SHOP PRODUCTS
Houzz Logo Print
youreit

Bird Sightings 3

17 years ago

Here we go! No pics, but I have new bird sighting reports (see below)!

Just to update, Jean has tree holes (and a great suet recipe which I've "clipped"!), and FTM & CT are familiar with "food that moves"...yikes! :D

Ok, yesterday, I saw THE fattest bird I've seen in my life! It reminded me so much of a robin (bouncing on the ground, standing stock still, bouncing again), so with that info, I'm thinking it's a Swainson's thrush...big eyes, black and white spotted chest, pretty much plain over the rest of it. Ok, maybe it could have been another thrush, after reading through the other descriptions. They're just not real stand-outs in the color dept. LOL But why so fat?? He could play Humpty Dumpty in a movie of that same title! :D

I also wondered why the yard was so quiet...should have known to look in the walnut tree! A hawk, not too graceful, looking inexperienced in his hunting skills. He was moving around the tree a lot, before thrashing around in the nearby oleander. What the....? I wonder if he has crazy chicken syndrome (different from mad cow disease)? Anyway, I'm thinking it was a Swainson's (he's popular out here!), but again, I'm not posi-track. I did notice his black-and-white banded tail, but....that could make him just about any of them! He looked right at me, too. I had to change my pants. LOL

(No pics, since Caribbean-hopping DH has the camera! I forgive him....)

Brenda

Comments (102)

  • 17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    The eagle has landed!!! Just 20 minutes from me, I really want to go and find it this weekend!

    Wanted to remind you ladies (and any lurking gents) that the Great backyard Bird Count is this weekend - any excuse to sit and watch the birds!

    Here is a link that might be useful: Backyard Bird Count

  • 17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Cripes, I always seem to miss the BBC! I think I was out of town last year, too. :( It's funny, on that link, how all the red dots are back east so far today...since it's still dark here on the west coast. LOL

    I hope you find the eagle(s), Jean! I can't wait to see any pics you might get, too.

    I don't know if you all recall my Oregon junco sighting from a while back. I thought he'd come and gone, but NO! That little darling has been hanging out down near my gate and a brush pile I have there. It's a difficult place to see from the front window, but this is the 2nd time I've seen him down there. He must be sneaking in and cleaning up some critters for me! I'll be vigilant today, and try to get a pic. He is so handsome!

    Brenda

  • Related Discussions

    Bird Sightings Part 2

    Q

    Comments (126)
    Thank you ladies for the birthday wishes! The tree is a Nyssa sylvatica (aka Black Gum, Sour Gum or Tupelo). I have 9 of them growing on my property that were here when I bought the land. Many smaller ones have popped up since. Only a few of the big ones bear fruit. They like wet or dry woodland soil, will create groves over time, and are native to E. North America. They get non-messy blue fruit in late summer/early fall, neon red or orange fall foilage that stops you in your tracks, need no pruning unless you want to, summer leaves are deep green and glossy, and they are pest free. Down side, you never see them for sale in garden centers, but I've seen them available on-line (mostly native sites) as seedlings. You can start them from seed. (OK, does anybody want seed - if I can get it before the birds do - or maybe a small seedling, as I find them?) They are bird magnets in fruit and bee/hummingbird/nectar insect magnets in bloom. They do not grow exceptionally fast, but the wildlife value is high as a food source, if they turn out to be female trees. FTM - hope you get some great photo ops when the ice closes in - I'm excited for you (and us)! Brenda - lucky you - getting regular visits from a friendly RCKinglet! They are so pretty and like many little birds have a personality, or so it seems. Jean - those holes are huge. I've not seen them before - thanks for posting them. I wonder if any will become nest sites or are they drilling for insects and sap only? I have a pair of RBW that have drilled their nest site into the top of a broken off trunk, of what was once a double trunked oak. The big oak was hit by a small tornado or something that whipped through here a few years back and it wiped out one of the two trunks. A real big tree and so high up I can see their nest hole from afar. P.S. FTM - Yes, I agree - next poster please start a Bird Sightings 3 so it will be easier for Brenda to open quicker until the broadband fairy visits her home! I wanted to put my reply post here, rather than have it look out of context as a first post on a new thread, since I added no new photos. CT
    ...See More

    Strange bird sightings and a really bizarre frog

    Q

    Comments (5)
    When I posted the above pics I also posted an apology for the spacing between pics, but it didn't show up. I am not very good at picture posting :) I got these, and more, in an email. If it had been a web page I would have posted a link. They really made me laugh so I thought I'd share.
    ...See More

    Spring bird sightings

    Q

    Comments (117)
    I think the chickadees, titmice and downies have had a bumper crop this year! I've never seen (or heard) so many dee-dee-dee's before, it's so fun! So far I've only seen one young red-bellied but they maybe only bringing one at a time to the feeder. And just one young cardinal - which really is not a bad thing, I can only imagine what it will be like if all 70 cardinals from last winter bring all there babies to the feeders - I'll have to take out a loan for birdseed. I've also seen house wren, phoebe and catbird fledglings. This evening I was following a spread-wing damselfly through the woods and I heard a bobwhite! We haven't had any in several years so I was really thrilled to hear it. I thought about trying to track it down but the mosquitos were eating me up alive! And the buck was stomping and snorting at me since I was standing in his bed :^)
    ...See More

