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post #31 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by gailuvscats View Post
OK, not to be a snob, but you have much to learn about the "good birds" and the "not so good birds". A not so good bird is one that is not native, pushes out the native species and are a dirty nuisance.

Your house sparrow, the last one that is brown with the black throat is hated by many bird lovers because it will take over another birds nest killing all the babies and eggs in the process. In fact I had to make the wren house hole smaller by placing a piece of wood across it, because they were staging a hostel takeover, upsetting the wrens. I was able to intervene in time.
They are hated by bluebird lovers, because they take over their birdhouse thus endangering the species. Many people deliberately try to kill them by shaking them out of shrubs during a snow storm hoping they won't find their way back before they die.
I'm afraid that I'm going to disagree with your identification - House Sparrows have grey heads and no black spot on the cheek - that fellow is a Tree Sparrow as it has a chestnut head and a cheek spot.

They are a native species here (along with the House Sparrow) and are unfortunately declining in numbers rather alarmingly, they are on the Royal Society for the Protection of Bird's 'Red list' meaning that they are endangered, as is the House Sparrow.

I enjoy a bit of bird watching, although we have different birds here of course! I regularly see Blue Tits, Coal Tits, Wrens, Blackbirds, European Starlings, and we have a pair of woodpigeons too - and I live in a city. I enjoy going to my parents house as they are avid bird feeders/watchers and regularly get several types of woodpeckers, chaffinches, pheasants, and wagtails coming to their garden to tuck into the free goodies
post #32 of 64
I also like to watch birds. We identify them and keep a list of species that we've seen. I think the list is up to about 80 species, and most of them we've seen both the male and female.

My favorites are the Indigo Bunting and the Cookoo bird. The bunting for his brilliant colors and the cookoo because it makes such a cool song. The most rare birds we've seen around here are the redheaded woodpecker and the pileated woodpecker. The most allusive was a great horned owl - he was sitting on a tree branch over the patio early one morning. Most common are cardinals, robins, various finches, red-winged blackbirds, bluejays, hummingbirds, woodpeckers, red-tailed hawks, vultures, and ducks (lake out back).

We built a Kestral house (they are cool also) and a non-native species moved in (Starling). The Kestrals found them and emptied the nest. My neighbor would watch the house with his binoculars and one day complimented us on our "Kestral feeder". I protect birds when I can but honestly do not protect the invasive species.
post #33 of 64
Love birdwatching.......amd the kitties do too! I have their cat tree set up by one of the front windows so they can look out at the feeders in the tree in the front yard. Right now, I've just changed feeders, because I found that I was getting a lot of big birds and the little finches and song sparrows etc were staying away, so I've bought a feeder that the big ones can't get into. I have goldfinches, purple finches, cardinals and blue jays and you name it!
post #34 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Momofmany View Post
We built a Kestral house (they are cool also) and a non-native species moved in (Starling). The Kestrals found them and emptied the nest. My neighbor would watch the house with his binoculars and one day complimented us on our "Kestral feeder".
Have you ever seen a painted bunting? They are even more colorful than the Indigo bunting! That is one of my favorite birds when they come back here for the spring.
Unfortunately, if you live in the city, provide a home for a specified species, the invasive species such as starlings and house sparrows will force those birds out and take residence for themselves. The house sparrow is not considered a TRUE sparrow where we live. I wish there were a way to keep them away because they do not help the environment or native birds at all. There are many species of sparrows that normally show up here in the winter time.
post #35 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by chichismom View Post
I thre 2 extra ears of corn out last wknd- man! did they go quick! I have no idea what ate them but when I went back outside, there was nothing left!
Well- it could have been raccoons that ran off with the corn. I had suet cakes tied on trees in my backyard. The suet cakes kept dissapearing every night, and then the birdfeeders would be emptied too. Turns out I had a piggy raccoon that was having a VERY good snack in my backyard

I put baffles on the feeders, so the 'coons couldn't get the birdseed or suet anymore. I still have a problem with corn cobs though. The squirrels can't get to the feeders anymore due to the baffles, so I felt bad for them, and got them a corn cob holder. Well, it's on a wooden pole, and the 'coons found it and will run off with a whole ear of corn every day (that is if the squirrels don't eat it first). I don't know what to do- if I put a baffle around the pole, then the squirrels can't get to the corn anymore.

