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Re: Birding
Old 06-05-2006, 12:34 PM   #21
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Re: Birding

To prevent birds from flying into the windows, there are vinyl leaf shaped things that you moisten and stick to your windows.* They reflect the UV rays, so the birds see them but human's don't notice as much.* I have to use them on my sliding glass doors.

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...m?pcatid=13244
I found mine at a bird store.

BTW, the feed stores carry 40 or 50 lb bags of different types of bird seed. I buy some of mine at Walmart and the shelled sunflower chips at the feed store.
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Re: Birding
Old 06-05-2006, 01:22 PM   #22
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Re: Birding

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Originally Posted by KB
To prevent birds from flying into the windows, there are vinyl leaf shaped things that you moisten and stick to your windows.* They reflect the UV rays, so the birds see them but human's don't notice as much.* I have to use them on my sliding glass doors.
That's amazing. We have a couple strikes a day and a KIA every few weeks. This could help a lot.

Our most "lethal" windows look out onto a lanai, and the windows are shaded by about 10 feet of overhanging roof. Any idea how well these leaves work when there's no direct sunlight on the glass?
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Re: Birding
Old 06-05-2006, 01:30 PM   #23
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Re: Birding

Thanks for that info, my sunroom has windows on 3 sides and the bird seem to think they can fly thru, those would stop a lot of birdie headaches.
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Re: Birding
Old 06-05-2006, 01:58 PM   #24
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Re: Birding

We haven't had a birdie suicide since we put them up about a year ago. I have a roof over my patio with the sliders, so don't get direct sunlight on them.

Before I put them up, I had a couple of direct hits at a very fast flying speed. Dead before they hit the ground. No problems since.
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Re: Birding
Old 06-05-2006, 02:07 PM   #25
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Re: Birding

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Originally Posted by Charles
I'm a rank amateur, just beginning to learn a bit.* Seems like a fairly inexpensive hobby, with the exception of the bird seed.* Sheesh ... they're eating better than we are.* The cheap Home Depot / Lowe's seed looks lousy, but the Birds Unlimited Choice seed is nearly $18 per 20# bag.* Any efficient alternatives out there?

For those interested in this avocation, how do you pursue?* Equipment suggestions, trips, books, web sites ... ?
BF is a birder and sometimes leads bird trips in our area.* (I tag along sometimes, but I am a fair-weather birder;* I am at beginner level and have been content to be so for the last 8 years.)* He used to lead car bird trips but now we mostly do our birding by bike--less harmful to the environment and bird habitat and good exercise, too, combined with the walking.*

So, we confine birding to just around here, but there's still a lot to see.* Conservation parks, marshes, wooded areas, waterfront, even the sewage ponds for shorebirds--all sorts of habitat around the neighborhood offer different types of birds.* You could avoid the expense of feeding birds if you just walk around or bike or hike to see them, but I know it's great to see them right in your own yard. *I know Baltimore Orioles like orange slices, but I have not put out even partially eaten ones because I love oranges, too *

Binoculars, of course, are needed, and a scope is useful for longer-distance viewing.* A good bird guide is David Allen Sibley's "The Sibley Bird Guide."* He has a second one called "Sibley Guide to Bird Life and Behavior."

BF says that in addition to being familiar with bird shape and habitat, it also helps to know the bird calls so that you can ID them.* CD's of bird calls are available.* *We have "Who Cooks for Poor Sam Peabody?" among others that I can't all recall.

Before I met BF, I saw birds mostly as a nuisance when they'd dirty my car.* Now, I am amazed at their beauty and variety.

KB, thanks for the product rec.
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Re: Birding
Old 06-05-2006, 02:57 PM   #26
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Re: Birding

Another bird-lover here. I grew up bird-watching on Long Island and have been a bird-watcher everywhere I've lived...New England, Wisconsin, Northern CA, and now coastal SC. I spent last weekend on Edisto Island, SC and saw a family of pileated woodpeckers several times in the trees right by the house, as well as a painted bunting pair, many Carolina chickadees, cardinals, titmice, something similar to purple finches that the homeowner called rosy finches (new one on me), great blue herons, egrets, osprey, turkey vultures, crows, blue jays, flickers, and downy woodpeckers. We hear what are locally called "marsh hens" in the tidal marsh behind our friends' cottage--I think they may be clapper rails. Not to mention that a deer cautiously stepped from the woods several times to drink, as did a couple of raccoons from the brush by the marsh.

