Hmmmm. Invisiblilus is a good call. I thought perhaps it was a snowy egret in a snow storm. However, not being able to make out his 'golden gloves' sort of had me wondering. I think you guys are on to something...
Yup Wes, the red one is a House Finch. The yellows are American Goldfinch, and the first one - the one scratching appears to be young European Starling. All lovely birds (of course, I think all birds are lovely).
Piece of cake for someone who does a lot of birding. Here they are: (1) male Lark Bunting; (2) male Gadwall (left) with two male and one female Cinnamon Teal; (3) male Bullock's Oriole; (4) male Sage Grouse; (5) juvenile Great Horned Owls; (6) juvenile Cedar Waxwings; (7) Black Phoebe; (8) male American Goldfinch; (9) male House Finch; (10) male American Goldfinches; (11) Blue-and-yellow Macaw; (12) Long-eared Owl; (13) two nerds with a Great Horned Owl; (14) dark-morph Red-tailed Hawk; (15) Great Blue Heron; (16) Marbled Godwit; (17) Brant (foreground) and Marbled Godwits; (18) Western Grebes.
That's a sharptail fer sure. I once lived two weeks on sharptails boiled and broiled. Sage hens are bigger and darker. Look kinda like a buzzard strolling around. Eastern Montana used to be swarming with them.
I figured it was an oriole but didn't have the time to look it up. All the rest were off the top of my head. But I didn't know there were 2 kinds of magpies, just that it is what I see here in Cali all the time.
Dang--missed the phoebe (must be Eastern Phoebe if from Tennessee, shape and color wrong for European Starling), grouse (I concur it looks Sharp-tailed) and hawk (tricky tricky!). Without looking at a guide earlier or now, the more recent photos are: (1) White Pelican; (2) American Kestrels "fighting" (as we used to tell our son when he was young); (3) female hummingbird (tough to identify; the two apparent rings on the throat/foreneck are odd); (4) Bald Eagle; (5) juvenile Great Horned Owl; (6) Hooded Oriole (might be wrong); (7) Red-shouldered Hawk? (not much to see); (8) juvenile hawk; (9) Common Raven; (10) Barn Owl; (11) female Common Merganser; (12) Osprey; (13) Mountain Bluebird? (hard to see true colors); (14) juvenile Great Horned Owl.
Floyd: I'm certain it is not an Eastern Phoebe either. They are everywhere out here. The young just-fledged Starlings I see all over are mocha colored like that fella is. Plus, that he is doing an over-the-wing head scratch which is starling-ish. The area is crawling with youngsters right now.
Check out these photos of young starlings:
Here is an Eastern Phoebe:
Anyone else have thoughts on that bird we are discussing?
Bwahaha. I am cracking up regarding the Kestrels who are "fighting". :)
This is pretty fun . I missed the earlier set. G_Gnome nailed most of my shots.
The Oriole is like Quartziteflights oriole, a Bullocks Oriole.
Crimpergirl...you know your Magpies. Can you tell what it's eating?
Floyd got most the rest of em' . Yep that's a Mountain Bluebird and I know the hawk head shot shows little of the bird, but it's not a chicken like Russ claims it's a Sharp Shinned. The juvenile hawk is a Coopers.
Wes...nice shots.Barn Swallow, Sandhill Crane?, Osprey, Turkey Vulture, Golden Eagle
Crimpergirl, beautiful waxwing shots and you even make starlings look pretty!
Blinny...got anymore from the Grand?
Great shots John and Quartziteflight and everyone, I think my favorite though is Ouch's bird in the center....wow!
Here are a couple more.
Ha! I'm not falling for the dreaded flycatcher trap there!! I stick with FLYCATCHER and offer no more information. :)
What an adorable shot of the hummingbird in the next. SO CUTE! I know this - it is not a Ruby Throated. haha. Given I have nothing but Ruby Throated here, I know almost no hummingbirds.
I do love the Magpies. I watched some parents with their newly fledged youngsters while I was at Smith Rocks one year. They are very demonstrative. The way their tails stream behind them in flight is so beautiful. They actually remind me of macaws in flight.
I'm afraid to find out what the Magpie is eating. Hopefully not a baby! What is is? (Enlarging the photo didn't help me)
And your Oriole is a Bullocks? Is it young? Seems so different to me. What I am missing?
Never thought I'd be entertaining myself with birds (my vocation) on a climbing (my avocation) website! Nice combination, though.
The mystery bird has a flycatcher-shaped head rather than the flatter head of a European Starling (compare the photos), so I still think it is an Eastern Phoebe, but it's tough to identify it from a single photo in which we can't see all the pertinent details.
The second oriole indeed looks like a 1st alternate plumaged (= 2nd calendar year) male Bullock's Oriole, but it's rather bright on the belly so I still suspect it's a Hooded Oriole, but we either need to see the wingbar detail to be certain or rely on Kevin's word since he apparently studied it in more detail than what we can see in the photo.
The last set of photos: (1) Barn Swallow; (2) Sandhill Crane; (3) Osprey with a filet-o-fish sandwich; (4) Osprey; (5) Common Raven; (6) Golden Eagle; (7) Say's Phoebe; (8) female hummingbird (bill looks straight and long, maybe Black-chinned).
If you're into challenging bird identification problems, you might be interested in the Frontiers of Bird Identification discussion group at:
And be prepared for some polite disagreements, especially when it comes to gulls (my favorites, by the way). Of course the biggest identification controversy of 'em all is the Ivory-billed Woodpecker...
Floyd, mine are with a canon 20d, 400 2.8 IS, and many also with a 1.4 TC added. So, that gives me a film equivalent of right around 900mm, and I still have to crop the smaller birds photos, though I am working on getting closer, and geting a 2x TC. Have some more in flight shots that I will try to get up soon.
Sibley is good no doubt. But I hate carrying it with me. It's big and I can't bear fouling it up.
The Kaufmann book is a good traveling book. It's small and lightweight. I have several that live around (in the car, in my room over looking field and bird feeders, etc.). It's inexpensive enough I don't mind replacing it when it gets lost (like in Snow Canyon a couple of years ago, doh) or ruined.
As far as the gulls - heck, even with guides I'm generally at a loss. I find it interesting that what most people find as the most common boring birds (e.g., gulls, sparrows) are the most challenging for birders.
THANKS Floyd for that birding url. I will be preparing my letter of resignation here at work since my firing for goofing off online is now imminent. :)
I need to be able to see the tail to make a positive ID on the mystery bird. It's nearly impossible to tell an adult female sharp-shinned hawk from and adult male cooper's hawk with out seeing the tail.
Riley...Thanks for the correction. I've been calling those Bullocks for a while now. I'm a pretty novice IDer, and had told a friend that is really good that I'd seen an Altamira and he had said it was probably a Bullocks.I actually get a kick out of telling him I've seen birds that could't possibly be around here!
The Bewicks photo was taken above Round Valley in the Eastern Sierra as was the Oriole.
Quartzflight...Merlin in the net?
Beautiful yellow headed something or other?
Awesome photo....Prairie Falcons?
