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Albatrossity2



Posts: 2779
Joined: Mar. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 24 2008,14:26   

A while back Wesley suggested that a wildlife thread might be fun, or even useful. Since I am teaching a field ornithology class this semester (1 hour of credit for three hours of birdwatching per week), I thought I'd kick this off with our bird sighting checklist for today. The whole list is available from a link here; just go to the column for 2008 and click on the link for the checklist for week2. There are lots of checklists from previous spring semesters at that site as well.

We say 29 species in two hours this morning. Mid-winter is not a good time to see a lot of birds, but because this is a class to teach students about the birds, they probably don't want to see a lot of birds, and keep the IDs straight, right now. There will be lots more by May! They also don't want to spend a lot of time outside right now; the temperature was just about zero F (-18 C) when we started out this morning. That should be better by May as well.

The highlight was an adult Sharp-shinned Hawk (Accipiter striatus) perched in good light for several minutes; our typical accipiter sighting is a flyby at about Mach 0.5 or so...

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Flesh of the sky, child of the sky, the mind
Has been obligated from the beginning
To create an ordered universe
As the only possible proof of its own inheritance.
                        - Pattiann Rogers

   
argystokes



Posts: 766
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 24 2008,14:44   

We had an interesting incident involving a what I think was a sharp-shinned hawk:


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"Why waste time learning, when ignorance is instantaneous?" -Calvin

  
J-Dog



Posts: 4362
Joined: Dec. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 24 2008,14:49   

Quote (argystokes @ Jan. 24 2008,14:44)
We had an interesting incident involving a what I think was a sharp-shinned hawk:

I think you had better tell us the rest of the story!

I have a picture of a red-tailed hawk sitting on my back yard fence, but why would I bother to post it when you have even potty-trained your hawk?

What's next, putting it in pre-school?  Teaching it to talk?
How's the driving lessons going?

Man.  Some people can really spoil it for the rest of us...

But sriously - come on spill your guts dude!

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Come on Tough Guy, do the little dance of ID impotence you do so well. - Louis to Joe G 2/10

Gullibility is not a virtue - Quidam on Dembski's belief in the Bible Code Faith Healers & ID 7/08

UD is an Unnatural Douchemagnet. - richardthughes 7/11

  
Mister DNA



Posts: 466
Joined: June 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 24 2008,15:00   

I don't have a back yard, but in the immediate area we've got a ton of sparrows, grackles and seagulls. We get a lot of hummingbirds during the Spring/Summer, too.

There's a couple of woodpeckers, too. I always feel bad for them because they're so outnumbered. I'll try to dig up so photos I took of one of them.

Late at night the possums come around and eat the food that people put out for the feral cats in the area. During the day, the squirrels come out and taunt the cats and the grackles. I need to get some video of the squirrels; they are hilarious.

It's not in my immediate backyard area, but every few years or so I make the trip to the Aransas Wildlife Refuge to see the whooping cranes.

It's so cool that the whooping crane numbers are growing. The first time I saw them was probably in 1973 and they were damn near extinction.

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CBEB's: The Church Burnin' Ebola Blog
Thank you, Dr. Dembski. You are without peer when it comes to The Argument Regarding Design. - vesf

    
Assassinator



Posts: 479
Joined: Nov. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 24 2008,15:11   

The best we're getting here are herons, pigeons and Apache's. But I've got my own personal wildlife:

(I so love my cat, and this is a really small one)

  
Erasmus, FCD



Posts: 6349
Joined: June 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 24 2008,15:11   

recently at my house in the limestone country

Dark Eyed Junco
Acadian Fly Catchers (nesting in my back room as we speak).  is this the right time of year or have i missed an ID?
Cardinal
Downy woodpecker
blue jay
cedar waxwing
bluebird
a smaller buteo, probably sharp shinned but I didn't get a good luck
raccoon
possums
skunks
grey squirrels
screech owl
drunk guy next door

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You're obviously illiterate as hell. Peach, bro.-FtK

Finding something hard to believe based on the evidence, is science.-JoeG

the odds of getting some loathsome taint are low-- Gordon E Mullings Manjack Heights Montserrat

I work on molecular systems with pathway charts and such.-Giggles

  
carlsonjok



Posts: 3324
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 24 2008,15:19   

I don't manage to get many wildlife pictures as it is rare that I ever take a camera out back with me, but my neighbor did take this picture a few of summers ago over the fence onto my property.  We had a flock of 17 turkeys that year.  This past summer we only ended up seeing 1 young turkey and even that was rare.