Grackles eat it too, they'll eat all the corn that the squirrels throw on the ground. But it sounds like a raccoon has found dinner, not a grackle.

Btw- I love bird watching too. We have 2 boxes in our backyard. So far this year I've had a Carolina Chickadee family and a Tufted Titmouse family fledge, and the titmice built another nest a couple of weeks ago.
post #36 of 64
I'm not really a bird watcher, as in, I don't go on birding trips or any such thing. But I do thoroughly enjoy feeding the hummingbirds during the summer, and I'll hang a feed sock out for the Goldfinches. But the hummingbirds are my favorites.....they also make good speed practice for the Nikon

Take this one for instance...I call it "stackables"

post #37 of 64
My DH and I were sitting out on our deck late this afternoon and had a very entertaining bird show! 3 Nighthawks were chasing after a Kestral and this carried on for about 15 minutes. The hawks would follow the Kestral, who would maneuver upwards then back track and fly straight at them. It was like an amazing aerial dog fight!!

The Kestral was outnumbered, but I think he won the battle in the end. They don't have the endurance as Nighthawks, but they are far more agile. He finally landed in the top of a tree and just sat up there for a while and the hawks flew away. After a while he flew over to our electrical wire and was eyeing some smaller birds perched up there. My guess is that the Kestral raided the hawk's nest and they were telling him to stay away.

Birds can be very entertaining.
post #38 of 64
Quote:
Well- it could have been raccoons that ran off with the corn. I had suet cakes tied on trees in my backyard. The suet cakes kept dissapearing every night, and then the birdfeeders would be emptied too. Turns out I had a piggy raccoon that was having a VERY good snack in my backyard
I feed raccoons everynight. I have a spot on my patio that I built a cover for, and they have a food bowl and a water bowl. I usually put out a dozen cookies every night (thank heaven for Wal-Mart's cheap cookies!); lately tho' I've cut back to about 10 cookies and added a pop-tart. I thought a little variety might be nice. I have 1 (that I think is a female for some reason ) that has come night after night for months now. I know it's her because she has a bald spot on her hip. Occasionally, different ones will show up so I have to refill the cookie bowl. For some reason, tho, they refuse to eat corn. I've tried bread, and they won't touch it, either.
post #39 of 64
OMG chichismom, your pictures are just amazing!
post #40 of 64
Wonderful shot of the hummingbirds, Mike!
post #41 of 64
Great pictures!

When I first moved to where I am now I put up some feeders and watched all the birds come. I am on a small lake and I think I am in an area where the birds migrate through so I see many different birds at different times of the year.

I got a book called "Stokes Field Guide to Birds" that really helped in identifying the birds. I only have one feeder up now because black bears would come around and rip the feeders down all the time and the bears would climb on my deck to get at the feeders. The bears broke parts of the deck!

The list of birds I was able to identify has 26 different kinds of birds. I didn't have a digital camera back then but now you all have given me the idea to have my camera ready after seeing all your great pictures.
post #42 of 64
We have three bird feeders which get a lot of traffic, especially from blue tits and sparrows. We put out fruit all winter for the blackbirds, and they just help themselves otherwise, so we have quite a few of them. My favorites are the magpies. We have a pair of gay ones (both males, according to a guy down the street who is an avid birdwatcher) who tried for ages to have offspring, and then somehow ended up with a baby crow they must have stolen or found. The crow is an adult (about 2 or 3) now, and quite a bit larger than the magpies, but his or her dads keep feeding him or her. Those three are an endless source of entertainment to us, though the neighbors complain that they chase off other birds. The magpies will take anything shiny they find - one of them even tore a necklace right off of me, and flew off with his treasure!