    Late Summer / Autumn Bird Sightings

    Q

    Comments (10)
    I've had a fabulous turnout of migrating warblers, etc this fall! Or maybe because I'm too pooped to do anything but sit at the window and stare, I'm seeing more this year. I still have hummers, even a few males although it's mostly females and younguns. Around here they say to leave your feeders up until end of November, that it won't keep the ruby-throats from migrating and there are more and more sightings of west coast hummers who end up on the east coast in late fall and early winter. There was an Anna and a rufous hummer in Ohio in the last two years. One showed up in December and stayed until the middle of January. Nobody is quite sure why there is an increase of these hummers but there are more and more reports each year. It would be fun to see a hummer in December but I'm afraid I would worry myself sick! Most of my summer birds are still here. The wood thrush no longer sings (sniff, sniff) but I still hear his little "Pip, pip, pip". I've seen both the summer and scarlet tanagers in the last week - both had molted into their winter colors -why can't they show themselves in their pretty summer attire? I've added two new yard birds this fall - a warbling vireo and a yellow-bellied flycatcher which is one of my rarest yard birds. I've had a nice variety of warblers so far - american redstarts, bay breasted, black-throated green, black-and-white, blackburnian, black poll, blue-winged, canada, cape may, chestnut-sided, magnolia, ovenbird, prairie and tennesee and vireos - red-eyed, warbling, white-eyed, and yellow-throated and a swainsons thrush. I also had a juvenile rose-breasted grosbeak, not sure if it's a migrant or from the pair that I saw this summer. I do love see the fall migrants but I am really going to miss summer ... and the mosquitos and the heat and the drought ....
    ...See More
  • 17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    good luck, jean!

  • 17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Hi all,
    We had about 16" of snow recently. I usually don't feed the birds anymore, for various reasons, but I felt so bad for them with all this snow, I'm feeding them again for awhile. I bought several of these suet balls at the grocery store. The wood peckers and titmice seem to like them. Here's a pic of a red-bellied.
    Its not too bad a pic for using my smaller digital, plus shooting through a really dirty kitchen window! haha
    {{gwi:165113}}

  • 17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    ooooooooooo, good one!

  • 17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Nice photo Cat - glad to see you back! I'd like some snow please! All we ever get lately is freaking, frigid wind! It's harder on the plants than a nice blanket of snow.

    CT

  • 17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Backyard List (morning)

    2 bluejay
    1 crackle
    2 white-breasted nuthatch
    4 tufted-titmouse
    2 carolina wrens
    46 slate colored junco
    37 American goldfinch
    2 yellow-bellied sapsuckers
    3 red-bellied woodpeckers
    2 downy woodpecker
    1 hairy woodpecker
    11 white crowned sparrow
    3 song sparrow
    1 American robin
    1 catbird (heard it)
    14 house finch
    2 some kind of warblers I can't tell what they are!
    1 cooper's hawk - distance
    2 starlings
    6 mourning dove
    3 crows
    11 red-winged blackbirds
    4 cardinals
    3 carolina chickadees

  • 17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    What an accidental twitch this morning on the way to work. In fact, I almost swerved off the road as I watched a Snowy Owl take off from a guard rail and make his way toward the woods near the highway. What a beautiful bird as he glided away from me.

    The sighting was less than a minute because I was driving on the road and he was going in the other direction but there was no mistaking his identity!

    As usual I did not have my camera but I doubt it would have made a difference. Had I been able to stop and focus a camera I am sure he would already have been gone.

    I *do* hope he stays around or have come with friends! The next time I am in the area, rest assured I will be ready with camera in hand. Being on time for work is very much over rated, dontchaknow?!?!?

    C3D WoooooooooHooooooooooo! :-)

  • 17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Great picture of the red-bellied! It's hard to resist feeding those beautiful birds. Doesn't sound like it took long for him to find it.

    Oh, C3D, you gotta get pictures! I would love to see one (since I will probably never see one in person).

    I had an amazing day today. The 10" of snow already on the ground, a week of single-digit temps and 2 more inches of snow today really brought in the birds. The feeder out front was low so they all came to the back and I have never seen so many cardinals in my life - I counted 33 (and recounted several times)! It was beautiful (and a little overwhelming). Both feeders in the back are now empty. I had a new yard bird today, two red-winged blackbirds. They are all over the place out hear but I think they like more open fields than what I have so this is the first time I've seen them in the yard. The cowbirds are back (unfortunately) but this is the earliest that I have seen them. I didn't get to count the pileateds or the rusty blackbird - both were no shows. And I haven't seen the yellow-rumped and sapsuckers in awhile. But it was fun!