I've also seen a Great Blue Heron, a pretty good size black ratsnake, an occasional white-tail deer, and innumerable coyotes.

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It's natural to be curious about our world, but the scientific method is just one theory about how to best understand it.  We live in a democracy, which means we should treat every theory equally. - Steven Colbert, I Am America (and So Can You!)

  
Dr.GH



Posts: 1956
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 24 2008,15:21   

I have a very small yard in an urban, high density neighborhood.  We have been here 14 years, and I have been planting  regionally local native plants since we moved bought the house.  We have about 30 species of plants in the 30X20 ft yard, and 8 in a 30X5 ft front strip.  The trees are 2 species of willow for upper story and insect fodder.  Alan’s humming birds have nested (successful), as have crows (failed).  The hummers like two species, gooseberry, and California Fuchsia, both with red hanging flowers The Gooseberry blooms from about now until June, and the fuchsia in late summer to winter.  They also like the non-native bottle brush and rosemary next door.   The willows also support a wood-boring beetle, many lepidoptera most obvious being the Morning cloak, but also a lot of cool moths.  I have 2 species of buckwheat, and 2 evening primroses that also support a number of leps, the largest being a white lined sphinx moth.  The buckwheat and a few of the various asterace feed metal marks, and marine blues.  There are at least a dozen species of “lady beetles” that reproduce, and loads of other beetles (God loves beetles).  And I can’t ID the spiders much, but there are about 5 orb-weaver speceis, and an assortment of others.  I watched a wasp the other day provisioning her burrow with a violin spider.  The wasps are another interesting population- I have watched the little killers drag around caterpillars, spiders, and whatnot.  

The migrant English Sparrows devastate the Morning Cloak caterpillars, and when the survivors hit the ground to disperse, the wasps and spiders take over.  From about 50 chrysalii I kept an eye on, only 2 emerged.  The rest were all parasitized by wasps.  (I did get to watch some of the little wasps emerge, 50-60 per chrysalis).

All these critters attract vertebrates.  The bush tits, assorted warblers join the sparrows (including a few native species) eating insects off the trees, etc.  We also are visited by downy woodpeckers occasionally.  We also see orioles, tanagers, sparrow hawks, sharp shinned hawks, doves (eaten by the sharp shinned hawks).  We get raccoon, skunk and opossum that wander through.

Resident breeders include golden salamanders, western fence lizards and southern alligator lizards.  The alligator lizards eat the salamanders as well as crickets and so on. Two years ago the lizard numbers took a bump.  It turned out that the they had been found by a young king snake.  I have no idea where he came from, he was quite small unlikely to have been an escaped pet.  I noticed him one morning when he was trying to swallow an alligator lizard almost as large as he was.  I decided I preferred lizards, and so “Elvis the King” moved to a terrarium.  He is about 3 ft now, and lives up to his name (at least re: eating).

I have not watered, fertilized, or used any other crap for 10 years.  If everyone used native plants, we would not have nearly the environmental problems.  In spite of this, the City Lawn Nazis aka “code enforcement officers” were on my ass for years for growing “weeds.”  I shook them off when I received a “Registered Wildlife Habitat” sign from the National Wildlife Federation and posted it in the yard.

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"Science is the horse that pulls the cart of philosophy."