We get a lot of hawks, and the occasional crane or stork. What I really love to watch is the colony of green parrots in the city where I work. Some managed to escape from the zoo decades ago, and to survive and reproduce. It looks so strange to see parrots in Stuttgart's Castle Gardens. Cologne has them, too.
post #43 of 64
I've got two fat ball feeders at either side of the garden, and this morning there was 5 green finches on one of them, but by the time i got downstairs to take a picture there was only one on the other one but you can't see his true colours

post #44 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rosiemac View Post
I've got two fat ball feeders at either side of the garden, and this morning there was 5 green finches on one of them, but by the time i got downstairs to take a picture there was only one on the other one but you can't see his true colours

We've got two of those feeders - one in front of the house, and one behind, and it's really funny, because the blue tits and finches actually scold us when the lard has run out! So much for the expression "bird brain"! They know what they want, and whom to demand it from!
post #45 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcat View Post
We've got two of those feeders - one in front of the house, and one behind, and it's really funny, because the blue tits and finches actually scold us when the lard has run out! So much for the expression "bird brain"! They know what they want, and whom to demand it from!
I better make sure i keep them well stocked up then They really love them i know that much
post #46 of 64
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by libby74 View Post
I saw quite a few eagles flying overhead this past winter, too. I live just a mile or 2 from a dam, and the eagles spend a lot of the winter hunting there. It surprised me that they were so close to 'civilization'.
Hey I see your in Illinois- I'm in St. Louis You live near the Mississippi?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sneakymom View Post
Well- it could have been raccoons that ran off with the corn.
Grackles eat it too, they'll eat all the corn that the squirrels throw on the ground. But it sounds like a raccoon has found dinner, not a grackle.
.
Well I'm happy to report that the cardinals enjoy corn as well. I threw out another ear the other day, and a cardinal went right to work on it! I'm not sure about racoons- there could be some around though. I live in St. Louis city- I know we have opossums, never seen a racoon though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skippymjp View Post
I'm not really a bird watcher, as in, I don't go on birding trips or any such thing. But I do thoroughly enjoy feeding the hummingbirds during the summer, and I'll hang a feed sock out for the Goldfinches. But the hummingbirds are my favorites.....they also make good speed practice for the Nikon.

Take this one for instance...I call it "stackables"


I would love to see that many together at one time! Cool shot!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Momofmany View Post
My DH and I were sitting out on our deck late this afternoon and had a very entertaining bird show! 3 Nighthawks were chasing after a Kestral and this carried on for about 15 minutes. The hawks would follow the Kestral, who would maneuver upwards then back track and fly straight at them. It was like an amazing aerial dog fight!!
The Kestral was outnumbered, but I think he won the battle in the end.
Birds can be very entertaining.
You all have cool birds!!!!! Not that I don't like mine I would love to see the larger birds such as hawks, kestrals and eagles on a regular basis! I only get to see the occasional hawk out at Gram's house. I bet that was one cool air show!

Quote:
Originally Posted by PookieBoy View Post
OMG chichismom, your pictures are just amazing!
Thank you!

Quote:
Originally Posted by markvg View Post
Great pictures!
I got a book called "Stokes Field Guide to Birds" that really helped in identifying the birds. I only have one feeder up now because black bears would come around and rip the feeders down all the time and the bears would climb on my deck to get at the feeders. The bears broke parts of the deck!
Bears!?!?! WHOA!!!!! Scary and cool all at the same time! I'd love to see one in the wild, but I don't know if I'd want him to know where I lived JK I hope your deck is ok!
Can't wait to see pics of your birds!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jcat View Post
My favorites are the magpies. We have a pair of gay ones (both males, according to a guy down the street who is an avid birdwatcher) who tried for ages to have offspring, and then somehow ended up with a baby crow they must have stolen or found. The crow is an adult (about 2 or 3) now, and quite a bit larger than the magpies, but his or her dads keep feeding him or her. Those three are an endless source of entertainment to us, though the neighbors complain that they chase off other birds. The magpies will take anything shiny they find - one of them even tore a necklace right off of me, and flew off with his treasure!

