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Author Topic: Bird stories  (Read 6739 times)

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Offline Razorbill

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Bird stories
« on: January 01, 2007, 12:15:17 PM »
Hey - I don't know that this topic will generate a lot of interest but here goes:

   Tell me your experiences with wild birds.  Everybody's got stories: something amazing at the backyard feeder, little garden friends, something exceptional you saw on a vacation, how you feel watching feathered creatures go about their business, something you see but you don't know what it is.  I'll help you ID mystery birds if I can.  Let's leave pet bird anecdotes for another thread.

   One of the pleasures of my life is birdwatching - I've been doing it for 21 years.  I don't expect to run into any real binocular-toting birders here, but we all interact with our environment.  Birds are among the most visible aspect of the environment.  I'm very interested in hearing from folks abroad too - I always bring binox and the appropriate guidebook when traveling abroad.  I've seen a nice cross section of the birds of Europe and Iceland, and some of the birds of South America (Trinidad).  Hope you can find the time to share - I'd really like to hear.
Razorbill (see avatar)

Offline Tucsonwoody

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Re: Bird stories
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2007, 12:30:39 PM »
Hey Razor -

I am mainly a backyard birder and taking care of my one birdfeeder is about the extent of it...but I really like watching the gila woodpeckers and cactus wrens chowing down on the fruit and peanuts I put out.  I used to get cardinals a lot but with more housing development and loss of habitat around me they seem to have disappeared.  I don't feed the hummingbirds, but have enough plants that they like that I see them whizzing by all the time.  We still get hawks and eagles flying overhead occasionally looking for the unattended kitty cats mostly I think :)

There is also a nesting pair of horned (no not horny) owls that I hear hooting away most nights and when they land on my metal chimney, it sound like they are going to come crashing down it.

A bonus from having the feeder are the pack rats that pickup what falls, and while I don't like the rats so much, I do like the rattlesnake they attract that in the summer months curls up next to the feeder just waiting for his next meal to come along - a good example of the food chain I guess :)

I have also found some good webcam sites that show nesting falcons on the exhaust towers for utility companies etc that are fun to watch, especially when they are raising their families.

I agree birds are interesting...at least to me and I am just glad I still live in a part of town that isn't too far from the open desert so I can continue to have them visit.
And I wished for guidance, and I wished for peace
I could see the lightning; somewhere in the east
And I wished for affection, and I wished for calm
As I lay there - Nervous in the light of dawn

Offline Razorbill

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Re: Bird stories
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2007, 12:51:54 PM »
I have a birding friend who lives in Tuscon and I have been 4 times to your town to bird the area.  Southeast AZ is a North American hotspot for bird variety - you have northern, western and Mexican species all in one area.  I remember the bold little cactus wrens in the chollas and other cacti.  I've birded Sabino Canyon park each time I've come - great spot.

Offline Tucsonwoody

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Re: Bird stories
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2007, 01:00:22 PM »
Nice to hear you're familiar with the area - I love Tucson and have lived here most of my life.  Sabino Canyon is a great place alright and I am lucky enough to live just a couple of miles from the canyon - so maybe that's why I get to enjoy so many critters.

The cactus wren is a blast to watch - I think they walk as much as they fly and they seem to have a charlie chaplin gait, but it is their chatter and squawking I really like.

Guess I use the bird watching as one of my stress relievers and cheap entertainments! :)

Happy bird hunting - with your eyes of course!
And I wished for guidance, and I wished for peace
I could see the lightning; somewhere in the east
And I wished for affection, and I wished for calm
As I lay there - Nervous in the light of dawn

Offline Razorbill

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Re: Bird stories
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2007, 03:49:15 PM »
bump. don't know if that'll work but I'll give it one try to geet more stories

Offline Queen Tokelove

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Re: Bird stories
« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2007, 03:55:41 PM »
Sorry Razor, I don't do birds. I had a bad experience with a friend's parrot who landed in my hair. There happens to be seagulls who land in the parking lot next to my apt building and always seems to find my car to take a dump on. Like I have money to keep going to the damn car wash and it's cold outside.
Started Atripla/Ziagen on 9/13/07.
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2/4/09  CD4- 484  VL- 18,000 (2 months off meds)
3/3/09---Starting Back on Meds---
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Cherish the simple things life has to offer

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Offline Teresa

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Re: Bird stories
« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2007, 04:21:15 PM »
I have 2 bird feeders outside my bay window. I love watching the birds, so do my cats! They lay there all day looking at the birds. I have a woodpecker hanging around pecking the bark off my weeping peach tree and heres a picture of it at my bird feeder.



