Bird Watching!

Regulus satrapa
I saw my first one in Arcata CA: 21 november 1981. ( I just went and looked at the notes in my field guide)

There are a few other birders here, Jim.
I find it brightens the day when you see a rare one while working. I always keep binoculars in the truck, I don't need a field guide as long as I stay local.

Saw a Merlin Falco Columbarius last week. They are REALLY rare in Denmark, that was only the second one I've seen here.
Yes I'm a keen bird spotter. Lots here in France. These hobby hawks follow the swallows up from Africa and catch them on the wing, here's one with what looks like a swift. (Not my picture)


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I kinda figured as much from your moniker.
A close relation to the guttersnipe, I believe.:lol:

I had a blast when Im was in Isreal 3 weeks ago, re-seing birds that I remembered from 35 years ago.

Like the Palestine sunbird: ( Picture stolen from internet)

I love those.
Especially the way they always perch on something, as if they want to show off, how pretty they are.

I visited National Bison Range, up in your part of the world, in spring 2005. They were all over the place.
Good thread. The Cardinals are whistling in my neighborhood big time lately.
I guess it is not really a hawk, but I like these little guys. Called a Nighthawk. Bug eater, acrobatic as hell.

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Jim, nighthawks are amazing birds. My Dad called 'em bull bats. I was turkey hunting last week, listening to some nighthawks before daylight and watching them when it got light enough. I don't know if they echolocate like bats but they make a chirp or beep every few seconds and then dive down to seize their prey and make that unforgettable "voom" sound as they culminate the dive, all done in twilight or darkness. I've heard that sound is caused by their feathers but I always thought it might be their jowls flapping in the wind as they open their huge mouths. I'll have to look that up.
Picture of the endangered 'Cahow' Bermuda Petrel, that I have had the privelege to be involved in some aspects of the recovery programme over the years.

I'm not a true 'twitcher' but I appreciate birds and know when I'm seeing something unique or a bit different. Learning the birds in Tasmania now, the blue wren is one of the cutest and most colourful.


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I helped out with some albatross banding back when I lived in Hawaii. I believe this shot is from 2007.

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At sea on the Enterprise, during a storm, an Albatross flew into the hanger bay and I ran across him. He was weak as hell and about half dead... I put him in a box and placed it where no one could bother it and it could fly away when he was ready. I checked on it a couple times and he was happy as a clam. The storm passed and I checked the box - no bird. He wasn't white at all, all dark colored.
I see these White Herons or Great Egrets regularly, often standing in the rivers. There used to be a large nesting area not far from my shop. Amazing that people would be living close, it was very noisy and stunk bad.


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Been a birder since I was a wee tot. Came by it genetically, I suppose. My grandfather, E. Burnham Chamberlain, Sr., served for decades as curator of ornithology to the Charleston (South Carolina) Museum of Natural History...the earliest such institution in the US, established 1773. Co-authored the seminal book of South Carolina birdlife with Alexander Sprunt, back in the 1949.

Most recent interesting siting here at our small acreage in western Oregon is this fellow
...though Turkey Vultures are not for everyone, Big awesome fliers and pretty ugly up close... some people over in NY hang Chicken carcasses out over a drop from their deck. Atracts a large group to feed, they all rest on the roof. Must look like like horror movie to the neighbors.
We have these Black Kites all over. Birds of prey that are cool to watch soaring on the thermals. Pretty impressive to see on the electric lines with their wings spread wide to dry after a rain.


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Thats pretty cool Butch. That bird musta figured "screw it". Not too many choices left.

Jay, we have a deep coulee on our place that must have some really good wind currants, I will often see a Bald or a Golden Eagle shoot straight out of it, from out of nowhere when I drive by.

Been seeing a lot of these guys around now that it is spring. They get pretty cocky during mating season. Always have one sitting on the post next to my turnoff and he is always singing, while trying to stare me down. I always thank him for the song anyway.

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Western Meadowlark.

(Eastern Meadowlark looks the same but does not have such a pretty song)
Here we get several Hawks... Swainsons, Red Shoulder, Red Tail , Gosshawks are the regulars...more during migration. I love watching flight and hunting. Some Bald Eagles nest on a lake in the next town which is cool though just this Spring there is a nesting pair on the very next hill over from me, though people love Eagles I am concerned about them pushing out some Red Tails.Ospreys too are cool to watch, specialists as they eat nothing but fish. Have seen them pull ten inch Suckerfish out of pretty small steams.
Jay, the black kite Milvus migrans is interesting, because it is one of the only trans global birds. It is, far as I know, found on every continent ( except antarctica).

I once stood at the rock of Gibraltar and watched the northern migration of kites from Africa to Europe in spring.
Like watching evening traffic on a 16 lane freeway out of L.A. Just a continuous broad band of kites stretching across the mediterranea, flying "bumper to bumper".

Jim, when I worked in Idaho, I used to love listening to the meadowlarks. They are a good example of how settlers would name birds in their new homeland for something they resembled in the old country. It is not in the lark family at all, but the song reminded them of the meadowlarks here.
Just like your robin isn't a robin, but a thrush, but has a red breast like the European Robin, so a robin it was called.

This is a great hread, it brings so many fine memories back for me.