    Here are my totals ....
    Mourning Dove - 32
    Red-bellied Woodpecker - 4
    Downy Woodpecker - 5
    Hairy Woodpecker - 2
    Northern Flicker - 1
    Blue Jay - 11
    American Crow - 3
    Carolina Chickadee - 14
    Tufted Titmouse - 5
    White-breasted Nuthatch - 3
    Brown Creeper - 1
    Carolina Wren - 3
    American Robin - 1
    European Starling - 26
    Eastern Towhee - 5
    Fox Sparrow - 5
    Song Sparrow - 1
    White-throated Sparrow - 28
    White-crowned Sparrow - 2
    Dark-eyed Junco - 24
    Northern Cardinal - 33
    Red-winged Blackbird - 2
    Brown-headed Cowbird - 2
    House Finch - 5
    American Goldfinch - 14
    House Sparrow - 2

  • 17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    You did have a great day Jean. You have lots of Cardinals. I wish my Brown Creeper would come back. I have not seen one in a year with all the building going on in this county. My list is my regulars. I only watched for one hour from about 1/2 hour after sunrise.

    C3D - the Snowy Owl is so rare - glad you were able to see one!

  • 17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Additional sighting today at noon:

    6 Bluebirds (4 male - 2 female) at suet, below suet on ground, and at the birdbaths. VERY blue and looking good. I have these 3 pesky starlings that are hogging the main suet feeder - everyone has to be careful trying to squeeze in a turn. The bluebirds and woodpeckers are being cautious. I wish those 3 starlings would get eaten by the hawk! I am going to put up an additional free-hanging suet basket. The starlings like the one that sits flat against a tree trunk with nearby branches. The WP's can use the hanger type better. Not sure if the bluebirds will go to it. Wrens, and nuthatches will.

  • 17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Ahh ... I want BLUEBIRDS!!! CT, do you know how much open space they need? They are all over the place around the farm fields and the park meadow but I only get glimpses of them here. I have about 1 1/2 acres of mowed grass, do you think thats enough? The rest of the surrounding area is dense woods. I tried a blue-bird box last year but I think I had it too high and got it out too late so I am going to put it back up this spring.

    My starlings have NO problem with the hanging suet feeders, they just camp out on top and peck away. I finally bought a starling-proof suet feeder and it has helped although a few of them still manage to get to it but they don't camp out on it like they used to. I felt so sorry for my hairies, they are too shy to fight them off. I have also been putting out chopped apples, bananas and cat food (thanks C3D!)in three large pot saucers. The starlings seem to prefer that to the suet and it keeps them away for a little while at least. The bluejays also like it.

    It was much quieter here today, I think the regulars appreciated it. And the sharp-shinned made two attempts this morning so that spooked alot of them. I only spent a few hours today, I had to catch up on what I didn't get done yesterday!

    Here are some pcitures from this weekend .....

    {{gwi:164987}}
    {{gwi:164990}}
    {{gwi:164992}}
    {{gwi:164994}}
    {{gwi:164996}}
    {{gwi:164997}}
    {{gwi:164998}}
    {{gwi:164999}}
    {{gwi:165000}}

  • 17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Hi Jean.

    Stunning pictures as always!

    We put the dog food in an area away from the more civilized birds so all can eat in peace. The Starlings, Blue Jays, Robins and Gulls all enjoy the moistened dry dog food. The canned dog food ... the Robins, Jays and Carolina Wrens seem to like that more than the Starlings.

    The Robins *LOVE* all the fruits that are put out.

    Our birds are scarce for the last few days as a Cooper's Hawk has found a nice place to dine on pudgy Robins and Mourning Doves.

    Mike, the children and I went back with camera in hand to try to see our owl today. *SIGH* we did not see him but did talk to five other people who had the same idea. We did succeed in freezing though!

    Tomorrow is another day.....

    C3D ... but no Owl picture yet

  • 17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Beautiful photographs Jean! That nuthatch has big feet! You know I never noticed female RWB because all the birds I get are all black with either a strip of red or yellow when the wings are closed, and of course the bright red epaulettes when they fly in. They do a spiral or circle landing pattern when honing in on a feeder.

    We have lots of bluebirds in my county because there are many large rural field areas and an active bluebird trail group, but their numbers are less each year where I live as they continue to build new communities. I have a few large fields nearby. You land is certainly big enough so it is a matter of they are probably just not in your area. My yard is only 1/3 acre and half wooded.

