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 Post subject: Re: The Bird Thread
PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 3:36 pm 
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quagga wrote:
couroupita wrote:
Nice, quagga! I'm just getting into bird watching. My first ID was a yellow-headed blackbird and I was soooo stoked!

I've been IDing with the iBird app. It's fantastic!

Red-winged blackbirds are common around here, but not the yellow-headed, so I did a total double-take as I was scanning the cattails and saw the yellow. It was unbelievably rewarding when I was able to take a good long look at it. It's nice being a beginning birder because there are so many life birds to get.

Yeah, I was at the Tule Lake Wildlife Refuge when I saw them. It was a real treat! I think marsh birding is my favorite location right now. It seems a bit easier and there's an awful lot of diversity. On the same trip I saw White Pelicans all the way in eastern CA. I had no idea they ventured away from the coast...obviously I'm quite ignorant about bird migration patterns!

I would have loved to see the massive migrations along the Pacific Flyway 100s of years ago. Must have been glorious!

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 Post subject: Re: The Bird Thread
PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 6:12 pm 
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Petrie sounds wonderful. I know what you mean about sweet birdie smell. (boy, that sounds nutso)


I got home to find that everybody in the house is angry at Molly. She was a busy girl today, pissing off mom, dad, the macaw, and the cockatiel. She is just so clingy sometimes. She wants to spend all day on my dad (he isn't allowed to move or he gets bitten, which is a Big Problem since he has a tremor disease), stuffed up under the macaw's wing (he wanted to be left alone to nap), making messes for my mom to clean up, or bullying the tiel. Sheesh. No wonder she is now circled up under my chin sound alseep. Girl is exhausted.

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 Post subject: Re: The Bird Thread
PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 7:46 am 
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got this in my email today [subscribe to the birding newsletter from Cornell Ornithology Lab], it's 264 species seen on a Big Day in 4 minutes. The link to their blog, where they ID each one, is under the video.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=VBl0zFdRPW8[/youtube]
i cannot get this to properly embed and after 100000 times i give up. it's worth looking at though.

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 Post subject: Re: The Bird Thread
PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 9:15 am 
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That right there is pretty much my ideal day. Thanks for posting that, torque!

quagga wrote:

I love window birdwatching. I'll never forget the first time I identified a ruby crowned kinglet! I was working at home, looked out the window, and there he was...a beautiful, happy ruby-crowned kinglet checking out the new buds on the little plum tree there. He was flashing his little ruby crest as if he were having the best day ever. I can recollect my sense of wonder at the first time I identified many species - American bald eagle, horned lark, ruby crowned kinglet, golden eagle, white-faced ibis, American avocet. Wonder and awe at the natural world that survives the incredible environmental devastation that the human species is wreaking. You should totally get out and go birding!


Ooh, I was lucky enough to see Bald eagles when I spent some time in the PNW a few years ago. Your ruby crowned kinglets are quite similar to our goldcrests and firecrests over here. Sooooooooooooo cute! I do really need to get out more. I'm going to be moving to a more agricultural area soon and there are some really good nature areas accessible by bike, so I'm looking forward to getting out more.

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 Post subject: Re: The Bird Thread
PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 3:34 am 
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My sweet little canary Frankie has suddenly come down ill. His right eye has turned dark and glassy, he's less active, clumsy and he's lost his appetite. I've made him an appointment with the avian vet for tomorrow morning; hopefully something can be done to help. I know he's just an itty bitty little thing but I love him so much and I hate to see him in pain!


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 Post subject: Re: The Bird Thread
PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 8:13 am 
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oh poor frankie!! i hope he is OK.

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 Post subject: Re: The Bird Thread
PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 8:19 am 
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also: tiki has lost his tail AGAIN. he has free range and he sometimes has close calls with feet. yesterday apparently the kid's feet scared him enough that he dropped the whole tail. he looks like a little short-tailed parrot.

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 Post subject: Re: The Bird Thread
PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 9:40 am 
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torque wrote:
also: tiki has lost his tail AGAIN. he has free range and he sometimes has close calls with feet. yesterday apparently the kid's feet scared him enough that he dropped the whole tail. he looks like a little short-tailed parrot.


