited by GeeMack; 6th September 2012 at 06:36 PM. Reason: Fixed photo size.
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Old 17th September 2012, 12:49 PM   #205
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With a long migration ahead of them, the Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds in Illinois are taking on extra fuel about this time of year. One visitor to our feeder doesn't seem to care about people. He won't even wait until I have a fresh feeder hung up before he comes in to get a drink!

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Old 17th September 2012, 01:14 PM   #206
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Great picture GeeMack and wonderfull to think of such a tiny animal taking on such a journey.
Our local ospreys chicks have just set off on their first trip to West Africa and you can track their journeys via satellite here.
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Old 17th September 2012, 05:35 PM   #207
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Originally Posted by mummymonkey View Post
Great picture GeeMack and wonderfull to think of such a tiny animal taking on such a journey.
Our local ospreys chicks have just set off on their first trip to West Africa and you can track their journeys via satellite here.

That satellite tracking is a pretty cool use of technology.
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Old 18th September 2012, 08:40 PM   #208
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G'day everyone, I just found this thread, and thought you might be interested in a post I did on the weekend in the Australia thread. I'm not really a bird watcher, but I have an interest in all Australian wildlife. At the monent I have an abundance of bird life in my backyard (10 acres with a dam and bush) I'm lacking a decent camera atm, so good photos are hard to get, but I'll try and show some Australian birds shortly.

http://www.internationalskeptics.com...postcount=2830

Please note, it's not my photography. I took the images from google.

Last edited by Shiner; 18th September 2012 at 08:43 PM.
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Old 18th September 2012, 10:46 PM   #209
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Nothing special, but yesterday got to watch all morning as an Eurasian jay stocked the pine outside my office window with acorns. Every three minutes he came in over the rooftops, crammed an acorn into some crevice, regarded it sideways, made a satisfied comment to himself, and went off again. Someone's going to be well prepared for winter.
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Old 29th September 2012, 12:47 PM   #210
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We got our first snow of the season last night and I just saw two or three dozen Varied Thrushes moving through the trees around our house. It was very strange seeing so many after a summer with only three or four sightings, which is typical here. I've never seen them gather like that before.
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Old 10th October 2012, 12:07 PM   #211
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Here's a radical raptor looking for some fresh raw chicken breast.

I love these feathered flying machines.


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Old 14th October 2012, 11:08 AM   #212
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i love raptors too. just yesterday i was walking into my house and heard a SKREEEEEEE above. 3 raptors circling. i only managed this picture:


hawk flying overhead this afternoon by philside92, on Flickr

saw this little bird in the park the other day, and it has me and a friend totally stumped as to what it might be (i'm in philadelphia):


Untitled by philside92, on Flickr
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Old 14th October 2012, 11:16 AM   #213
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caught this goldfinch snacking on some basil seed in my garden last month:


male goldfinch eating basil seeds by philside92, on Flickr
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Old 14th October 2012, 11:59 AM   #214
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Originally Posted by joobie View Post
saw this little bird in the park the other day, and it has me and a friend totally stumped as to what it might be (i'm in philadelphia):


Looks like a Goldfinch in his winter outfit, kind of pale, maybe a bit early in the season for losing that much color. But they can vary quite a bit.
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Old 14th October 2012, 01:53 PM   #215
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someone else said the same thing, but i think the shape of the beak is wrong for a goldfinch.
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Old 14th October 2012, 03:21 PM   #216
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Originally Posted by joobie View Post
someone else said the same thing, but i think the shape of the beak is wrong for a goldfinch.
I wasn't liking the beak for a goldfinch, either, but I have to admit that the picture looks a lot like Sibley's adult nonbreeding female American goldfinch.
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Old 14th October 2012, 04:45 PM   #217
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Yep it's a goldfinch, and the raptor in question is a Red-tailed Hawk - great photos!