No stories about the birds...just like watching them.

Hugs
Teresa
Hubby HIV+ 5/5/06
CD4:320
  %: 26.7
 VL: <20
Atripla (started it 8/24/06)
 

Offline fearless

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Re: Bird stories
« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2007, 05:13:45 PM »
hey Razor,

My mate has a beach house down the coast, surrounded by national park. the brids are amazing. Kookaburras, galahs, lorikeets, rosellas and currawongs.



[attachment deleted by admin]
Be forgiving, be grateful, be optimistic

Offline aupointillimite

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Re: Bird stories
« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2007, 05:42:27 PM »
I'm from Virginia Beach, so there were scads and oodles of seagulls everywhere.

One day, I was sitting in my car, and there were some gulls in the parking lot.  I had some food that I didn't want, so I thought I'd feed the birds by throwing the food out the window.

Big mistake.

Seagulls are pretty smart and not content to just let the food come to them, they thought they'd go to the source.

You can imagine what happened.

I barely got the window rolled up in time.  I mean, birdwatching is pretty cool, but not when it's a bird that's 6 inches away from you and about to get in the car!
Your tastebuds can't repel flavor of this magnitude!

Offline Mouse

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Re: Bird stories
« Reply #9 on: January 01, 2007, 05:52:16 PM »
I've had bad experiences with bitchy geese.
I prefer to not think of them.
  :-\

Offline Razorbill

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Re: Bird stories
« Reply #10 on: January 01, 2007, 06:01:43 PM »
Fearless:  what amazing pics!!  Someday Australia and New Zealand are gonna get a visit form me - the birds and the guys better be ready.
Teresa - good pic of a Downy Woodpecker - I have a feeder outside the window of my classroom and love to watch the birds come and go in spare minutes - I have lots of Juncos, Titmice, chickadees and nuthatches.
Aupoint: I like feeding gulls at the beach in Ptown.  I bring a bag of chex mix and throw pieces in the air - they catch them in mid-flight!  also get great close up views of several gull species present - Ring-billed (common parking lot gulls), Herring, Greater Black-backed and Laughing Gulls

Offline CaptCarl

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Re: Bird stories
« Reply #11 on: January 01, 2007, 06:14:31 PM »
The little house that I just moved out of was in the perfect location for bird watching. It was right by the Rio Grandee, which attracts a huge number of birds to the area. In the two and a half years that I lived there, Ive seen Great Horned Owls returning to their homes at dawn. I watched as a Red Tailed Hawk exploded out of a thicket right in front of me to take a duck out in mid-air. I waited with great anticipation every fall for the return of the Sandhill Cranes. They come in huge numbers here for the winter, and number in the tens of thousands along the Bosque. Coopers Hawks live there too, as well as Great Blue Herons, and Snowy Egrets. There were some other type of large wading bird, dark colored, with black on their backs, I don't know what they are. Last winter, we had three Bald eagles spend the winter, two adults and a  juvenile. The occasional Golden Eagle would put in a temporary showing as well. This is above and beyond the regular viewings of the Ravens, Robins, Meadowlarks, and others too numerous to mention. I usually took my binoculars with me, and was able to see many interesting birds and their behaviors up close and personal...
   As Ever, Capt.Carl.
The only thing I can do straight is shoot..

