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Author Topic: BIRDS  (Read 273448 times)

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Offline Bibbyman

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Re: BIRDS
« Reply #700 on: November 16, 2010, 08:24:36 AM »
I saw the first bald eagle of the season yesterday.  I went back out after our dinner brake and the sky was clear and bright.  There to the north was a good size bald eagle making small, lazy circles.  I stood and watched about 5 minutes as he drifted on north.  Cool! 

It seems a bit early as we’ve not had any real cold weather yet. 
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Offline Phorester

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Re: BIRDS
« Reply #701 on: January 18, 2011, 10:22:42 PM »
DARK TALES OF DARK TIMES IN DARKNESS ALONG THE DARK RIVER

It was a dark and stormy evening, just before dark.  I was late coming out of the dark woods. Exhausted and chilled, I descended into  a steep, damp, dark  hollow thinking that my dark  truck would be waiting just over the top of the next dark ridge.  Being along the Dark River, it was getting foggy and darn dark as evening gave way to dark.  Quickly I was disoriented.  I began walking down the hollow hoping to come out along the riverbank.  I knew it'd be a tough climb up through the thick dark wet  underbrush on the steep slippery dark bank along the Dark River, but at this point I saw no other way.  As I stumbled down the darkening  hollow, slipping over dark rocks wet from the dark fog, I approached a grove of old decadent, dark hemlocks, half dead from the dark wooly adelgid and even darker than the dark woods I had been trudging through darkly.  My dark footsteps became almost silent as I walked along the thick dark carpet of hemlock needles, ducking and threading my way under and through patches of wet dark greenbriars and honeysuckle vines. A stifling, dark silence surrounded me. Dark moisture dripping from the dark low hanging tree branches seeped into my dark clothes until they were wet and heavy, chilling my exhausted body to my dark bones.

Suddenly I sensed there was movement in a huge towering dark  hemlock with upward sweeping branches as thick as whiskey barrels that loomed up ahead of me, where, of course, it was darker still.  Almost dark now, I approached the movement with dark feelings of trepidation, the dark hair on the back of my neck standing up in dark fear. A strange foul smell filled my nostrils and threatened to suffocate me.  Barely moving, I suddenly made out this huge, dark bird nestling down on one of the lower branches just a few feet off the dark  ground.  Slowly and carefully I pulled out my camera and got off several dark pictures.  Terrified that I would be seen by this strange, huge, and dark bird and have my torn and broken body join the pile of rotten dark flesh at the base of his tree, I carefully and slowly backed out the dark way I had come.  Finding my truck about midnight two dark nights later, I drove with wild abandon on the dark roads, once terrifying a group of dark nuns from a nearby dark monastery dressed darkly and out for a midnight stroll, who had wild, dark, beady glowing eyes and smelled strangely like the bird in the hemlock grove, until home. Most of the pictures were dark (imagine that), but I was able to lighten this one a little.  Amazing, simply and darkly amazing,  what you find in the dark Virginia woods on a dark night in a dark hollow surrounded by dark, dark hemlock trees along the Dark River...........  



If this picture is a little dark, remember that it was a dark and stormy evening.
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Offline WDH

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Re: BIRDS
« Reply #702 on: January 19, 2011, 07:52:53 AM »
That bottle of Old Phorester must be empty  :D.  After the first few lines, I turned out the lights and read your post in the dark . ;D.
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Offline fishpharmer

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Re: BIRDS
« Reply #703 on: January 19, 2011, 09:17:26 AM »
So that's what happens when a vampire bat has its way with a fish eating bird. :)

Site of it might leave a DARK spot in the britches of most folks. :)

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Offline Autocar

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Re: BIRDS
« Reply #704 on: January 20, 2011, 10:19:45 AM »
I cleaned out my Wren boxes this moring and one of them had a bunch of yellow jackets in it, they were alive but moved real slow.
Bill

Offline scottyblue

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Re: BIRDS
« Reply #705 on: January 27, 2011, 03:51:46 PM »
Here in London Ontario Canada,I'm seeing no birds.Normally I will have the usual winter suspects like cardinals and chickadees but no birds this year.

Based on what I'm reading,they have flown the coop.To be more exact,they have headed south to find food.These birds will normally over winter in my area but if there's not enough food they will migrate.They have no clear destination in mind.They will just head south until they find food.If it runs out,further south they will go.

It's been a quiet winter without them.
Scotty

Offline pigman

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Re: BIRDS
« Reply #706 on: January 27, 2011, 04:20:36 PM »
Welcome to the forum scottyblue. In your profile you asked this question "I know one end of a chainsaw from the other but what is that cord thing you pull out of it?"
That is the electrical cord you plug into the electrical outlet. :D If you have any other questions feel free to ask. ;)
Things turn out best for people who make the best of how things turn out.