L. Susskind, 2004 "SMOLIN VS. SUSSKIND: THE ANTHROPIC PRINCIPLE"

   
Albatrossity2



Posts: 2779
Joined: Mar. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 24 2008,15:22   

Quote (argystokes @ Jan. 24 2008,14:44)
We had an interesting incident involving a what I think was a sharp-shinned hawk:

Yep, that's a sharpie all right. Lookit those scrawny legs!

I really do want to hear how it ended up in your bathroom...

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Flesh of the sky, child of the sky, the mind
Has been obligated from the beginning
To create an ordered universe
As the only possible proof of its own inheritance.
                        - Pattiann Rogers

   
argystokes



Posts: 766
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 24 2008,15:27   

Quote
I think you had better tell us the rest of the story!


The picture is from almost exactly a year ago. I was hanging around the apartment and saw a hawk kinda hopping along the ground. I pointed it out to my wife and we both agreed that this was peculiar behavior for a hawk, so she went outside to see if it was all right. The fact that she was able to capture it with a towel confirmed that it wasn't. Unfortunately, it was a Sunday evening, and all the wildlife rescues were closed. We planned to take it up to the nearest rescue first thing in the morning. We wrapped it up and kept it in a box for the evening to keep it warm and from fluttering around and hurting itself. My wife couldn't resist taking a couple of pictures while it was out, though. Tragically, it didn't survive the night.

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"Why waste time learning, when ignorance is instantaneous?" -Calvin

  
Assassinator



Posts: 479
Joined: Nov. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 24 2008,15:32   

Quote
doves (eaten by the sharp shinned hawks)

We ain't got hawks, someone else is eating our doves, *points at previous post* ;)

My cat would be a great LOLcat with that picture, won't it :p
Quote
Tragically, it didn't survive the night.

Such a shame :( Wildlife housings should alwayse be open.

  
C.J.O'Brien



Posts: 395
Joined: Aug. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 24 2008,15:52   

I've been meaning to take a day trip up to Point Reyes to see the elephant seals that are congregating on a beach up there, but the weather's been pretty brutal, and it seems like winter on Point Reyes even in the summer. Plus, I've been busy. But this weekend or next, I'm going to make the trip. If I spend all day, I should have a good shot at spotting some migrating gray whales to boot.

And then, on the inland side, there's just an amazing profusion of waterfowl in Tomales Bay and Bolinas Lagoon.

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The is the beauty of being me- anything that any man does I can understand.
--Joe G

  
Mr_Christopher



Posts: 1238
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 24 2008,16:00   

Assorted cardinals, blue jays, mockingbirds, hummingbirds (summer), occassional screech owl, geckos, lizards, children, etc.  Key to wildlife in the yard is keep the agent orange and other toxins away.

I live in the city but have a large lot (1/2 acre).  I grow a ton of stuff in my yard - various palm trees, agaves, yuccas, cannas, and more!

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Uncommon Descent is a moral cesspool, a festering intellectual ghetto that intoxicates and degrades its inhabitants - Stephen Matheson

  
Lou FCD



Posts: 5378
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 24 2008,18:03   

Saw a big flock (50-60) of red winged blackbirds the other day, right on the front lawn.  Off the top of my head, from my yard I've seen blue jays, blue birds, robins, European starlings, mockingbirds, catbirds, wood thrushes (I'm a little iffy on that ID, so many birds look kind of similar but the call seemed to match), cardinals, Carolina chickadees, laughing gulls, mourning doves, rock pigeons, red headed woodpeckers, yellow shafted northern flickers, pileated woodpeckers, grackles, crows, turkey buzzards, and the odd ruby throated hummingbird.

I spent a lot of time two summers ago watching birds in the yard and keeping a list.  Alas, when my hard drive took the Big Dirt Nap, that file was one of the ones that was scrambled beyond all retrieval.

I'd been thinking about starting again, since the blackbirds passed by.

Stray cats, squirrels, etc.

Last summer I accidentally ran over a juvenile rat snake with the tractor mower, decapitating it.

We also have fire ants (and I think some other kind of nasty biting/stinging ant which leaves a big welt - one got me last year).

