We've got a couple of running threads concerning other hobbies/interests; knives, watches, photos etc. I don't know how many of you share my affinity for birding, but we'll see what happens. Ill try to get some pictures up to start this off, but I just can't find my Pileated Woodpecker pics at the moment.
New to my yard this year are a pair of house wrens who have taken to nest in my bird house, which has been empty since I bought the house 3 summers ago. Also new this year to my yard are a pair of bluebirds, and a pair of Orioles. Only the second time I have seen Orioles here in OH. A new pair of Rose-Breasted Grosbeaks have also showed up this spring.
I have a big red-headed woodpecker that I could reset my clocks by if the power ever goes out. 60-90 minutes after sunrise every morning he swoops down and tries to topple my feeder. He's twice as big as the feeder but insists on landing on it tilting it 90 degrees every morning. The mourning doves don't mind cleaning up the mess every afternoon.
A real novice here. Before our RV trip last year we got binoculars and two bird books.
Here's one that I don't understand. There are a number of pairs of "Black Crackles" near my house. The bird book says that they are not found west of Texas. I'm in CA. Those guys have almost as many sounds as a Mocking Bird.
I've got a short story about the Bald Eagles up north in Grayling, and a quick question for a birder to answer.
We saw two big female Bald Eagles while were up to the Ausable last week. The first was a repeat sighting on the north branch near the point they call Dam #4. We were luck enough to see her last april but she was soaring so high that we didn't really get a good glimpse of her. The year, she arrived right on schedule as we pulled up to the end of the dirt road by the stairs. We had barley let ourselves out of the car before she came cruising over the road where we had just passed; not 40 yds away from us and just above the treetops. A local says she nests really close by and he always sees her out about that time of morning.
The second Bald Eagle was seen on the way out of Grayling; just about 10 miles south on I75. I saw a huge bird swooping down the road between cars about 3 or 4 cars in front of us; she was making passes back and forth but couldn't get down on the road without being hit. She circled a couple of times waiting for an opportunity to pick up an injured squirrel from the middle of the two lanes of traffic. She swooped right in front of us but then halted her dive right before we got there, made a quick circle and then swooped right behind us and scooped up her dinner. By far, these two sightings were the closest that I have ever been to Bald Eagles. When she was coming at the road I had to be no more than 20 yds away.
Now my question. My bird book is petersons field guide to Eastern US Birds. There are no orange birds in this book. Across the river from our cabin there was a very orange looking bird that must have been living there shoreside. He/she was seen 4 days straight fluttering around in the dense shore brush. Orange with distinct black markings, possibly black wings, maybe cardinal sized or smaller, definitely not much bigger if any. If it was not orange, I would say that it was more towards the red rather than yellow. Does anyone know of any orange birds in MI?
Also, a first while I was there. An entire forest of whooporwills were chanting away during the drake spinner fall. We heard the first at dusk, and it couldn't have been more than 20 yds behind us in the woods; with 20 minutes there at least a dozen calling.
---------- Post added at 12:30 AM ---------- Previous post was at 12:24 AM ----------
Originally Posted by yatahey
I'm a bit of a bird man myself. I'll post up just a few at a time.
You are much better with the camera than I my friend...your action shots really do look spectacular. Especially the Snow Goose landing; good work.
Now you'll have me digging through photo files. I was the conservation Chairman of the Lycoming Audubon Chapter a long time ago and have some great programs that I used to present in several school districts back in Pennsylvania in the 1980's. problem is all were shot on Kodachrome 64 & 25 transparencies. Until I round up some more here's one for you Jason,
There is also a binocular thread drifting around here somewhere. They are an integral part of Birding. I use two different pair, a vintage Zeiss 10X25 Mini @ 9 oz. and a big fat Steiner 10X50 Military Marine for foul weather and a tad more light gathering due to the size of the tubes and objectives. Great thread!
Great eagle shot Ard. Love the overall sense of grandness that it conveys.
Ausable, I don't know much about the birds in your area but it sounds like a wayward Oriole. Here's a link that may help you find out what it is. Birds containing the color Orange
I'll put up some more bird pics later today.
Jason, sounds like a northern (formerly Baltimore) oriole to me, too. At my last home in the boonies, I often would see 6 or 7 males chasing each other around vying for the attention of a lone female. Always fun to watch. They are birds of taller, mature trees; their nests are of the pendant, hanging variety. If you have them in your area, you can bring them right up to the window by placing grape jelly out for them. Some folks put the jelly in scooped out orange peels.
Just remembered an eagle sighting; we do have a few around and last year, my lovely companion and I were fishing the shoreline of a local lake in our boat. It was early in the season, as many mallard families were swimming and feeding in the shallows. Out of the corner of my eye, I watched an eagle glide in to a big, overhanging oak. Almost imperceptible from where we were, it was pretty obvious that, what with all the ducklings swimming around us, at least one was about to become lunch.
Up on the Miramichi, its fun to watch an Osprey do all the work for an eagle's lunch. Often is the time I've seen an osprey soar around, finally dive and get a salmon or trout, only to have an eagle (or two) show up out of nowhere and harass the osprey until it dropped the fish, at which point the eagle breaks off the engagement, and swoops down and around for the osprey's lunch.
Jason, I'd say it was an Oriole, see them in Hartwick Pines every year...
You and Gary are probably right, and I had resolved to thinking that myself, but I cannot get over how strikingly orange it was. It was so orange, that oriole was not even in my thoughts until I had exhausted the bird dictionaries or orange species. If it were yellow I would almost certainly say it was an oriole, but since my initial perception of it was so orange I had to search it out a little. Perhaps it was an Oriole with a peculiar diet or habitat...