Here at home (small yard close to Charleston, a lake, and the beach) our most frequent feeder visitors are bluebirds (raising 2-3 broods in our nest box every year), Carolina chickadees, Carolina wrens, mockingbirds, cardinals, blue jays, titmice, several sparrows, warblers, and finches; downy, hariy, and especially red-bellied woodpeckers; osprey, turkey vultures, mourning doves, the occasional grackle (West Nile seems to have done a number on them and the crows--only the blue jays have recovered their former numbers). And the occasional ruby-throated hummingbird, cowbird, robin, brown thrasher, wood thrush, city pigeon (rock dove), and starling. Not to mention sanderlings, brown pelicans, and various gulls, terns, herons, and egrets in the tidal marshes and at the beach--occasionally see them overhead or at the lake, too--and the odd wood stork. there are nesting yellow-crowned night herons in a magnolia in front of the Gilliard Auditorium in Charleston,

Lately we're feeding Harvest Blend seed and meal worms from Wild Birds Unlimited as well as cold-weather suet and and warm-weather fruit & nut cakes (fit into the suet feeders). Our main feedre is a large cylinder with seed ports that close with the weight of a blue jay plus a large squirrel baffle--a clear plastic hemisphere that hangs over the top of the feeder and completely foils the squirrels, who share spilled seed on the ground with the mourning doves. Actually, the squirrels greatly prefer the acorns form the backyard oak--we pull up a few tiny oak trees pretty much every day from the acorns they bury around the yard.

The bluebirds love to feed their babies (and themselves-) the meal worms--and the mockers love them, too. With the meal worm feeder right on the kitchen window, we get a ringside seat I include plants in the landscaping that encourage birds to nest, roost, and feed. Last year a cardinal pair built a nest in the loquat right outsid our bedroom window--we could see the babies in the nest. We sometimes put out a birdbath, but you have to remember to refresh the water every couple of days to avoid breeding mosquitos.
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Re: Birding
Old 06-05-2006, 06:02 PM   #27
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Re: Birding

Another idea for stopping birds from flying into your windows is to use Holographic Scare Tape (made by Gardeneer, 3/4 inch x 100ft). Got it at the hardware store and pinned some ribbons of it to the eaves hanging down above the windows. It's kind of a pretty display in the breeze.

Still we've had to dispose of some Quail who got spooked by a hawk and ignored the tape. I just put out the little bodies on the rocks and they were quickly consumed by either coyotes, raccoons, or vultures.

Les
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Re: Birding
Old 06-05-2006, 07:51 PM   #28
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Re: Birding

Ooooo, count me in too on the bird watching. We have squirrels that are a pain, and the big black grackles are a nuisence too, but we get enough interesting birds to make it fun. We get the big bags of mixed seed, bags of sunflower seeds, peanut suets (for the woodpeckers) and thistle at Wal-Mart. They seem to have the best price. We do have a problem with stray cats stalking the birds, and eating stale bread that DH also puts out. I feel a bit sorry for the cats that have to eat stale bread... We also have bluebirds in the bluebird house. Then we get wrens who build nests in the eves of our side porch. They make a mess, but the babies are cute. Last year a robin built a nest in one of our hanging baskets. Again, a mess, but the babies are adorable. Saw a scarlet tanager at our feeder last year - really pretty! We get indigo buntings sometimes too. Then the usual variety of woodpeckers, nuthatches, dozens of cardinals, etc.

Went to visit my parents in the mountains of North Carolina 2 weeks ago. They have a bunch of feeders, hanging carefully to foil the squirrels and raccoons. This was working, but last week a bear took 3 of them down! That's a bit too close for me!!

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Re: Birding
Old 06-05-2006, 09:39 PM   #29
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Re: Birding

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Originally Posted by donheff
Sadly, a bird feeder on Capitol Hill is like a red carpet for rats.* My neighbor put one up recently -- disaster.
It's too bad they don't stay down in Congress where they belong.

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Re: Birding
Old 06-05-2006, 09:51 PM   #30
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Re: Birding

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Originally Posted by astromeria
Another bird-lover here. I grew up bird-watching on Long Island and have been a bird-watcher everywhere I've lived...New England, Wisconsin, Northern CA, and now coastal SC.
Wow - sounds like you are quite the afficionado. When I lived in Wisconsin we used to go up and watch the bald eagles along the Wisconsin River - big nesting ground. In Tucson, the roadrunners were the trademark. Here in the Gulf Coast a little of everything -- including blue herons prowling my urban but leafy neighborhood and picking lizards from the landscape bushes. Hawks of various sorts abound, and pelicans are everywhere along the beaches.

Once in a while the mocking birds mob my Doberman when she unknowingly approaches a nest. Quite the site, no casualties. Yet.