That's not a complete inventory, but what sticks out.

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Lou FCD is still in school, so we should only count him as a baby biologist. -carlsonjok -deprecated
I think I might love you. Don't tell Deadman -Wolfhound

Work-friendly photography
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Richard Simons



Posts: 425
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 24 2008,18:13   

Everyone is making me wonder why on earth I am here - I went for a walk at the weekend and saw ravens, 2 grey jays, 4 black-capped chickadees and heard a boreal chickadee before my forehead started to ache and I went back inside. But it did look beautiful.

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All sweeping statements are wrong.

  
Lou FCD



Posts: 5378
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 24 2008,18:40   

I also sight at least two or three ospreys a day, but they are of the mechanical variety, living all next to Lejeune.

Richard, the biggest advantage I have for watching the critters is having a butt load of time on my hands.  It contributes significantly to my ADHD-like eclecticism, I think.

Or I might just be politely referred to as eccentric, who's to say?

When I was on my bird-watching binge (before the computer purged for me), I just spent a lot of time quietly in the kitchen looking out the windows with and without binoculars.  I can't sit or stand for very long periods, but sometimes I can alternate for good stretches, and being inside tended to disturb the wildlife less.

Of course, once the kids get out of school for the summer, that's pretty much the end of that.

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Lou FCD is still in school, so we should only count him as a baby biologist. -carlsonjok -deprecated
I think I might love you. Don't tell Deadman -Wolfhound

Work-friendly photography
NSFW photography

   
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4491
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 24 2008,18:59   

Sharp-shinned hawks and kestrels have very high metabolism. They may eat about a quarter of their own weight in food per day. A sharp-shinned hawk or kestrel that has been injured such that it cannot feed itself will not last long.

Once, Diane and I were called to a county road maintenance facility, where they had found a juvenile kestrel in a pit, with a generous helping of tar and ants on it. They had already had it in their keeping a couple of days, and apparently it was given the occasional bit of meat from someone's sandwich. We thanked them for calling, picked up the bird, and left. We drove directly to a grocery store, and got the only packet of meat they had that could be given immediately in small pieces, as it turned out about a pound of ground veal. Now, you don't want to feed raptors processed meat as a steady diet, but our assessment of the kestrel was that it was likely already starved beyond recovery, and any delay on getting some nutrition in would make it that much more likely it would die. We fed it as much as it would take at a sitting right there in the car in the grocery store parking lot. Fortunately, it did live through that epsiode. Unfortunately, it seemed to have made some developmental problem, as it never grew a completely normal set of feathers thereafter.

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"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker

    
rhmc



Posts: 340
Joined: Dec. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 24 2008,20:28   

i live on an island on the coast of georgia.  not a barrier island so no sandy beaches but plenty of marsh.
in the yard we have skinks, glass "snakes", black snakes, rat snakes, visiting racoons, possums and a colony of wood rats live nearby - which is probably what keeps the black snake hangin' around and keeps the hawks coming by.
in the marshes and hammocks are the occasional alligator, white tail deer, bald eagle, osprey, blue herons, great blue herons, tri-colored herons, snowy egrets, wood storks, ibis, the occasional spoonbill and the usual assortment of birds including painted buntings, redheaded wood peckers and pileated woodpeckers..
in the water there are redfish, spotted seatrout, flounder, sharks of varying types and sizes, jellyfish, southern stargazers, mackeral in several varieties....
and then there are the insects....

  
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4491
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 24 2008,21:58   

Wildlife here... let me think back over the last year.

Canada goose, mallard ducks, turkeys, raccoons, lots and lots of deer, rabbits, cardinals, blue jays, crows, red-tailed hawks, Cooper's hawks, pond sliders, minnows, bream, bass. Fireflies. Wasps. Harvestmen and wolf spiders. Plenty of mosquitoes. Praying mantis. Ladybugs. Some other sort of beetle that shows up in the hundreds in the springtime. Garter snakes. Mice.

