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Thread: The thread for birds and birding

  1. #41
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    Re: The thread for birds and birding

    So I had starlings destroying my suet. They were going through 4 suet cakes in a little over 2 days. So over the weekend I converted my suet cages into upside down cages. Basically built a box for them to fit in that that had them hanging horizontally instead of vertically and the only open area is the bottom side. Woodpeckers, nuthatches, wrens and other desirable birds have no problem feeding on that but starlings cant hang upside down to feed. It worked wonders. Did not see a single starling today and already had a red bellied woodpecker use the feeder(s) with no problem.

  2. #42
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    Re: The thread for birds and birding

    Quote Originally Posted by AKJD View Post
    So I'm not really much into birding personally, but I saw something kinda interesting yesterday. There's a hummingbird in the back yard that we've seen off and on for a good while now, but I just noticed yesterday it had this odd pattern. It would stay still, hovering about 10-15 feet above the ground over a small tree or bush, making some soft chirping/peeping sounds, for probably about 10 seconds or so. Then it would fly pretty much straight up, I'd guess at least 100 feet, and then do this J shaped dive-bomb between our house and the neighbor's, stopping and hovering over the tree again. Somewhere from the bottom of the J to the hover point, it made a much louder, single chirp. It followed this pattern for at least a good 10 minutes, and that's just when I started watching.

    The tree is actually in the neighbor's yard, and behind hedges, so we couldn't see what was in there. We were thinking maybe there was a squirrel, bird, or nest in the tree, and maybe there was some harassment going on one way or the other, but couldn't tell for sure. Anyway, I was just wondering if you guys had seen something like that before, or knew what it was doing?
    Actually it's displaying...trying to attact a mate. Most hummingbirds in the US do something like that. Each one has a different pattern.

    Also, there's an episode of the show "Nature" about hummingbirds in which they discuss that loud chirp you mention. It's actually made by the birds tail feathers. When the bird gets to a certain speed, the feathers funnel the air to the point that they make a loud chirp noise. fascinating, huh?
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  3. #43
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    Re: The thread for birds and birding

    Quote Originally Posted by Hopkinja View Post
    Actually it's displaying...trying to attact a mate. Most hummingbirds in the US do something like that. Each one has a different pattern.

    Also, there's an episode of the show "Nature" about hummingbirds in which they discuss that loud chirp you mention. It's actually made by the birds tail feathers. When the bird gets to a certain speed, the feathers funnel the air to the point that they make a loud chirp noise. fascinating, huh?
    I'm not much of a birder either, though I kind of know some birds because my dad was into bird watching when I grew up.

    Nevertheless, hummingbirds are a riot to watch. For such a small bird, they are a pugnacious avifauna and will fight off their brethren from food supplies and chase each other helter-skelter to maintain their territory. It is fun to hear their constant peeping and chatter when they are being defensive and protective.

    Here is a link to the PBS Nature show that you can watch online: Hummingbirds: Magic in the Air
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  4. #44
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    Re: The thread for birds and birding

    Quote Originally Posted by aygwm2 View Post
    Nevertheless, hummingbirds are a riot to watch. For such a small bird, they are a pugnacious avifauna and will fight off their brethren from food supplies and chase each other helter-skelter to maintain their territory. It is fun to hear their constant peeping and chatter when they are being defensive and protective.
    I've actually seen one dive on an eagle in flight. They are aggressive little buggers.
    Cornell '82

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  5. #45
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    Re: The thread for birds and birding

    Driving into work today on a country road and I could see a little bird taking evasive action over the road up ahead and then saw the smallish hawk or falcon that was chasing it. In short order, the pursuer caught the smaller bird in midair, wheeled and flew back past the van, basically showing me its catch.

    Never witnessed that before.
    Last edited by Gurtholfin; 06-06-2013 at 01:52 PM.

  6. #46
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    Re: The thread for birds and birding

    Quote Originally Posted by Gurtholfin View Post
    Driving into work today on a country road and I could see a little bird taking evasive action over the road up ahead and then saw the smallish hawk or falcon that was chasing it. In short order, the pursuer caught the smaller bird, wheeled and flew back past the van, basically showing me its catch.

    Never witnessed that before.
    I saw something similar a year or two ago. I was waiting in a left turn lane at a red light when I saw a small bird come out of nowhere weaving around the cars. Not far behind was a sharp-shinned hawk. Amazing site.


