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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was wondering if there were any other forum members who enjoy bird-watching (birding). It started for me several years ago when my wife bought her mother a bird feeder as a gift, but she didnt accept it thinking the kids in her neighborhood would only steal it. Anyway, I ultimately ended up with the feeder. I started noticing the birds off and on but paying them little mind. It wasnt long before I had three more feeders in the yard and I was cataloging what species of birds were visiting using your basic backyard birders guide. Since then, Ive collected a variety of books on migration patterns as well as ornithology text books. I go out as often as I can but have been limited by the short winter days. Ive recently relocated from Pennsylvania to the southern coast of Maine which has opened up the scope of my bird watching. There are many species which are found here that are uncommon if appear at all in PA. Well, there it is, are there any other bird-watchers on the forum?
 

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I used to. I'm so busy now with school that I've pretty much dropped the hobby, but if I see a bird I can't help but track it with my eyes and try to identify it.

I live in northeast Ohio and go to school in northwest Ohio. All I ever see at school are starlings (lots of them) and the waterfowl in our lakes. Our school owns a black swan, which is pretty neat. He's kind of a pest, chasing the ducks away from their nests and (supposedly) chasing students, but it's pretty cool to see one here.

There's a much bigger variety at home. I live near a large lake and we have a lot of forest habitat. My favorites are raptors, but I'm fairly good at identifying types of hummingbirds and waterfowl. I never got into the songbirds, probably because we don't have any good places near a window to place a feeder. I did have a robins' nest on my bedroom windowsill last year. That was amazing.

Now I want to go outside and birdwatch. Too bad it's 20 degrees out and all I'll see are starlings.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iria View Post

Now I want to go outside and birdwatch. Too bad it's 20 degrees out and all I'll see are starlings.
Yeah, Ive discovered its quite a challenge getting out there in the winter especially this year living in Maine. I was out the other morning and it was so cold I couldnt adjust my binoculars because the little knob mechanism thingy froze up on me. At that point it was time to go home, grab some hot coco and curl up with a book under a blanket and thats just what I did.
 

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I am not a professional hobbyist, but I love, love, love birds! I feed them and am particularly vigilant now that it has gotten very cold. My frequent visitors are two pair of cardinals...I love the way the male looks in a tree limb after a snowfall! I have three different kinds of woodpeckers...lots of chickadees, titmice, sparrows, morning doves, bluejays. I feed the squirrels and other critters too!
 

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Love birds! I used to work with birds at the zoo so I know alot about behaviors and such. I worked with a lot of tropical and African birds so I am actually alot better at recognizing types of birds in the wild based on their basic characteristics and shapes. I have to say I don't always know what exactly all the small birds are in my own area! I am great at naming birds I see in zoos just by sight!

For a lot of birds, I can tell which is the male and which is female by sight.

I did a ton of birdwatching when I worked at the zoo because it was part of my job to watch our collection for breeding behavior and health reasons. I haven't done much on my own lately though. Mostly because it is cold out where I am now.

On a recent trip to Florida, I had a good time trying to name all the shorebirds.
I love being around all those pelicans because their are none where I live. I always bring my binoculars for outdoor activities.


My favorite bird is a hamerkop.


(I love your owl avatar btw, avian! Owls are my 2nd favorite birds!)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
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Originally Posted by queenfluff View Post

(I love your owl avatar btw, avian! Owls are my 2nd favorite birds!)
Thank you, yes owls are way cool and often very hard to get a good look at. The Audubon center near Portland has a saw-whet owl banding program which Id love to participate in. Im on the list but there are so many people that sign up for it I havent had any luck so far.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by AvianObserver View Post

Thank you, yes owls are way cool and often very hard to get a good look at. The Audubon center near Portland has a saw-whet owl banding program which Id love to participate in. Im on the list but there are so many people that sign up for it I havent had any luck so far.
You have inspired me to change my avatar to my favorite bird!

Oooo, I hope you get into that program, that sounds like fun! Plus you get to hold a saw-whet owl! They are the cutest little owls. Burrowing owls are probably my favorite owls.

I love the way owls hiss at you when you get too close to them - just like a cat!