Glad to know other climbers are into birds. I don't own fancy equipment but I often "digiscope" birds--mostly rarities for documentation--by holding up a digital camera to a telescope. Here's my birding webpage:
Radical, Brant are fairly common along California coast during winter. I often see large flocks at Bodega Bay. As I recall they're less common along Atlantic coast.
Here are my takes on the photos since I last looked: (1) King Rail?; (2) dunno; (3) male Black-chinned Hummingbird; (4) Cactus Wren; (5) Cooper's Hawk?; (6) prehistoric imagination; (7) definitely Hooded Oriole; (8) Bewick's Wren; (9) American Kestrel; (10) Golden-crowned Kinglet; (11) juvenile Smooth-billed Ani (living 12 years in South America helps!); (12) Aplomado Falcon (again, helps to have lived in South America); (13) Cerulean Warbler; (14) not showing; (15) male Costa's Hummingbird; (16) Snowy Egret; (17) American Kestrel; (18) Red-breasted Sapsucker; (19) Great Egret; (20) fledgling Great Horned Owl; (21) Great Egret; (22) Rock Wren; (23) Steller's Jay.
I got to help out a fledgling Cassin's Finch the past coupe of days.
3 of them wound up on the ground, in danger of being trod on, so I put them all in a willow bush out of the way. Not 5 minutes, and 2 of them are gone and dad is feeding the remaining chick. Cute little buggers. Didn't know what they were till I saw the finch's feeding them. But that remaining chick didn't just fly off like his siblings. He spent all day yesterday pathetically calling , making his way up stream some. I spied on him, trying not to interfere, and saw him/her getting fed on occasion by an adult, and apparantly trying to feed himself by lunging at bugs.
But I could hear the flock of Cassins singing across the creek, so I moved him over there, where he was instantly attented to by a female bird. After she had fed him a bit, she brook into one of the Cassins trademark songs.
It was breaking my heart listening to him cheep endlessly. I usually try not to interfere, the parents will find them and take care of them on the ground.
Wish I had gotton pictures, he/she was about the cutest thing I've seen, and very trusting of being handled.
Oh Hoss, that's awesome! I've been lucky enough to help several birds over the years. Mostly blue jays. I raised a Mockingbird that was adorable once. She hung out with me for months before she decided to stay gone (broken heart on my end there). They are such amazing little critters.
My wife and I planted our backyard garden for Hummingbirds (which we know nothing about other than they're amazing and beautiful) and I've hung out in the past with some Cornell and International Crane Foundation ornithologists in a different context, but I've never been into the whole birding thing. Except now over the past three years I've done progressively more intensive and formal monitoring of Peregrines at our local crag and I must say I'm beginning to pick up on the idea of it.
Our crag and it's immediate surrounds are a complete riot of birds. There are Eagles, Ospreys, Hawks, Owls, Vultures, Ravens, Herons, Cormorants, Geese, lots of different Ducks, bunches of Woodpeckers, Hummingbirds, a seemingly endless variety of smaller birds of all colors, and of course Peregrines. There is usually a virtual sushi-train of Gulls going up and down the river due to the dams and the huge garbage dump at Arlington out in the desert. Between the drive out and monitoring it isn't unusual to see 20-30 Osprey and a half-dozen Eagles. Both fish in the slough right out in front of where I monitor.
The Osprey are almost like rats these days. Watching their recovery over twenty years of driving the Gorge for climbing and windsufing has been a gift. Now there's one of their nests on about every other barge navigation aid, cell tower, or freeway interchange light bank. In fact, a pair of Osprey have a nest in the trees behind my monitoring spot so I see their antics everytime I'm out. The other day one of our Peregrines that is so tiny - like barely bigger than a big Jay - I call him the 'Chickenhawk' entered the primary thermal out in front of the crag and spent a while harassing the sh#t out of one of the Osprey from the nest. It would respond by inverting, back-pedalling, and baring its talons at the little guy each time he took a pass at him. He did manage to eventually force the Osprey into bailing from the thermal.
All that action is augmented by dining Otters, enormous leaping Sturgeon, and of course our highly problematic troupe of huge Sea Lions who make the 125 mile trek up the Columbia River to the Bonneville dam to feast on the Salmon queued up at the fish ladder. Last year one of them actually figured out how to get up into the ladder and so visitors inside the dam at the fish ladder window were treated to the sight of the big guy snacking away for the crowd. That forced the Corps. to spend about a million bucks trying to figure out how to deal with them before he taught all the others how to do it. They were still at it the other day when I drove by, however.
And despite having been a commercial photog I don't really have the gear for this - I should have thought longer before dumping the teles and mirrors. Now I'll have to cogitate on it all after reading your great thread and seeing all your fantastic pics. Thanks...
Awesome photos Wes! I'll take a crack...
American White Pelicans
again..don't know but love that shot!
Annas? (I'm as good with hummers as with ducks)
great Great Horned Owl shot!
Obviously a peacock...What kind?
beautiful parrot...What kind?
Thanks for that link, man those are fantastic bird photos on that site!
Healyje, Yeah..cool post and I try to plant for hummers too, but mostly, the hoards just funnel sugar water from 4 feeders till empty everyday! That digiscoping site is cool,I'd love one of those set ups!
Floyd, I enjoyed checking out your climbing and birding sites. Two great passions. Hey, have you ever heard of another prominent birder Jon Dunn? He's my neighbor and I just wondered if any of you expert birders (quarztflight,radical,etc.) have heard of him.
and John ,cool shot of the grebes ? on Mono with Morrison in the back,
and yeah...how bout those eagles?...nice!
Hossjulia..You did a good thing!
Ouch...nice eagle crash!
Come on ya'll...I even need help to Id my own bird photos, I am especially curious about #2(Bushtit maybe?) in my last post. Taken in th Inyo range east of Owens Valley
Looks like I need to check out this "Kinbird Highway"
Kevin - the parrot you ask about is a Rainbow Lorikeet.
Edit: I'll give a try on your photos Kevin -
1.Hummingbird. I know, I am bad with these IDs!
4. Female American Goldfinch
5. Clearly that is a puffer fish in a tree. haha
6. Great Blue Heron
7. Another dreaded hummingbird
8. Red winged black bird
9. Black crowned night heron
As far as Wes' photos. Is that duck a female American Wigeon? And I think the flock flying are Common Mergansers. The peacock is just a regular ol' beautiful female Peahen.
I have to say I was caught off guard by all the positve responses to the bird thread. Sometimes it's dishearting how some climbers view the natural world. Not to mention society as a whole. Thanks for the good vibes..
Quartzite - too bad you aren't going to sushifest. It was clear there that there are many bird lovers among us. I always take my binoculars and guide with me. There may still be time for you to join us!
I found a photo on my hard drive here. It's an easy one, but still...
Here are some of my favorite birds. I know these are repeated, but they are as cute as Ouch's chicken above.
That is Stalker (rip) up front and Cappy the duck that thinks he's a goose in the back.
Chickens need love too:
And look at what this nutty bird was doing. He swam around repeatedly doing this:
I was just in Idyllwild for the last 5 days, and was pleasantly surprised to see TONS of birds at this remote campsite that I stayed at.
