Bird Watching Thread

Discussion in 'Food & Travel' started by YankHibee, Apr 14, 2008.

  1. YankHibee

    YankHibee Member+

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2005
    Location:
    indianapolis
    I wouldn't call myself a serious birder, but I'm guessing I will be in a couple decades...the bug is definitely in me. This is a great time of year to see birds in my area as it is getting warmer, but the trees still have few enough leaves to be able to spot birds from far away. Just sitting at home in the last week I've seen in my backyard.

    [​IMG]
    sharp shinned hawk

    [​IMG]
    cooper's hawk

    [​IMG]
    And one of these just landed on top of my house, about ten feet away from me, which is what made me think to start this thread. That was f'ing random.


    I also have various finches and woodpeckers all over, I'll start identifying some of those. I've heard (I think) barn and screech owls at night this week.
    usscouse repped this.


  2. YankHibee

    YankHibee Member+

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2005
    Location:
    indianapolis
    Two local favorites today, one that is pretty hard to spot, the

    Scarlet Tanager
    [​IMG]

    and the

    Pileated Woodpecker
    [​IMG]
  3. YankHibee

    YankHibee Member+

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2005
    Location:
    indianapolis
    In the last couple days:

    the belted kingfisher
    [​IMG]

    the red bellied woodpecker
    [​IMG]

    the barred owl
    [​IMG]
  4. Barbara

    Barbara Where is Rickon?

    Joined:
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    Club:
    DC United
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    United States
    There aren't nearly enough owls in the world.


  5. YankHibee

    YankHibee Member+

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    I'm not sure what it is about them...maybe the size of the head, that makes them seem so different and special. Watching one hunt and listening to the call at night can be quite an experience.
  6. Cascarino's Pizzeria

    Cascarino's Pizzeria Member+

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2001
    Location:
    New Jersey, USA
    Woodpecker banging the fcuk out of the tree next door. If they weren't so damn cool I'd be po'd.
  7. YankHibee

    YankHibee Member+

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    Woodpeckers hit the side of my house sometimes--it is unbelievable how hard they peck (and how much damage they can do to a cedar house if not chased away).
  8. Cascarino's Pizzeria

    Cascarino's Pizzeria Member+

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    Talk about putting in a tough day:

    Several adaptations combine to protect the woodpecker's brain from the substantial pounding that the pecking behavior causes: it has a relatively thick skull with relatively spongy bone to cushion the brain; there is very little cerebrospinal fluid in its small subarachnoid space; the bird contracts mandibular muscles just before impact, thus transmitting the impact past the brain and allowing its whole body to help absorb the shock; and its relatively small brain is less prone to concussion than other animals'. (Schwab, 2002)
  9. YankHibee

    YankHibee Member+

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    Speaking of hitting things hard, the Cooper's hawk that lives in my backyard is not afraid of me at all. I has working in the yard today and he hit a mouse about 15-20 feet from me. He bombed in fast, a landed with a noticeable thwack. I walked toward him and he waited until I was 10 feet away before taking off.
  10. Cascarino's Pizzeria

    Cascarino's Pizzeria Member+

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    World News Tonight had a piece on Pale Male & Lola, the Central Park red-tailed hawks. No eggs hatched this year but they did have a "grandhawk" across the park.
  11. royalstilton

    royalstilton New Member

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    Liverpool FC
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    on the south end of the Salton Sea, there is a wildlife preserve. about 30 years ago, in February, i think, a buddy and I went there to see birds, and there had to be easily 30 species, including a meadow full of Canada geese. 500 geese, i would guess.

    [​IMG]

    in - sumpin - sane!!!

    some day, i gotta get back there.
  12. Crimson Ace

    Crimson Ace Moderator Staff Member

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    Nashville, TN
    Club:
    FC Dallas
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    United States
    While sitting at the neighborhood "crazy lady's" house several years ago. She came in and said, "Hey look... a wood-headed red-pecker!" I friggin' fell out of my chair laughing.

    FYI... she stayed pretty medicated. :p
  13. YankHibee

    YankHibee Member+

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    Tis a state of grace. Makes bird watching a sport too, if more difficult.
  14. bungadiri

    bungadiri Super Moderator Staff Member

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    1. A colleague says her neighbor has a red cedar tree with 5 screech owls in it. I remember playing baseball until dark in Fayetteville, NC and being serenaded home by screech owls.