Posts like this remind me that I don't know ANYTHING about birds.

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 Post subject: Re: The Bird Thread
PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 10:37 am 
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torque wrote:
oh poor frankie!! i hope he is OK.

Thanks Torque! I'm glad there are other bird lovers out there who understand the attachment we bird mom's have to our little feathered friends. :-)

While his eye symptoms concern me, I'm most concerned by his loss of appetite. In addition to his seeds, he generally devours a small leaf of cavolo nero (fresh from the garden) each day but he didn't touch the leaf I gave him today... that really worries me! We lost his buddy Little Chicken a year ago, so he's the only bird I have. I really hope he hangs in there for me!

I'm sorry to hear Tiki lost his tail; I didn't realise birds dropped tail feathers due to fright. Is he still able to fly? Hope the little guy manages okay!


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 Post subject: Re: The Bird Thread
PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 3:59 pm 
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i hope you get him sorted. we had smaller birds for a while [we sheltered semi-wild parakeets that escape or whatever, and we opened up a large flight cage so they'd have a safe place to eat and rest] and I miss them a lot.

Tiki drops his tail pretty often- his wings are clipped and most of his time is spent on tables or on shoulders, pirate-parrot style, but he does scuttle around on the floor going from place to place when I'm working, seated, etc. If he thinks his tail is in danger or going to get stepped on [even if there is no contact] he will drop it. Apparently he wasn't expecting my daughter to be where she was. He seems to be getting around normally but i hate to think of his body working so hard to make a whole new tail that he'll probably lose again next month.

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 Post subject: Re: The Bird Thread
PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 5:48 pm 
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LittleChicken wrote:
torque wrote:
oh poor frankie!! i hope he is OK.

Thanks Torque! I'm glad there are other bird lovers out there who understand the attachment we bird mom's have to our little feathered friends. :-)

While his eye symptoms concern me, I'm most concerned by his loss of appetite. In addition to his seeds, he generally devours a small leaf of cavolo nero (fresh from the garden) each day but he didn't touch the leaf I gave him today... that really worries me! We lost his buddy Little Chicken a year ago, so he's the only bird I have. I really hope he hangs in there for me!

I'm sorry to hear Tiki lost his tail; I didn't realise birds dropped tail feathers due to fright. Is he still able to fly? Hope the little guy manages okay!


Those dratted birds stop eating at the first sign of distress or discomfort. You could try hand feeding some baby bird formula or nut butter. We've had to do that with the tiel. We literally had to hold her down and syringe food into her beak because she just would not eat.

I hope he is doing better today.

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 Post subject: Re: The Bird Thread
PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 5:51 pm 
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torque wrote:
i hope you get him sorted. we had smaller birds for a while [we sheltered semi-wild parakeets that escape or whatever, and we opened up a large flight cage so they'd have a safe place to eat and rest] and I miss them a lot.

Tiki drops his tail pretty often- his wings are clipped and most of his time is spent on tables or on shoulders, pirate-parrot style, but he does scuttle around on the floor going from place to place when I'm working, seated, etc. If he thinks his tail is in danger or going to get stepped on [even if there is no contact] he will drop it. Apparently he wasn't expecting my daughter to be where she was. He seems to be getting around normally but i hate to think of his body working so hard to make a whole new tail that he'll probably lose again next month.


I didn't know this was a thing! I feel better now. About a month ago, I closed the pantry door on the tiel and she gave a blood curdling scream. I had just done a bird check on the door but she somehow still flew over. This has happened before and she has messed up feet and once had to get a huge bandage because of a foot caught in a door. Anyway, she dropped so many big feathers, I thought she had been really caught and hurt, but she seemed fine, was flying fine. I guess she just got scared. Now, if only she would stop lurking on open doors.

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 Post subject: Re: The Bird Thread
PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2013 3:25 pm 
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Birds in the wild... yesterday on my class field trip we looked for and found a lesser nighthawk! We even found her nest...which really just consisted of two jelly-bean size pebble-colored eggs next to a clump of dried grass. It's a good thing we didn't step on them! They were so small and cryptic. And amazing!