I'm not a birder, and I don't have pics (which makes me dumbass on this thread!) but I did see three bird species that stood out: some cute little hooded finches of some sort begging for food and tons of what I'd call purple martins swooping around and dining on black flies (thank goodness!)
The third, and my favorite, was a couple of really nice looking red-tailed hawks shopping for squirrels and mice.
I also saw a white-tailed deer right in camp, and a grey fox!
That's true. Birds are amazing they seem to brighten up daily life. There were a couple pine siskins twittering at me this morning. Or at least I though they were twittering at me...
There is now way I can make it to sushi fest, but I'm going to be at the vedauvoo bunguloo. If you're coming bring your bino's I've heard rumor of a couple nest pairs of nothern goshawks around the voo.
Crimpy, This is the story that goes with the -chip collector.
A seagull in Scotland has developed the habit of stealing chips from a neighborhood shop.
The seagull waits until the shopkeeper isn't looking, and then walks into the store and grabs a snack-size bag of cheese Doritos.
Once outside, the bag gets ripped open and shared by other birds.
The seagull's shoplifting started early this month when he first swooped into the store in Aberdeen , Scotland , and helped himself to a bag of chips. Since then, he's become a regular. He always takes the same type of chips.
Customers have begun paying for the seagull's stolen bags of chips because they think it's so funny.
I am glad this thread resurfaced. I have some mystery shots. The first one is easy.
This one is a little harder.
The next two are hard as babies are always difficult. By the way these kids grew up to be big birds.
somehow looking for whether the red eyes in adult Cooper's was distinctive from Sharp-Shinned. Wish I could recognize the leaves to get size info. But the flatness of the head and hint of a crest, plus an uninformed guess on the leaf size...
led me to Cooper's.
But basically, to my untrained eye, size seems to be the most distinctive.
Damn Riley those birds you posted are cool. I am going to research them today.
The raptors I posted are:
1-Eastern Red Shoulder. I took it in late March in a swamp in suburban Reston, VA. I There are remains of a frog at her feet so I had time to get a picture while she ate.
2, 3, 4, -The accipitor is a Coopers Hawk that built a nest behind our house. She is the mother of the babies next under. Scruffy caught it that it's the same foliage. The identification clues are hidden. You can't tell from the photo but, she is much bigger than a Sharpie. Her mate was tiny and I couldn't tell him from a sharp shin. At this point only she was tending the nest. However, he'd bring food to this transfer tree and she'd bring it in to the nestlings. My wife Laura and I watched this family every day for a couple months last year. The nest was hidden pretty well and people walking by had no idea what we were looking at. I used a Nikon 4500 through a telescope.
Alrighty, I'll chime in on a few of these. The woodpecker is a Red-cockaded. Note the clean white outer rectrices. The oriole looks like a straightforward adult male Baltimore to me, but there's not much to go on. Any oriole having that much blue-gray in the upper mandible is pretty classic Baltimore/Bullock's, and between that and the very orange underparts, I think we can discount Black-vented and Black-cowled (the latter of which I don't believe has reached the U.S.). I think I'm also seeing a little white lower wingbar, maybe some white below that (which would be the white edging to the primaries) and maybe some orange tail feathers. Just looks like a classic male Baltimore unless you can convince me otherwise. Another thing to note with Geno's nesting accipiter is head shape - flat-topped is good for Cooper's. Here's a few shots I took in my yard this summer, playing with exposures and natural light. Not an ID quiz (which if you're interested, this one's often good (http://www.americanbirding.org/photoquiz/);, just some fun shots:
Glad you popped in again on this. You got Laura and I inpired to look at birds in the first place a couple years ago. Thanks! We are still novices but we see so much now. Wish you were still out here.
Last Saturday we were on a boat cruise on the Potomac with folks from my office. Laura had the binos in her pocket. As we cruised by Old Town Alexandria, Laura scoped out a Great Horned Owl roosting on the top of an office building. It was great. I love seeing birds in unlikely places. Like you said earlier: "these little gems are all around us!"
Here are more examples of that.
Red shoulder after eating some creature on a roof in our neighborhood this morning.
Even common birds are cool.
This big Barred owl was at the beggining of a driveway in New Paltz last Christmas. All we could get was this snap shot, but it's a great memory.
In Feb 06 a Snowy Owl was hanging around Dulles Airport. We went there 5 times and saw it only once at a distance. But this guy caught it sitting on the ail of this plane. Great photo I think. The bird was obviously unfazed by all the air traffic.
Looks like some Lower Rio Grande specialties. In no particular order;
red cockaded woody, Brown Jay, Altimira oriole, scarlet tanager.
I just did the Chico Audubon Christmas Bird Count. 118 species total for the group. Some personal highlights; 19 Hooded mergansers, Prarie and peregrine falcons, rufous crowned sparrow and lots of wood ducks.
So happy to see how birds have become part your your life. They are beautiful aren't they!?!? Speaking of, I'm heading to Costa Rica in a week. 850 species of birds to be had there. I am hoping for a Resplendent Quetzal and other amazing birds. Bob - are those photos from CR?
I saw Resplendent Quetzal in Nicaragua...one of the few times I didn't have my camera. You need some beta on CR...give me a call.
Geno...miss you guys...have a good holiday season.
My son and I spend a few days birding in Mindo, Ecuador...walking up along the Rio Mindo this deer was fighting for his/her life...I snap a few quick shots and thought the thing was going to drown..he somehow made it to the bank, shook himself off and headed back into the woods.
Crimp...bag CR and go to Ecuador for birding over 1500 different beauties to be had there.
Radical - look closely at the extent of black on that bird; it's a complete hood. Crimson-collared Grosbeak has a crimson collar (in the ad. male), which would be vis. in this shot. Females, and juvs have even less black, and they're greener also. Plus, no age/sex combo should be this orange. Regarding your quest for all the woodpeckers, have you seen the Ivory-billed? Yeah, me neither.
Brock - no Black-capped Chickadees in Tahoe; they're Mountain Chickadees. I'll dig for some photos of those three species you mentioned.
Bob: Ecuador looks awesome. Dave has been already so we opted to head somewhere he hasn't been. Not a small task. I think we have our itinerary hammered out for CR. Starting NW (Samara) and heading south along the coast to Corcovado, then to Chirripo, and finally to San Jose to fly back to the real world. Less than 12 hours after arriving home I teach the first class of the Spring semester. Hee hee!
My camera took a digger (three inches onto the dining room tables????) a few days ago and is now en route to the Canon hospital. So photo duty is all Dave's. Actually that is a good thing given I can't take a focused photo to save my life!
Any MUST DO'S along that trail Bob? I so can't wait. :)
Crimp...Samara is beautiful little beach town... rent a horse and go look for monkeys...Corcovado is one of the best National Parks in the world...so enjoy. Manuel Antonio is close to San Jose and lot's of wildlife..Ricon de Viejo near Liberia is great for hiking and wildlife. Climb up the volcano and you can see both coasts on a clear day.