We get a lot of hawks, and the occasional crane or stork. What I really love to watch is the colony of green parrots in the city where I work. Some managed to escape from the zoo decades ago, and to survive and reproduce. It looks so strange to see parrots in Stuttgart's Castle Gardens. Cologne has them, too.
I think you have the most entertaining birds of all! Where on earth did the magpies get the baby crow? What an intresting family! And stealing your necklace! I'd be kicking some bird butt!
Those parrots must be a real treat! Where is Stuttgart's Castle?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rosiemac View Post
I've got two fat ball feeders at either side of the garden, and this morning there was 5 green finches on one of them, but by the time i got downstairs to take a picture there was only one on the other one but you can't see his true colours.

Nice pic I've never seen a feeder like that, Cool! Your yard is very pretty too!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jcat View Post
We've got two of those feeders - one in front of the house, and one behind, and it's really funny, because the blue tits and finches actually scold us when the lard has run out! So much for the expression "bird brain"! They know what they want, and whom to demand it from!
Yes! Now that the blue jays are coming around we really get scolded! I used to think the cardinals were bad. My birdies are all very upset because their feeders are not up. It rained so hard yesterday that water got in them- so I had to wash em all out. I've been avoiding going outside until I am ready to hang them back up. I just know i'll get squalked at!
post #47 of 64
Yay! I finally got a shot of a bird at my feeder. The chickadees were having a wee party out there, much to the cat's entertainment.



No shots yet of the beautiful cardinals. They're just too shy and flit away as soon as they see movement inside.
I had a raucous gang of grackles out there the other day feasting on my sunflower seeds. They were going to town spilling the seed everywhere and pooping all over the balcony. Bunch of vandals!

jcat - that's such an amazing story about the magpies!
post #48 of 64
Ooh, I used to bird watch when I was younger!
Hey, if anyone sees a Painted Bunting, grab a picture for me, please?! Those birds are sooo rare and beautiful! This is what the males look like:


Aren't they gorgeous?! Their habitat is very delicate so there are a few reserves across the states for them, but it's still not enough. Good grief, I would faint if I ever saw one alive, wild and up close!
post #49 of 64
No Painted Buntings, but we do have Indigo Buntings. Some like an area near my sister's. It's an overgrown field.
post #50 of 64
Wow Stacy, that bird is gorgeous! If I saw one IRL, I wouldn't believe my eyes!
post #51 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by StacyD1987 View Post
Ooh, I used to bird watch when I was younger!
Hey, if anyone sees a Painted Bunting, grab a picture for me, please?! Those birds are sooo rare and beautiful! This is what the males look like:


Aren't they gorgeous?! Their habitat is very delicate so there are a few reserves across the states for them, but it's still not enough. Good grief, I would faint if I ever saw one alive, wild and up close!
Every spring painted buntings come to us and there are so many that it's impossible not to hit one out in the boonies on Fort Hood. Even though they are all over, I never get tired of seeing them.
post #52 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Duchess15 View Post
Every spring painted buntings come to us and there are so many that it's impossible not to hit one out in the boonies on Fort Hood. Even though they are all over, I never get tired of seeing them.

I sooo envy you!
post #53 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by StacyD1987 View Post

I sooo envy you!
They are amazing birds. We have people coming from all over the nation to include Texas itself just to see a bunting among our other endangered birds.
post #54 of 64
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pushylady View Post
Yay! I finally got a shot of a bird at my feeder. The chickadees were having a wee party out there, much to the cat's entertainment.



No shots yet of the beautiful cardinals. They're just too shy and flit away as soon as they see movement inside.
Awesome shot! chickadees are sooo cute
I wonder why your cardinals are so shy? Mine are worse than pidgeons when it comes to fearless-ness! They are always the first ones around when I put out food. Maybe its because the kitties??? Mine look out too, but they are pretty well hidden

Quote:
Originally Posted by StacyD1987 View Post
Ooh, I used to bird watch when I was younger!
Hey, if anyone sees a Painted Bunting, grab a picture for me, please?! Those birds are sooo rare and beautiful! This is what the males look like:

how beautiful!! I've heard of them before, but never had the pleasure of seeing one. Where do they live?