We had a little owl (might have been a saw-whet owl can't remember) at the zoo when I worked there. His name was Curtis and he was missing an eye. (I think he was rescued as he got shot or something). He was in the Children's Zoo since he was slightly disabled and he was used for educational purposes for shows for the children. He died though as he was old. I never got a chance to hold him.
 

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Yes, I try to identify birds whenever I go for a hike. My family and aunt have bird feeders and are also into identifying them. I was very excited when I finally got to see bald eagles. I don't keep checklist or anything, but that's something I might start doing. It makes walks and hikes more interesting.
 

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I love watching and photographing birds! When I'm a passenger in a car, I can usually amuse myself just keeping an eye out for birds.

My favorite "sightings" from the car: bald eagle, great blue heron returning to nest, piliated woodpecker, and osprey.
 

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I was recently in Florida, we went camping Bahia Honda State Park in the Keys. We camped and the people camping next to us were fishing. This Great White Heron sat around the whole time waiting for some fish. (they gave him a few too). This was only a few feet from our camp site! I was quite thrilled!

[attachment=5158:heron.JPG]
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by AvianObserver View Post

queenfluff that is a beautiful heron. The great blue is my wifes favorite bird and it toward the top of my list as well.
Thank you. I was quite excited to have it hanging out near our campsite. It was quite funny to watch this wild bird following the woman around who gave it fish. It stood almost right next to her. There were also 3 white ibis's at the campsite when we first arrived there.

Saw many blue herons too - mostly driving through the Everglades. I see blues alot in many places I go - I am lucky that way.
 

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The only serious bird watching I do is in my living room. I have a geriatric cockatiel that I have to keep an eye on to keep him out of trouble.


Seriously, he isn't caged, and he has gone blind with age, so whenever he falls off his playpen, I get nervous. That only happens once every few weeks or so, though. If it starts to happen more than that, I'll have to make him stay in his cage when I'm not around.

I do like birds, though. Living in southern Florida, we have a lot of ibises (ibisi?) and similar birds around. Actually, it's my love of birds that inspired me to become a vegetarian. I can't relate to cows or pigs, because I don't know any personally, so I don't feel sorry for them on any sort of emotional level. But birds I know, so killing chickens and turkeys for food makes me really feel sorry for them.

--Fromper

 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Here is my list of birds for last year (2006) It was a good year but most of my summer was spent getting married and moving 500 miles and then finding a job. This didn't leave much time for serious bird-watching, but I did o.k. I'm dying to go see the Atlantic Puffin colonies here in Maine this summer! How can you not love the Atlantic Puffin? Anyway:

American Robin

American Crow

American Tree-sparrow

American Goldfinch

House Finch

House Wren

Black-capped Chickadee

Blue Jay

European Starling

Dark-eyed Junco

Tufted Titmouse

House Sparrow

Field Sparrow

Song Sparrow

Chipping Sparrow

White breasted Sparrow

Northern Cardinal

Red-winged Black Bird

White-breasted Nuthatch

Rock Dove

Mourning Dove

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker

Hairy Woodpecker

Cedar Waxwing

Brown Thrasher

Gray Cat-bird

Yellow Warbler

Coopers Hawk

Great Blue Heron

Black-Crowned Night Heron

Little Blue Heron

Green Heron

Eastern Bluebird

Killdeer

Eastern Towhee

Rose-breasted Grosbeak

Common Grackle

Ring-necked Pheasant

Wild Turkey

Wood Duck

American Black-Duck

Mallard

Snow Goose

Canada Goose

Mute Swan

Turkey Buzzard

Brown-headed Cowbird

Glossy Ibis

Lesser Yellowlegs

Greater Yellowlegs

Spotted Sandpiper

Herring Gull

Great Black Backed Gull

Ring Billed Gull

Great Egret

Snowy Egret

Double Crested Cormorant

Eastern Kingbird

Northern Goshawk

Tree Sparrow

Baltimore Oriole

Short-billed Dowitchers

Semipalmated Plovers

Black Scoter

Northern Flicker

Common Eider

American Kestrel

Common Merganser

Hooded Merganser

Common Golden Eye

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Golden-crowned Kinglet
 
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