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j Padraig moore 
Posted: 15-Apr-2008, 11:57 AM
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Has anyone done any birdwatching before?
I am defintiely a newbie at it. My wife kind of got me started. We took a weekend trip to a National Wildlife Refuge along Lake Erie. Saw six immature bald eagles... at one time flying! That is so cool!!
I'll post some photos in a few days.
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ctbard 
Posted: 15-Apr-2008, 12:22 PM
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I'm not into birdwatching, but near where I live theres a lake that has a pair of bald Eagles, I've seen them a handful of times, they are unbelievable, I saw one diving at the lake for a fish, and every so often I see one fly over our shop, and theres no mistaking that its a bald eagle.
We have a red tailed hawk who hangs out around my area, he hunts squirrels in my yard, and I think he watch checking out my pugdog when she was a baby in our yard. I saw a hawk try and take off with a cat a few years ago, no success though.


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Rindy 
Posted: 15-Apr-2008, 01:28 PM
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Nice thread jp! I love watching birds of any kind. I have feeders all over my back yard. So far we have had sparrows, House Finches, European Doves, Night Hawks,Robins and can't forget the squirrels smile.gif I love it when I see hawks or eagles in the sky or sitting on a post. Gives me a wonderful feeling.

We also had a problem with crows in the past but the city put up nets on trees where they were roosting and they have moved on. I wish we had Cardnials, and have always wanted to see a Painted Bunting. I am not a member of any Audubon Society or anything but I am avid contributor to feeding them.lol.

Slainte
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Patch 
Posted: 15-Apr-2008, 04:07 PM
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I have been feeding birds in my back yard for years. The number of species has declined since "West Nile Virus" became common here. Now it appears I am running a "take out service" for a pair of Perrigine Falcons. They perch in the trees around my house and watch the feeders. I find the "puffs" of feathers around my back yard. They only seem to like song birds. The Sparrows and Starlings are never taken.

Maybe later this evening I will relate a spooky story about bird watching. My sister does not like to talk about it to this day (7 years later)! I am not sure what to make of it myself.

Slàinte,    

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jime307 
Posted: 15-Apr-2008, 09:17 PM
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I myself have not done very much birdwatching, although it can be very interesting when you watch their behavior. Good thread!


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ogdenmusic 
Posted: 16-Apr-2008, 11:06 PM
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My wife and I have become amateur bird watchers the last few years. At last count we had spotted 40 different species here in the Cincinnati area. Our favorite is humming birds. In late August our back yard is filled with migrating humming birds, what a wonderful sight.


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UlsterScotNutt 
Posted: 17-Apr-2008, 01:56 PM
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I love to feed the birds and foil the squirrels!! Favorites are the cardinals, you can tell family there, the woodpeckers, chickadees, sparrows, junkos, tufted titmouse, flickers, bluejays, cowbirds, robins, starlings, hummingbirds all kinds of birds. I had fed the robins in the nests under the deck for the last 2 years, they got so big so fast, momma probably thought she was doing a wonderful job of providing! I love the crows, noisy that they are. Quail and turkey pass through the yard periodically along with migrating Baltimore Orioles, Rosebreasted grosbeaks, tanagers heading north and some stick around for the harvest of white mulberries from the tree up front, just watch out for the purple poo!! and this spring we also have a sparrow hawk living in the backyard trees, I wonder what conflict this will be with the hawk. Our resident redtail hawk who keeps getting the poor rabbits, he got one on our front sidewalk and nearly scared my son to death when he came out the front door. Up in Maine,,near Eastport we fish on a lake that has loons and bald eagles that are used to the humans leaving fish out on the little island for them to eat. The locals always kill the perch and largemouth bass up there because they are an introduced species in the lake, so the eagles will fly within 30 feet of you, beautiful . When the loons are out with their little families and in the morning when they call its wonderful. We feed all year round and use suet in addition thru the winter. A good blend of different seeds, watch out for the ones with too much millet and waste seed, at least around here. But then the voles and mice come and get it on the ground, so I guess nothing goes to waste. My parents house, only 25 miles away, they had to stop feeding the birds because the bears kept tearing down the feeders.


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Rindy 
Posted: 18-Apr-2008, 11:53 PM
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UlsterScotNutt now that's some major bird watching. I did fail to meniton every now and again you will see a Meadow Lark, Bunting, wood peckers.

I couldn't believe it I went and bought 25 pounds of peanuts unsalted of course but gee he should be happy for awhile. I also found out birds and squirrels like fruit cake, yep, fruit cake from Xmas...I just love squirrels probably because we don't have that many aorund.

I love watching birds!!!

