birds

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seafarer john
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2011/04/26 11:51:38 (permalink)

birds

Sometimes, when you're not even out birdwatching you get to see some pretty remarkable stuff right out your own window. This morning I happened to glance at a birdfeeder outside our dining room window and there sat a rose breasted grosbeak - a bird I've never before seen in our yard. He hopped down to the ground and a few feet away was a towhee scratching away under a bush - again, a bird I've never seen in our yard. A few minutes later something caught my eye scratching around in the ground ivy and it was a common yellowthroat. I looked out at the suet feeder and there sat a catbird, first of the year, followed by a red breasted nuthatch - a bird I haven't  seen in years around here - white breasted nuthatches are common here in winter.
 
So Gail and I , realizing that this was a day to remember made a list of the birds we have seen in our yard from about 7am till noon today. It is a remarkable 23 species: House (English) sparrow, house finch, chipping sparrow, song sparrow, goldfinch, junco, titmouse, white throated sparrow, chickadee, blue jay, crow, robin, mourning dove, grackle, cow bird, cardinal, downy woodpecker, together with those mentioned above. And, I should add, the half dozen squirrels we feed every day. and, btw, these were all seen without binoculars, and not identified by sound as I'm too deaf to hear any birdsong.
 
Cheers, John
#1

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    ann peeples
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    Re:birds 2011/04/26 12:01:16 (permalink)
    I love my birds, John. There is a forest behind our house, so we get a ton of species.I probably spend more money on bird food than I do on regular food.But we are moving and I am mourning the fact that I have to leave my friends. I am hoping that putting up a couple of bird feeders at our new apartment complex will attract some..
    #2
    mar52
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    Re:birds 2011/04/26 12:26:09 (permalink)
    I'm a bird freak!  I love them!
     
    My latest sighting at the Ballona Marsh about a mile from where I live was a Killdeer.  I have no idea how it got its name.
     
    I love seeing birds in the wild.
    #3
    mar52
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    Re:birds 2011/04/26 12:27:28 (permalink)
    I just Googled your rose breasted grosbeak and towhee.
     
    WOW!  They are beautiful.
    #4
    Michael Hoffman
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    Re:birds 2011/04/26 12:56:23 (permalink)
    The name comes from their call -- kill-DEER.
     
    There are tons of them around here, and quite often there'll be one or two in my yard.
    #5
    Tony Bad
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    Re:birds 2011/04/26 12:59:36 (permalink)
    I have seen towhees for the first time in many years down my way as well. 
    #6
    mayor al
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    Re:birds 2011/04/26 15:13:59 (permalink)
    We enjoy watching the various birds visit our feeders and the fountain in front of our large windows. Jan planted a Magnolia bush behind the fountain (on the street side) so the birds can sit and wait their turns at the fountain or feeders. The bush has spread a bit, allowing a lot of the more timid birds to hide in it between food stops.
    Tons of Cardinals all year long
    Same with the Finches, mainly the Gold Finch, but others as well.
    Grosbeakes !!  Rose Breasted and the Blue ones too !  We had a Blue one just arrive yesterday, and saw his "mrs." today.
    We have a few Towhee's, but they seem to come and go a lot.
    Doves wander the yard frequently AS do 3 sizes of WoodPeckers.  We call them the small-medium-and Large.  All three are frequent visitors, with the small (Downey) living in a Rose of Sharon just a few feet from the Feeder. The Large (Pilated) has one baby following it around when she does her dead-tree tack-hammer job each day. It is fun to see the little one study his Mother on the job.
    We go thru hundreds of pounds of the black Sunflower seeds each year feeding all of these visitors, but it is worth every penny !!
     
    Bluebirds seeking storm shelter on our porch-

    Mr Rose Breasted Grossbeak

     
    Gold Finch-

     
    Mr and Mrs. BLUE Grossbeak

    #7
    Michael Hoffman
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    Re:birds 2011/04/26 16:13:23 (permalink)
    Mr. Mayor, do you feed thistle or Niger seed for the goldfinches? If you do, and if you use the tube feeders with perches for them, I'll bet you're also feeding house finches.
     