The Cooper's hawk in the vicinity has helped itself to probably a half-dozen pigeons from the loft. I saw a Google news alert today about a pigeon fancier back in California getting charged for his hawk-killing ways. Myself, I'm rooting for the Cooper's hawk. Diane would like to hang on to some pigeons for training the dog.

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"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker

    
IanBrown_101



Posts: 927
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 25 2008,00:36   

The only really exciting thing we get around here are red kites. There's actually quite a few near here (Aberystwyth) which is pretty cool. Other than that it's pretty much just your basic list. Although we do get dolphins (not sure which species) in the sea off south beach (about 30 seconds from my house) and I think there are red squirrels in the local woods (it wouldn't surprise me, since they're pretty much limited to Wales, but seem to live i a large number of places within the country).

Back home, there isn't that much special either, but fairly close to where I live there are breeding ospreys, which is pretty cool.

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I'm not the fastest or the baddest or the fatest.

You NEVER seem to address the fact that the grand majority of people supporting Darwinism in these on line forums and blogs are atheists. That doesn't seem to bother you guys in the least. - FtK

Roddenberry is my God.

   
bfish



Posts: 267
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 25 2008,00:51   

Quote (carlsonjok @ Jan. 24 2008,13:19)
We had a flock of 17 turkeys that year.  This past summer we only ended up seeing 1 young turkey and even that was rare.


The place I work has a flock or two or three of wild turkeys. I'm still not sure if they are natives or not here in Northern California. A few weeks ago I counted 43 turkeys in one flock on a hillside. I don't know if you can tell from Carlsonjok's picture, but they are actually quite beautiful birds. Not in body shape, but in color. Their feathers are gorgeous, shimmering bronze in the sunlight. They have a wide range of vocalizations, too. It ain't just gobble gobble. A lot of trills and twitters. I've been meaning to try to make a recording. Better act quickly, though - the higher ups have announced that they're going to hire "turkey wranglers" to rid the hill of the wattled menace.

I'm lucky, in that I get to look out my lab window and see wildlife 20 or 30 feet away. Usually deer. Helps to relaxify you.

Edited to add: We also have a lot of red-tailed hawks. One day last summer I was riding my bike up the hill/mountain towards work. The hills were in the clouds, with the wind blowing in hard off the bay, and you could visualize the flow of the wind over the steep slope by watching the clouds approach the road and then rise above it. I spotted a hawk, only about ten feet above my head and another ten feet over the edge of the cliff. He looked like he was hovering in one spot, so much so that I stopped my bike to see if it was an optical illusion. No illusion. His position did not move, like he was stuck with a tack. Just a little turn of a feather now and again to keep him from drifting. It was amazing.

  
snoeman



Posts: 109
Joined: April 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 25 2008,01:09   

Recently, in the core neighborhoods of Seattle, there has been an uptick in the population (or at least sightings) of coyotes.  There's a site dedicated to tracking them.  If you look at the larger map that links from the site, you can see the high concentrations of sightings east of I-5, north of I-90 and south of SR520.  That area (Madrona, Madison Valley, North Captiol Hill, Interlaken Park) is apparently a nice haven for coyotes, and it's barely 2-3 miles outside the downtown core.

Recently there's been a coyote spotted in my neighborhood.  This one apparently likes the taste of Magnolia Domesticated House Cat.  Fortunately, the city asked the Fish & Wildlife Service to leave the little guy (gal?) alone.

  
dhogaza



Posts: 525
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 25 2008,03:13   

Well, I'm spending part of winter in a suburb on the outskirts of Madrid, and have recently had the time to start exploring some of the empty country that's barely within walking distance (littered with construction cranes building new flats, unfortunately).