Slainte
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UlsterScotNutt 
Posted: 21-Apr-2008, 04:05 PM
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My mother and father were big birdwatchers, specially my father. Grew up watching the birds, looking for the elusive ones. I still remember my first indigo bunting and rosebreasted grosbeak. To this day I still have one bird I saw that I cannot identify, I still see it clear as day, big, mostly black, white on wings, about 4 foot wingspan, swooped down and tried to catch a fish in a freshwater pond in CT.
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Camac
Posted: 21-Apr-2008, 04:53 PM
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UlsterScotNutt;

I'm not into bird watching but I'll tell you about a great experience I had about 30 years ago. I was about 50 miles out in the Lake (Ontario) heading home on a NNW course doing about 6 knots. It was just around sunset and I was sitting in the cockpit having a cup of tea when this shadow passed low overhead almost dropped
my cup it startled me so. Any way it was a Blue Heron and damned if it didn't land on my upper spreaders and hitch a ride. The bird sat there 3/4 of the way up the mast for a good ten minutes. I think it must have been tired and just wanted a breather. Like I said after a bout 10 min. it took off and disapeared into the twilight. I'll never forget that because I sat there in quiet awe the whole time.

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UlsterScotNutt 
Posted: 22-Apr-2008, 07:38 AM
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Blue heron, a magnificent bird. Now that is up close, big bird watching.
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Rindy 
Posted: 23-Apr-2008, 12:04 AM
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I've seen Blue Herrons they are really quite the bird. We don't have very many but a few. Ducks, Geese, swans, and a couple others cant think fo them at this moment. Meadow Lark is my favorite bird, I alwasy figure spring is here when I hear one of them. I love the call they make.

So what all does everyone feed your birds and squirrels? I watched mine today and had peanuts and was seeding them like he had a saw. So funny. I love those animals to watch. Hope to get some pictures up soon. Wonder if they have painted bunting in Scotland as I am going over soon. Oh I did see a Goldfinch today. They are kind of neat looking. Me poor dog wears hirself to a frazzle tying to catch all of them I find bird watching very peaceull. I anyone comes across some execllent feed give a me a hollar. May be I will go buy a bird book tomorrow to identify. Happy Watching...

Slainte
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UlsterScotNutt 
Posted: 23-Apr-2008, 08:56 AM
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Saw this seasons first blue heron yesterday at the pond between work and home.

My wife buys these 50lb bags of the best mixed birdseed at of all places The Dollar Store. It is a high quality blend of black and gray sunflower seeds, sunflower meats, peanuts, cracked corn, nyjer, dried fruit, dried pellets, birds eat it all up. I add another 10 lb bag of nyjer seed into the mix to attract the yellow/golden finches and the purple finches. Then a red glass hummingbird feeder and 3 deck pots of hummingbird plantings, they seem to like this little purple petunia and red salvia.
Right now we have a battle going on with 3 male cardinals trying to setup territory in the prime trees for close access to the seed. Most likely it is father and last years sons fighting.
I let the squirrels feed on the back deck feeder but finally found a squirrel proof feeder for the front. I had to modify it alittle but they just can't get at it. It is funny to watch them try though, they are very entertaining. They will sit on top of it and chew the metal top and slide down it and hang upside down by their back feet trying to figure it out. I finally had one figure out to slide down, butt first, grab the little spring loaded bird perchs , then quickly let it go and grab on to the bird food holes, hysterical to watch him hang upside down and every once in awhile, do a situp and grab a seed or two. I finally replaced the spring loded perches with toothpicks, its enough to hold the birds weight but breaks off when the squirrels slide down on them. I keep a box of toothpicks handy.
I probably have 6 or 7 feeders that were "squirrel proof" but the squirrels didn't read the sales flyers!! It sometimes takes them awhile but they are forever trying and very very clever.

If you go to a search engine, type in your state name and birdwatching, You will usually come to your states ornithological association or your local Audubon chapter.
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Camac
Posted: 27-Apr-2008, 08:52 AM
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UlsterScotNutt;

My Friend as I said in a previous posting I'm not into birdwatching but last night I caught an old Nat. Geo. on TV all about parrotts. Now when I think of parrotts I think of the Amazon. I would never have thought about Australia. They have got a lot of parrotts in fact according to the program it is the Land of Parrotts. Some of them are magnificent. On another vein I will confess that my favourite bird is the lowly sparrow. They have to be the most rugged creature on earth and feisty.

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UlsterScotNutt 
Posted: 28-Apr-2008, 08:55 AM
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We even have parrots here in Connecticut!! We have these Quaker Parrots also known as Monk Parakeets, these bright green mid sized parrots, alittle bigger than the parakeets you see in pet stores.
They are not native but were introduced in the late 60's early 70's by accident, supposedly from a shipment at JFK Airport in NYC. The found their new habitat to their liking and have been around ever since.
It is funny to see this bright green parrots fly by in the middle of the winter. My inlaws in northern CT had one as part of a flock of blackbirds last year. All black birds and then this green one flying in and around the yards birdfeeders.
They mostly are on the coastal towns and do cause some havoc and controversy with their nesting habits, big stick nests that they like to build around power transformers for the heat. Of course as they get bigger, they can cause fires and power outtages. The power company tears down their nests and CO2's them to death. There have been lawsuits back and forth over their treatment and how to deal with them.

http://www.pbase.com/rnb2/monk_parakeets

http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art38214.asp

http://www.ctaudubon.org/conserv/nature/parowl.htm

PS I have this really cool sparrow family with this brighter than normal red rusty patch on top of their heads, very noticible, I wonder if they are Celtic redheads!!!
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