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 Post subject: Re: The Bird Thread
PostPosted: Fri Nov 01, 2013 3:36 am 
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I'm back in this thread again! I've put up some different seed and water feeders on my patio and I'm seeing all sorts of cool backyard birds now, including:
-chestnut backed chickadee (so acrobatic!!)
-dark eyed junco
-American gold finch
-lesser gold finch
-house finch
-white capped sparrow
-scrub jay (ok, these guys are everywhere but now they like to hang out on my balcony railing)
-anna's hummingbird

I saw a Townsend's warbler watching me in the tree near my balcony. soooo cute:
Image

I'm really trying to get some warblers to come visit. I made a vegan suet cake, which I heard is what they like since they need high calorie foods to aid in migration, but so far I haven't spotted any except the Townsend's and he was here when I only had my nyjer feeder up. I also would love to see some bluebirds and I've read the best way to attract them is to mix some dried meal worms in the suet cake. I'm not comfortable doing that. Does anyone have any experience attracting warblers or bluebirds to their yard? Also on my wish list is a purple finch. I know they're around here but I think the house finch has kinda edged them out a bit :(

Other cool sightings:
Since we've moved to our new apartment, which is super close to the bay and also right next to a restored tule pond, I also see loads of white and brown pelicans, snowy and great egrets, and great blue herons while crossing the bay on my way to work in the morning and a huge tree full of double breasted cormorants near the tule pond in the evening. I'll have to get a pic some night because it's super dramatic! Also loads of Canada gooses flying over my place to get to all the different parks around here. Oh! and in July I saw some cliff swallow nests full of chicks under the awning of a birding station at the marsh.

On Stanford's campus I unknowingly ate lunch one day in the middle of a cedar waxing feeding frenzy! They were gorging themselves on some fringe tree berries and were swooping all over the place! They are also super cool looking!!! I love masked birdies, so it was a real treat:
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 Post subject: Re: The Bird Thread
PostPosted: Fri Nov 01, 2013 6:46 am 
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Ooh, those are some great sightings, couroupita! I love waxwings! When I was doing some wildlife care work in the Pacific Northwest, I got to help care for orphaned Cedar Waxwing chicks and they were sooooooo cute. And they pooped purple from all the berries. I have yet to see any Bohemian Waxwings (the European cousins of the Cedars), but there are more and more sightings of them in this area each winter, so fingers crossed.

I've moved since I last posted here. I'm in a more agricultural and less urban environment now. Still see a lot of same species as before, but also some different ones. For instance, we had Greenfinches visiting all summer long. Also there are tons of Collard Doves in this area. And House Sparrows! I know they're ubiquitous in North American cities, but they're totally on the decline here. I think I can count on one hand the number of times I saw sparrows while living in Amsterdam. But we get buttloads of them here! They make me so happy with their busy chirping!

There was a huge storm here earlier this week, and one of these guys landed on our roof, so that was a new life tick for me.

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 Post subject: Re: The Bird Thread
PostPosted: Fri Nov 01, 2013 12:05 pm 
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That is great lepelaar! It makes me sad to think that house sparrows are in decline over in Europe, because you are right - they are doing very well over here (at least in California). Also, the wagtail is amazing! It always amuses me when the common name of the bird emphasizes its drabbest feature - grey wagtail. I was expecting an all-gray bird!

And couroupita! What a great list for your feeders already! The Townsend's is beautiful! I hope that you can attract more warblers to your feeders.

In September I went to Los Angeles for a work weekend, but managed to get in some birding -- specifically to go after a fairly rare bird, at least for California -- the blue-footed booby (famous from Darwin's reports from the Galapagos). And lo and behold, I got it. It was a long way away and I only had my low-end binoculars, but it has a distinctive profile. Sadly, I did not get to see its famous blue feet.

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 Post subject: Re: The Bird Thread
PostPosted: Fri Nov 01, 2013 12:50 pm 
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I've started maintaining bird feeders in my back yard, as I was given my grandma's feeders when she passed away. All I get are doves and LBBs (how my aunt refers to all little brown birds), but I like them. It's like cat TV for my (indoor) cats and I love watching the birds interact in the yard.