    I'm still trying at attract my 30th species of bird to me feeders. I had a house wren show up and land on one shepards hook but never went to a feeder so I dont count it. Put out some orange halfs and and a mesh ball with sunflower that I mixed some dried mealworms into. Havent seen anything new yet. Seems like everytime I go out to fill my feeders I have a hummingbird show up. He has no fear as I am standing litterally 2 feet from the feeder when he comes in, lands, and drinks. Also, yesterday, I sat and watched a downy woodpecker sit at the hummingbird feeder and drink sugar water for like 2 minutes. I can't say I have ever seen that before.

  7. #47
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    Re: The thread for birds and birding

    Quote Originally Posted by Proud2baLaker View Post
    I saw something similar a year or two ago. I was waiting in a left turn lane at a red light when I saw a small bird come out of nowhere weaving around the cars. Not far behind was a sharp-shinned hawk. Amazing site.

    After looking at images and reading up on sharp-shinned hawks, this is very likely what I saw.

  8. #48
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    Re: The thread for birds and birding

    Quote Originally Posted by Gurtholfin View Post
    After looking at images and reading up on sharp-shinned hawks, this is very likely what I saw.
    When I was first getting into birds (grade school) I had a few feeders outside my window at my parents home. One day I was watching them out the window when suddenly the birds scattered and a sharpy came down out of now where, took a bird from the ground, and landed in the neighbors tree. It was amazing. I knew that I could sit and watch my feeders everday for a year and probably not see that again. Also, it took a day or two for the birds to really start coming back to the feeders.

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    Re: The thread for birds and birding

    We have a large, mature rhododendron bush outside our living room window. In the higher branches, there is a bird's nest with four blue eggs in it. It will be interesting to see if they hatch and the hatchlings make it to maturity.
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  10. #50
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    Re: The thread for birds and birding

    Have you seen the adults at all? I'd be curious to see what species it is. Also wonder if this is a 2nd brood since it seems late for the first (I'm seeing fully fledged chicks around here)

  11. #51
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    Re: The thread for birds and birding

    Quote Originally Posted by Gurtholfin View Post
    After looking at images and reading up on sharp-shinned hawks, this is very likely what I saw.
    Quote Originally Posted by Proud2baLaker View Post
    When I was first getting into birds (grade school) I had a few feeders outside my window at my parents home. One day I was watching them out the window when suddenly the birds scattered and a sharpy came down out of now where, took a bird from the ground, and landed in the neighbors tree. It was amazing. I knew that I could sit and watch my feeders everday for a year and probably not see that again. Also, it took a day or two for the birds to really start coming back to the feeders.
    Quote Originally Posted by FreshFish View Post
    We have a large, mature rhododendron bush outside our living room window. In the higher branches, there is a bird's nest with four blue eggs in it. It will be interesting to see if they hatch and the hatchlings make it to maturity.
    Haven't seen the sharp-shined in a while, but there used to be one in the residential neighborhood I live in that would attack the house sparrows that hang out in my neighbor's bushes. I've seen the sharp-shined swoop down, catch a sparrow, and de-feather and fillet it down to the bones in my driveway. Amazing to watch.

    As for the blue eggs in a rhodie bush, this may or may not help: http://www.sialis.org/blueeggs.htm
    NMU Hockey Since 1976 ...there at the beginning.

    Bill Crawford, LSSU radio announcer, on NMU hockey: "This is their MO right to the tee: get out shot, get out played, keep hangin' in there, just rope-a-dope it in your own zone, get it up the ice, bang it in and win the game."

  12. #52
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    Re: The thread for birds and birding

    Quote Originally Posted by Proud2baLaker View Post
    Have you seen the adults at all? I'd be curious to see what species it is. Also wonder if this is a 2nd brood since it seems late for the first (I'm seeing fully fledged chicks around here)

    Yeah, both our robins and grackles are out of the nests already, which is good coz the grackles decimate our feeders but once their young are independent, they move on.

  13. #53
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    Re: The thread for birds and birding

    Quote Originally Posted by Proud2baLaker View Post
    Have you seen the adults at all? I'd be curious to see what species it is. Also wonder if this is a 2nd brood since it seems late for the first (I'm seeing fully fledged chicks around here)
    There is a bird on the nest atop the eggs in the neset right now but I can't see her very clearly. My guess would be a robin but I can't tell for sure as she is scrunched down into it. BTW, we are in a different climate zone than you are (coastal CT is I think two or three zones cooler than southern IL).

    We saw a robin building a nest in a different rhododendron which was then abandoned halfway through. If I see a male on the fence nearby standing guard I'll let you know.