Nothing interesting for a european birder, but ... (eurasian) goldfinch, black redstart, stonechat, crested lark, grey partridge (one, and it's a bit out of place), robin, chiffchaff, spotless starling, white wagtail, (eurasian) kestrel, hen harrier, and for Wesley ...

a peregrine wearing jesses and bells.  The guy flying it spoke no english, and my spanish sucks, but he had another peregrine hooded in the back of his SUV, and gradually got me to understand that it was the mother of the bird-of-the-year he was training.  And that it was from the US.  And previously owned by some famous animal trainer I've never heard of.  And was in some famous movie whose title in spanish doesn't ring a bell.  He flies his peregrine at the airport, part of the scare-the-birds regime there.  The kid was beautiful, a very nice rich brown.

Apparently I can take a bus this weekend to a place where seeing griffon is quite likely, with spanish imperial eagle a possibility, too.

When here last summer I managed to see a bunch of other species, including a golden eagle in the picos de europa.

  
Nomad



Posts: 311
Joined: July 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 25 2008,05:00   

While it's likely that we get SOME interesting birds out here, I couldn't recognize most of them to save my life.  But we did have an interesting incident involving a heron.  I live in the suburbs, and some neighbors (a house behind mine) have a small decorative pond.  One day I saw a heron walking through the pond, apparently eating.  It was then that I realized that they stocked it with fish.

Apparently the herons only ate the expensive fish.

There's a park near me that I think has or at least had beaver.. I thought I saw one in the river once, and in the winter I've seen slides in the snow leading into the water.  We definitely have raccoons, I say that because they keep trying to live in my attic.  I still hear them walking around on the roof at night trying to get in through the usual entry point, but it's been closed off with wire mesh.

My basement computer room is infested with lady bugs.  If I remember the explanation right, they're an introduced Asian species that can't handle cold winters so they infiltrate people's houses and apparently live in the basement waiting for it to warm up again.  They get into EVERYTHING.. every so often I open up my computer case and find a few ladybug corpses in there.  I found a few shell pieces on the heatsink for my CPU last time.  And I regularly have to sweep up all the ladybug corpses that end up on the floor.  I swear I've seen one flying, then fall out of the air and land on the floor dead.  It's like a ladybug graveyard down here.


I had a female Mallard make a nest in the mulch near the front walkway, but unfortunately the nest was raided and the eggs were eaten, I'm assuming by raccoons.  I was really disappointed, I REALLY wanted to see the baby ducks.  I was especially hopeful that I could catch the mother leading them to water.  I don't live too close to water, it would have been a reasonable trek to get to anything bigger than the pond in the neighbors yard, and they would have had to cross a busy road.

And regarding coyotes, apparently we have them too.  I'd heard stories about them, but didn't believe them.  A google search turned up video a local resident shot of a coyote in his backyard though, along with a story from a local paper about them.

  
Jim_Wynne



Posts: 1007
Joined: June 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 25 2008,07:54   

I'm in an urban area in southeast Wisconsin, and we get the standard complement of birds--finches, cardinals, blue jays, black-capped chickadees, downy woodpeckers, crows, etc. This past summer, due to the large numbers of small birds (my neighbor has a lot of feeders), we also had regular visits from a hawk--either Sharp Shinned or Cooper's, I'm not sure which.  

We get plenty of mammals as well--skunks, opossums, raccoons, and this year a couple of Gray Foxes, one of which I was surprised to see sitting in my backyard one morning.

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Evolution is not about laws but about randomness on happanchance.--Robert Byers, at PT

  
Richard Simons



Posts: 425
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 25 2008,18:37   

The reference to coyotes reminds me that over Christmas we visited a national park to the south of our house (Riding Mountain, Manitoba) and had excellent views of a moose standing in the road and a few minutes later of a wolf in snow by the side of the road. My son, who was a few minutes ahead of us, said five had crossed the road and this was the last one who stopped to watch the people watching him.

One of my more gratifying (in retrospect) wildlife experiences was when we stopped at a small town in South Africa just south of Springbok. I spent a long time studying the larks that were running around the short grass near the filling station, with my binoculars in one hand and the field guide in the other trying to figure out just what they were. I had no success, but a few months later a new field guide came out with them illustrated - they had not been noticed as a different species earlier.