Dave is a birder too! He even used to have one as a pet. I already have in hand the Stiles and Skutch (17$ new!! from Amazon) bird guide. Cool birds in there.
Bob - I'd heard that Rincon de Viejos was a great place. We also heard that Monteverde is worth a visit so we'll head that direction post-Samara. I'm psyched that we got such a nice place in Samara given it is "Gold" week (i.e., Christmas or Easter).
In Monteverde, there is a place to stay that has views of the erupting Volcano Arenal. Cool. Doubt we'll stay there, but what a cool view from a room.
Andy again, Enjoying the bird thread. Went out today after posting this morning. Got these shots of Sandhill Cranes just south of Chico. They're poorly focused but that never stopped me. Amazing variety today including Eurasian Widgeons, Tundra Swans, Bald Eagles and Rough Legged Hawk among 70 - 80 more.
Bob, Wow. Great shots. What does that Golden Eagle have in it's talons? Those things are amazing. A buddy sent me a picture of one tangling with a fox. Laura said she talked with you yesterday. Hope you, Laurel and the kids (relative to us) have a great Xmas. Looking forward to when we see you again. We may get out to Boulder this Spring. Otherwise it'll be at the Gathering.
Crimp, Yeah I am always looking now. It goes well with climbing. Hope you guys see some good ones in CR.
Riley, I think you posted a scarlet tanager at a feeder? Also Curved Bill Thrasher and Bob White Quail? If you come East, come during Spring migration. Birding in the New River Gorge, Blue Ridge or in Shawangunks is awesome then. We have some good places in Northern VA, too. I believe I have heard a Swainson’s Warbler at Great Falls Park. There’s a couple other good spots nearby (Montecello Park, Alexandria, VA).
Here’s some shots from Great Falls Park:
Some buntings near Skytop:
Speaking of Swainson's...
There are Swainson's Thrushes nesting in and near my yard,
We hear them, and can tweak them by whistling their single note
that they sing in addition to their full song (or Especially by
playing their song on the Audubon CD) but I've never seen one
(knowingly) over four nesting seasons now.
I've tried to spot Hermit Thrushes that are singing, but no luck.
Last month I had my first sighting of a Hermit Thrush (silent) up
in the Trinity Alps foothills.
OK, so this one is stuffed:
but I did see two live on a trip I just took to New Zealand.
You just cannot take a picture because there are no lights
and you cannot use a flash.
A beautiful, wierd bird to see.
hey there bob... say, can you find a picutre of a CHACHALACA... and put it up----these birds usually are only seen in south texas, and perhaps that near part of mexico...
it has a great noise, making a real "clatter" in the morning... and looks very impressive to see in a tree, if you happen to get lucky and spot it...
one thing great about being in the great outdoors--is spotting birds... (actually these chachalacas can even be seen in town, as the south texas towns are pretty much rural.. but sadly, their birdy-homes may go, too, someday)..
Good work Radical. It is a Hooded Merganser x Barrow's Goldeneye hybrid. I just went to view it again the other day, since I had heard it was back. It has been showing up since 2004. If I hadn't known about it ahead of time, I would have also assumed it was some Asian vagrant. It was odd watching him chowing down on mussels with his merganser-like bill.
Willoughby, I suspected some pros out there already knew about this guy.
Not too far north, but at the Pinnacles a couple of years ago we were climbing on the high peaks. I topped out to look up and see two _gigantic_ birds with wing tags soaring about 40-50 ft overhead. There was no mistaking they were condors. Hiking out that eve we saw 14 of them roosting in a snag right next to the trail. Too bad I forgot my camera...
Really cool, since I grew up down in the S. San Joaquin valley and heard my grandmother and dad talk about them. They captured all the remaining wild ones in 1987 when I was in college. I never got to see one down there.
I read some of the Pinnacles population have been ranging as far north as Livermore.
So it doesn't belong in the same thread as fine photographs of fine birds, but just
to bring those back ...
I've been writing all day, alone in the house, my neck hurts and I'm tired of this
but I can't stop yet. Downstairs, Jack starts barking like crazy so I look out
the window to see four wild turkeys sashay down our road. That was worth grabbing
the pocket camera and running out for a quick, fuzzy photo as the turkeys looked
at me and decided maybe they'd better move into the woods.
Black capped chickaee. I was mowing the lawn and found this poor fellow that had gotten into some long wet grass and wasn't looking too good. After getting in the sun and warming up a bit he seemed ok and flew off.
How about a booby bird story? There's a climb on the Brac, a good one, that once was named Booby Eggs for Breakfast. That alludes to the fact that booby bird eggs were
a traditional staple of islanders' diets. Well the birds got more scarce and a bird-lover
got wind of this route name, and objected -- so out of respect it's now simply called Bird Eggs for Breakfast.
A lifelong islander reported that in olden days, what they'd do is take just one egg from
each nest. Boobies generally lay two eggs, but unless food is plentiful,
the parents will only feed the largest chick -- their strategy has a built-in redundancy.
The islanders' custom of taking just one egg thus seemed to fit with the birds' natural
adaptation, and so both coexisted for centuries. More recently, tradition must
have broken down because the birds declined steeply, until the islanders protected them
legally. I am happy to report from my own observations that with this protection the
booby population appears to be thriving, with fat chicks in abundance. They favor
nesting areas with grand views over the sea.
Bwancy nails it, though the AOU currently calls it Olive-backed Pipit. Anthus hodgsoni by any other name, and California's first and only (so far). One record for Nevada, one for Baja, plenty for Alaska, but mostly it belongs on the other side of the Pacific. Consequently, you won't find it in most North American field guides. We caught this bird on Southeast Farallon Island (~27 miles out of Golden Gate), and I'm quite proud to say I identified it correctly before we herded it into a mistnet. Ten points for Bwancy!
Yesterday, as I was sitting , reading, a small bird flew
through the sliding door into my living room. After bouncing
off a wall or window or two, it landed on the floor behind a
table, at the base of a wall.
Pussycat immediately went to pay her respects. Fortunately,
she's not such a mighty hunter, and as long as the bird didn't
move they were just staring each other down.
The bird evaded my grasp and took another tour of the room,
landing on a book in the bookshelf--face level, about 2 feet
from the Sibley guide.
So--nice curved beak...hey, it's a Creeper!!
so there I am, like the guy on Guido's boat, but closer to the
subject. I get to check the little cutie from a 6" distance,
with guide in hand.
After a while, I moved the Creeper outside and nudged it onto
a limb of our plum tree, whereupon it hopped over and perched
on my finger for a couple more minutes, then flew off into a
Crimp- that Hoopoe is one of my favorites.
He's has this crown that he spreads out on top, kinda like woody wood pecker in the cartoons. Spends a lot of time on the ground. This dude was getting into it with a squirrel. Unfortunately I missed capturing the action...
Here's a few more-not as good a shots as I'm seeing above but still gives you an idea...
While putting out a new seed block for the chickadees today, a falcon or small hawk crashed the scene and landed above my head in a mimosa tree. The bushtits, sparrows, and chickadees fled from the suet/seed feeders to the nearby shrubs for cover. They lucked out. The raptor stayed on its perch for a minute or two while I froze watching it. It finally flew to a nearby tree and then flew away. The small birds split. Wish I could stake out some fresh meat for the raptor. Beautiful bird.