Offline Razorbill

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Re: Bird stories
« Reply #12 on: January 01, 2007, 08:26:59 PM »
Another guy lucky enough to live in one of N. Americas birding hot spots - the Rio Grande area.  Thanks for the observations - I really like watching owls.  Not sure what your dark wader was - fist thought is the stilt: black back, white below -very long legged shorebird with a long upcurved bill.

Online RapidRod

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Re: Bird stories
« Reply #13 on: January 01, 2007, 08:30:47 PM »
Razor, I prefer not to watch them do their business, not on me or my car. ;)

Offline Razorbill

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Re: Bird stories
« Reply #14 on: January 01, 2007, 09:20:18 PM »
sadly, rapid, they pick up on your vibe and target your vehicle.  I can negociate with the gulls, but there's no talking to pigeons and starlings. 

Offline alisenjafi

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  • They say HIV comes from monkeys!
Re: Bird stories
« Reply #15 on: January 01, 2007, 09:24:52 PM »
I had a cat who would sit at the window and when birds came around fat freddy would talk to them, it was weird. He also loved the bird shows on PBS.
My friend and I took a biking trip to P town a few years back in March. Instead of cold dreary days it was like summer with no crowds. So warm I went skinny dipping.
 Despite how long we were up the night before, i would get up with the sun and ride around the dunes. Talk about alien landscape. Being that no tourist were there the place was going bonkers with wildlife. Besides all the birds taking advantage of the great weather sans people, I came across, seal pups, and whales.
it was something out of a science fiction book, tall dunes that were like 12 feet high and this strange sound like some sort of jabberwocky in the distance. I didn't know what it was till finally I met a local who laughed and said it is the whales.
So I biked down to the causeway, walked the rocks to that little island with the light house and watch the whales swim by watching me - it was amazing!
I also met a few fishermen too- but that's another thread!
Johnny
Both Central and Prospect parks are great for bird watching, though haven't met any fishermen!
« Last Edit: January 02, 2007, 04:35:41 PM by alisenjafi »
"You shut your mouth
how can you say
I go about things the wrong way
I am human and I need to be loved
just like everybody else does"
The Smiths

Offline lydgate

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Re: Bird stories
« Reply #16 on: January 01, 2007, 09:50:25 PM »
Why is it that in some parts of the world being pooped on by a bird (usually a pigeon of course) is considered good luck? Now there's a truly weird superstition. Jay
Her finely-touched spirit had still its fine issues, though they were not widely visible. Her full nature, like that river of which Cyrus broke the strength, spent itself in channels which had no great name on the earth. But the effect of her being on those around her was incalculably diffusive: for the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.

George Eliot, Middlemarch, final paragraph

Offline Razorbill

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Re: Bird stories
« Reply #17 on: January 02, 2007, 02:07:03 PM »
The Ptown dunes are one of the most beautiful and relaxing places on earth - esp off season.  My favorite time for a visit is Columbus Day - fall is happening and the gay madness has ebbed.
As for the poop thing - and a lot of you are focused on this - I don't know where that superstition comes from.  Perhaps when life gives you lemons...

Offline alisenjafi

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Re: Bird stories
« Reply #18 on: January 02, 2007, 04:34:29 PM »
I got pooped on by a pidgeon while waiting for the light to change. Right on my shoulder/side of face- it ran right into my pocket. I thought this must be good luck.
Well i didn't win the lotto and still have HIV
Btw one fisherman I met in P town introduced me to the humour of Eddy Izzard
Johnny
"You shut your mouth
how can you say
I go about things the wrong way
I am human and I need to be loved
just like everybody else does"
The Smiths

Offline Jean-Yves

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Re: Bird stories
« Reply #19 on: January 02, 2007, 05:04:12 PM »
Can you tell the feeder is outside the door? The doves like what drops on the ground.

[attachment deleted by admin]

Offline Razorbill

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Re: Bird stories
« Reply #20 on: January 02, 2007, 08:01:06 PM »
Quelle belle photo, Jean-Yves.  C'est comme la télé pour les chats.