    Just looked at Gurt's picture: four eggs, same shaped nest, same color: even more evidence it's likely a robin.
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  14. #54
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    Re: The thread for birds and birding

    Quote Originally Posted by FreshFish View Post

    Just looked at Gurt's picture: four eggs, same shaped nest, same color: even more evidence it's likely a robin.

    That was aygwm2's picture, just so credit goes where due.

  15. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carter View Post
    We have several pairs of orioles every spring, and we have great luck feeding them grape jelly. We use this feeder http://www.amazon.com/Droll-Yankees-...m_sbs_indust_1 and put about half of one of the larger jars of jelly in it. They really go nuts for it.
    Fwiw........we have a few bird feeders just outside our large windows in our sun room. We live in a semi rural area and have a two acre yard. We live in west central MN and we have a wide assortment of birds that frequent our feeders. I have never seen an oriole though. After reading your post I put out a bowl full of grape jelly. Within an hour we had 3 sets of orioles and they have been there since. It's like crack to them. Might have to invest in Smuckers.
    Last edited by gmann; 06-06-2013 at 08:51 PM.

  16. #56
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    Re: The thread for birds and birding

    Quote Originally Posted by gmann View Post
    Fwiw........we have a few bird feeders just outside our large windows in our sun room. We live in a semi rural area and have a two acre yard. We live in west central MN and we have a wide assortment of birds that frequent our feeders. I have never seen an oriole though. After reading your post I put out a bowl full of grape jelly. Within an hour we had 3 sets of orioles and they have been there since. It's like crack to them. Might have to invest in Smuckers.
    I opted for an orange but I may try jelly in the near future since the orange has not brought any in (wait until next week when I have a few days off from work so I have better chance of seeing them). What is working against me is that I am in a neighborhood area. Lots of trees and shrubs and a few open areas. It seems like it should be a good area but I feel it may be too urban if you will for some species to be common. I am actually surprised I have had as many species as I have had. My hope for the future is to have a house out in the country and have a few trees around the house, an open area/field to one side and some woods to another.

  17. #57
    Cheer up, the worst is yet to come gmann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Proud2baLaker View Post
    I opted for an orange but I may try jelly in the near future since the orange has not brought any in (wait until next week when I have a few days off from work so I have better chance of seeing them). What is working against me is that I am in a neighborhood area. Lots of trees and shrubs and a few open areas. It seems like it should be a good area but I feel it may be too urban if you will for some species to be common. I am actually surprised I have had as many species as I have had. My hope for the future is to have a house out in the country and have a few trees around the house, an open area/field to one side and some woods to another.
    We live in a fairly open area as our property is surrounded by fields. We have 75 pine trees that follow our property line and we have planted numerous trees throughout the property. Just to the east of our property is a 10 acre pond and about a quarter mile away there is a lake. We have a wide assortment of birds (and wildlife in general) that frequent our yard. From pheasants to turkeys to geese and ducks, to finches, robins, cardinals, chickadees, orioles, red winged blackbirds to name a few.

    I have two young boys ages 7 and 4. We purchased a bird book a couple weeks ago and have been marking off the ones we have seen. It has turned out to be a fun little "project" for us. We have verified over 35 different varieties. a couple days go we seen a indigo bunting.
    Last edited by gmann; 06-06-2013 at 09:27 PM.

  18. #58

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    Re: The thread for birds and birding

    Quote Originally Posted by gmann View Post
    Fwiw........we have a few bird feeders just outside our large windows in our sun room. We live in a semi rural area and have a two acre yard. We live in west central MN and we have a wide assortment of birds that frequent our feeders. I have never seen an oriole though. After reading your post I put out a bowl full of grape jelly. Within an hour we had 3 sets of orioles and they have been there since. It's like crack to them. Might have to invest in Smuckers.
    Wow, that's fantastic. I think we must have seen the orioles around before we set up the feeders. They'll try and feed off the hummingbird feeders if there's nothing else around.
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  19. #59
    Cheer up, the worst is yet to come gmann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carter View Post
    Wow, that's fantastic. I think we must have seen the orioles around before we set up the feeders. They'll try and feed off the hummingbird feeders if there's nothing else around.
    Hummingbird feeders are the next item in the list to purchase.................

  20. #60
    Gurtholfin
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    Re: The thread for birds and birding

    We haven't seen too many hummers yet this year. Just one or two and not on a regular basis.

    Carter, you're about 10 miles from me. You have them yet?

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