Amazing pics everyone! Flying lizards. Gotta love them.
PS - Incidentally, afterwards I paddled out to watch the surfers in the N. break. The surf was LOUD, and I was so busy watching the action and looking over my shoulder for big sets that might clobber me, that I never noticed the small gray whale surfacing a very short distance behind me. I was only told about it after I came back in.
Went up to the 6,000 to 8,000 foot elevation up on Mauna Kea today. Got pictures of four Hawaiian honey creepers. Sorry for the quality and over saturation on these photo's,, getting crisp shots of birds is really hard. I still have a lot to learn.
Looking up at the slopes of Mauna Kea from about the 5000 foot level The Mamane forest can be seen in the distance.
An O'oma, I saw him doing the shivering thing that identifies them so well.
An out of focus shot of an Elepio..
And last, two photo's of the elusive Palila..
I actually thought I was taking pictures of another Amakahi until I got home and tweaked the pictures and could see it was a Palila. Only about 3000 left in the world.
Next time I will get an alpine start and get up there early morning instead of 10AM. Lots of birds up there. I really need to work on focus and lighting .
John Hansen - I'm not a skilled 'stalker', but I do get out a bunch and that seems to work for me. Also, I shoot almost entirely hand held, so I'm more portable and quicker on my feet than the tripod gang, so I can squeeze off more shots per hour than some folks. That said, I do have to shoot at least 1/200 or so to keep things clear for the most part, 1/800 is even better if I have the light... I shoot a lot with a 400mm on a Canon 7D, which is an ASPC sensor, hence the crop factor is 1.6, so the 400 is really a 640mm on that body, so that helps. Regarding the autofocus issues with birds hiding in branches, I have a couple of tips that perhaps you are already using:
1) If your camera lets you pick your autofocus point(s), choose a single center or upper center point and get that puppy on the eye of your bird subject. This method gives me the best tracking, keeps the all important eye in focus and gives reasonable composition for quick on the go shooting.
2) If your camera has detailed function settings, you may have an option under the auto focus menu that speeds or slows the autofocus reaction to new objects introduced into the composition field. For example, if you have focus locked onto the head of a bird and he moves a bit such that a branch is now near his chest, this custom adjustment can delay or speed the camera's tendency to focus on that new object - with it set to less sensitive/slower, hopefully the bird stays focused longer...
I don't think any bird is mundane - Turkey Vulture or not. Imagine the carnage we'd be living in without Turkey Vultures. I once went to a place where TVs who'd been injured spent the rest of their lives. They are lively curious little stinkers. They had me laughing the entire time.
During our recent snowy and cold weather, our resident Gray Partridge went into some kind of hibernation and buried himself in the snow for about 7 days. Yesterday - it cleared up a bit - and he came out and found a patch of grass and had some grub...
It's cold again today and he buried himself - again!
Did you measure the wingspan? Probably a Great Horned judgeing by the
Here's a couple more from Patagonia.
The Yal Austral aka Black-throated Finch. This is the missus.
This is Missus Carpintero Negro Gigante aka Magellanic Woodpecker.
I was getting frantic after three weeks of seeing their endeavors
everywhere I went without seeing them. On our last day about 1/2 mile
from trail's end there was a whole family merrily pecking away mere feet
from the trail!
StahlBro, are you sure? See the bird? I've seen the exact same sorta thing when a grouse plops down into the snow, and it looks to me like your alleged owl walked off out of the top of the frame. Or maybe, it walked into the frame, and then lifted off. Here's a photo of a grouse track, where it took off.
Here are some White-tailed Ptarmigan from the Red Lake Peak (Carson Pass) area last week:
Reilly, I'm diggin' on the Argentinean bird pics. I was there towards the end of November 2009, and really loved the birds there.
Keas kinda give me the heebie-jeebies. Any parrot that has figured out how to kill sheep is not to be trusted.
Man, there are some really talented people here! Radical, BrassNuts hopped another plane early this morning and is skulking around the Boston area for a few days for work. Perhaps he'll get on and let you know about his equipment. All I know is Canon and big lens. :) Not helpful.
I'm pretty sure it was rabbit tracks leading up to the wing prints. My bro took the picture and said there were great horned owls in the area. Our assumption was the owl nabbed a bunny based on the tracks and wing prints, but we have been wrong before :-)
This Albatross is not only alive and well at the age of least 60, but is raising yet another chick. As I result I was prompted to dig up this not-so-high quality photo of a Laysan Albatross from the Western Pacific as we were approaching Yokohama Bay. There was a a Northern Royal Albatross that was known to be over 61 years of age before she was presumed to have died.
Thanks for the confirmation Alasdair. The Phoebe was so, well, not black! Still, nothing else comes close that I know of. The Orange Crowned Warbler is a new bird for me (in a photo). Very cool one can see the orange on his crown!
We went out tonight to see a flock of Mountain Bluebirds who are hanging around. Saw them, but with terrible lighting he wouldn't photograph anything. Maybe tomorrow...
Noted Willoughby. Red-shouldered hawk. For educational purposes, can you note why it is a Red-shouldered? Not doubting you, but would love to learn more. Same goes with any other birds. For example, one person mentioned that the Rufous Hummingbird was just so Western Rufous and I was curious what marks he was looking at.
Crimper - What Radical said. Red-shouldereds are a very Accipiter-like Buteo, and the young ones are more likely to fool you. In this photo, however, a couple of things should jump out:
you can see the red shoulders; Coop would be slaty blue-gray
Coop would have a dark cap
Adult Coop would have a red or orange-reddish eye, versus the dark brown visible here
Coop would have a proportionately longer tail
John - two things:
1. The hillstar is a hummingbird. It's a cousin of those crazy Andean Hillstars that basically go into a deep-freeze hibernation every night.
2. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but your recent Palila is actually a House Finch. Note the streaking on the flanks and breast. And the earlier Palilas look like Amakihi to me.
You guys might be right,,, maybe wishful thinking..
Next day Edit.
Well... after looking back at the bills in the first pics I think you are right. And there are many house finches in that area. I guess I need to go back and get one where there can be no question.
One other tip on the red-shouldered:
The upper parts of a Cooper's will be uniform slate/gray.
The white trim on the dark feathers of the red-shoulder's back are
easy to see from a distance, compared to some of the other characters.
If it's just those two birds you're trying to separate, the mottled/
speckled look will jump out at you.
Hey John, that "Red-faced cormorant" is actually a Double-crested Cormorant.
As I mentioned in Caylors "I cut down a squirrel nest" thread, I exhumed a derelict Wood Duck box from a wetland I regularly bird, patched it back together, and hung it up in my back yard about five years ago. This year I finally got customers, Northern Saw-whet Owls. I've been feeding them mice:
I placed him on a stick, raised stick up to the branch you see, and let him climb up on his own. It's important for these mice to feel like they've accomplished something -good for the self-esteem. Then they just sit there. It's a bit like sacrificing virgins to dragons, or so I imagine. As far as the mouse goes, it probably beats being fed to a snake, and he's free to solo to the top of the tree if he feels so inclined. They usually don't wander too far, but every now and then I'll get an intrepid climber mouse.
