Friday, February 21, 2014

Birdlog #7 - 2-20-14: Why I love birdwatching

Two days ago, when I decided to go birding (two stinking days after the Great Backyard Bird Count ends), I was reminded why I love it so much: Everything you see is unexpected! For instance: I pointed out to my fellow birder a Bald Eagle, and he screamed, "REALLY?!" "Mmhmm," I replied, awestruck at the contrasting black-and-whiteness of the majestic eagle flying directly over my head. Then, fifteen minutes later, we find ourselves completely surrounded by Tufted Titmice. We never actually saw one, but we heard them everywhere. I knew they were titmice by their "Peter! Peter! Peter!" call.
So here's the list of birds that I saw:

  • 1 Bald Eagle
  • 1 Red-tailed Hawk (possible)
  • 2 Killdeer (possible, heard only)
  • 1 Red-bellied Woodpecker
  • 1 Blue Jay
  • 3 American Crows
  • 5 Black-capped Chickadees
  • 3 Tufted Titmice
  • 1 White-breasted Nuthatch (possible, heard only)
  • 4 American Robins (the first I've seen this year!)
  • 3 European Starlings
  • 2 Cedar Waxwings (possible)
  • 10 Dark-eyed Juncos (Slate-colored supspecies)
  • 3 Northern Cardinals
  • 5 House Finches
  • 7 House Sparrows
  • 1 passerine sp. (meaning one that I couldn't identify)

Yeah, it's a lot. I know. That's why I'm so happy.


Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Birdlog #6 - 02-04-14: Gross squirrel head

Yeah. No idea what happened to it. I can't believe it was just scrambling around in the snow - it didn't behave injured at all! Just showed up, and it was there. I think something (maybe a hawk) ripped its skin open. The orange stuff is its skull.


Birdlog #5 - 02-04-14: Louis's tail, Rosa the House Finch & a Sibley calendar

Well, yesterday Louis lost his last bent tail feather. Now his new nickname is "Stubby."

Okay, so recently I updated the Named Animals page, and I found out there are two Rosas. They both have pinkeye in their left eyes. But, I found a way to tell them apart: the streaks on the real Rosa's breast contrast more against the drab brown-gray than the other one's do.

I got a Sibley's "The Birder's Year" calendar for Christmas. Today's bird is the American Flamingo. 
"These extremely tall, slender birds are found on broad expanses of shallow water. American Flamingo occurs naturally in North America; other species have been recorded as escapes from captivity."
I miss spring so much! I'm really excited to be a part of NestWatch again - I was last year.