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: BIRDS
« Reply #707 on: January 27, 2011, 04:41:37 PM »
Hello Scotty, I have a lot of chickadees here most anytime of the year. Lots this year to, buntings and goldfinch by the flock. Also blue jays are thick around here. Ravens are always around. We rarely get a cardinal up here, very seldom. Usually a juvenile is all I ever seen, not bright red. I don't feed the birds except bread scraps, they don't sit on the ground long. :D A chicken carcass will be picked over pretty good between the birds, skunks and foxes. Woodpeckers usually pass through, but them sapsuckers in the spring are a nuisance picking the yard trees.  >:(

Pre-commercial thinning pays off. :)

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Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: BIRDS
« Reply #708 on: January 28, 2011, 03:07:08 PM »
Data collection for the Maritime Breeding Bird atlas has been completed. Here is a preliminary report.

http://www.mba-aom.ca/english/index.html

Take note of the top ten birds in this study versus the last one in the late 80's.


Here is the Fall 2010 news letter

http://www.mba-aom.ca/english/Newsletter_Fall_2010_English.pdf

Pre-commercial thinning pays off. :)

'If she wants to play lumberjack, she's going to have to learn to handle her end of the log.'
Dirty Harry

Offline doctorb

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Re: BIRDS
« Reply #709 on: January 28, 2011, 05:09:01 PM »
Swamp-  that's interesting stuff to me.  Notice how the new top ten species have a much higher percentage of squares than the list from a decade ago  ( All birds on the top ten list are in 90% or greater of the squares now as opposed to the old list where no bird was documented in 90% of the squares.  A higher percentage of available squares was surveyed this time versus last ).  So birds on that older list have not necessarily declined, but may have been overtaken ( and thus knocked off the list ) by birds whose populations increased at greater rates.  Note that both swallow species dropped off the list.  Do you take part in the count?  Doctorb
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Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: BIRDS
« Reply #710 on: January 28, 2011, 05:51:46 PM »
Doc, I signed up and got the kit. This was at a time when I ran my own brushing crew and figured since I'm out there every day in bird habitat, why not. But I shifted gears and do the same thing, but more on the brushing side to, so work got in the way. But believe you me if you ever wanted to find birds and I mean hundreds of warbler and chickadee sized birds as well as lots of grouse, just work on a thinning block (clearing saw work). You would think the saws would drive every bird out of the woods. When you stop and fill up the saw and file, the birds sing even louder. I guess the gene to breed is stronger than fear. ;D I darn near cut the head off a grouse last spring. They'll sit right there on the nest until you step on'm. :D

Just after the last study, in May 1996 we had a cold snow that killed off the returning barn swallows. They can lay blame where ever they want, but when you see dead swallows on the frozen ground because the insects can't fly in cold, what would you conclude? ;) The wires the year before where black with barn swallows for several yards long. They were also that spring until the cold wiped them out. Been hardly a barn swallow here for 15 years. I did see a few last summer, they will work their numbers back up eventually. I mean those darn things were even in the deep woods around camps and bridges. :)


Pre-commercial thinning pays off. :)

'If she wants to play lumberjack, she's going to have to learn to handle her end of the log.'
Dirty Harry

Offline chain

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Re: BIRDS
« Reply #711 on: January 30, 2011, 08:07:15 PM »
I saw the first bald eagle of the season yesterday.  I went back out after our dinner brake and the sky was clear and bright.  There to the north was a good size bald eagle making small, lazy circles.  I stood and watched about 5 minutes as he drifted on north.  Cool! 

It seems a bit early as we’ve not had any real cold weather yet. 

  Speaking of eagles, we've been treated all winter to our resident pair and and their fledgling feeding on fish on our lake. There's a healthy number of river otter using the boat dock for a dining table also. The young eagle is very curious of the otter and sits over the dock in a tall willow snag oggling the goings on.

Couple weeks ago the young eagle had just fed on a fish and sailed directly toward our house when, he pulled up and dropped down in a field wash for a few minutes before taking flight again out toward the river. Don't know if eagles have to have sand in their gizzards as many other birds do or not.

Then, last week about dusk we were coming home and driving down our long drive slow, as we were watching a hawk or owl glide over, we spied even a larger bird sitting in one of our yard trees; it was an adult bald eagle Obviously, wanting to roost but not liking our company, he flew out directly on to the river also. Very unusal but interesting nonetheless!

Offline doctorb

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Re: BIRDS
« Reply #712 on: January 30, 2011, 09:40:06 PM »
Always interesting how some weather variatioin can have a huge and lasting effect on a species.  It's probably multifactorial, in the case of those swallows.  They may have already been overpopualted and thus competing harder for available food. Swamp, are you at the northern extent of their range?  If so, this "line" often waxes and wanes back and forth over time, again, dependent upon many factors.

Nice pic.  Have them every year in our boathouse in Ontario.  When they are rearing in the nest, they will fly directly at you from over the water, straight at your eyes, before veering off at the last second.  They often seem to put their nests in the DanGest of spots!