I have 10 or 15 bluebird boxes up. I found a simple device to keep the snakes out. I will take a picture soon and post.
I was coming in from the barn this evening close to dark and saw this little fledgling bluebird trying to land in a bush. He couldn't quite grasp any branches and was tiring out. I picked the little guy up and put him in the blue bird box for safe keeping over night. I doubt he would make it through the night otherwise.
Hopefully he will be able to make it out and into the brave new world tomorrow with a little more success.
Mom, pop and 3 siblings were not to be found.
Birders, any ideas why he couldn't light on small limbs successfully?
I don't think mice suffer much when I feed them to my snake. Clearly they don't know what hits them and it is over in less than 15 seconds + or - a couple a few seconds.
Comparing that to being shredded seems rather painless.
Been walking the banks of the Merced in Yosemite for the last few days. Lots and lots of birds, there were hundreds and hundreds of Audubon's warblers coming through. They sure are hard to photograph because they never stop moving around.
Here are a few other ones I got. It sure is fun combining my two favorite hobby's of birding and photography.
And I think this is a female Red Wing Black bird, kinda threw me cause it was acting like a warbler, hanging upside down in the budding trees. I could be wrong.. any expert confirmation? Will post more later.
These are really bad pictures, but they show the bills of these curlew's very well. They were taken at the top of the Bolinas lagoon near Stinson beach.
First a Bristle Thighed Curlew
there were some other Curlews hanging with this guy, but their bills were much longer..
Looking in the Peterson Guide to Western Birds this bill looks like a Far Eastern Curlew. The book says they are rare visitors to the Aleutians,,, but I can't find another bird where the bill matches. What do you think? the bill is way longer than the Bristle Thighed??
Any expert's care to chime in?
Edit: Whoop's,never mind,,, Long billed Curlew,,, still a good one, puts me over a hundred species for the trip.
Radical, is that a trogan? And what type of hummer is that?
I hate to harsh on yer stoke, or however it is said, but your 'Bristle-thighed Curlew is actually a Whimbrel.
The Bristle-thighed was once thought extinct and is still quite rare.
There are probably less than a dozen confirmed sightings on the west coast.
That ain't no Toucan in your first shot. It looks almost a Shoe-billed or
Whalehead Stork of East Africa but it doesn't look large enough. Is it a
Boat-billed Heron of S. America?
They're not good enough to post - it was rather tough hand-holding a 600mm
lying on my stomach hyperventilating in a near gale. Besides, they're slides
and I haven't bothered to scan them :-)
Tony, Thems some nice shots! I was pretty disappointed if the truth be known
with my month down there - not one friggin' owl let alone a Torrent Duck-
I couldn't believe I got skunked. They are getting rarer and rarer I guess. :-(
It looks a Bell's Vireo to me although a bit odd to see one on the ground in the open.
The Plumbeous' and the ex-Solitary's (now Blue-headed) eyering is much
bolder and they have wing bars.
Note that I ammended the size of the Squirrel Cuckoo; I had a brain fade.
That's the kind of boid we love to see - big and purdy! Strangely, I had a
bit of a time ID'ing it. Both books I had with showed white spots beneath
the tail, which must have been hidden by it's being folded, and the breast
appeared more distinct than in either book. As with John Hansen's
'Bristle-thighed Curlew' sometimes we see more, and sometimes less, than
there is. After my return I was set straight by the guide I had originally
arranged to take me out at Iguazu - I know, an old guide being guided.
But his mum took ill just before I arrived so I didn't get my chance to
find a Harpy Eagle :-(
So, here's another pic that was taken only a minute later than the mystery bird I just posted, but it sure looks like a different bird, but the short time gap of only 1 minute between shots is confusing for my fading memory...
Reilly - very cool Cuckoo shot, 18" pretty boid, wow.
How can I put this delicately? No, you're not crazy, but mayby slightly deluded?
Just kidding :-) I admit the 'jizz' (yes, that is birder's slang) does
suggest a warbler as does the bill. But it is entirely too dark but digital
photos are notoriously suspect if contrast has been altered. It does appear
to have a buffy tinge to the underparts which is characteristic of Lucy's so
I fear I must give you kudos for thinking outside the box! But I'm sticking
with Bell's. The Gray should show some evidence of a wing bar methinks and
it should also so white edgeing to the tertials although I agree a worn adult
might not evince much of that.
Dang! That is a Lucy's with the crown and looking much paler! So it is the same boid?
He thinks it is the same bird. He said he took the photos within a minute and thought it was the same bird. (edit: since then, he's doubting his memory). But you know how birds can be. As far as contrast, BN says that those are untweaked photos in terms of contrast (and whatever else folks tweak in photoshop). I suppose the lighting was just different - bright sun v not bright sun???
edit: I also wonder if the darkness/lightness of the bird is because in one, we are looking up-feather, and the other we are looking down-feather. Thoughts?
Flycatcher. I leave the rest of that ID to the experts! Cool photos. I've always lived where there are Northern Cardinals - until three years ago when I moved to Boulder. I admit to taking them for granted. Boo. I wish they were here as I miss them. So pretty!
As to th Bell's/Gray/Lucy debate, that's definitely a Lucy's. Vireos have a much thicker bill with a bit of a hook at the tip (á la shrikes), whereas this guy has a pair of fine-pointed tweezers on his face. Further, the rufous cap clinches it. What's interesting to me about these two photos, is that you can clearly see molt limits in the coverts and flight feathers. In other words, you can see old feathers juxtaposed with newer feathers, and the pattern and timing tells me that this is a bird that hatched last year. Desert birds are great for showing this sort of contrast in wear and fade. The fresher-looking feathers molted in late last summer, possibly over the winter (more study is needed on 1st pre-basic molt in this species), and that's typical of a second-year bird:
Older birds have enough energy and such to pull off a complete molt of all these feathers at that time of year, but the birds that are fresh out of the nest only do a portion, if any. This is typical of most songbirds. The single shorter, fresher tail feather (retrix) off to the side is atypical, and probably represents an adventitious replacement of a randomly lost feather:
Cool to see so many birders on Supertopo! All those beautiful photos make me desire a good camera.
We have many Hummingbirds living in our yard, might have something to do with all the feeders Margy keeps stocked. Tons of drama between the Rufous and Annas, it is a continual aerial battleground out there.
A little crowded in the nest.
Hard to ID the females!
We went climbing in Pinnacles a couple of weeks ago and saw at least one Condor on 3 out of 4 days, awesome.
Good stuff Alasdair. Always feels nice to share your property, and help the birds and bees make more birds and bees. Particularly cool to see a Bewick's Wren using an urban lot, esp. when they've been having so much trouble in the eastern part of the U.S.
Hi everyone, I have a question, there are these wild parrots in my neighborhood and every year after the fruit in my lumquat tree ripen they show up and feast on this fruit. It is quite entertaining to watch.
There seems to be about 15 of these parrots in this group. I've seen larger groups flying in other areas.