-------

We seem to have a family of hawks or falcons around I know thats prob not good for my little birdies, but I am just so happy to know that they are thriving here in the city. I have yet to see one myself- but my Mom and Dad have both seen one.
I took the dogs to the park the other day, and got some cool pics of egrets and herons. I'll have to get them off the mem. card- be back in a flash.......
post #55 of 64
Thread Starter 
I have to start off by showing a new member to my backyard. Pushylady, this is for you. Look who has found my yard!



I could hardly believe my eyes! His lady was coming around too. She had me stumped at first, I just could not figure out what she was. Then it finally dawned on me that she could be his girl- and she was. I have'nt seen them in a couple weeks- so maybe they were just stopping through? I don't know, but it was such a treat to see them.

While I'm talking about new visitors, I saw a white-crowned sparrow last night never seen one before. He was quite striking too. I'll try my hardest to get a shot of him.

On to the park pics. Anyone who's familiar with st. louis- these pics were taken at Wilmore Park.


There were so many of these handsome fellas around- I just LOVE their song!




Duckies!




Great white egrets




caught a fish!




And something I never seen or even heard of before... A black-crowned night heron. I was so fascinated with this guy/gal. It let me get really really close to it too.




he caught a fishy too




hope you all enjoyed!
post #56 of 64
Great looking birds everyone! it's great to see the bird diversity in different people's backyards!

I'm not an expert birdwatcher, but I really want to get into it. I have 2 pairs of cardinals, and a blue jay family that live in the woods behind my apartment, and one of the blue jays comes and visits every morning for a peanut. There are also some mourning doves, sparrows, red tailed hawks, geese, and ducks that live around my complex.

One of the best ways to attract birds to your yard is by adding a "water feature"- something as simple as a bird bath to more complex fountains, waterfalls and misters. This is because birds have a harder time finding fresh clean water to drink and bathe in.

I work in a garden center so we have lots of visitors. We were blessed with the visiting of a beautiful male oriole, and there are tons of robins that live out in the shrub yard. Two days ago young male robin came and hung out for a while: http://i137.photobucket.com/albums/q...5/IMG_3983.jpg .
post #57 of 64
Chichismom - Have you learned to tell the difference between the white-throated and the white-crowned sparrow, yet?

White-throated
http://www.princeton.edu/~lspinney/
White-crowned
http://www.birdsource.org/gbbc/galle...-t_ca.jpg/view
post #58 of 64
Thread Starter 
I do now

After looking at those 2, I have determined the bird I spied to be something different totally the one I spotted last night had a big white spot on his head- like a house sparrow had that gray patch. But it was def not a house sparrow- it was larger, and lighter in color.
Thanks for the linkage! I have'nt seen any white-throated sparrows- but I have seen the white crowned before ( now that I know what they look like!)

I just learned to tell the difference between the house sparrows and the eurasian tree sparrows
Still have quite the few birdies which I have'nt been able to identify. I've got this webpage marked that has all the species of birds found in missouri. But half of the time, I don't get a good enouigh view to distinguish one species from another. Most of the time, I just wind up confusing myself even more
post #59 of 64
Chichismom, sorry it took me so long to answer your question
Quote:
Hey I see your in Illinois- I'm in St. Louis You live near the Mississippi?
I do; in fact, I'm 5 block from the river.
post #60 of 64
Thread Starter 
libby74: cool! any eagles around lately?

Snickers80: I finally got my bluejays some peanuts today
I don't know if any of them found them yet- I did however see a grackle hopping off with one

And I am more than elated to report my first hummingbird sighting of the year!!!!! I could not believe it. I was watering a basket of flowers, and just kinda had the hose on a very light spray. Out of nowhere comes a lovely little lady ruby-throated to get her a drink of air-born water and a sip of nectar from the hyacinth bean, which finallydecided to bloom. She hung around for a good minute, the zip.... she was off Needless to say, there are feeders everywhere now
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