    2. Years ago I was walking with my son in downtown Ann Arbor, MI. We had just left his day care center and there was a crashing noise--like a branch falling--in the tree right over my head. I looked up and there was a peregrine falcon lifting a pidgeon out of the tree. As I stood there, a cloud of feathers knocked loose from the impact floated to the ground all around me.
  15. Dyvel

    Dyvel Member+

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    That looks more like a red-bellied woodpecker than a red-headed woodpecker.
  16. Chicago1871

    Chicago1871 New Member

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    Apr 21, 2001
    Location:
    The City
    My parents had a pair of Coopers hawks nesting in their backyard last year; which isn't all that amazing except that they live in a suburb of Chicago. It was very cool watching them hunt and eat and eventually teach their two mini Coopers :) how to do the same. They're back again this year (can't tell if there is a third, maybe a young'un who came back to the area), and I very much enjoy watching them when I'm out there on Sunday afternoons.
  17. Chicago1871

    Chicago1871 New Member

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    There are a couple of Great Horned owls that nest in the woods just above my family's lake house. Several years ago my brother and I were hiking and nearly walked into one that was perched not 12 feet from the ground on a low branch. I had no idea of the sheer size of them till that encounter. This guy must have been more than two feet tall, and when he took off, the air "shook" and the wingspan was flirting with 6+ feet. Just a surreal experience to be that close to one.
  18. frasermc

    frasermc Take your flunky and dangle

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    Club:
    Celtic FC
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    nice thread.

    i'm a member of the RSPB. my ex-wife's aunt and uncle got me into it. used to go over every second weekend to their cottage in Strone. Strone is situated on the other side of the Holy Loch opposite Dunoon.

    we used to sit in his conservatory, drink fine malt whisky and watch the bird life in his garden and feeders. as well as the usual suspects you'd get to see Siskin's and Bullfinches to name but two. the winter would bring Fieldfare's, Redwings and Long Tailed Tits.

    i got the bug and joined the RSPB. used to go round Lochwinnoch RSPB bird sanctuary quite a bit. as i live near to the city centre i haven't any exotic visitors to my garden but the activity is still worthwhile watching.

    two of my best experiences so far -

    1) out for a walk up Strone hill one sunday. hipflask in one pocket and binocs in the other. we watched a young peregrine falcon practice diving. up he or she would rise in the thermals and then it would come sweeping down at an astonishing speed. no pigeons or anything in the near vicinity so we figured it was a young bird practicing it's craft. an awesome display of speed and power all the same.

    2) my ex-wife paid for me to go on a falconry course.

    we were involved with Harris hawks(they hunt in pairs), Eagle owl and a hybrid Gyr/Peregrine falcon. that was a great day.
  19. YankHibee

    YankHibee Member+

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    I've had that happen as well. Those birds really are something else. Seeing a really large predatory bird unexpectedly always gives me a sort of primeval feeling that is difficult to describe. One of the coolest I had was canoeing in the Boundary Waters during a late summer magic hour. We were hugging the shore and instinctively looked up. There was a bald eagle less than 20 feet overhead that just watched us pass under.

    That's almost worth getting married and divorced for. Sounds like a fantastic time.
  20. yossarian

    yossarian Moderator Staff Member

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    Very cool. There are several peregrine falcons living in downtown Atlanta. When I was still working for "big firm" my office was in one of the tallest downtown buildings and you could catch a glimpse of them dive-bombing every once in a while.....look like a missile they're so fast.

    It's also not uncommon to see red tailed hawks all over Atlanta and out in the burbs too. As for owls....I've never actually seen one in the city but I hear them all the time at night. Not sure what type I'm hearing.
  21. Bluto11

    Bluto11 The sky is falling!

    Joined:
    May 16, 2003
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    would love watching these guys:

    [​IMG]

    at my old neighbors lake house in Northern WI. It is fun to watch them pop under water and try to guess where they will come up. Love the call as well.

    The same lake had two juvenille bald eagles nesting and I got to watch them hunt and eat everytime I was out fishing. Watched one pick a fish out of the water about 10 yards from my canoe and then saw him snacking on it in a tree near the pier. Spied some fish guts on the ground when I was walking back to the house.
  22. nancyb

    nancyb Member

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    You wouldn't care about them being cool if they were banging the hell out of your house, which happens to us a lot. We have a doll propped in our bedroom window to scare them off. It works pretty good.

    We see these in our flower garden in the summers.
    Goldfinch
    [​IMG]
  23. YankHibee

    YankHibee Member+

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2005
    Location:
    indianapolis
    I haven't seen any goldfinches yet, but we have chickadees showing up
    [​IMG]
    I like those mainly because they're in the tit family.

    I've also been seeing lots of redwinged blackbirds lately--they're pretty common, but I like them
    [​IMG]

    I think this series will turn almost anyone into a birdwatcher
    [​IMG]
    I love just about all of Attenborough's stuff, but this is probably the best. I'm actually watching Life in the Undergrowth as I type.

    I've also noticed that wikipedia has audio of most birds' calls.
  24. frasermc

    frasermc Take your flunky and dangle

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Newcastle-Upon-Tyne
    Club:
    Celtic FC
    Country:
    Scotland
    living in Scotland i've never seen a red-winged blackbird. it's a beautiful looking bird. blackbirds are one of my favourite garden birds.

    still trying to see, just once, and i've went out specifically looking for it a number of times, the horse of the woods.

    [​IMG]
  25. Chicago1871

    Chicago1871 New Member

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    Apr 21, 2001
    Location:
    The City
    I'm fairly sure the eggs have hatched. I'm looking forward to watching the little guys learn to fly and hunt again this year.

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