Offline Jean-Yves

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Re: Bird stories
« Reply #21 on: January 03, 2007, 12:24:35 AM »
Now if I could read French....
Jean-Yves

Offline joemutt

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Re: Bird stories
« Reply #22 on: January 03, 2007, 12:57:42 AM »
My avatar is a bird I saw in Port Douglas, in North Australia;
here in Bangkok in the middle of the city a lot of birds too,
once I opened my curtains and a big owl was sitting on my window,
I thought that very weird for a city with 11 mill people and traffic from hell.

Offline lydgate

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Re: Bird stories
« Reply #23 on: January 03, 2007, 02:22:41 AM »
I recently re-read Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick (made into Blade Runner). There's one eerie detail which I never forget: in the post-nuclear-war future, it's the birds which die before other animals. And of all the birds, it's owls who disappear first. Sad and haunting.

Jay
Her finely-touched spirit had still its fine issues, though they were not widely visible. Her full nature, like that river of which Cyrus broke the strength, spent itself in channels which had no great name on the earth. But the effect of her being on those around her was incalculably diffusive: for the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.

George Eliot, Middlemarch, final paragraph

Offline Val

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  • Praxitèles -- Satyre au repos
Re: Bird stories
« Reply #24 on: January 03, 2007, 07:29:53 AM »
My two  favourite kinds of birds are 1) The Hummingbirds and 2) Swallows.  Needless to say, when I go to Brazil I am in paradise because Brazil is the land of birds. And even though I can spend hours watching the Hummin birds, the Swallows have my preference for the way they fly.

In fact, I dream very often about them and, believe it or not, in my dreams I fly just like a Swallow! It is even scary, for some nights I have the impression that these dreams last the whole night...

When I'm not in Brazil, I watch them in teh Internets!  On this site, for example:

The Hummingbirds
http://ibc.hbw.com/ibc/phtml/familia.phtml?idFamilia=85

Swallows
http://ibc.hbw.com/ibc/phtml/familia.phtml?idFamilia=122


Val
___
___
Arthus Bertrand
http://www.yannarthusbertrand.com/yann2/affichage.php?reference=TVDC%20YABFR084&pais=France
Ali Mahdavi
http://asyoudesireme.online.fr/index.htm
Richard de Chazal
http://www.richarddechazal.com/
Daniel Nassoy
http://www.danielnassoy.com/pages/galeries_portraits_2.html
Photography:
The word comes from the Greek words φως phos ("light"), and γραφίς graphis ("stylus", "paintbrush") or γραφή graphê, together meaning "drawing with light" or "representation by means of lines".

Offline skeebo1969

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Re: Bird stories
« Reply #25 on: January 03, 2007, 08:29:53 AM »

      

   :-[
« Last Edit: January 03, 2007, 11:43:25 PM by skeebo1969 »
I despise the song Love is in the Air, you should too.

Offline Christine

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Re: Bird stories
« Reply #26 on: January 03, 2007, 02:57:54 PM »
Hello,
I am mostly a back yard birder; American goldfinches, wrens, tufted titmouse, woodpeckers, starlings, cardinals. I have feeders outside my bay window so I can watch them thoughout the day.

My husband and I also go to Cape May NJ, every fall. We walk along the nature paths, and usually sit and watch the birds. It is a big birding area, but we only know a little about the birds.

And I always see hawks every where I go. Red-tailed hawks perching, or diving for their meals. I think it is my animal totem, or spirit guide.

Here are some pictures from Cape May. This year when we went, there were 40-50 swans in the area. I will post those pictures when I find them.

These are an Egret, Mallard Ducks (I think), and Swans.

Fearless- Your pictures are amazing!

