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Old 2020-05-09, 16:06   #100
xilman
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Default Biny little tirds

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We have blue tits!

Not because of the cold weather, I hasten to add. We have them because it is now getting warmer.

A pair of Cyanistes caeruleus are building their nest inside a box we set up for them in the garden.
Looks like they are raising a family. Adults go into the box every few minutes with beaks full and leaving with them empty a few seconds later.

Last fiddled with by xilman on 2020-05-09 at 16:23
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Old 2020-05-09, 16:28   #101
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Its top will be planted in the hope that a second generation will turn up in another couple of years.
The top was put in a half-pint beer mug filled with water. It, the plant, not the mug, now has several strong roots and will planted Real Soon Now.
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Old 2020-05-10, 23:35   #102
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About a month ago, I was out in the boondocks and saw some activity around a pond in someone's pasture. Some shore birds were coming in for a landing. Too far away to identify, they might have been plovers or sandpipers. There was a Canada Goose in the water on the far side, a male Mallard Duck swimming in the near side, and a nearly-identical looking pair of waterfowl I was unable to identify in the water on the near side. (They were around duck size, black necks and heads, dark and white elsewhere.)

Also in the water on the near side, standing still, were three Great Blue Herons. Then, one of them started to move. It was hunting. I didn't see it strike, though. By golly, a Great Blue Heron looking for its dinner looks like something prehistoric!

Oh, and standing stock-still off on the far side, near a patch of last years cattails, was a Sandhill Crane.

Since then, the Barn Swallows have returned in force. I've heard some barred owls. I saw and heard the local Red-shouldered Hawk I'd been told about. Also, a Summer Tanager. Rose-breasted Grosbeaks. Goldfinches in breeding plumage. Baltimore Orioles.

And, finally, the Ruby-throated Hummingbirds have come back. At least one appears to be setting up housekeeping in a tree next door to where I'm living.

We've had some rather chilly weather lately. The other day, it was so cold, I saw a fat sparrow that had turned blue! Oh, wait. That was an Indigo Bunting.
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Old 2020-05-10, 23:48   #103
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You have much better places to ramble within reach. I am envious of seeing/hearing that variety of birds. A Sandhill Crane would be a real treat. Great Blues, I know and love. Have to get out of Chicago to see them. They dance sometimes to stir up prey. They are amazing. I have seen them hunting from Gulf Coast beaches to Upper Michigan.

We have been seeing our usual migratory birds: yellow bellied sapsuckers. and a variety of tiny warblers which are hard to identify. Darned little critters won't hold still long enough for my eyes to focus. They are extremely quick. The city-adapted cardinals and robins and house finches do provide song, though we mostly see the robins.

Last fiddled with by kladner on 2020-05-10 at 23:51
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Old 2020-05-11, 00:04   #104
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We have been seeing our usual migratory birds: yellow bellied sapsuckers. and a variety of tiny warblers which are hard to identify. Darned little critters won't hold still long enough for my eyes to focus. They are extremely quick.
I know what you mean about warblers. They are always darting around. Not that it matters that much. The bird book I consult has dozens of species, and I can't keep the pictures straight.

I haven't seen any yellow-bellied sapsuckers, but a while back someone showed me IIRC a spruce tree one had been at work on. The sap had just poured down the side of the trunk.

Funny thing about House Finches, they used to be just a Western species. Many years ago, enterprising pet stores in New York started selling them. The authorities took notice and officially disapproved. In order to avoid fines and/or prosecution, the stores released their House Finches.

The House Finch has colonized the whole Eastern US, and is now as common as dirt. They have established migration routes in the Eastern US.
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Old 2020-05-11, 00:14   #105
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You have much better places to ramble within reach. I am envious of seeing/hearing that variety of birds.
I doubt Dr. S has seen like a bird like this:
https://www.sciencetimes.com/article...california.htm
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Old 2020-05-21, 01:49   #106
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Officials: Loon killed bald eagle by stabbing its heart
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BRIDGTON, Maine (AP) — A bald eagle died last year in Maine after being stabbed through the heart by a loon, wildlife officials said.

A biologist at the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife recently got word about the July 2019 attack, the Bangor Daily News reported Wednesday.

Danielle D'Auria believes it to be one of the strangest cases of eagle death she has ever seen.

The bird had been found with a puncture would in its chest by a loon biologist in New Hampshire. A dead loon chick was also discovered near the eagle.
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Old 2020-05-21, 02:36   #107
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Golly! Loons are striking looking. That beak is like a sharp-pointed wedge with what look like sharp edges. I would not want to get stabbed with that! Seeing the pictures, I think I know, now, how the biologist could say the wound was from a loon. It would be a pretty distinctive hole.
https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Common_Loon/id
https://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/common-loon
The calls on the Audubon site are amazing. Descriptions say "dagger-like bills." I guess that eagle picked on the wrong loon.
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Old 2020-08-03, 23:48   #108
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Default an ode to swifts

The link is to a NYT reprint of an essay about the remarkable bird, the swift.
It discusses that they never touch the earth until they die.
It also goes into their most astounding flight characteristics such as how they can fly half asleep. This is taken from a book just published titled "Vespers".

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/29/m...=pocket-newtab

There is a large group of them that live in the roof of an old school converted to condos which is behind my backyard.
At dusk, I enjoy watching them zoom around like little fighter planes such as the German Me163 or the F-86 Sabre jet.
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Old 2020-08-04, 01:06   #109
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I used to watch a live feed from Dale Hollow Eagle Cam. Dale Hollow is a large lake which is on the Kentucky/Tennessee state line. A Bald Eagle pair were raising chicks atop a tree by the lake. A storm took the tree down in early April. The feed has been offline since. They are relocating their camera.

Last fiddled with by storm5510 on 2020-08-04 at 01:07
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Old 2020-08-09, 19:45   #110
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Default Outside our windows

We've been feeding birds on the roof of the building entryway. We can climb out a window to get there and sit outdoors. Our visitors are down considerably in the last week. I suspect their offspring fledged and have to feed themselves, now.
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