Anyway, do any of you know what type of parrots these are? and I am curious where they live during the winter. If you have any info on these type of parrots I would love to know.
Bewicks are not having a problem here. They have taken over in Seattle. I dont think there is a single part of the city that you can go and not hear one calling. I had never seen one prior to three years ago and now they are everywhere.
Cool thread! Hey Willoughby, thanks again for coming out yesterday.
Just got this new book announcement. David Lukas is a Sierra Naturalist Extraordinaire. Author of some other great books including the revised Sierra Nevada Natural History by UC Press.
I am sure this book is amazing.
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BN brought those photos home. He *believed* the two photos to be of the same bird. I saw them once and they were squirreled away. Because the second photo was fuzzy, he wouldn't leave it on the screen at all. I'm happy he didn't delete it! I couldn't tell what the first bird was and suggested we put it on the taco given all the expertise here. Weeks later he did.
The first bird really puzzled me and I ended up thinking it was a warbler given the bill, but figured it was some female non-breeding plummage bird - beyond my capabilities as a birder. The bill has always looked to skinny to be a vireo - but what do I know?
It was great fun working it out. As we talked, I wondered if it was a Lucy's because I was thinking it was a warbler, and I faintly recalled the other photo having some rufous on it's head. I had no access to the other photo. As we discussed it online, I was digging in my book and noted that a Lucy's has rufous on it's head (the male anyway). Then I asked BN to post the other photo (which he initially didn't want to do when I asked since it's soft).
When he did finally post it, it seemed clear. But even then he couldn't be sure it was the same bird. He thought it was, but following a little bird with a big hand-held lens isn't easy. Only hearing what Willoughby had to say makes us feel sure it was the same bird.
It was a great exercise to talk about it and I appreciate everyone
s input. I learned a ton.
More like dumb luck. I'm a marginal birder at best. I was pleased though that I did it the way we are taught...look at bill, look at head, at eyes, etc. If I were a great birder, I would have been able to ID him alone.
You made the call on some weathered feathering. Never thought to consider that.
The eye ring was baffling me as well. It was so large compared to what I saw on the vireos in the book. I didn't get to see the bird in real life so I didn't really know how big it was or how it moved. That would have been really helpful!
Even after BN posted the second photo, I was trying to figure out if they were the same bird - I decided it was he same bird. But one never knows is it because I want it to be the same bird, or because I see evidence - real evidence - that it is the same bird. I rationally thought it was partly because that was BN's first impression when taking the photos, due to the little time that passed between the two photos and because of the eye ring. It was great fun seeing Willoughby use far more sophisticated methods. Neat stuff.
It was a fun puzzle to solve. Willoughby's knowledge of birds continues to blow me away.
You know, if anybody out there in Tacoland is really digging on the birds and wants to combine it with a climbing trip to Lee Vining, the Mono Basin Bird Chautauqua is a pretty sweet festival coming up June 17-19. I'll be leading a bird tour in Lee Vining Canyon on Friday, and then a dragonfly tour on Sat. Lots and lots of other fun outings and workshops, but they fill up quickly - check it out:
And if you're looking for a FREE bird hike in Tahoe (or wildflower hike, or butterfly hike, or...), please tag along on one of my nonprofit's outings. Calendar's on the Home page, and we'll be adding a lot more hikes as summer progresses: http://www.tinsweb.org/
A quick birding TR. This past weekend, BrassNuts and I went south to the Alamosa Wildlife Refuge and the Great Sand Dunes to see birds. While at the Sand Dunes, we wandered up a largely dry river bed: sandy base and some vegetation on the sides. The bird count was pretty low. The people count was even lower. No one to be seen anywhere.
BN was sitting off to the side near the vegetation taking photos of birds at a collection of water. I was about 50' downstream sitting in the sand looking at my bird book. As I'm sitting there, I feel a man's hand grab my right shoulder. For a split second, I think it's BrassNuts - but there he is 50' ahead of me. Yikes. I slowly lean to the right to see who has my shoulder...
A Cooper's Hawk. Yes. A Cooper's Hawk had actually LANDED on my shoulder. He stayed for a couple of seconds - totally unimpressed or scared - then glided up toward BN and the yummy meals at the water.
I yell to BN and start grabbing my shoulder to convey what had just happened (although he thinks I'm telling him it's a Red-Shouldered Hawk and he's thinking I'm nuts as it clearly is not). BN's happy to have seen the Hawk who by then had landed in front of him giving him some nice photos.
An amazing moment. Here is a photo recreation of where I was, what I was wearing and the actual Hawk. Very cool!
Wow! That's a lifetime moment for sure! How's it feel to be a fencepost? :-)
Nice historical re-creation, too.
BITD I was sitting on a log in the North Cascades watching the sunset. Totally
isolated for days. A deer walks out of the woods 50' to my right and saunters
up to me. Stands directly facing me for several seconds grokking my oneness, I guess.
Then he bends over and sniffs my boot. He straigtened back up and said,
"I soo loov ze french leather, too."
What scared me is that I really thought it was a man who had grabbed my shoulder. It took about 15 minutes to get all that adrenaline out of my system. I don't feel like the bird ever noticed I was a person (or he certainly didn't care). It was uber cool!
I told BN I could still feel where he claw when through my jacket on my back. BN looked at sure enough there was as minor a scratch as one could imagine. I made him take a photo of it because I'm a dork that way. :) It's still hard to believe that happened!
Most amazing, awesome pictures and astounding occurrence.
That Yellow-headed Blackbird...
On two occasions in the past, I was asked by friends
"What's that black bird with a yellow head called?"
On both occasions, my standing was diminished when I supplied the
My friends couldn't understand why I didn't just admit that I didn't know
the name of the bird, instead of coming up with such a dumb answer
I was chuffed to bits to not only see this guy (gal?) but to get a decent
shot, too. We were on an unmarked trail near Fitzroy that the woman who
ran our B&B told us about. It was so dark I had to use the flash which didn't
faze him (I'm sticking with 'him') so intent he was in his little trail project.
If you look you will see he had jinormous feet - I would say large crow-sized
on a bird the size of a robin. He most industriously, in a couple of senses,
plows up the ground looking for wee tasty creatures. He happily went about
his foraging less than 10' away while I merrily clicked away.
Oh, he is called a Huet-huet in Argentina or a Hued-hued del sur in Chile.
You can call him the Black-throated Huet-huet/ Pteroptochos tarnii.
He is in the Rhinocryptidae family which is unique to S. America and has
a number of other cool-looking members. He has a close relative in the
Chestnut-throated Huet-huet whose range is much smaller although within that
of the Black-throated. Presumably the Chestnut must occupy a slightly different
habitat or niche within the same habitat although I have no info on that.
Checking in between rope wash/rinse routines... Reilly - very cool shot of "bigfoot" there! Sounds like you got a good show! Another reason why this is my favorite "OT" thread on the taco! Here's another Marsh Wren shot - he was my fave this last trip I think; not very colorful, but what attitude and song! They Yellow-Headed BBirds were pretty funny too - all puffed up for the gals...
