Does anyone here go birding?
or am I the only one more than slightly nuts about the birds?
This is something my Charming Spouse and I have gotten into over the past couple of years and we have progressed from knowing some of the raptors and red tail or not a red tail (we're getting better about that) but now we're trying shorebirds and can get as far as "that's a killdeer" and "gee, some kind of sandpiper." I guess it's kind of like skating in that the more you know, the more you realize there is to learn.
If you don't go birding, does anyone have a species of bird they particularly like?
I know that they are really common but I love Mourning Doves. There used to be one that nested in the corner of my front porch. When the porch was changed due to remodeling the next spring it tried to build it's nest in the same place but it wasn't as protected so it never finished it. My grandmother used to have Buejays that nested in the evergreens by her front porch. They are beautiful birds but can be mean.
I can certainly agree with Piel regarding a nasty streak in bluejays, LOL. Several years ago a pair of them nested in a silver maple tree in our side yard. Once the babies got big enough to be seen sitting up in the nest the parents got overly protective of them. Anyone or any animal which ventured within 50 feet of the nest was targeted for attack. I suffered a violent peck on the top of my head; it bled. But the funniest episode to watch was provided by one of my cats walking under the tree. The cat had no intention of having a birdy dinner. First one adult bird swooped off the branch and stabbed the cat in the rump. The poor cat didn't know what hit it and jumped into the air. As soon as the cat had all fours on terra firma, the second parent swooped down on the cat sinking its claws into her back and repeatedly pecking on the cat's head. The cat took off on an erratic path trying to rid herself of the bird from Hell, and only succeeded when she dove through a hole in the fence. The bird was knocked off. Then the blue jay flew back to the nest, joining its mate where they both cackled for many minutes afterward. It took me half a day to find the cat and attend to her wounds.
As far as varieties of birds, we have lots in Ohio. Unfortunately we have a growing population of year-round Canadian geese. We also have red-tailed hawks, Cooper's hawks, kestrels, Great Horned Owls, humming birds, more kinds of sparrows than one could ever count, LOL, blue birds, Great Blue Herons. We also have a surprisingly large number of birds which winter over here from their summer nesting grounds in Canada.
We also have both black vultures and turkey vultures.There is a pair which returns every year to our area in the very early Spring. They land on the roof of my barn where they survey their surroundings for a good nesting site. One year we had a severe cold snap. It got down to the low teens in temperature, and they sat on the furnace chimney of our house to keep warm from the vented air, LOL. It was a creepy sight, to say the least.
Last edited by Blue Bead; 09-06-2004 at 03:27 PM.
bugs are smarter than we are
Birding! I've loved it for years!
I donate money everytime I make a sale (real estate) to a local wildlife rehab center that does rescue work for birds....I only wish I had time to donate instead. I found a little pygmy owl in the middle of the road this spring - it had run into a car and was only stunned, and the center nursed it back to health and set it free near my home.
My little acre on an island in Washington has an eagle nest next door. I've kept track of the other different types of birds that vist my feeders and this year it was 64 different species. My favorites - the silly little nuthatches and their buddies the chickadees. I love when they bring their babies.
A resident sparrow hawk and our local stellar jays play a game of tag that is hilarious to watch. The jays are too big to be prey for the little hawk so they just spend their time annoying each other. The hawk will be sitting on a branch and the jays will come and sit right beside him....it's a lot like the movie theater, come to think of it.
Extinction is Forever
When our Robin was a puppy, the Humming Birds would dive bomb him and his feelings would get hurt because he wanted to play with them. Now the Roadrunners play tag with our three kids. They'll wait until the kids get in the house and then they run back and forth in front of the great room windows and drive the kids nuts. You can't hear yourself for the barking, howling and yodeling.
We have Blue Jays, several families of Cardinals, Mourning Doves, Sparrows, Chickadees, and the ever popular Mocking Birds all living/nesting on our property. Before the adjacent town expanded, there were lots of Harris Hawks and Turkey Vultures but the developer, his infinite wisdom, cut down all the trees. We used to hear the coyotes too but now it’s rather quiet around here. So sad to lose wildlife from an area.
I'm a city girl, born and bred so when I married and moved to the country there was so much I didn't know. In the morning I'd sit and look out the kitchen window while having coffee before my better half got up. One morning I saw this rather large thing come sailing over our neighbor's roof and land near their pond. I thought I knew what it was but I ran upstairs, woke my husband and dragged him downstairs. He was so complacent, he just said that's a heron, they're a lot of them that live by the slough in the woods next door. Boy just like a country boy to throw cold water on a naive city kid.
Then there was the time when I noticed this bird, stumbling through our garden, flapping its wings like it was hurt. Again I ran in the house, yelling for my husband to come look at this sick bird. He did and again very calmly said, it's a Killdeer and it's drawing some predator away from its nest. We won't go into the details of my first sightings of deer, groundhog and foxes running through the yard. Of yes there was that year we had three families of rabbits, that was interesting watching the parents teach the little ones. We had the occasional possum but they didn't stay around long.
We had several good sized black birds with yellow chests that came to live in the late summer until late fall. Nobody knew what they were and we couldn't find them in our "Bird Book", so my mother in law and I went to the Farm Bureau. It was a Yellow Breasted Black Bird. Ha, even my husband didn't know that one.
We keep a hummingbird feeder in the backyard and enjoy watching them have at it. That is the extent of my bird knowledge and recognition.
What can you expect from a girl who has never lived outside a major city? :D
That's okay, RealtorGal - I can't find my way around on freeway systems....country girl here!
Da' Spellin' Homegirl
I really love birds. Have several feeders out. Talk about fighters, ever watch hummingbirds? They're really feisty. I was on the patio one day and felt something swish across the top of my head. Told my daughter and we really had to laugh. A bird had some babies in a birdhouse on the patio and kept dive bombing me. After a few days, guess she decided I was ok and quit. Used to see some Baltimore Orioles around but haven't for a long time. Cardinals and Robins, among others usually stay around all winter. Hummingbirds usually leave when it gets hot but this year they stayed.