    When I first moved here, before all the building in general in my county, I put a nest box out on a pine tree on the edge of my small wooded area, facing due north, with only my lawn in front. I am 5' 6" and I put it where I could reach without a ladder. I swear it was not but a few hours and a pair moved in, but that was in 1997 when I first moved here in May. I would see lots of bluebirds every day - I was delighted there were so many and common. In other counties in Maryland I never saw them. Over the years however, they are not as common and a month or more will go by and none. They just show up out of nowhere in small groups. Like today, it was 12 noon and I peeked out my upstairs bedroom window and saw them. 10 minutes later they were all gone. They ate some suet and got a drink. They really are quite pretty - the blue color on the males and the pinkish breast really stands out. After a few years my neighbors cats harrassed the nest box area and the parents must have abandoned the nest. I found all dead young (almost fledged) still in the box. I cleaned the box out but they did not come back. Then, over time something chewed the hole open so I took it down. I've not had one up since. I might get another and try again, but I still have the neighbor with 20 or so cats, with at least 6 of them that are indoor/outdoor, despite my requests she keep them all indoors. I have a wren house I am going to put up this spring. I'm hoping to attrach a house wren, as opposed to the Carolina, but whoever moves in will be nice. Funny, in the past (in previous homes) I would not notice any wrens, and the minute I put a wren house up, they show up.

    I had a big purple martin house - one of those triple apartment types with the railings. It had a telescoping pole, but I found out we don't get martins, so I sold it new in the box at a yard sale for $50. That person got a good deal that day. I wish I had kept it then I could give it to you or Brenda! Do you get purple martins?

    Well, I just had the most hellish car drive tonight. We went to Annapolis, MD to eat out and see a movie and it started to snow (not mentioned on the weather report) and apparently it all melted and refroze. I just drove 25 miles on black ice. I was going 50mph when I first hit it and just took my foot off the gas until I was going 10mph. I passed a few SUVs and big pickups that had spun off the road. When I got to my county, nothing, completely dry road. Our weather is so different than the rest of MD. We are much warmer, but this time I was so glad to see a dry road! The whole distance is 65 miles each way and 25 of it was scary as hell, in the dark. I can drive in snow if not too deep, but ice - I had no clue that was going to happen!

    CT

  • 17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    C3D - you get gulls??? I had no idea they would come to feeders. I do hope you get to see the snowy again - we have rare sightings here and everyone flocks to see it. Maybe if I would get out of my hermit-ness I would get out and see some of these rarities.

    CT - Ice is the pits, sounds like you needed to come home and do some bird watching! We have freezing rain forecasted for tomorrow night. And why do people who drive SUV's think they are better off on ice?

    I get barn and tree swallows every night in the summer, soaring over the front yard. My husband flies his R/C plane out front and they follow around behind it as he flies over the grass disturbing the bugs. They don't seem to mind sharing air space at all! I had a small flock of martins last fall - they flew within just feet of the house but not a one of them landed! I thought about a martin house but got stuck on how to mount it on a pole.

    Heres an aerial image of where I live, as you can see there are lots of farmfields around and I see the bluebirds in the area behind me.
    {{gwi:165115}}

    I think I am going to try to put up the bluebird box again. I had it on a pole with a baffle to keep the snakes and raccoons out. I do want bluebirds, I do, I do, I do!!

  • 17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Hi Jean.

    No, the gulls didn't come to the bird feeders. They flocked around the bowls I had placed on the ground filled with the softened dry dog food. They also scarfed up the grapes! LOL!

    I e mailed someone at another bird forum who lives near Cleveland and let him know about the Snowy. He contacted someone else who had seen the bird too! I keep a look out for him and have my camera and binoculars....

    C3D

  • 17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I'm still catching up! Amazing how much I can miss in just a couple days. :)

    GREAT red-bellied pic, Catherine!

    Awesome Snowy Owl sighting, Chicka! Can't wait to see pics.

    Excellent bird sighting lists, Jean & CT! The starlings only visit my yard to splash around in, and drink from, the creek. Would LOVE to see a bluebird in person!

    Awesome pics, as always, Jean! I finally saw one of my punk rockers (white-crowned) on the fountain feeder the other day. They usually stick to the ground, but it was neat seeing one up there. :) LOVE that nuthatch pose!

    CT, according to my bird book, we could very well get purple martins here, but they're becoming very scarce ("probably due to competition with Starlings for nest sites."). They also say, "Unlike martins in the East, it tends to not occupy martin houses places in gardens, preferring the open countryside or downtown areas." The former definitely describes our area. That sure was thoughtful of you to think of me, though! :) I'd LOVE to see one, too! Sorry about that awful trip you had the other night!! Cripes, that would have scared me like crazy!

    Brenda

  • 17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    C3D:

    I work in downtown Cleveland. There is a pair of snowy owls that nest on one of the runways of Burke Lakefront Airport every winter. I have walked down to the airport on my lunch hour many times to try to see them. They must camouflage very easily because I can never see them. Of couse I can't get beyond the gate for security reasons. You think the one you seen may be one of them?

    Jenny

  • 17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Hi.

    Mike has seen the ones at Burke a few times. The one I saw was in N. Ridgeville on Rt. 83 at the new overpass they constructed above the railroad tracks. He was flying along the tracks going east. The owls made it this far. I don't know if a trip from Cleveland to N. Ridgeville would be a big deal for them.