At one point, we were birding on a loop road in the car. At dusk, the Yellow-Headed Blackbirds were out on the road displaying. They were so into it, the car did not phase them. We had to stop and wait for several to get it out of their system so we could continue forward. I'm still laughing at their little shows.
A friend was recently hiking in Red Rocks Vegas. He can't figure out this bird and I wondered if all the rockin' birders here could help.
Do you see the bird?
This bird was located at the base of the cliff, but getting to the base required some up-hiking. The rocks you see are now at the base, but two years ago they were about 80 feet higher.
While there two years ago, my friend heard an owl and recognized it as a Great Horned Owl. This one though isn't one he believes.
Size of this owl: That rock to right of owl is roughly 20" high - shoulder level, and my friend was sitting against it before he knew the owl was there. The owlet started making a noise which alerted my friend to his presence.
Awesome story Crimpie. A friend of mine keeps a "touch list," for all the birds that have touched him. He has some crazy brushes, shoe-landings, etc., but I sincerely doubt he's had a Coop land on his shoulder. Weirdest I got, two summers ago I had a chickadee fly up to my face, hover there for a second, and peck me in the tooth.
I believe the colorful one is a Lewis's Woodpecker. I spent a lot of time with the bird book on that one. I also cant seem to ID the tail-less wren. If anyone has any idea on that one I would love to know. Its not a rock, bewicks, or house. Thats about all I know. sedge wren?
Cool to show again Pate. Love the silly Nutcrackers! Wish we had them here. For the first time ever, we've got two Black-Headed Grosbeaks at our feeder. Seems an irruption of Pine Siskins and the goldfinch (both American and Lesser) are far fewer in numbers. The Red-Winged Blackbirds will send me to the poor house in seed costs. They are quick learners on the squirrel proof feeders.
OK, they are all relatively big and slow moving, but they are pretty characteristic of Union Bay Landfill nature area here in Seattle and my best so far (excepting a pretty good house finch). All are click and expandable.
We were entertained by a couple of these Wandering Tattlers hunting fish in tide pools for about 30 minutes before this one finally caught a big one. Since we haven't yet made it to the highlands, this is one of a handful of native birds we have seen.
Mountain Chickadees, Pygmy and White-breasted Nuthatches, and juncos are usual through the winter, but are species sorta come and go. Lately it's been gangbusters. Right now we have scads of Cassin's and House Finches, Siskins, Lesser Goldfinches, and the more interesting nomads, each with their charismatic bills. Here are some crappy, through-the-dirty-window/screen shots.
When things get crowded, the crossbills just go inverted:
Giving me the stink-eye for a refill; they've been burning through seed:
The poor Evening Grosbeaks are just a little too big for this feeder:
They get frustrated. I wouldn't want that frustrated maw pointed at me. This is the only bird in North America that can crack a cherry stone; I'm told that they can break a finger, too:
Here's a female:
Here's another grosbeak, although Black-headed Grosbeaks are actually cardinals, not finches:
Awesome photos Willoughby. I haven't seen either grosbeaks or crossbills in Seattle, but I have seen a crosbill at Index (note climbing reference). And Scuffy, yeah, Gadwalls are quite often "my favorite bird" even though we see a lot of them.
JohnTP - my guess is a male summer tanager, but I'll let the experts call it...
Cool shots of Crossbills, Mr. W. They are very cool little guys. I've only seen some once up in the foothills here. I heard a bunch of seed crackling and looked over at some pinions to see a bunch of 'em chowing down! Incredible beak adaptation eh?
Here's a Black Headed Grosbeak that visited us a few times last week;
Johntp, I would say House Finch. The bill is too thick and short for a Tanager. Also, you can see the striping on it belly.
But like BN say,s I will wait for Willoghby or Reilly to chime in...
I have been wrong too many times.
Thanks John and Crimpie; house finch it was. I was sitting around with the front door open to let the breeze in and heard the most incredible bird singing on the porch. He was right outside the door. By the time I got the camera out he had flown further away. Just a really pretty song. You can listen to it here:
hey there say, pate... wow! i love your bird episodes here...
thanks for the wonderful pictures...:)
and to everyone:
very nice stuff...
at my old place, i saw woodpeckers and the tuftd titmouse bird, and ONCE a whole flock of redwing blackbirds (never saw them again) *was residental small neighborhood, up from the nearby lake...
also, saw ?sparrow type stuff?? and of course crows...
well now, here at THIS house...
there is the cowbirds--they have frequented this lawn, for years, since back when i first moved up here and even STAYED in this very house for a bit, with ex-son-in-law's family...
and there is the robins here, too...
and not sure what else, yet, though we HAVE long time past seen cardidnals here and i saw one, happily, the other day...
*old neighborhood has the mute white swans, very nearby, in a water way that leads to the lake...
well NOW--HERE IS MY SHARE:
so far, i got me a robin in my ol' fixed-up though crooked shed:
she is nesting now:
her nest is very big, compared to her, and i think (so it seems from some dead birds that i found) that she has had trouble with cowbirds putting eggs in her nest)--i read that many times the robin will rebuild OVER her nest, in those cases...
maybe some of you folks, here, have more info, too, to offer...
well, here is her nest, from full view--she recently refixed it, as well, as it was messed up for awhile:
To try to keep the squirrels from getting to the bird feeder hung from a branch, poke a hole in an aluminum pie pan. Tie a knott in the cord a foot or two above the feeder and suspend the inverted pie pan from the knott. Check this site out:
That's waay beyond the pale - no fair using cute kids and tame parrots! LOL!
Here's a yound male Magellanic trying to look like dad.
After three weeks in Patagonia I still had not seen these guys and I was
getting a teensy bit pissy. Then, the last day, a half mile from the trail
head I see movement in a grove and it is a whole freaking flambly of 'em!
WooHoo! As with quite a few boids down there they were quite cooperative.
Not exactly hamming it up but not above giving me a few 'hero' poses.
Outstanding Jerry! But I'm afraid they're Barred, the Spotted's close
cousin and, it turns out, nemesis. Much of the Spotted's decline, which
had previously been attributed to habitat loss, is now being recognized as
a result of the more aggressive Barred's territorial expansion.
Can't go wrong reposting bird photos! Are those Painted Buntings in the last one? I can't quite tell. All so fun!
Here is the baby owl photo sent by a friend (see upthread) cropped and easier to see. With this, it is far easier to see the baby. All this time, I thought I was seeing the baby owl's head in profile. Totally optical illusion. Adorable!
Outstanding Jerry! But I'm afraid they're Barred, the Spotted's close
cousin and, it turns out, nemesis. Much of the Spotted's decline, which
had previously been attributed to habitat loss, is now being recognized as
a result of the more aggressive Barred's territorial expansion.
Reilly, Serious? Oh thats a bummer. That I finally had the spotted buggers.
Reilly, isn't the Spotted Owl/Barred Owl situation more complicated? I thought that the expansion in the Barred territory became a factor after
the Spotted populations had already been in decline due to habitat loss.
Sort of finishing the job that had already been started.
I'm not married to this belief, open to correction, not arguing, etc.