Yes, the modern-day remains of the dinosaurs are great to watch.
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Re: Birding
Old 06-05-2006, 10:02 PM   #31
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Re: Birding

I love to spend my weekends with a book or newspaper watching the birds at our feeders. We literally live in a small clearing in the middle of the woods, with a stream within 20 feet of our house. We attract all kinds of birds. I recently bought some guides to start to ID them. With all of the rain in the last week, sitting out on the deck has been like being in the middle of a rain forest. So many different bird calls. We have one we affectionately call the "car alarm bird." He likes to come out at 4 or 5am and wake us up. And then keep us up. He must be some sort of mocking bird who visited the city?? The first time we heard it, we seriously couldn't figure out how a car alarm was going off in the middle of our 22 acres of woods.
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Re: Birding
Old 06-05-2006, 10:04 PM   #32
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Re: Birding

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Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa
Yes, the modern-day remains of the dinosaurs are great to watch.
Step right up! It's perfectly safe here in Holocene Park, kids.
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Re: Birding
Old 06-05-2006, 10:11 PM   #33
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Re: Birding

Yep, we love birding. * We have quite a few bird nesting boxes around the property. *I was just out checking a few and each one is occupied. *About half are occupied by Western Bluebirds, the other half are Nuthatches. * *In a couple it looks like the baby bluebirds had just hatched today, with around 6-7 eggs in each. *In one the chick was just breaking out of the shell. *One of the Nuthatches has 8 chicks! * We also get quite a few varieties of woodpeckers, Flickers, finches, swallows, chickadees, Juncos (which I only recently spoted) and Mtn blue jays. *I have an old dead pine tree on the property that looks like the birdy condo; there must be a dozen nests easily in the tree. *

I buy sunflower seed in bulk in 50lb bags. *Like another poster, I need to put out a "distraction" plate for the squirrels so they stay away from my feeders. *Last year, my biggest nuisance was a bear that took down all my suet feeders (5) -- I had just put them out also -- demolished my squirrel peanut feeder, and pretty well bent every bird feeder I had out. * The bear did this about 3 times last year, but I haven't seen any sign of him/her this year. *
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Re: Birding
Old 06-06-2006, 05:12 PM   #34
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Re: Birding

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Originally Posted by Maximillion
Leonidas, do you have a link to that sanctuary?

Others would be appreciated.
http://www.fws.gov/southwest/refuges...oast/index.htm

http://www.gcbo.org/
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Re: Birding
Old 06-06-2006, 10:08 PM   #35
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Re: Birding

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We once fed and then stopped, when you have to answer the door for a duck who knocked with his bill looking for a handout it is time to admit that you have become an enabler for someone else's addiction.
Too funny.

Out of town, working (alas), but back to check the nest boxes on Thursday. So great to see how many others enjoy nature's beauty. Thanks for all the great tips. Happy birding.
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Re: Birding
Old 06-07-2006, 09:24 AM   #36
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Re: Birding

Those of you who put meal worms out....what do you put them in? What type of feeder?
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Re: Birding
Old 06-07-2006, 10:37 AM   #37
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Re: Birding

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Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa
Once in a while the mocking birds mob my Doberman when she unknowingly approaches a nest.
back in high school days there was a mockingbird wait for me at the beginning of my block almost every day after school. he'd follow me down the street to my house and wait. i'd bring out smokey, our weimar, and they'd play with each other while we walked. that bird would swoop and dive and hover right over the dog and smokey would jump up to play with the bird. it was amazing.

the mockingbird would leave smokey alone when we got to the empty lot for smokey to do her business. then smokey would come back to me and on our walk back home the two would play with each other. that lasted for about a year and a half until i went off to college (u of s fl in tampa) where i learned that dogs and birds don't socialize. much.
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Re: Birding
Old 06-07-2006, 02:01 PM   #38
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Re: Birding

Bet the bird wondered where Smokey was when you left for college.

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Re: Birding
Old 06-07-2006, 03:12 PM   #39
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Re: Birding

Astromeria's cool window feeder for the meal worms was so awesome I bought one today for my sister's birthday--complete with mealworms! I'd never seen anything like her feeder and the birds just went wild for the mealworms--so neat to sit at the table and watch them just a few feet away.* My sister will love it--thanks for the idea Astro!*
I have too many cats myself to feed birds, but we still enjoy the herons and owls out in the country.
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Re: Birding
Old 06-07-2006, 03:47 PM   #40
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Re: Birding

mclesters, a collar with a bell will enable you to enjoy both.
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