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How many birdwatchers we have

  1. Aug 30, 2008 #1

    Redbelly98

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    I don't know how many birdwatchers we have in here, but here is a thread for our hobby.

    Kayakers and canoeists are welcome to report on their run-ins with Canada geese as well.
     
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  3. Aug 30, 2008 #2

    Redbelly98

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    Re: Birding

    So, to get this topic up and running, I'll ask: who here has seen a bald eagle in the wild? And, in what area did you see it?

    I saw one once in central New Jersey. And my wife and I took several trips to the upper Delaware River to watch them (NY/PA border). Just awesome, huge birds.
     
  4. Aug 30, 2008 #3

    turbo

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    Re: Birding

    If you spend time in Maine's river-valleys you can see bald eagles every day. They are not as common as ospreys, but if you're looking for them you'll see them. It's a far cry from the 60's when they were almost impossible to find (and yes, I was birding back then).
     
  5. Aug 30, 2008 #4
    Re: Birding

    I've seen multiple Bald eagles in the wild, around here (NW NM and the Southwest) and in the Northwest, same with Ospreys.

    Oh, infact I do have a story as a kayaker with Canada Geese. I was on a Boy Scout river trip on a local river and a flock of geese flew over, and proceded to bomb us with crap.
     
  6. Aug 30, 2008 #5

    lisab

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    I see bald eagles all the time - I live in the Pacific Northwest of the US. They ride the thermals right over my office.

    Last Thursday, I went to see Willie Nelson. Between the opening act and Willie, a large V-formation of Canada geese flew over...the crowd applauded. A few minutes later a little brown bad flittered over the crowd and I clapped...but apparently I was the only bat enthusiast in the crowd.

    Oh by the way, that's a really good way to embarrass your teenage daughter :wink: .

    One semester in college, I was short on credits, so I took a one-credit ornithology field class that met on Saturdays. I ended up taking that class as many times as was allowed, then I would just tag along for fun. That's what got me started.

    The one bird I haven't seen that I really want to: a common roadrunner. They've always eluded me! Binzing, you probably see them all the time!

    Birding is a great hobby!
     
  7. Aug 30, 2008 #6
    Re: Birding

    Hell, I've never seen one in the wild...Wait, maybe once, in CA...
     
  8. Aug 30, 2008 #7
    Re: Birding

    On the Skagit River in Washington State I have seen as many as 35 without moving my feet. A Bald Eagle is a sea eagle. They eat fish (mostly). In the Skagit many salmon some to spawn and die and the eagles feast on the fish. In Alaska, I understand, there are rivers where one can see hundreds of Eagles without moving.
     
  9. Aug 30, 2008 #8

    lisab

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    Re: Birding

    Yep, I lived in Alaska and that's true...up there, they're as ubiquitous as crows - but not nearly as clever :smile: .
     
  10. Aug 30, 2008 #9
    Re: Birding

    Come to Arizona and you will see lots of roadrunners. We have also just had a Sinaloa Wren turn up (that is a little brown jobby from Mexico). I was tromping all over the swampy ground in Patagonia looking for the sucker. Never did see it or hear it, but of course the next day it turned up again.
     
  11. Aug 31, 2008 #10
    Re: Birding

    I was so excited to see the population of Bald Eagles in northern Michigan return. Once on the lake I was watching a butterfly, which fluttered over the water. With in a few seconds, a trout arched up out of the water and ate it. Just as it did, a eagle swooped down and nabbed the trout.
    It was picture perfect,lol except my camera was in the cabin.
     
  12. Aug 31, 2008 #11

    Redbelly98

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    Re: Birding

    I am so-o-o-o-o jealous.

    :rofl:
     
  13. Aug 31, 2008 #12
    Re: Birding

    We have bald eagles around here too(East Tennessee, USA) but not nearly as plentiful as what the others describe. Dollywood operates an American Eagle Foundation breeding facility so we are starting to see bald eagles more often.
    I am interested in birding for photography purposes. Just hearing and seeing from a far is not good enough for me. When the weather cools down and the leaves fall I plan on sitting in a blind to get photos of the more skittish birds.
     
