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Birders?
Old 09-17-2013, 10:13 AM   #1
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Birders?

More hobbies are popping up here. Wonder if anyone is interested in Birding?

Trailer for "Birders- The Central Park Effect"


Am not a professional, but like the subject.
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Old 09-17-2013, 10:18 AM   #2
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More hobbies are popping up here. Wonder if anyone is interested in Birding?
I am! My favorite thing to do!
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Old 09-17-2013, 12:04 PM   #3
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When and why did it morph from "bird watching" (which is what they do, after all) to "birding" (which sounds like they're trying to be birds themselves)?

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Old 09-17-2013, 12:19 PM   #4
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When and why did it morph from "bird watching" (which is what they do, after all) to "birding" (which sounds like they're trying to be birds themselves)?

Amethyst
Hey hey! Us birders are sensitive flock and dislike being mocked. Just saw a flock of turkeys sneak in to the back yard to hit the birdie feeders.
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Old 09-17-2013, 12:44 PM   #5
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I'm an amateur. This year I say my first Pileated woodpecker and my first Bald Eagle in my home state(had seen 2 prior).

What I do miss in our old home was how tame the hummingbirds were. I've enjoyed many that perched on my fingers and looked quizzically at me.

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Old 09-17-2013, 12:45 PM   #6
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Count me in! I think the term "Birding" was coined in an attempt to break the "dweeby" stereotype, most other people think of when they think of Bird Watchers.
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Old 09-17-2013, 01:40 PM   #7
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Not mocking at all...I've been observing the feathered tribe all my life (hummingbirds especially). I'm just sensitive to language changes, and wonder about them. Personally I prefer "bird watching" to "birder" but it's hardly a big deal...

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Old 09-17-2013, 04:29 PM   #8
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Each year, when we return to our camp, I do a review of our animals... and post it on ourretirement Community Website. At the risk of being boring, here's a update on some of the the Birds, from a few years back:
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On to the birds... this is where it really gets interesting. Today I put up our three humming bird feeders. (Usually it takes about two weeks to lure the humming birds back...) This year, it was about three minutes after I put up the last feeder, and Jeanie spotted the first Ruby Throat... The feeders have been super busy since I put them up this morning. Last year we had humming bird babies, and judging from the fat tummy of the female that is feeding here now, we'll have another family.

The robins, wrens, great blue heron, greenback heron, warblers (that I can't identify) and nuthatches, and hairy woodpeckers are back, (the latter two, at the suet). Haven't seen the red headed woodpeckers yet. We had many last year. My neighbor Carl (across the lake) is not out here for the summer yet. He draws the yellow finches to his feeders, and we have a battle every year, with me trying to lure them away from him. Do you have ANY idea of how expensive thistle seed is?

Next.. the geese. So far, one family of 8, three families of 6, two families of 5 one of 4, and my neighbor says a family of just three. I've finally had to try to discourage them from my front lawn (by the lake)... 'cuz the green poop really sticks to your sneakers... Sorry for the graphic description but it's so you'll understand why we like geese as neighbors, but not as residents.

Now... as regards the geese... This morning, I saw what I thought was a muskrat, swimming down the middle of the lake...(small lake, so the middle is less than a hundred yards away)... As I watched... wonder of wonders... the "muskrat" got longer... and extended to about 18 inches... Then I realized... it wasn't a muskrat... it was a cluster of very tiny geese... each one less than the size of a tennis ball. There are seven of them... so small they look like baby chicken hatchlings. They swim together almost in a ball of fluffy down. They've been up and down the lake all day... maybe fifty times, and swimming so fast, I wonder when they ever rest. No parents... My theory is that either the coons got the parents, or because these babies are so small... their parents got caught up with the excitement of the other families (I'm guessing they are about 10 to 15 days old) and deserted these little orphans. The little guys even swim near the other geese... but they are ignored by the families, who always swim together. It's going to be interesting to see if this little group of seven survive. I've never seen this before... If they DO survive... I wonder who will teach them to fly? Geese have to be taught to fly, by their daddies and mommies.

One more cute baby geese (goose?) story... happened first thing this AM... Family of 7 climbs up on the seawall of my next door neighbor...then start to walk over to my yard. I walk down to shoo them off, and the adults hiss and threaten me, but finally try to herd their brood of five babies back into the water. Number one, number two and number three, follow mom and dad into the water, but number four and number five....PANIC!... the sea wall is about a 15 inch drop into the water... Well... if you wanna see something really funny... here's mom and dad and three brothers and sisters about 20 feet out into the water... honking and making a heckuva clatter., and #4 and #5 are running back and forth on the land, looking down into the water but afraid to jump... Finally #4 looks, leans and falls in....#5, with these short fuzzy yellow wings outstretched waddles back and forth for another two or three minutes and then... teetering on the edge of the wall (I swear... he closed his eyes) and tumbled in. I laughed so hard that tears came to my eyes.
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Old 09-17-2013, 04:42 PM   #9
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To add another bit from our website... a blurb that I wrote about the Florida birds some years ago.... (Previous post was about our camp in Illinois)...