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 Post subject: Re: The Bird Thread
PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2013 2:53 pm 
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Awww, baby waxwings! I'm thinking of setting up birdhouses for the chickadees and goldfinches on my balcony in the spring, but I don't know yet if I want to deal with all the poo that will come along with the nests! How weird about the house sparrow! They're native to Europe, right? Is it loss of habitat that's causing their decline?

Quagga, I read about a booby sighting in the LA Times! Where were you in LA?

Invictus, do you have lots of different LBBs? It's taken me a while to actually distinguish them all from one another. Before I started with my feeders I called every brown bird I saw a sparrow, ha ha!

I saw a Bewick's wren investigating my balcony yesterday afternoon! I'd never seen a wren before and was hoping they would start coming by! So cute. She just hung out between my potted plants for a few minutes and then flew away, so I hope she liked what she saw and visits again. Speaking of just hanging out, the juncos have started pecking around in one of my low-hanging potted plants that catches a lot of the fallen seed from the feeders. Yesterday one of them ate a bit and then kinda just sat halfway hidden under the plant staring out over the landscaping. The other ones like to sit and chillax while perched on the edges of the pots closer to the ground. This one was all cozied up in her own private viewing box and was super adorbs. Emo bird!

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 Post subject: Re: The Bird Thread
PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2013 3:20 pm 
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couroupita wrote:
Quagga, I read about a booby sighting in the LA Times! Where were you in LA?

I saw a Bewick's wren investigating my balcony yesterday afternoon! I'd never seen a wren before and was hoping they would start coming by! So cute. She just hung out between my potted plants for a few minutes and then flew away, so I hope she liked what she saw and visits again. Speaking of just hanging out, the juncos have started pecking around in one of my low-hanging potted plants that catches a lot of the fallen seed from the feeders. Yesterday one of them ate a bit and then kinda just sat halfway hidden under the plant staring out over the landscaping. The other ones like to sit and chillax while perched on the edges of the pots closer to the ground. This one was all cozied up in her own private viewing box and was super adorbs. Emo bird!


I was in Marina del Rey - I followed some very exact directions that were listed on the Los Angeles Audubon chapter.

I love Bewick's wren (never sure whether to pronounce it "buick" or "bee-wick"! :) ). Wrens are among my favorites--I love their little tail flicks. Last spring I saw house wrens, marsh wrens, and rock wrens.

We get dark-eyed juncos in my yard in the fall and winter; they migrate, but only up and downslope, not really north/south (at least in my area). They are cute little birds.


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 Post subject: Re: The Bird Thread
PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2013 3:41 pm 
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We have the cutest little miniature wood pecker. I have no idea what kind he/she is, but tiny! Molly tiny--maybe 6" tall. The pecking is the cutest little tiny sound.

I had no idea wood peckers came so wee.

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 Post subject: Re: The Bird Thread
PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2013 9:34 pm 
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lavawitch - maybe a downy woodpecker? That's the smallest of the woodpeckers.
http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Downy_Woodpecker/id


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 Post subject: Re: The Bird Thread
PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2013 11:40 pm 
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Yes! They are so freaking CUTE I can't stand it. Molly tiny and Molly cute.

When I got out of my car after work a few weeks ago, I heard this tiny little tapataptapatap. It took me a while to spot the little fellow. I need a photo.

I wish I could get photos of the hummingbirds. They love the foxglove and we usually have a few about. I actually saw one still on a branch recently.

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 Post subject: Re: The Bird Thread
PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2013 8:06 pm 
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oooh bird people.....
http://theoatmeal.com/comics/grump
spoilered for language, one never knows
Spoiler: show
Image
Image

Oatmeal person, you are the best of the best.

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 Post subject: Re: The Bird Thread
PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2013 9:35 pm 
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I thought of lavawitch and Molly when I saw this in my feed today. I loved it. (Although I know that Molly is not as dark-hearted as Grump.)

Also, I love that the Oatmeal properly classified parrots as relatives of raptors! This is a newish reclassification whereby genetic analysis showed that falcons are more closely related to parrots than they are to hawks. Pretty cool, eh?

And all the birds are closer to dinosaurs than they are to mammals. Birds are so cool.


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 Post subject: Re: The Bird Thread
PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2013 10:00 pm 
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You can see the dinosaur lurking behind their beady eyes!

Molly totally pulls a Grump sometimes, just not usually to me.

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