Christine

[attachment deleted by admin]
Poz since '93. Currently on Procrit, Azithromax, Pentamidine, Valcyte, Levothyroxine, Zoloft, Epzicom, Prezista, Viread, Norvir, and GS-9137 study drug. As needed: Trazodone, Atavan, Diflucan, Zofran, Hydrocodone, Octreotide

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Offline Lisa

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Re: Bird stories
« Reply #27 on: January 03, 2007, 03:15:29 PM »
I have several feeders strategically placed outside of my living room window, so I can watch my birdie friends from the couch. I love watching my little friends, and am bursting with joy to have recently noticed a thrasher (as they are rare in this part of the country). I almost mistook it for a brown thrasher, but those are almost exclusively indigenous to Texas, or the southwest.
My favorite is the Titmouse, I think they are quite beautiful, but vying for first place is definately the Eastern Bluebird. They are so small, and beautifully colored.
When I lived in the country, we had two boxes for them, but I no longer have that luxury. Recently there has been an invasion of this rather large murder of teenage crows, who stomp around, and parade down the middle of the street, scaring everything else off. I consider it poetic justice that they are too impossibly big to fit on the little feeders I have. It is still pretty funny to watch them try though. The other birds just sit by and giggle at them. ::)
No Fear  No Shame  No Stigma
Happiness is not getting what you want, but wanting what you have.

Offline Just John

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Re: Bird stories
« Reply #28 on: January 03, 2007, 07:06:33 PM »
I've loved watching birds since I was a kid, living on the edge of industrial north Manchester I can be on the Moors with a 20 minutes walk but town is close the other way and while we don't have any really colourful or awesome birds there are very varied, we are also a good staging post for a lot of migratory species too. I don't watch seriously but I take the dog out every day and rarely go without my binoculars, we have Dipper, Kingfisher, Heron and Duck on the river; Woodpecker, Blue, Great and Long Tailed Tits, Wrens, Robins, Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Yellow and Pied Wagtail and loads of Sparrow, Starling, Magpie, Rook, Pigeon, Dove and all the other common varieties. The Tawny Owl  and Kestrel are also common but we're a bit short on the other birds of prey, although I THINK, I saw a Sparrowhawk recently and if I travel 5 miles or so onto the moors Buzzards can be seen. The Lancashire coast is also very rich in migrating and overwintering birdlife. The dog also loves to try to track the local Badger or Fox and if he gets a little quicker he'll decimate the Rabbit and Squirrel population.

I used to help out at a bird sanctuary run by a Polish woman, she was known for miles around as "The Bird Lady" and would take in all sick or injured birds taken to her. She would never have a bird put to sleep no matter how hopeless it seemed to be, she would nurse them 24/7 if needed and as a result her entire house and garden became one huge aviary. Her husband was a rock to her and never seemed to mind sharing the house with all these squawking flapping creatures and because she relied entirely on donations I guess most of their spare cash went on food and vets bills for them all. Some were released back to the wild and it was always exciting when this happenned, like all the work was worthwhile. Sadly though, through cruelty, accident or pollution many either died or became full time residents.

I have very fond memories though of doing a lot of my work there with "Ollie" the blind Barn Owl perched on my shoulder, he came to recognise my voice and would get excited when I went into the room until I stroked his chest feathers with the back of my hand. Most of the time he would hop onto it and sidestep up my arm until he reached the top, then he would be quite happy sitting there sometimes for a couple of hours or more.

I found out that the reason she was like she was came from her time as a prisoner of war in a Nazi work camp. She was interned in Poland and throughout the years she was there it was only watching the birds outside that gave her the hope that one day she would again have life and freedom. It was a privilege to know and work with her and she taught me a lot things which will stay with me for life, not least of which is a great love of nature and all it bestows upon us.
Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go.

Offline Razorbill

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Re: Bird stories
« Reply #29 on: January 03, 2007, 08:30:06 PM »
This has caught on and I'm very glad - the posts are fascinating.  I'll try to catch up on some responses:
Joemutt - Australia is parrot territory - there are many species.  Your photo may be the Scaly-breasted Lorikeet.  Hard to tell from the photo tho.  And I'm assuming it was a wild not captive bird.  Nice pic.
Lydgate - You literary reference reminds me of one.  In the novel a Canticle for Leibowitz, in the world re-arisen from an ancient nuclear war - they decide to have another - surprise.  One of the last lines of the book if not the last line is "and the vultures will eat well this year" - creepy.
Val - I love hummingbirds, I have one tattoed on my shoulder.  Brazil would be amazing to visit.
Skeebo - ever hear of karma?  :P
Christine - I know exactly where you took the pics.  I was there birding this past October for the hawk migration.
Lisa - I get tons of pleasure watching birds at the feeder outside my classroom window.  I feel I know some of the regulars personally.  Actually, in your part of the country, it prob is a Brown Thrasher you're seeing.
Justjohn - wow, thank you for sharing your local birds and most especially for the story of your friend.  She must have been a very special, loving person.
Ernie