  14. Aug 31, 2008 #13

    Astronuc

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    Re: Birding

    We have many birds in our backyard, e.g. chickadees, titmice, a variety of finches, nuthatches, cardinals, jays, a variety of woodpeckers, including a redbelly, mourning doves, . . . . We have a neighborhood pileated woodpecker who periodically visits our trees or tree stumps. I've cut down a few sick or dead trees and layed them out to compost. The pileated will sometimes land on one and chop on it. It's amazing how much wood it can remove in one chop.

    We have various hawks and falcons that pop in now and then. There is a neighbor pair of red tailed hawks, which we occasionally find sitting in one of the nearby trees.

    We have a variety of owls, but they are active at night, and we hear them usually between 0200 and 0400, but sometimes starting around mid night. A couple of hears ago, I heard what seemed to be several owls along the ridge behind our house. I went out to investigate and stood quietly in the dark and waited for them to call. There was one about 20 feet in front of me, which I was able to spot (with a flash light) when he or she hooted. Unfortunately, I couldn't take it's picture in the dark. There were others further away.

    And we have crows.

    I did see what was probably a great horned owl fly through our back yard with something in its talons. It must have picked off a squirrel. I caught it out of the corner of my eye as I was walking uphill toward the back of the property. I didn't have my camera, and it wouldn't have mattered since he was gone in a few seconds.

    I've had peregrine falcons drop in pursuit of doves. One brought down a dove about 15 feet from me. That was something to see. Somewhere I have pictures (slides) since I didn't have a digital camera at the time.

    As for bald eagles, I've seen some on the Snake River in Wyoming, near the Tetons, and elsewhere. We have them and ospreys along the Hudson River. As for the river, we see lots of gulls, and shore birds. I took the train to the city recently, we saw a number of great blue herons, many ducks and geese, and a number of cormorants.

    Oh, and we have hummingbirds periodically.

    We also have bats, usually in the fall. I haven't seen as many bats this year. There seems to be a fungus that has been spreading among the bats. I don't know if that is the reason.

    Here's a redbelly. Unfortunately, I had to shoot through a screen, so the focus is a bit off.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2008
  15. Aug 31, 2008 #14

    Redbelly98

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    Re: Birding

    Nice pic Astronuc!

    Not quite sure why, but for some strange reason I feel an attachment to the bird in your photo ...:wink:
     
  16. Aug 31, 2008 #15

    Astronuc

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    Re: Birding

    I thought you might have an affinity for such an elegant bird. I've got some better pics that I'll post later.
     
  17. Aug 31, 2008 #16
    Re: Birding

    So is taking her to a Willie Nelson concert.
     
  18. Sep 1, 2008 #17

    Math Is Hard

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    Re: Birding

    I am on friendly terms with 5 crows in my neighborhood and a couple of crows on campus. I keep peanuts in my purse and toss them a few when I see them. I've also met one of the campus ravens. He was quite impressive - twice as big as a crow.

    I live near a marina so I get to see all kinds of neat seabirds. We have pelicans and egrets and cormorans, and of course plenty of seagulls.
     
  19. Sep 1, 2008 #18
    Re: Birding

    I had a hummingbird try to chase me off my front porch today. Okay, that's a lie. I HAD a hummingbird chase me off my porch today.
     
  20. Sep 1, 2008 #19

    Astronuc

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    Re: Birding

    I forgot to mention that we have wild turkeys in our area, and occasionally, we'll see one to several hens with chicks in our yard or next door. I have a few pics.

    Also, I was visiting a local horse ranch a couple of months ago, and as I was just about to turn into the driveway, I saw a pheasant. It is such a beautiful bird with bright colours that look like it's painted. It looked something like -
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Phasianus_colchicus_2_tom_(Lukasz_Lukasik).jpg
     
  21. Sep 1, 2008 #20

    turbo

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    Re: Birding

    We have them, too, and they are breaking my chili plants to take only a few bites of of a pepper or two. I have to keep an eye on the garden and harvest any chilies that they have knocked off and from any branches that they have broken. I never seem to catch them in the act, but I'm pretty sure it's them, because rabbits and groundhogs wouldn't be eating jalapenos. Here are a few walking on the deep snow in front of the house last spring. I took this shot through the upper half of the upper pane of the window behind my PC monitor. The shaded right edge was from the window frame - I was hiding myself as well as I could because turkeys are very wary.

    [​IMG]
     
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