    C3D

  • 17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I saw a Pileated Woodpecker the other day while driving. It flew straight across in front of me clear as day. I almost ran off the road watching it fly into the woods. That makes two so far - both flying. CT

    Has anyone seen a Barn Owl? We have them, but not common, but I've never seen one in the flesh (err feather:-)

  • 17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I know what you mean about almost driving off the road, CT! That hawk on the way into town gets me every time. I'm lucky we don't get much traffic on that road. :D

    I've seen a barn owl!! When we used to have our big dog Red, I'd take him walking down the road to the farm fields early every morning before sunrise. One day, just as the sky was starting to lighten, it flew right in front of us. Silent as can be, but there was no mistaking that face! It was such an extraordinary sight, even Red stopped and gazed in awe. :) I used to find their pellets in the yard and hear them out there early in the morning. But I haven't heard them or found their "gifts" for well over a year.

    DH says the burrowing owls are even more awesome. He's seen them several times during his construction work days. They were in groups, like little kids, just staring and looking adorable. I'd LOVE to see those!

    I'm SO excited!! I had a golden-crowned sparrow in the yard yesterday!!!!!! It was so beautiful! I really tried to get a pic, but there wasn't much sun, so the pics didn't turn out. They say the goldens hang around with the punk rockers, but this one was pretty much sticking to himself (even though the punkers were around the area later on).

    I LOVE (pre-) spring!

    Brenda

  • 17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Coool - owls! and pileateds! and golden-crowned sparrows! Ladies, where are the pictures????? You know I gotta ask. Brenda, I am eagerly waiting for spring and migaration and warblers and GREEN. I am starting some seeds this weekend, it's time!

    I am now the proud host of a mockingbird! It's those apples, he is fighting the starlings over them! I know mockers are common birds but I have waited 2 years to have one frequent my yard, up until now they have only been rare visitors. It's a young one, still has some streaking on the sides. I may regret this when he chases away the warblers but right now he is most welcome here.

  • 17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    We had Mockingbirds MANY years ago but I have not seen or heard them for quite some time.

    Barn Owls? I see them frequently on my way home from work. Lots o' raptors on that 45 minute drive.... Turkey Vultures, Cooper's Hawks, Red-tailed Hawks, Peregrines, Barn Owls, Screech Owls and now the Snowy (once).

  • 17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I really need to try some apples! I put out some grapes, cut and whole, but there are no takers yet. I'd love to see a mocker in my yard! So exciting!

    It would so great to see more owls, too. As much as I love the hawks and eagles, owls are the holy grail to me. :D

    Brenda

  • 17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Brenda, maybe try chopped fresh cherries or chopped dried cranberries. I've not seen my mockers much this time of year but come spring and summer I have one known repeat nesting tree right across the street, but as I look at that tree right now, with no leaves on it, there looks to be a small squirrel nest in there. I'm hoping it is maybe the mockers nest that has built up over the past few years, but I don't know if they do that. I'll have to do some research.

    Jean - you have no idea how much I would love to post pics but with MY current camera I don't want to even think about it. I just bought new binoculars and they came yesterday. I compared all kinds from $50 models to $1800 in the 8 x 42. I ended up buying Zhumell 8x42 with long eye relief, center focus, adj. diopter, porro-prism lenses, and waterproof rubberized housing. What sold me was customer reviews of folks that wear glasses (which I am doing now). My current binocs hit my glasses and the new pair has extended, retractable rubber eye cups which I really like (with and without my glasses).

    I compared them side by side, by feature, with the $1800 model and my (way cheaper) model had better closer focus range which is what I wanted too - for feeders and butterfly viewing. They also come with a 25 year warranty. Maybe I'll cash in on that warranty when I'm 74! LOL

    Now - if they only had a camera in there to snap what I'm seeing. I just looked at a starling on the suet and like you became facinated by the feathers, especially on the head. I've not seen them this close and clear except in your photos! I am carrying these binocs with me all the time! Not a good birding day today with 50mph wind gusts, but our temps are going up to almost 70 this weekend.

    C3D - lucky you on having such a Rapt-O-Rama where you live, with the barn owls so common. My local chapter of SMAS has an adopt a Barn Owl program where you can donate to sponsor a chick that gets banded and they tell you sort of where it is located and you get a picture of 'your chick'. They have the same for ospreys which surprises me as we have no shortage of ospreys. I saved a Red Morph Screech but sadly it had to be put down. I have an owl in my wooded area but only hear it late at night or before sunrise. It's a Great Horned. I have an owl hooter, from my turkey hunting days, and I sometimes hoot it out my window at night in high summer, and my neighbors think they have an owl right in their face they can't find. I know - sick birder humor, but harmless. LOL

    Brenda - when I was out in Cali (Santa Barbara county) I saw many Red-shouldered hawks and also your bluejay that has no crest! Are there two kinds of bluejays out west? I notice the Scrub Jay is considered rare so did I see one of those or some other kind I wonder? It was more blue-grey, with a hint of green, not the intense all-over blue of our Eastern jays, but boisterous just the same.

    Hey, I'm missing FTM on the thread! Hope to see you back soon! I can't wait until summer FTM - I hope you get some photos of bats with your new camera!