Offline Robert

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Re: Bird stories
« Reply #30 on: January 03, 2007, 09:00:06 PM »
HI Ernie.

Here in Red Bluff (N. California in the Sacramento Valley, between the coast and the Sierra Madres) we have a pretty good selection I think.  Wrens and finches and sparrows.  I know we have a woodpecker. I've seen him a couple of times and hear him quite often.

Lot of geese.  Down by the pond we have one white egret.  Or is it a heron?  I'm not sure which.  But she sure is beautiful.  She's always by herself.

Also, lot of wild turkeys.  They go hand-in-hand with the wild pigs.

robert
..........

Offline Jnm594

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Re: Bird stories
« Reply #31 on: January 03, 2007, 09:02:14 PM »
Since I life in the Rockies of Colorado int he winter I'm lucky enough to see hundreds of Canadian Geese on the lake outside of every day and of course the bitchy mountain jays which will dive bomb anything!! Lately there have been a lot of crows around (some say good luck, some say bad but who knows). In the summer I have several hummingbird feeders and they are forever buzzing around. The most beautiful one I ver saw was an iridescent purple color. It's cute when the elk come up and they've got a bird sitting on thier antlers! Hopefully I'll be able to get some pice of that one day but my camera is usually inside when I need it! Bought a book showing all of them last year but never opened it til reading this!

But the best is when I looked outside my front window and saw not one but two bald eagles eating a fish on my deck railing. Bitching at each other like two queens over a dumb drunk cowboy!! And the red tailed hawks riding the updrafts are beautiflul to watch!

Great Thread!

Jeffrey
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Offline Razorbill

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Re: Bird stories
« Reply #32 on: January 03, 2007, 09:07:35 PM »
Thanks Jeff - open that book and take a look - you'll be surprised by the diversity of species around you - they're all beautiful.
Robert - egrets are the white ones. enjoy your pond.

Offline skeebo1969

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Re: Bird stories
« Reply #33 on: January 03, 2007, 11:38:23 PM »

Skeebo - ever hear of karma?  :P
 

   Ever hear of being 15?
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Offline skeebo1969

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Re: Bird stories
« Reply #34 on: January 03, 2007, 11:42:36 PM »

   Just shared a story my friend.   One thing I am is painfully honest!

   Will delete though because I see it has no place here and for that I do apologize.   
« Last Edit: January 03, 2007, 11:49:44 PM by skeebo1969 »
I despise the song Love is in the Air, you should too.

Offline David_CA

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Re: Bird stories
« Reply #35 on: January 04, 2007, 05:55:21 PM »
This isn't so much a bird observation story but more of a humorous story.  No birds were harmed in it.  Hubby and I were riding our jet skis up the river on nice summer day a couple years ago.  The area where we were is about 15-20 miles up river from the city where we live and is very isolated. 

D was ahead of me on his ski ('cause mine's much faster and I tend to leave him behind when I'm in front  ;) ) and there was a huge bird taking off from the river with a fish in its mouth.  I think it was a crane, but I'm not the bird man like Razorbill, so I'm not sure.  Anyway, hubby was sort of following the bird, although by this time it was a good 20-30 feet in the air.  He was basically shadowing it on the water.  Evidently the bird didn't like this and decided it was time to take a dump.  From my vantage point about 75 feet behind, I saw this large object fall from the bird's rear end.  The next thing you know, David is making a really hard swerve to the right about the time this bird glob was a few feet from the water. 