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What a wonderful natural habitat we have here in LGH. Although I am not a "birder", I enjoy watching the many specie of birds that inhabit our waterfront and lagoons.

We now have four limpkin... the large brown and white birds that walk around the lagoons. They are rather uncommon, and at one time were threatened with extinction. Not sure, but I think there are three males and one female. They exhibit a ritual mating dance that looks like a "square dance". They seem to enjoy the tiny snail that are in the lagoons.

The green back heron spends a lot of time in the lagoon behind the mail boxes.

Haven't seen the large flocks of white ibis that were walking the park in the fall, but there always seem to be several around the clubhouse.

There was a single tricolor heron, two white egret and a baby blue heron in the lagoon this afternoon... all at the same time as the four limpkin were marching around.

Two days ago, as I was talking to a visitor about animal life at LGH, as if on cue, two eagles flew directly over the clubhouse... like magic.

Margaret and Charlie White have some resident cardinals, mourning doves, and noisy mockingbirds, along with some bold crows, and brown grackle. If you stop at the corner, and look close, you'll probably see several more species.

There are tons of little birds around...sparrows, warblers etc... but I'm not good at identification, so will leave them to the serious birders.

The powerline poles are prime roosts for osprey during the day. You'll see them using the poles as a lunch stop, to eat the fish that catch... Notice that when they fly with the fish, that they keep them head first, to improve the aerodynamics. If they accidentally catch the fish backward, they'll toss it in the air, and recatch head first...

At dusk, the poles become perches for owls. The favorite poles seem to be the one behind the Ford's house, and the one just outside the park, near Kellehers. The great horned owl is really big, with a wingspan of about five feet. The barred owl is also quite common here. You can hear his recognizable call that sounds like "who cooks for you, who cooks for you all". If you practice this, and call to him, he'll probably call back.

The kildeer ground nest all over the place... They are the little guys with the white neck rings... They nest in the dumbest places, like right next to the walk into the clubhouse. They spend a lot of time doing the fake broken wing thing, to try to lure you away from their eggs. Edna Wibbler had two nesting at her front lampost last year... for about a month. The mom wouldn't give up on the eggs that wouldn't hatch. Finally, the daddy left. Couldn't wait.

Pat Kerr caught me laughing a few days ago, as I was riding my bike by her house. The reason was that as I rode by the conduit that goes between the two south lagoons, a head popped up from inside the pipe. "Captain", my name for the resident Great Blue Heron... had been inside the pipe... fishing. He was as surprised as I was, and aaawwwwked at me.

Same place... different bird... the guy wires for the power pole in front of the clubhouse is a common place to see the pileated woodpecker hanging out. Seems to me that the perching angle would be hard on the feet, but this bird seems to like it.
This is also a fairly rare bird. A real treat for northeners who rarely see them.

Seasonally, we get large flocks of White Pelican (100 TO 150). Lake Griffin seems to be part of the migration pathway from up north (I Think Minnesota). Magnificent birds. The grey pelican is an occasional visitor who prefers coastal waters.

I'm not much into identifying the different gulls who pass thru. Maybe someone can fill us in as to what species...

Cedar waxwings come in huge flocks, and love the holly berries. One of the most amazing of all bird activities is the way they land on a tree, and "share" the berries. The bird closes to the berries, takes one at a time in it's beak, and passes it down the line of birds to the outside bird... and so on til all are fed. It's a sight to see.

The sandhill crane comes and goes. Last year we had a visit from two that lasted about two weeks.

Fill the list out with anhinga (snake bird), gallinule (in the lake, with the red spots on the beak) cattle egret...(yellow cap and throat) everywhere, turkey buzzards, a duck (about three weeks ago not sure what kind)... snowy egret... coot... that pop up out of nowhere...grebe... same thing...snowy egret(fluffy fine white feathers head and chest) .