GeeMack - good on ya for using the el cheapo hummingbird feeders. I run 2-3 of the $0.79 specials from Wal-Mart - no need for the fancy-pants blown glass ones that are hard to clean and store so much nectar that most of it ends up spoiled before it's consumed.
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Old 14th October 2012, 06:49 PM   #218
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thanks for the ID help, guys.

can i ask how you can tell it's a red-tailed hawk? i have a lot of trouble telling the difference between some of the the raptors in the area - we also have cooper's and sharp-shinned hawks and they all look alike to me.
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Old 14th October 2012, 06:59 PM   #219
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Originally Posted by joobie View Post
thanks for the ID help, guys.

can i ask how you can tell it's a red-tailed hawk? i have a lot of trouble telling the difference between some of the the raptors in the area - we also have cooper's and sharp-shinned hawks and they all look alike to me.
The white underside of the wing, with some black markings, looks very red-tail to me. Plus the tail isn't striped like an accipiter.

<sigh> I've found that whenever I'm not sure what kind of hawk I've seen, it's a red-tailed hawk. Unfortunately.
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Old 15th October 2012, 01:06 PM   #220
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some pictures from when i went to peru in april:

rufous-collared sparrow:


rufous-collared sparrow. yucay, perú. by philside92, on Flickr

long-tailed mockingbird:


long-tailed mockingbird by philside92, on Flickr

male shiny cowbird:


male shiny cowbird by philside92, on Flickr

masked crimson tanager:


Untitled by philside92, on Flickr

there were a couple more birds i saw but alas, no picture - a quetzal (a highlight of my trip!) and also giant hummingbirds.
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Old 16th October 2012, 11:58 AM   #221
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Here are some bird pics I took over the weekend.
On the Breede river between Witsand and Malgas.







Some more found here:

http://s997.photobucket.com/albums/a...0of%20Witsand/
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Old 16th October 2012, 12:15 PM   #222
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very nice!

today i got a few good pics of a great blue heron:


great blue heron (ardea herodias) by philside92, on Flickr


great blue heron (ardea herodias) by philside92, on Flickr


great blue heron (ardea herodias) by philside92, on Flickr
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Old 16th October 2012, 12:18 PM   #223
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Originally Posted by joobie View Post
very nice!

today i got a few good pics of a great blue heron:

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8054/8...84983615_b.jpg

Beauty. The herons and egrets are some of my favorite birds.
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Old 16th October 2012, 01:09 PM   #224
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it's funny, too - the last time i was in the park i missed getting a photo of an egret because i didn't have my camera ready. so i got my camera ready as i was entering the park, and BAM. it was right there, probably a shade less than 50 feet away.
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Old 17th October 2012, 03:26 PM   #225
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Originally Posted by joobie View Post
can i ask how you can tell it's a red-tailed hawk? i have a lot of trouble telling the difference between some of the the raptors in the area - we also have cooper's and sharp-shinned hawks and they all look alike to me.
Narrowing down hawks to genus (or similar taxonomic level) is a great first step.

Coops and Sharpies are Accipiters - forest hawks that primarily hunt birds with a mad dash attack through forest canopies. Accipiters are built for agile dodging through the trees, with short, broad wings and long, narrow tails. They occasionally spread wings and soar in circles on rising columns of air (thermals), but usually you see them perched or swooping into your backyard in the hopes of catching a feeder bird off-guard. Both Coops and Sharpies are common in urban and rural areas in North America. They're tough to identify because their plumage is similar and they overlap in size. At the extremes though, they're pretty obvious: a male Sharpie is barely bigger than a Blue Jay, and the tip of its tail will look really squared off. A female Cooper's is about as big as a crow, and the tip of her tail is noticeably rounded. Regardless of size or sex, a Cooper's Hawk has a proportionately larger head than a Sharp-shinned (and just a bit of a crest).

Red-tailed Hawk is a Buteo. Buteos often hunt by circling around in the sky and then diving on prey below, though that's hardly a universal hunting tactic for them. They are more likely to be seen over open country than Accipiters, but both Red-shouldered and Red-tailed hawks have been doing quite well in urban areas in recent years.