Had a very strange experience three days ago with a rough legged hawk.  I was watching out my kitchen window, when I saw this raptor in full glide, about 18 inches off the ground, headed toward me.  Beautiful to see.  He kept sliding along the driveway, and disappeared through my open garage door into the garage!  I went immediately to the door from the house to the garage, only to see him perched on one of my trash cans.  He startled and I spooked him.  He burst up and flew into the closed window pane on the side of the garage, and then wheeled out the door.  He landed on the lawn right next to the garage, and stood there for a time.  Wish I had my camera.  I assume he saw some rodent and was hungry!  We have 2 cats, both of whom were outside at the time, but they were on a porch on the other side of the house and were not tempting him.  It was cool.
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Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: BIRDS
« Reply #713 on: January 30, 2011, 10:02:43 PM »
The barn swallow is near the edge here yes but extends up along the north shore of the St Lawrence and southern end of the island of Newfoundland. The others, the bank and the tree swallow go way north of here up into Labrador. Barn swallows were always thick here doc, no one remembered a die off like that. The cats around here were always targets for harassment by the swallows. I never saw one ever catch a swallow. But they would swoop in real close and make a chirp that sounded like they were clipping their ears as they passed. :D  The only time I saw a barn swallow on the ground was at mud puddles gathering mud for the nest and grass as well to weave the lining with. We always left big potato sheds open for the swallows to nest in, most were clean. They would take the baby poop sacks outside to drop. One once in awhile kept a dirty nest, not often.

My uncle had a white cat, it's fir was fine like a rabbit and short tail. One morning on the way to the barn to milk cows, an owl appeared around the corner of the barn and took the cat for lunch. I think it was a great horned owl.

Your hawk could have very well seen those cats while soaring and couldn't figure out how to make the attack plan work around the corner of the garage. I've also seen robins taken this way. Robin is there this moment, next blink of the eye no robin, just feathers floating in the air. ;D I've seen goshawks (chicken hawk) take grouse on my woodlot. Plantation rows are like hunting corridors for goshawks. You will often drive up on a goshawk cruising a narrow wooded road. Up here the woods roads have hares and grouse for the picking. ;D

Pre-commercial thinning pays off. :)

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Offline Norm

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Re: BIRDS
« Reply #714 on: January 31, 2011, 08:14:11 AM »
Every year during the winter we see more bald eagles. Just a bit earlier in the week I counted 14 of them feeding on a deer carcass south of the house. There's a small creek east of our place with tall trees they roost in. After feeding they perch in these trees digesting the deer meat.

I wish we'd get them to nest there though. Seems they are just wintering over and not staying through the summer. Hopefully with their numbers on such an upswing they'll start doing so.

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: BIRDS
« Reply #715 on: January 31, 2011, 08:40:30 AM »
We have them here year around like ravens. When the river freezes, that's the end of the fish'n. They scavenge like a raven. Many folks have nesting platforms for them along the river. Many times the Osprey get the platforms though. I see them down at mom's all the time near the river. They start nesting in late March. Their year round range is concentrated on the coast and major rivers/lakes. Take Maine for instance, they don't have a major river like the St John (head waters only) or Miramichi and the eagles are only year round on their coast. We have some large rivers, but also the Bay of Chaleur and Bay of Fundy.

Pre-commercial thinning pays off. :)

'If she wants to play lumberjack, she's going to have to learn to handle her end of the log.'
Dirty Harry

Offline doctorb

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Re: BIRDS
« Reply #716 on: January 31, 2011, 11:26:04 AM »
I am sure that this has must have been mentioned before, but are you bird guys aware that Ben Franklin wanted the wild turkey to be our national bird?  The Indians called the bald eagle the "white-headed crow" because of it's scavaging behavior.  They believed the golden eagle was much more regal and held it in much higher regard than the bald eagle.
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Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: BIRDS
« Reply #717 on: January 31, 2011, 11:37:04 AM »
The west coast Indians held the raven in higher regard. ;) And there were a lot more Eagles around Prince Rupert than here. They had a phone book cover with a big old spruce with 30 odd eagles perched on it. :D The garbage dumps in Rupert and Charlotte city had bald eagles, ravens and seagulls by the hundred. :D

Pre-commercial thinning pays off. :)

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Offline Tom

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Re: BIRDS
« Reply #718 on: January 31, 2011, 02:46:38 PM »
Does Prince Rupert collect Odd Eagles?  You best tell the king to watch that fellow.
extinct

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: BIRDS
« Reply #719 on: January 31, 2011, 03:13:33 PM »
Odd that prince, the King kicked him out of the country for a spell. But then, gave him half the New continent by charter. :D

Pre-commercial thinning pays off. :)

'If she wants to play lumberjack, she's going to have to learn to handle her end of the log.'
Dirty Harry

 


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