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Thread: Bird Watching

  1. #1
    Senior Member Makers!*'s Avatar
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    Bird Watching

    I wouldn't call myself a bird watcher per se, not anymore than I'd call myself a fish watcher, mammal watcher, or plant watcher, but I do get a particular sort of thrill seeing these cute, little things in the wild come flitting around my campsite, or wherever I may be, then returning to the apartment to identify them later. Maybe, I should get a field guide or something. I don't know...Anyway, post birds you've recently seen, where at, and maybe the habitat, food habits, and whatnot, along with some pictures. Here are a few from me...


    Evening Grosbeak, spotted in the Lolo National Forest



    According to Mt. Field guide

    In Montana, the Evening Grosbeak breeds in mixed coniferous and spruce-fir forests of western Montana. Winter habitat is much more varied, including coniferous forest as well as urban and suburban areas statewide. This species feeds upon invertebrates, especially larvae, and a wide variety of seeds and fruits. Forages in the tops and outer branches of trees and shrubs, and also on the ground for fallen fruits and seeds. This species is a frequent visitor to bird feeders, particularly during fall and winter


    Also, a Red Naped Sap-sucker, Lolo National Forest



    Birds have a strong preference for nesting in broken-top larch; optimum habitat is old-growth larch, particularly near wet areas. Excavates a new cavity each spring. Breeds in deciduous and mixed woodlands including aspen groves in open ponderosa pine forests, aspen-fir parklands, logged forests where deciduous groves remain, aspen groves in open rangeland, birch groves, montane coniferous forests and occasionally subalpine forest edges.

    The food habits of this one are pretty cool:

    Creates sap wells in the bark of woody plants and feed on sap that appears there. When Red-naped Sapsuckers first arrive at their breeding areas, they often drill sap wells in the xylem of conifers and aspens. Once the temperatures increase and sap begins to flow, theses birds switch to phloem wellls in aspen or willow, if available. Insects, also bast (inner bark), fruit, and seeds (Walters et al. 2002).
    Last edited by Makers!*; 06-10-2016 at 06:59 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Starjots's Avatar
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    We keep a bird guide book and mark off any new birds we happen to see, which isn't very often. One of my favorites was a little flock of cedar waxwings that looked something like this:


    photo by Paul Higgins

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    Persona Oblongata OrionzRevenge's Avatar
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    Nothing so very exotic.
    Just The Gray Catbird:


    We have a nesting pair that will brave sneaking up by the stoop to steal the Cat's kibbles. I fancy the black crest is a slicked back Do.

    I love Audubon's Online Bird Guide.
    http://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/gray-catbird

    It makes a variety of calls but the mewing is why it is named as is.
    Check out the sounds: Mewing & Kwuts #2

    This is typical of the chatter it makes while staring at you. I take it to mean GTFO
    Creativity is the residue of time wasted. ~ Albert Einstein

  4. #4
    <3 gator's Avatar
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    I've never been particularly hardcore about it but I do like watching them, and I really like knowing what all the names are. When I was a kid I was into memorizing all the information in field guides, so I do pretty well at identifying all the birds back home.

    My parents indulged my interest by installing a bird feeder right outside our kitchen window, so I used to eat all my meals facing it. There was a gap in the top of it where we used to put the seeds in. Every year a pair of finches used to climb in and build their nest inside the plexiglas on top of the seeds. You could see everything going on in there. It was really cool.

    I'm not so good at identifying all of the birds in the UK though. There seems to be a much larger variety of them than there are at home, and a lot more species that migrate through and you only see temporarily. If I was going to stay here long-term I'd make more of an effort to know what they all are.



    I was on Dog Mountain a couple weeks ago and this raven was very interested in my lunch. I love ravens. They're such cool birds.

  5. #5
    Member rhinosaur's Avatar
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    I like seeing birds but I've never really been an avid birdwatcher. When I go out to the garden I frequently see some of the birds that live in our neighborhood. There's a couple of some kind of CA bluejay that like the dead tree out back and make rounds from house to house. There's also a pink-throated hummingbird that likes it when I water the tomatoes. It actually took a mid-flight bird-bath in my hose spray the other day.

    When out and about I like to see the yellow-billed magpies. Today there was one of those big white water birds, a heron or egret or something like that, that I watched for a little bit.
    Last edited by rhinosaur; 06-13-2016 at 04:53 AM.

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    Member rhinosaur's Avatar
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    Let's see if this works...

    https://sendvid.com/3kpi0z97

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    Senior Member Makers!*'s Avatar
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    A Magpie I spotted it between a river and open field being chased by some wrens.



    Interesting historical note: It frequently followed Native Americans and lived on the refuse of their hunts.

    Habitat: In breeding season will be found in thickets in riparian areas, often associated with open meadows, grasslands, or sagebrush for foraging. Less specific in its habitat requirements in nonbreeding season. Frequently numerous near human habitats such as livestock feedlots, barnyards, landfills, sewage lagoons, and grain elevators (Trost 1999).

    A black throated warbler. This little guy was a rare spotting, very uncommon around these parts.. He was perched on a bird house some farmer had on a post near his field. True to description he allowed me to get very close.



    More info: http://identify.whatbird.com/obj/305...e_Warbler.aspx
    Last edited by Makers!*; 06-13-2016 at 10:45 PM.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Makers!*'s Avatar
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    So I was mountain biking, riding along, and whooof...this big ass owl flew out of the conifer. Made me jump a little. I got off my bike and stalked him a little ways. He kept burying himself too far back in the needles to get a good shot. I had to aim it in the area and wait till he flew again and ended up capturing him in the bottom left of the frame. Pretty cool.



    I think he was a great grey owl. Or maybe a barred owl.


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