    CT

  • 17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I've added the cherries AND cranberries to the list, CT, thanks! I've also been smearing the nut & berries mixed with peanut butter onto the truck of the tree. It's interesting to see how much will stick, and how much plops to the ground. LOL The ruby-crowned kinglet loves it, as well as the ladder-backed woody!

    Another who loves it is the (very familiar) scrub jay! They're the ones with the black face, white eyebrow, brownish shoulders, white frontal area. They're pretty common in this area, as well as north. They used to terrorize my kitties when I lived at home with my folks. Here where I am now, they only show up in ones or twos, squawking, heads bobbing...definitely not as pretty as your Blues, though...more scrubby. :D

    My favorite jay out here is the Steller's, which we get to see when we go up into the foothills. They're typical jays, very brave, somewhat pushy, but always honest. LOL

    Ok, here's the (terrible) pic of my golden-crowned sparrow. Hope you can see him! I tried to mental telepathize him into some sun, but...he was happy right where he was. :D

    {{gwi:165118}}

    Brenda

  • 17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    how very sweet of you, ct :)
    i've been a bit "busy."

    oh to see a barn owl! even a snowy. dh saw a snowy one winter. i do get blessed at work with barred owls, great horned, and occassionally i hear a screech owl. funny, where i used to live i only heard screeches. we even had one roosting in the tree across the street (in town). are they less common throughtout the horned and barred stomping grounds?

  • 17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Here's a pic of one of the scrub-heads in my yard at the fountain feeder, CT. Is this what you saw?

    {{gwi:165001}}

    Brenda

  • 17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    That's it Brenda, but I remember a greenish cast too (or maybe I'm delusional)

    " They're typical jays, very brave, somewhat pushy, but always honest." LMAO! You are so funny.

    OK, I'm off to lie down now.

    CT

  • 17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    That golden crowned looks quite proud of his find! Your yard list is really growing. Do you get the stellar jays? I'd love to see one of those someday.

    SO guess what visitor I had this weekend? Finally - a TREE SPARROW! Not a rarity at all, but the tree sparrow was the first sparrow that visited me two winters ago when I started feeding the birds again. And I hadn't seen any since.

    The mockingbird has become my starling patrol. He leaves all the other birds alone but just let one starling come close to HIS feeder or HIS birdbath and he swoops out of the cedar tree and chases them off. It is too funny! I am surprised to see him eating sunflower seeds though.

    And my poor, dead, frozen oregon junco is soon to be immortalized in the Cinncinati Museum of Natural history. I delivered him to a woman who prepares them for display. We met at a local state park where they were having an owl symposium. As I walked in they had a saw-whet and a short eared owl - I only got a glimpse (kind of felt like I was cheating since I didn't attend the symposium). That saw-whet was so cute!

    And I found horned larks in the field behind the wooded area behind me! I kept saying I really needed to drive around the block and see if there were any ... I wish I had gotten pictures, they'll be gone soon too.

    And the local kestrel landed on a post just 10 feet from my car on my way home the other day. I see him perched on the wire all the time but this was the first time I had been eye-to-eye with him - what a beautiful bird!

  • 17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    CT, I just looked up you new bins - very nice! I just have a pair of 10X50 Bushnells - I got them as an anniversary gift at work. It's one of those things where you get to pick from a list of items, most woman go for the jewelry!

    So now you need to try digiscoping - I have heard of doing it with binoculars instead of a scope. Just a word of warning - thats what I was trying to do when I dropped my point-n-shoot and broke it :^)

  • 17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    What! I thought a digiscope was a scope with a digital camera built in? You mean I can take my point and shoot and take a photo through my binoculars? That will take some practice and a few extra arms! I might give it a try by using my mini-tripod on the camera and setting up the binoculars focused on a set point and the camera on the lens, and wait. My binocs have a spot for a tripod too, so I may have to buy another mini-tripod to make them the same height. I have a feeling duct tape may come in handy:-) You can do anything with duct tape. LOL

  • 17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    do tell, jean! we have a window mount on the scope :)

  • 17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    RIP Jean's Oregon junco! I LOVE reading about all of your bird sightings!

    CT, your new binocs sound awesome! I don't know much about them, but do yours do well with some closer things, too? One complaint I have about my DH's is that the hummers are too close (living room window) for me to see from here, even though I'd like to really zoom in on them when they're feeding.

    That would be great if you could get the camera and binocs to work together, too!

    Brenda

  • 17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    A link to the binocs I bought - they have so many models that are 8 x 42. I thought they were waterproof but apparently I mixed that up with others I was looking at. It does have a rain shield that came with it, the case, and nice strap and lense wipe cloth.

    Brenda - these let you look at things that are 15 feet away and a bit closer once I tried them. I can sit in my livingroom and look at my birdfeeder on the front porch with no problem (it's about 15' or less I'd say). Since you wear glasses if you buy a pair for yourself get one with long eye relief of at least 18mm. That is why I bought these - they have retractable rubber eye cups with 19mm, which lets me wear glasses and be comfortable. Many people have trouble with binocs - seeing one circle of view and the diopter will adjust that for you.