    One way to keep house finches off those tube feeders is to cut the perches down to about an inch and a half in length. That's fine for the goldfinches, but too short for the house finches to use.
    #8
    mbrookes
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    Re:birds 2011/04/26 17:06:15 (permalink)
    We have a pair of Mississippi Kites that ride the thermals and sit to rest in a tree across the street. The are beautiful birds.
    #9
    chewingthefat
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    Re:birds 2011/04/26 17:53:58 (permalink)
    At my daughters Baptisimal party some 22 plus years ago, my brother was holding her, Kelliann, and standing in my front yard, our property is mountainside, 3 sides forest, many birds, all of a sudden we heard this KEEEAAAAWWWWW[hawk sound, I hope], and a Red Tailed Hawk swooped down and cane within a foot or so of Kelliann's face, then majestically continued his flight, KEEEAAAWWWWWing the whole time, I've never seen anything like it, I took it as a powerfully good sign, a la, Clan of the Cave Bear!
    Did I mention Kelliann can fly?  Truely, the incident really happened!
    #10
    Michael Hoffman
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    Re:birds 2011/04/26 18:10:30 (permalink)
    Now that's really neat.
     
    And I'll bet she can fly.
    #11
    mayor al
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    Re:birds 2011/04/26 18:22:22 (permalink)
    Michael, The price of Thistle seed is up bigtime this year. As a result we limited our seed purchases to the Black Sunflower seed, Tractor Supply had them on sale last Fall for $9.00/ 40 lb bag. We bought a dozen bags and Janet just told me she opened the last one today. The price now is $19.00 for the same size bag...Guess the birdies may be doing some 'Lean Crusine" shortly !!
    #12
    Michael Hoffman
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    Re:birds 2011/04/26 18:25:38 (permalink)
    I know how expensive the stuff has become. Amazing, isn't it? But it's because the house finches will take over those tube feeders pushing out the goldfinches that I cut the perches short. House finches are voracious eaters.
    #13
    Greymo
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    Re:birds 2011/04/26 18:54:05 (permalink)
    No beautiful birds around our house yet  but we have been adopted by two huge turkey vultures  who have been around here for three weeks.  They  both fly  up to a side  roof and sun themselves  and then then swoop  down into the back woods.  Could it be  that they have a nest?
     
    Not much fun sunbathing out on back deck with them hanging out,  but I  am making the  best of  the hot days we have been having!
    #14
    chewingthefat
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    Re:birds 2011/04/26 20:06:59 (permalink)
    Greymo

    No beautiful birds around our house yet  but we have been adopted by two huge turkey vultures  who have been around here for three weeks.  They  both fly  up to a side  roof and sun themselves  and then then swoop  down into the back woods.  Could it be  that they have a nest?

    Not much fun sunbathing out on back deck with them hanging out,  but I  am making the  best of  the hot days we have been having!

    Greymo, try the Micheal Hoffman buckshot remedy, moneyback guarantee!

    #15
    chewingthefat
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    Re:birds 2011/04/26 20:11:10 (permalink)
    Michael Hoffman

    Now that's really neat.

    And I'll bet she can fly.

    Indeed, a nice touch Mr. Hoffman, thank you!

    post edited by chewingthefat - 2011/04/26 20:12:43
    #16
    Michael Hoffman
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    Re:birds 2011/04/26 20:22:20 (permalink)
    chewingthefat

    Greymo

    No beautiful birds around our house yet  but we have been adopted by two huge turkey vultures  who have been around here for three weeks.  They  both fly  up to a side  roof and sun themselves  and then then swoop  down into the back woods.  Could it be  that they have a nest?

    Not much fun sunbathing out on back deck with them hanging out,  but I  am making the  best of  the hot days we have been having!

    Greymo, try the Micheal Hoffman buckshot remedy, moneyback guarantee!

    Um, that would not be a good idea. Turkey Vultures are protected birds.

    #17
    chewingthefat
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    Re:birds 2011/04/26 20:45:26 (permalink)
    Michael Hoffman

    chewingthefat

    Greymo

    No beautiful birds around our house yet  but we have been adopted by two huge turkey vultures  who have been around here for three weeks.  They  both fly  up to a side  roof and sun themselves  and then then swoop  down into the back woods.  Could it be  that they have a nest?

    Not much fun sunbathing out on back deck with them hanging out,  but I  am making the  best of  the hot days we have been having!

    Greymo, try the Micheal Hoffman buckshot remedy, moneyback guarantee!

    Um, that would not be a good idea. Turkey Vultures are protected birds.


     dont know why, Wash DC and most state capitals are awash in them... funny how they choose their nesting places!
    #18
    Michael Hoffman
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    Re:birds 2011/04/26 21:19:41 (permalink)
    chewingthefat

    Michael Hoffman

    chewingthefat

    Greymo

    No beautiful birds around our house yet  but we have been adopted by two huge turkey vultures  who have been around here for three weeks.  They  both fly  up to a side  roof and sun themselves  and then then swoop  down into the back woods.  Could it be  that they have a nest?