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All sweeping statements are wrong.

  
argystokes



Posts: 766
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 25 2008,19:39   

Quote (snoeman @ Jan. 24 2008,23:09)
Recently, in the core neighborhoods of Seattle, there has been an uptick in the population (or at least sightings) of coyotes.  There's a site dedicated to tracking them.  If you look at the larger map that links from the site, you can see the high concentrations of sightings east of I-5, north of I-90 and south of SR520.  That area (Madrona, Madison Valley, North Captiol Hill, Interlaken Park) is apparently a nice haven for coyotes, and it's barely 2-3 miles outside the downtown core.

Recently there's been a coyote spotted in my neighborhood.  This one apparently likes the taste of Magnolia Domesticated House Cat.  Fortunately, the city asked the Fish & Wildlife Service to leave the little guy (gal?) alone.

We used to hear coyotes when we lived by Magnuson Park, and of course there are coons all over the UW campus. And this one time I caught a cougar by the tail...



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"Why waste time learning, when ignorance is instantaneous?" -Calvin

  
J-Dog



Posts: 4362
Joined: Dec. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 25 2008,20:48   

Quote (argystokes @ Jan. 25 2008,19:39)
Quote (snoeman @ Jan. 24 2008,23:09)
Recently, in the core neighborhoods of Seattle, there has been an uptick in the population (or at least sightings) of coyotes.  There's a site dedicated to tracking them.  If you look at the larger map that links from the site, you can see the high concentrations of sightings east of I-5, north of I-90 and south of SR520.  That area (Madrona, Madison Valley, North Captiol Hill, Interlaken Park) is apparently a nice haven for coyotes, and it's barely 2-3 miles outside the downtown core.

Recently there's been a coyote spotted in my neighborhood.  This one apparently likes the taste of Magnolia Domesticated House Cat.  Fortunately, the city asked the Fish & Wildlife Service to leave the little guy (gal?) alone.

We used to hear coyotes when we lived by Magnuson Park, and of course there are coons all over the UW campus. And this one time I caught a cougar by the tail...


Argy - You took this pic in Madison?  If not, where?

(Or is UW University of Washington where you come from...)

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Come on Tough Guy, do the little dance of ID impotence you do so well. - Louis to Joe G 2/10

Gullibility is not a virtue - Quidam on Dembski's belief in the Bible Code Faith Healers & ID 7/08

UD is an Unnatural Douchemagnet. - richardthughes 7/11

  
Albatrossity2



Posts: 2779
Joined: Mar. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 09 2008,17:05   

I just uploaded the checklist for last Thursday's Field Ornithology class. It had snowed (4-6") a couple of days before, so we made a lot of noise crunching along, and I can blame that for the relative scarcity of birds. That's probably OK with the class as well, since their bird ID skills are still at an early stage.

But the class got good looks at a couple of Bald Eagles, which elicited the usual ooohs and aaahs. We also found a lone White Pelican, which should be well south of here at this time of year. It probably can't fly, but it seemed healthy enough, and almost certainly has made it through the coldest part of the winter.

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Flesh of the sky, child of the sky, the mind
Has been obligated from the beginning
To create an ordered universe
As the only possible proof of its own inheritance.
                        - Pattiann Rogers

   
Peter Henderson



Posts: 298
Joined: Aug. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 10 2008,09:47   

Quote
Mid-winter is not a good time to see a lot of birds, but because this is a class to teach students about the birds, they probably don't want to see a lot of birds, and keep the IDs straight, right now. There will be lots more by May!


Plenty of birds in my back garden despite the winter, really just a continuation of the summer these days only a little colder (a mild winter yet again this year).

Nothing exotic though. The normal population at this time of year is mainly blackbirds, thrushes, sparrows, robins, magpies, crows, and starlings (am I right in thinking that starlings aren't native to the UK but immigrants ?), chaffinches and the odd seagull or pigeon. I would imagine the swallows will be back in a couple of months nesting under the eaves/in the roofspace. We also see the occasional sparrow hawk from time to time.

  
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