Birding

It’s quick, it’s easy and it’s free: pouring river water in your socks looking at, listening to, and thinking about birds! Please join me in sharing your usual or unusual birding exploits.

I haven’t gotten out much recently so I’ve only been seeing urban birds, but I did catch a mockingbird honking at cars the other day.

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Oh, twitching! I do it in my backyard. My dad threatened to chuck my mum’s bird book out on their last road trip because she was spotting birds instead of chatting to him!

We had kookaburras in our yard last week, haven’t had them come in before.

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Oooh im in! Best part of my last time in Hawaii was on a hike, stopping and watching a lovely bird sing on a branch near me, only to realize when I looked it up in my Hawaiian bird book back in the car that only a couple hundred exist and we were in the 4 sq.mi. Area of their known breeding and nesting territory.

Also, today I saw a silly wood pecker (Red breasted sapsucker I think?) banging his head on a metal band for a sign on a post. I pointed it out to the ladies I was hiking with. We were maybe 15 feet away max, and it’s head was BRIGHT RED, and only 2 of 6 people managed to see it??? Perplexing to me.

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I love birds, but more in the oh look a pigeon way because I don’t get out in deep, flourishing nature much. Also the first thing “birding” brings to mind is me flipping off cars on my bike commute (which I need to remember to stop doing before sooner or later it’s someone I work with lmfao). Anyway…have a photo of a domesticated chicken/microfiber cloth

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Beautiful chicken! The fancy birds are always my favorite part of county fairs and such.
Saw a sharp-shinned hawk hunting songbirds outside an office park today.
And I met another birder at a local game night! We’re planning on heading out to Theodore Roosevelt Island in the spring. She’s quite a bit older than me and a longtime birder, and I’m excited to have more friends outside my age group and learn more about the local species.

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Kiddo was given a sticker book of birds by grandpa when we visited a local historical farm and he has kept it intact. Every blue-looking bird is a blue jay and sometimes he sees “falcons” when we’re out and about. I’m hopeful about raising him to be a future birder.

If I remember and if I haven’t deleted them off my phone, we have red shouldered hawks in our neighborhood and this year a flock of white ibises took up residence to raise their babies. I’ve tried looking up some of the urban birds I see in big parking lots (usually because kiddo points them out) but usually all I can determine is that they’re some sort of wren.

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Saw a pair of ring-necked ducks today and a redhead in addition to the usual mallards and coots. The Canada geese are all gone, and it seems like the wood ducks and common mergansers may have moved on too.

In the park near us, a whole group of crows is often harrying a small hawk when I go by. If you haven’t read “Unseen City” I highly recommend it, makes you appreciate crows and pigeons so much!

Eta pulled out my sibley’s. I think it’s a sharp shin hawk I’ve been seeing!

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Ooh I love the look of this! Thanks for the book recommendation!

I’m lying in bed listening to the birds. Probably New Holland honeyeaters and white cheeked ones enjoying the nectar before the wattle birds wake up.

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This is the extent of my birdwatching lately:

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Managed to get a picture the other day. Cardinal. His mate was hiding nearby.

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We bought a clear bird feeder to stick on the outside of a window. It’ll be fun to hold the baby up and let her watch, too.

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I can hear birds from inside our house because it’s so quiet.

Heard a woodpecker the other day on a hike. Always pleasant.

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Saw a woodpecker on our walk determined to peck a hole on a streetlight… Like on the metal part. Then it followed us down the street so I was able to get a better picture.
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My bird feeder (affectionately known as the buffet) has a lot of different visitors daily. This morning I had a red winged blackbird, but I usually have a few pairs of cardinals, blue jays ( they are a bit too big for the feeder but come pig out), sparrows and a bunch of birds I have no idea of what type they are. The mourning doves hang out below for scraps with the chipmunks and squirrels ( black and grey), the robins are busy in the lawn in addition to another type of blackish bird I have no idea what they are called. It’s quite busy and keeps the cat very entertained.

ETA: the black birds are starlings.

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We saw a scarlet tanager! It was so pretty.

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I showed Duckling how to feed ham to the magpies. He was thrilled and then totally confused that I was eating magpie food.

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Resident tree swallow. They moved into a nearby bluebird box after the eastern bluebirds vacated.

(Did you know that they use a nesting cavity with a hole of nearly identical size? And that a pair of bluebirds can successfully defend a nest from a pair of swallows? And that if you co-locate nest boxes at a proper distance for bluebirds (300’ I think) you can get a pair of bluebirds and a pair of tree swallows in the same pair of nest boxes? (This is all to saw that we do not think they chased the bluebirds away, we suspect the bluebirds successfully fledged and the parents led them away from the nesting site, and the swallows came after they left. There was a pair of eastern bluebirds using the nest box when I first arrived 3 weeks ago. Eastern bluebirds lay eggs much earlier (first clutch at least) than tree swallows.)

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I saw a green heron today for the first time. Utterly spectacular bird.

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Resident great blue heron. It fishes for frogs in the pond behind my parents’ (there are no fish in that pond but there are definitely frogs, we hear them every night.)

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