I was laughing because I just knew he wouldn't see the glob and would ride right into it.  Amazingly enough, he didn't.  At this point, I just turned off my ski, as I was afraid I'd fall off from laughing so hard.  He thought it was funny too, but he was so close to getting a face full of bird crap.  I don't think he'll harass any birds, at least not big ones, anytime soon.

David
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Offline Razorbill

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Re: Bird stories
« Reply #36 on: January 04, 2007, 06:18:33 PM »
Hmmm - would David think it was funny - probably, he's a good sport

Offline fearless

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Re: Bird stories
« Reply #37 on: January 04, 2007, 10:16:58 PM »
Hey Razor,

I'm fortunate enough to have about 200 acres of parkland at the end of my street, no more than 50 metres. It's also strategically placed between my house and my spiritual home, Bronte beach. I took my camera with me this morning and stopped by one of the many ponds in the park and took some pics for you.



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Be forgiving, be grateful, be optimistic

Offline fearless

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Re: Bird stories
« Reply #38 on: January 04, 2007, 10:24:53 PM »
I'd forgotten how much I love pelicans till this morning. They are like huge cargo sea planes when they take off and land. they need a big runway. The black and white one in the pic above, stood over 3 feet tall, and must have weighed a good 20 or 30 kg's.

They never cease to amaze me, too. Central Australia is one vast desert, thousand of km's from the nearest water. Occasionally,  monsoon rains from the north penetrate inland, dumping their rain. This area was once an inland sea and, about 3 times a century, enough rain falls to re-create this sea. Somehow, the pelicans know and in their 100's they travel 1000's of km's to feast on the swarms of fish that fill the sea. How do they know this?

As for the male horn bird, well... no matter how hard we try, gravity always wins out.



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« Last Edit: January 04, 2007, 10:27:38 PM by fearless »
Be forgiving, be grateful, be optimistic

Offline lydgate

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Re: Bird stories
« Reply #39 on: January 04, 2007, 10:26:58 PM »
You know I used to take the Woody Allen position on the great outdoors: "Nature and I are two." Also, "I don't trust air I can't see." But after seeing some of the beautiful photographs here, I might just venture out of my apartment and look at the birds and the bees.  ;D

Jay
Her finely-touched spirit had still its fine issues, though they were not widely visible. Her full nature, like that river of which Cyrus broke the strength, spent itself in channels which had no great name on the earth. But the effect of her being on those around her was incalculably diffusive: for the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.

George Eliot, Middlemarch, final paragraph

Offline Tucsonwoody

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Re: Bird stories
« Reply #40 on: January 04, 2007, 10:41:25 PM »
Fearless -

I agree the pelican is a marvel to watch and they have some personality too.  When you mentioned monsoons, it reminded me that during the monsoon season we have in Arizona during the summer, pelicans are sometimes blown in from the Gulf of California or even further and land in the desert. 

All most every year some very bewildered birds are collected and taken care of before getting a ride back to the ocean.  It's always fun to go to the local zoo where they are rehabilitated and watch them for awhile.  When I was a kid (a 100 years ago) I lived in Puerto Rico for a few years and even then was fascinated watching them ride, in perfect formation the air currents caused by the surf as they hunted for their lunch.

Thanks for the post!
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And I wished for affection, and I wished for calm
As I lay there - Nervous in the light of dawn

Offline Robert

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Re: Bird stories
« Reply #41 on: January 04, 2007, 10:49:40 PM »
ernie.

Our dear friend Steven (fearless) sent me a book, Fly Away Peter by Australian author David Malouf.  It's a great read.  Some might think its a somewhat depressing war novel contrasting the pestulance of a trench to the paradise of a swamp.  I think it's story about birds, birdwatching, and how the simple pleasures of living cannot be destroyed by the horror of war.

I highly recommend it.

robert
« Last Edit: January 04, 2007, 10:55:07 PM by Robert »
..........

