The bird watcher's thread

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Jeff Ulmer, Mar 7, 2004.

  1. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    One of the benefits of my move last year has been the large number of birds that I have discovered in my new back yard.

    This morning heralded the arrival of a handful of female American Goldfinch, who join the other regulars at my pair of feeders.

    Among those are House Finch, Juncos (sp?), Chipping Sparrow, Chickadee, Robins, Stellar Jays, Ravens, Magpies, Starlings, Varied Thrush, a trio of Northern Flicker and a few Downey Woodpeckers.

    Some of my favorites are the California Quail, who traipse through here in an army twice a day. Their scratching is hilarious.

    We also have a Mourning Dove, a Northern Shrike, and sighted what we believe is a Yellow Winged Blackbird the other day.

    We've also got a few hawks, eagles, wild turkeys and pheasants around, and later on should see a large number of hummingbirds return.

    I'm feeding black seasame seeds in the feeders, with a combination of grains on the ground.

    I really need to get a digital camera to capture some of these birds, as they are pretty marvelous. I could also use a good spotting scope, as my 8x35 binoculars don't allow enough zoom to see who is in some of my further trees.

    Anyone else fascinated by their bird life?
     
  2. John Watson

    John Watson Screenwriter

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    There was recently a post here about a bird of prey (photo included) someone was trying to identify.

    At the time I think I mentioned a large flock of Bohemian Waxwings that have been frequenting the back lot. An estimated 200 or so settled for a few minutes in a huge willow about 100 feet from the window.

    A more modest flock of about 12 robins was feeding on berries on some wild growth in the same corner. As we had about 2 feet of snow at the time, they obviously can't get many worms, but also interesting is that I don't think of robins as hanging out in gangs [​IMG]

    The waxwings are still appearing frequenly but sometimes in smaller groups.

    My wife can't stand the bluejays that work her feeders. I hear remarks about bullies and "greedy bastards", but they sure are nice looking birds.

    The American goldfinches (in dull winter colours now) stay here all year. We also get black-capped chickadees and redpolls at the feeder thru winter, a few other miscellanous types, and now sparrows are starting to show up, but they are hard to id.

    You seem to get a larger variety, including many we'd never see up here, I seem to recall you are somehere in the midwest USA

    Now, about murdering the massed crows, and seagulls.. [​IMG]
     
  3. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    I'm actually in the Kootenays (BC) now. The snow is on its way out, so bird activity has picked up a lot. I used to have crows (my dad lives near a major roost in Vancouver, with thousands of them there nightly) and seagulls back in Vancouver, but wasn't really paying too much attention to birds there, other than Robins, Sparrows, Swallows or Jays and the odd bald eagle.

    The robins here are cleaning up the mountain ash berrires, and have only recently started rifling through the freshly uncovered leaves for bugs.

    I know what you mean about IDing the sparrows, we have a couple of different types here, but they don't stand still long enough to tell the difference (other than size) between them.

    The Thrush is probably our showiest bird aside from the Magpie, although the Flicker is pretty cool too.

    It is pretty neat when someone new shows up at the feeder, which I will have to build more of soon given the numbers I'm getting. There is also a Meadowlark down the road that I haven't seen yet.
     
  4. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    That was me, John. Here's the photo:

    [​IMG]

    I'm pretty sure it's a Cooper's Hawk.
     
  5. WarrenL

    WarrenL Stunt Coordinator

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    I've had to get a book of birds to try and identify some of the birds I've seen at my feeders. Hawks will stop by for a swipe at the tons of sparrows that come here lots of songbirds, but the coolest visitor I've had is a parakeet that was free. It would hang with the sparrows and looked very tropical in the bamboos'. I haven't seen it since last October though, everyone says its dead. I hope not, but if it. is at least it lived free for a while.
     
  6. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    This morning the ring necked pheasants were in my yard, magnificent birds. I'd seen them around here, but this was the first time they showed up on my property.

    One of the flickers has discovered how to get into one of my feeders - he pretty much takes up the whole thing.

    I'm eager to see the male goldfinch, as the females were back again today as well.

    It's getting pretty loud with all these birds around! [​IMG]
     

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