Buteos have long, broad wings and relatively short, squared off tails.

Your bird is an obvious redtail because . . .

1) You can see the very pale reddish tinge to the feathers photographed from below.
2) The leading edge of the wing close to the body (the "arm" as opposed to the "hand") is called the "patagium". Redtails almost always have a dark patch on the patagium, and those patches show up very well on the wings of the bird you photographed.

Great photos - keep having fun!

~The Shrike
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Old 17th October 2012, 04:59 PM   #226
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awesome explanation. thanks so much.
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Old 18th October 2012, 12:04 PM   #227
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Here are some pics taken yesterday.

I think it's a red kite and it was exhibiting the exact behaviour that Shrike describes.







Not sure which species the in line formation is.
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Old 18th October 2012, 12:07 PM   #228
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duplicate post
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Old 18th October 2012, 12:26 PM   #229
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Originally Posted by Skwinty View Post
...
Not sure which species the in line formation is.
http://i997.photobucket.com/albums/af92/skwinty/868.jpg
Could be Sacred Ibis

http://www.hawar-islands.com/blog/me...SIbis_1791.jpg
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Old 18th October 2012, 12:29 PM   #230
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Originally Posted by Skwinty View Post
Not sure which species the in line formation is.
http://i997.photobucket.com/albums/af92/skwinty/868.jpg
I'm thinking it's some kind of ibis, maybe sacred ibis?

ETA: Ninja'd!
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Old 18th October 2012, 12:49 PM   #231
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Thanks, I love birds, but no good at names.
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Old 18th October 2012, 05:19 PM   #232
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I've been trying to figure out what a pair of birds who've been visiting our backyard here in L. A. for a year or so were. I've been trying to photograph them, but I've never been able to get a clear shot. Today, I finally figured out that they are red-whiskered bulbuls.
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Old 21st October 2012, 07:46 AM   #233
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Cedar Waxwings are gathering by the hundreds here in central Illinois. We will have them here through the winter, but the most northern ones will be coming down from Canada, and that probably displaces our locals to areas further south.

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Old 23rd October 2012, 02:20 PM   #234
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downy woodpecker by philside92, on Flickr
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Old 23rd October 2012, 02:57 PM   #235
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Didn't have a camera with me, but while I was down at our pond today saw a magnificent pileated woodpecker. Not a very novel sight, perhaps, but I never tire of them. Big, bright, and noisy.
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Old 23rd October 2012, 03:49 PM   #236
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Originally Posted by Skwinty View Post
Here are some pics taken yesterday.

I think it's a red kite and it was exhibiting the exact behaviour that Shrike describes.
Looks more like a black kite.
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Old 23rd October 2012, 04:49 PM   #237
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Despite a very wet dark day - turned out to be a decent day as hard to get to sit still cedar waxwings posed for a family pic outside my window



North American robin was stuffing its face on the same choke cherry tree.



yesterday was lovely for S Ontario this late in the year. Put 300 km on the bike and caught a great blue heron fishing along Lake Erie..

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Old 24th October 2012, 01:51 PM   #238
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male ruby-crowned kinglet:


male ruby-crowned kinglet (regulus calendula) by philside92, on Flickr
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Old 24th October 2012, 09:22 PM   #239
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Nice shot of the kinglet - they are so small.

Maybe someone could identify this. Shot in Norway in Sept.



•••

This was one of the more amusing shots.
I scared up an osprey and as it popped up, the dove which I did not see when taking the photo, clearly wondered where the B52 bomber came from and put on the brakes big time.
Stood himself right up in the air.



•••

Spent a lovely half hour in the back yard watching some young blue jays drive mum and dad nuts.



what you got?? ....I want it ......



was still learning the camera and did not quite get it in focus but not bad - red wing blackbird showing where he gets his moniker from



at least he posed for me later


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Old 26th October 2012, 08:03 PM   #240
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Male cardinal finally posed after much flitting about



Pigging on choke cherries almost his colour.



sun came out a few minutes later but he was long gone.
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