    Not much fun sunbathing out on back deck with them hanging out,  but I  am making the  best of  the hot days we have been having!

    Greymo, try the Micheal Hoffman buckshot remedy, moneyback guarantee!

    Um, that would not be a good idea. Turkey Vultures are protected birds.


     dont know why, Wash DC and most state capitals are awash in them... funny how they choose their nesting places!

    Well, they know where their droppings will do the most good, and send the best message..
    #19
    6star
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    Re:birds 2011/04/27 01:03:23 (permalink)
    mar52

    I'm a bird freak!  I love them!

    My latest sighting at the Ballona Marsh about a mile from where I live was a Killdeer.  I have no idea how it got its name.

    I love seeing birds in the wild.


    As Michael Hoffman said, one of the calls they make sounds like "kill deer".
    You can hear their various calls here:
    http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Killdeer/sounds
     
    #20
    mar52
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    Re:birds 2011/04/27 01:24:43 (permalink)
    Thanks for that link.  (I don't hear Kill-deer)
    #21
    Foodbme
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    Re:birds 2011/04/27 03:41:57 (permalink)
    Surprised Sundancer 7 hasn't chimed in. He's a big Bird watcher.
    #22
    seafarer john
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    Re:birds 2011/04/27 08:38:21 (permalink)
    Fifty years ago Turkey Vultures were unknown in the Hudson Valley. A local ornithologist told me that at about that time a pair somehow made their way to New Paltz, and prospered on the dead cattle a local dairy farmer would now and then drag out to a field along the river. They lived and bred and nested on ledges in the crags in the small mountains outside our village, and they have become pests.
     
    In the winter dozens of the vultures move down from the mountain to roost in the numerous big old Norway spruce trees around town - apparently they find plenty to eat; they thrive. They have a particular taste for the rubber membranes used to seal flat roofs - they twice destroyed the roof of a house a few blocks from ours and did not leave until a dead vulture (supplied by NYS DEC) was hung from a scaffold on the roof. BTW: that house has been for sale for at least two years - no takers, wonder why?
    Recently, Black Vultures, heretofore a strictly southern bird, have also taken up residence in our crags.
     
    Cheers, John  
    #23
    Greymo
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    Re:birds 2011/04/27 09:06:24 (permalink)
    mar52

    Thanks for that link.  (I don't hear Kill-deer)


    If you listen to the flight call, you can plainly hear it.  My cat is going  nuts looking for a bird behind my monitor   right nw...............very funny!
    #24
    Tony Bad
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    Re:birds 2011/04/27 10:00:17 (permalink)
    Had a rare indigo bunting at my feeder this morning. They mus be passing through, as they are not regular visitors.
    #25
    ann peeples
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    Re:birds 2011/04/27 10:39:09 (permalink)
    Thanks for the site, 6 star!! I have been trying to identify a bird call for years, turns out to be a black capped chickadee.
    Tony-indigo buntings indeed are "pass thru" birds. We see one or two in spring and then sightings are rare after that.
    #26
    ken8038
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    Re:birds 2011/04/27 16:24:46 (permalink)
    You people are making me jealous. We have feeders in both the front and back yards here in suburban New Jersey but hardly ever see anything unusual. Cardinals and Woodpeckers are about as interesting as it gets. Maybe it's the high taxes...
     
    Anyway, the birds provide entertainment for the cats, who can sit in the window and watch them for hours.
     
    #27
    mar52
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    Re:birds 2011/04/27 16:33:40 (permalink)
    Greymo

    mar52

    Thanks for that link.  (I don't hear Kill-deer)


    If you listen to the flight call, you can plainly hear it.  My cat is going  nuts looking for a bird behind my monitor   right nw...............very funny!

     
    Thanks, Greymo.  I don't think I speak bird.
    #28
    Michael Hoffman
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    Re:birds 2011/04/27 16:57:51 (permalink)
    Chiiirrrp, chirp, chiiiiirrrrrrrrp! Chip, chip, chip, chireeep.
     
    Just sayin'.
    #29
    chewingthefat
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    Re:birds 2011/04/27 17:26:41 (permalink)
    mar52

    Greymo

    mar52

    Thanks for that link.  (I don't hear Kill-deer)


    If you listen to the flight call, you can plainly hear it.  My cat is going  nuts looking for a bird behind my monitor   right nw...............very funny!


    Thanks, Greymo.  I don't think I speak bird.

    You can if you Tweet her!

    #30
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