Sunday, February 14, 2010
Flowerpeckers have been seen and named before, but this is a new one that spends it's time high above the forest floor at the Danum Valley Conservation Area located in Sabah, Malaysia. The only reason it was found is because of conservation methods and tourism efforts that has lead to birdwatching walkways high in the canopy of the trees.
Do go read his full article and find more pictures of this facinating find at Andrew's blog here. Wow...a new bird in 2010!
Thursday, February 11, 2010
1. Plan to count birds for at least 15 minutes on one or more days of the count. You can count for longer than that if you wish! Count birds in as many places and on as many days as you like—one day, two days, or all four days. Submit a separate checklist for each new day. You can also submit more than one checklist per day if you count in other locations on that day.
2. Count the greatest number of individuals of each species that you see together at any one time. You may find it helpful to print out your regional bird checklist to get an idea of the kinds of birds you're likely to see in your area in February. You could take note of the highest number of each species you see on this checklist.
3. When you're finished, enter your results through our web page. You'll see a button marked "Enter Your Checklists!" on the website home page beginning on the first day of the count. It will remain active until the deadline for data submission on March 1st.
These images, all from Wikipedia, are examples of birds I have in my backyard right now. They are pretty common birds almost anybody would have at their feeders. What's in your yard?
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
The other day, we got less than an inch of snow, but the Rosies came. Sure, they only stayed a couple hours in the morning...but they showed; like clockwork.
I have read that during breeding season these birds develop a special 'pocket' where they can store extra food. In the high places of the tundra where they breed, they must search far and wide; going great distances, to and fro, looking for food. But apparently those pockets are not 'year 'round' attributes.
Still, it seems they may come a distance as they seldom arrive all that early here...perhaps an hour after daylight. And they don't stay nearly as long as the Juncos, who will feed till nearly dark.
I have also read that, because of their limited exposure to people on their breeding grounds, they are fairly comfortable with people in close proximity. I've noticed that while I'm tossing seed or re-filling feeders, they will land within a step or two of where I'm standing. If I quit moving, they will land by the hundreds; feeding right in front of me.
It is the most astounding sound when they all take off at once. I wonder where they go at night.
Sunday, February 7, 2010
Today, because of the snow, I went ahead and offered up a cup of kibble. And sure enough, the Lewis's Woodpecker arrived immediately to that feeder. Wild...
My friend Dave called this morning to ask "It's snowing, are the Rosies there?" Of course they were, so he dropped by. I warned him that, like many birds, these guys show up for a couple hours and then disappear; sometimes to return a but later. Not only did they cooperate by the hundreds, but so did the Lewis's, the Sharpy and a single American Robin.
Dave lives outside of town and a bit higher than I do and has Robins by the hundreds and regularly hosts Steller's and Scrub Jays...but he doesn't often get Blue Jays. The guys who hang around my feeders these days were a real treat for him.
In addition to the Rosies, 30 or more Evening Grosbeaks, a couple Cassin's Finches, one or two Song Sparrows, and a Sharp-shinned Hawk that buzzes through every now and then. Oh...and with all the 'regulars' is that single White-winged Dove.
However, now that the Rosies have moved away...the Evening Grosbeaks are back. Odd, and unfortunate too. While 200 Rosy-Finches can wheel in and out of my yard, sometimes feeding just a few feet from the windows, and they've never hit a window. However, the Evening Grosbeaks just don't seem able to avoid window-strikes from time to time. In spite of the bird netting that keeps most others from hitting the window, every season takes one or two of the Grosbeaks...and today was the day.
Hopefully he will regain his senses and fly free in an hour or two. I suppose it's cruel to steal his meal, but I can't imagine the hawk coming so close to the window to get his meal. If the bird doesn't make it, I'll put it out where he can find it later. I do the same with mice I catch in traps...
Here he is on first attempt to freedom; he didn't fly. I took him back inside for awhile longer and tried again. He wasted no time leaving the
box the second time. I do hope that is not a broken beak!
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
His Cardinal is not very clear...but it sure is sharp. Click his photo here to get to his website and find what he's up to.
My monthly list for January:
Lewis's Woodpecker, Cassin's Finch, Evening Grosbeak, Red-winged Blackbird, Black Rosy-Finch, Brown-capped Rosy-Finch, Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch, Brown Creeper, Blue Jay, Common Raven, American Crow, White-winged Dove, American Goldfinch, White-breasted Nuthatch, Mountain Chickadee, Hairy Woodpecker, Black-capped Chickadee, Dark-eyed Junco, House Finch, Northern Flicker - Red-shafted, Downy Woodpecker, Black-billed Magpie, European Starling, House Sparrow, Eurasian Collared-Dove