Hey, I started this just to mention the limpkin, but got carried away. Pretty amazing just how many feathered residents and snowbirds that we get to see. I know there are dozens more that I couldn't begin to identify. Feel free to add to the list.
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Old 09-17-2013, 04:43 PM   #10
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I have been a bird watcher since Boy Scout Camp 50 years ago, when I received my bird watching merit badge. I moved to a birding hot spot in SE Arizona, to live among the birds, reptiles, and native plants, I so love. We see birding tours up and down our canyon every day, and with that thought I must complain. SE AZ had a Blue-footed Booby on a local lake, go figure. Well this was a first for the area and it seems like half the world came to view the bird. Folks (birders using the term loosely) were renting boats to chase the bird around the lake. It seems to me that this is not a behavior of gentle people prowling the hedgerows for tweets, and is certainly not a tribe I want to be associated with.
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Old 09-17-2013, 08:04 PM   #11
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I have been a bird watcher since Boy Scout Camp 50 years ago, when I received my bird watching merit badge. I moved to a birding hot spot in SE Arizona, to live among the birds, reptiles, and native plants, I so love. We see birding tours up and down our canyon every day, and with that thought I must complain. SE AZ had a Blue-footed Booby on a local lake, go figure. Well this was a first for the area and it seems like half the world came to view the bird. Folks (birders using the term loosely) were renting boats to chase the bird around the lake. It seems to me that this is not a behavior of gentle people prowling the hedgerows for tweets, and is certainly not a tribe I want to be associated with.
I am with you on this one.
I like them fluffy, furry, or scaly. Packs of naked apes chasing the rarities don't fit well with wildlife viewing. Or is that flocks of bird nerds?
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Old 09-18-2013, 07:25 AM   #12
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When we built our weekend house (on the tidal Potomac) I was blown away by the variety of birds. I got a guide and started a life list. It was fun and interesting but I didn't keep it up in an organized fashion. This thread reminded me that I do occasionally see an interesting bird that makes me wish I had a guide with me. As we speak I am downloading the free iBird Lite for my iPhone. Anyone else used this or iBird Pro?
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Old 09-18-2013, 08:59 AM   #13
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I enjoy birding casually, but dread accompanying a real birder that will burn up a whole day chasing around to see a rare or vagrant bird. My limit for standing under a tree and craning my neck to see some tiny warbler is two minutes.

And get those geese off my lawn.
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Old 09-18-2013, 09:18 AM   #14
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I'm not really a birder either but we live on Lake Ontario and I enjoy seeing the different species at different times of year on my walk to work. Always tons of swans, geese and ducks. Right now we seem to have lots of Mergansers. Earlier this year I saw several flocks of puffins resting in the water !

We also heard some loons calling in the summer from our back deck in the city ! That is about as good as it gets for a Canadian ... lol Kind of like a Bald Eagle landing on your balcony in NYC for an American.. lol
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Old 09-18-2013, 10:10 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MRG View Post
I'm an amateur. This year I say my first Pileated woodpecker and my first Bald Eagle in my home state(had seen 2 prior).

What I do miss in our old home was how tame the hummingbirds were. I've enjoyed many that perched on my fingers and looked quizzically at me.

MRG
Just a few days ago I saw a Pileated Woodpecker on a wooden lamppost pecking away. Then he called out like the "fast wuk" in this sound recording: Pileated Woodpecker, Sounds, All About Birds - Cornell Lab of Ornithology

For years I had wondered what bird made that call. I would hear the call at a lake on my runs. Mystery solved.
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Old 09-18-2013, 11:26 AM   #16
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By coincidence, a really good piece in the paper today about an eerie nightly gathering of +/- 30,000 crows in the Vancouver area...

Vancouver residents enamoured by Hitchcockian murders of crows which have blackened the skies for years | National Post

I personally really like crows and am even something of a "crow whisperer" as I can call them and get them to answer me back... no idea what they are saying mind you... ha ha

Still, 30,000 at once would be unnerving... and deafening.
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Old 09-18-2013, 11:30 AM   #17
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Does going dove hunting this weekend count? I will be looking for birds, after all.
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Old 09-18-2013, 04:57 PM   #18
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Does going dove hunting this weekend count? I will be looking for birds, after all.
Sheesh. Next you'll want to go duck hunting
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Old 09-18-2013, 05:01 PM   #19
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Sheesh. Next you'll want to go duck hunting
Eh, that seems like too much work, what with lugging all the decoys, setting them up, retrieving (somehow) the ducks that land in the water, etc. Pass. I am just warming up before small game season starts 10/1.
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Old 09-18-2013, 05:47 PM   #20
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I'm not really a birder either but we live on Lake Ontario.

We also heard some loons calling in the summer from our back deck in the city ! That is about as good as it gets for a Canadian ... lol Kind of like a Bald Eagle landing on your balcony in NYC for an American.. lol

I spent a lot of time as a kid downstream from Lake Ontario, St. Lawrence Seaway (Wolfe Island). Really loved the fishing there and got a small appreciation for the power of the lake.

The first time as a little kid, I heard a loon, somehow I knew what it was, neat birds.

MRG
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