    They are a tad heavier than compact models but the view is sharp and the wide-angle is good for birding. I always rest my arms when using binocs most times anyway. They are easy to focus - barely have to move the center focus which is firm and smooth, but not tight. They feel good to hold, ergonomic. Wide-angle helps you locate an object by letting you see the surroundings too.

    Buying binocs is a personal thing, but these meet my needs and do what I want them to do - bring in the birds with a wide view and also I can lay in the grass near flowers in the summer and see butterflies, but also switch immediately to birds with a quick move of the center focus. I also noticed while using them I can focus out very far and the mid-ranges look clear too.

    I didn't really want butterfly only binocs because it is hard to get that close to butterflies anyway without them flitting off and they are crappy for switching to birds quickly. I'd rather sit back in a good location and be able to bring them to me from 15 feet or more away, as opposed to 3 or 4 feet.

    The 25 year warranty is a 'no fault' which is nice!

    They list at Zhumell for $129 but I bought them at Binoculars.com for $89 plus no shipping charge. They were on my doorstep in two days. You might want to check out their signature series which are lighter (and more expensive).

    CT

    Here is a link that might be useful: Zhumell 8x42WA

  • 17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Jean - I should read better. What a day you had taking the Oregon junco to become history! Also, all the birds you saw there. You are running in some important birdy circles now! Keep up the good work.

    Yes, mockers don't mind chasing anything they feel like it. They harrass the heck out of red-tailed hawks here and anything else, including cats! Just wait until your bird finds a mate and they have a nest.

    Never seen a Horned Lark. I live on Meadow Lark and we have those, but I've never seen one of those either. All of our community roads and courts, except one, are named after birds (wren, blue jay, oriole, mourning dove, mockingbird, purple martin).

    CT

  • 17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    My apologies for not explaining digiscoping before. It's a fairly new technique for bird photography, but when done right, the results far exceed even the most expensive telephoto lenses. Basically it is adding a digital camera to a spotting scope. It sounds easy in theory but it has some complexities - first you have to get the scope focused, and then without moving it, you have to get the camera to focus on the image of the scope. ALl this of course has to be done before the bird moves! In the beginning it was mostly used for waterfowl or large accipters that don't move around alot. There are now mounts available to mount the camera to the scope. Originally the camera was hand held and camera shake is a real problem, just as in macro photography. But if you get good at it, the results are unbelievable. I was just going to mount the bins on a tripod and point it at the feeder and then TRY to handhold the camera. But I never got a chance to try it. Some cameras work better than others, the line of nikon coolpix (which is what I had) was the camera of choice because the zoom mechanism was inside the camera so vignetting was not a problem. The Nikon 995 was the best as the camera rotated so the view finder was always on top. But now there are all kinds of cameras that are being used with a wide variety of scopes - of course the most expensive scopes are the best and can be very costly.

    I couldn't find the reference that I found about digiscoping with binoculars - I did find this site ...
    Digiscoping with binoculars

    This is a good site too ...
    A good digiscoping site with lots of links

    I know I had some sites bookmarked with some knockout digiscoped images but I'm not sure I moved them to my new PC, but I'll find some ....

  • 17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Thanks for the info Jean. I might try the stationary mount of the bins and then take a shot. I can see what it looks like by taking a photo of the suet with or without a bird. That way I can see if it works before I climb into my kitchen sink again for an hour or more only to find the photos stink!

    I saw two Bluebirds today. A male and female showed up as they were interested in the nut and berry mix this time. My sister is visiting for a few days and I am going to take her to the base to see if we can find any birds. We will be out and about for the next few days so not sure how much I'll be posting. Wishing all some great birding!

    CT

  • 17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Kisses to the bluebirds, CT! (Really wish we had those here...) I hope you and sis have a GREAT time watching birds and hanging out!

    Brenda

  • 17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Papa Smurf is missing, I haven't seen him in over a week. I am hoping he has just moved on to claim his own territory. I can't believe how attached I have gotten to that little bird, I really miss seing him :^(

  • 17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Oh, Jean, I sure hope he turns up soon! Any sign of spring there yet? Maybe he's looking for a sweetheart? :(

    Brenda

  • 17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Awww - I hope he turns up. He is a superstar with lots of fans! Give it some time - he might just show up and is off staking out a claim somewhere. I had a frog (I know not sweet like a bird, but a frog I'm attached to) disappeared for over a month and I figured a heron ate him (his name is Droopy). One day out of nowhere there he was again. I just saw him a week ago before our weather turned again. Did Papa disappear when the weather was extremely frigid or did you just notice he was gone after a few days? Did you see him every day before?

    On another note - two days ago I had 8 Cedar Waxwings in my crabapple tree. The tree has long since lost it's apples. They were just sitting in it and I ran for my bins and got a good look. Every so often one would dive into my garden. They were eating barberry berries. I've never had them in the yard before.