Offline lydgate

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Re: Bird stories
« Reply #42 on: January 04, 2007, 10:51:15 PM »
A random note on the pelican. In Christian iconography the bird is often an allegorical representation of Jesus Christ. Particularly the image of the adult pelican puncturing it's breast so that its blood will feed its little baby pelicans. The college I attended in England for a year has a beautiful sundial with this pelican image.

Jay

[attachment deleted by admin]
Her finely-touched spirit had still its fine issues, though they were not widely visible. Her full nature, like that river of which Cyrus broke the strength, spent itself in channels which had no great name on the earth. But the effect of her being on those around her was incalculably diffusive: for the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.

George Eliot, Middlemarch, final paragraph

Offline Jean-Yves

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Re: Bird stories
« Reply #43 on: January 04, 2007, 11:41:01 PM »
This is one of the shows that my cats watch on their kittie TV.

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Offline penguin

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Re: Bird stories
« Reply #44 on: January 05, 2007, 03:31:51 AM »
London has a really diverse population of birds - everything from the (fast disappearing) house sparrow, to things like peregrines, herons, long tailed tits..even ring necked parakeets, & the pelicans in st james's park (and of course, our robins are prettier than yours  :) )

One of my favourite day's out is to Rainham Marshes, a wetland/marsh reserve - lapwings and ringed plovers aplenty.

Sadly, something we don't have over here is cardinal birds. We need to get some of those i think.

Kate

Offline Razorbill

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Re: Bird stories
« Reply #45 on: January 05, 2007, 04:11:47 PM »
hey Fearless - Great pics.  Wow - those Ibises are amazing.  I don't have a guide to Australian Birds (yet) - can you clue me in on what kind of bird that was with the yellow patch behind it's eye - it's reminiscent of a Myna Bird.  I like Pelicans too - especially how the decorate the end of every pier post in the Fl keys.  Australia seems to have lots of coots.
Penguin - I like the little European Robin too.  Very cute. 

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Offline bear60

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Re: Bird stories
« Reply #46 on: January 05, 2007, 04:55:10 PM »
This is one of the nicest threads I have ever seen.  I have a bird story: my parents lived out in the country and were surrounded by forest. One day a great horned owl appeared and seemed to be friendly. ( The speculation was that he/she has escaped a pen or had been raised in captivity.)   
So my Dad, who was a research scientist, went to the lab and got a few frozen (dead) white mice and put them in the freezer.  Next time owl appeared my Dad thawed one and put it out for the owl.  He apparently loved the gift because he took up residence around my parents house.  For a number of years he was THE topic of conversation and my Dad even had a personalized licence plate with "OWLIE" on it.  One day he tried to follow my Mom into the house, and this was on FOOT.  My parents had to stock huge quantites of mice to feed him (sorry Mouse).
Luckily they had one of those freezers you could put a half a beef in.
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Offline Razorbill

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Re: Bird stories
« Reply #47 on: January 05, 2007, 05:05:58 PM »
Bear - Do you have a pic of this semi-domesticated owl?  What a great animal to have hanging around the yard!

Offline lydgate

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Re: Bird stories
« Reply #48 on: January 05, 2007, 05:07:03 PM »
I LOVE owls! I love that story bear!
Her finely-touched spirit had still its fine issues, though they were not widely visible. Her full nature, like that river of which Cyrus broke the strength, spent itself in channels which had no great name on the earth. But the effect of her being on those around her was incalculably diffusive: for the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.

George Eliot, Middlemarch, final paragraph

Offline Razorbill

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Re: Bird stories
« Reply #49 on: January 05, 2007, 05:13:27 PM »
Here's an idea I'll throw out there;
  As a birder I keep what is called a life list.  It is a list of bird species I have seen.  The first time I see a new species, a life bird, I record the date, place and a few notes on the ID.  My life list, at last edit, is up to 613 species.  May seem like a lot, but there are true birding nuts whose lists are in the thousands.  The total number of species in the world is estimated to be around 9200.  I have a ways to go.  Oh btw Penguin, my most recent life bird was the Lapwing, seen in Holland this past summer.

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