  • 17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Hi every one!

    Can you believe it? I still cannot believe my luck and I was there!!! Again while on my way to work this morning there was someone white and *quite* chunky looking flying across the road.

    I pulled over, backed up a bit, and admired a stunningly beautiful snowy Owl perched on top of a utility pole. This one was much larger than the first Owl I had seen and was more heavily barred. The barring seemed darker / black. I believe this Owl was a female as her face, nape of the neck and center of the breast were white. From what I was able to research that does describe the female snowy.

    Maybe this was an immature but I did not find much description of them. Any way ... I am 113% sure this was another Snowy Owl! What a wonderful start to the day! As my luck would have it, I did not have my camera in the car for the past week. Had the camera been there then for sure the Owl would NOT! LOL!

    So that was a great start to the day. I was 20 minutes late to work but work is just soooo over-rated. LOL! The rest of the day was downhill but who cares? I saw another Snowy Owl!

    The Owl was about 1 mile south of the earlier sighting on Rt. 83 in N. Ridgeville again.

    C3D and 2 Snowy sightings this year!

  • 17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    cool, chicka! i believe, but don't quote me on this and i am too lazy to do a search, that the younger the owl the more heavily barred they are.

    as for me, on my way home from work this am there were 3 bald eagles in the bean field. seems kinda odd, really. but hey, they eat carrion too. it was a ways off but the size suggested a deer carcass. two white heads and one dark eagle. otherwise, i haven't been looking much or have my camera with me. i have yet to try another kestrel pic even though there is always one perched on the same power line daily.

  • 17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Cedar waxwings are one of the birds I REALLY would love to see in person, CT! You're so lucky to finally have them! They are stunning.

    Same with the snowy owls! I can imagine how excited you must have been, Chicka! Wow, that would be pretty close to spiritual for me. :)

    Mmmm, your eagles were mOWing (how DO you spell that?!) down on protein. I know that I always feel better after some beef carcass. LOL

    I finally got a REALLY good look at the mysterious whitish bird on the way back from town yesterday, and it's definitely a male northern harrier! At night, I kept confusing it with an owl, because of that face. It was hovering over a canal, looking for munchings and crunchings yesterday. I hope he got what he was looking for. :D

    This little Oregon junco has been hanging around quite a bit lately. The finches try to get all up in his bidness, but he don't take no smack talk. :D He is SO handsome with his dark "shawl"!

    {{gwi:165002}}

  • 17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Cute Junco Brenda! Lucky sightings C3D and FTM!

    Here is a white squirrel that was in the backyard of a neighbor of a friend of mine. They both live about a mile from me. I wish I had one sort of, but then I'd get all attached and know it from the other regular greys.

    Photo is taken from inside the home so it is a bit far but still pretty good.

    {{gwi:165121}}

  • 17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    The redwinged blackbirds are back. They sure take over the place for several months.
    I've also been hearing the drilling of a pileated back in the woods, but haven't seen him yet.
    I heard a bluebird about 10 days ago.
    And almost all winter, I've been hearing a roufus-sided towhee.
    Can't wait for spring migration. I'd better learn how to use my new camera!
    We've sure had a ton of squirrels around this winter.
    I hung up a couple suet balls when it got so snowy and cold here. Mostly around those are nuthatches, titmice, tree sparrows and downies.
    Can't wait for the call of the orioles and wood thrush!

  • 17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    we had upper 50's yesterday! i saw two meadowlarks and the turkey vultures are back. yay!!

    today is warm again and this time it is sunny outside :)

    gorgeous squirrel.

  • 17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    That squirrel is awesome, CT! Wow, I'd think I was seeing a ghost if he was around here!

    It appears that birds all across the country are ready for spring. Ooot and aboot, as the Canadians would say. :D

    In the field across from our house, I spotted a crazy grouping of birds - starlings, Brewer's blackbirds, red wings, a Western meadowlark, yellow-billed maggies...I'm sure I forgot a species or 2. It was strange seeing them all eating together...in harmony. :)

    Oh, and I saw a largish bird squatting at the top of my creek yesterday! What the...? It was a northern flicker, refreshing itself.

    {{gwi:165003}}

    Brenda

  • 17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Definitely spring here too! Most of my juncos and white-throated sparrows have left as well as the tree sparrow that hung around for a couple of weeks. It seems everyone is chasing everyone and the mornings are filled with bird song again! C3D, I'm glad you got another glimpse of the snowy, I'm betting they'll be leaving soon.

    My phoebe is back and calling his little phoebe song - always reminds me of the chipmunks and how they would yell "Alvin, Alvin, ALVVVIIINNNN". The turkey vultures and the killdeer are back too.

    On a sad note, I found the remains of the northern flicker in the woods yesterday, looked like the work of a hawk with a pile of down and bright yellow tail feathers. And Papa Smurf is still AWOL but so are half-a-dozen other bluejays so I can only hope.

    I'm looking forward to April and warblers!