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  Topic: Wildlife, What's in your back yard?< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  
dhogaza



Posts: 525
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 25 2011,15:17   

Quote
I have no idea why I didn't look at a white bird and think, "yeah, blue heron..."


Not blue, but little blue, as in "there's a little blue at the base of the bill ..." :)

  
Aardvark



Posts: 134
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 18 2011,05:29   

My father called in this guy to remove our backyard bees (I didn't mind them):





...but, they have now now decided that they prefer their old haunt:









  
Lou FCD



Posts: 5375
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 26 2011,20:33   

Well, it looks like a lot of the winter birds have arrived.

Ring-necked Ducks



Ruddy Ducks (female)



and male



Northern Shovelers



I think this is a juvenile male



All new for the life lists.

There's like a bajillion Double-crested Cormorants around now



And this morning I got my very first owl. Barred Owl (I don't count the stuff I shoot at the zoo - that's hardly fair.)





Not great shots, but the best I could do under the circumstances.

--------------
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

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Robin



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 28 2011,07:40   

Quote (Lou FCD @ Nov. 26 2011,20:33)
Not great shots, but the best I could do under the circumstances.

I don't know...they look darn good to me given what you had to work with. I particularly like the barred owl.

--------------
we IDists rule in design for the flagellum and cilium largely because they do look designed.  Bilbo

The only reason you reject Thor is because, like a cushion, you bear the imprint of the biggest arse that sat on you. Louis

  
Lou FCD



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Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 28 2011,13:52   

Quote (Robin @ Nov. 28 2011,08:40)
Quote (Lou FCD @ Nov. 26 2011,20:33)
Not great shots, but the best I could do under the circumstances.

I don't know...they look darn good to me given what you had to work with. I particularly like the barred owl.

Thanks, Robin.

Yeah, the owl sort of snuck up from behind on me, buzzed me, then hung out there in that branch for a few minutes. That was the clearest shot I had of the branch, and then he took off into the woods.

I think I nearly pissed myself when he came over my head by surprise, and he probably thought that was the funniest shit EVAH.

--------------
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

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Lou FCD



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 22 2011,14:10   

Quote (Lou FCD @ Oct. 20 2011,15:58)
 
Quote (Albatrossity2 @ Oct. 20 2011,11:25)
Juvenile Little Blue Heron (Egretta caerulea), based on the color of the base of the bill and the color of the legs. These guys are all white when young, and in their second year can get splotchy gray and white.

Thanks. As always you are the man.

(I have no idea why I didn't look at a white bird and think, "yeah, blue heron..." :angry: There oughtta be a law.)

I GOT A BLUE ONE FINALLY!!!



Some other new stuff:
I like this shot of American Coots:



This Double-crested Cormorant has obviously just been listening to a creationist pretending to do science.



Hooded Mergansers are new for the life lists.



They're kinda cool with their crests up.





and these



are of a pair of juvenile White Ibis



This Great Egret isn't much on the paparazzi right at dawn, apparently:



--------------
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

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Albatrossity2



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 22 2011,14:16   

Love those Hooded Mergansers, Lou. Great shots!

--------------
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

   
Lou FCD



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 22 2011,14:28   

Quote (Albatrossity2 @ Dec. 22 2011,15:16)
Love those Hooded Mergansers, Lou. Great shots!

Thanks, Alby! Yesterday was a very slow, overcast, crappy day at the lake, with little of anything interesting going on. As I came to almost my final stop around the lake, I decided to walk across the street and through a clearing to this retention pond I've always been meaning to check out, but never had.

Surprise! there they were just as I crested the pond wall and I popped off a few shots. Then as I followed the pond around a curve (it turned out to be horseshoe-shaped), Bam! There was the LBH and the pair of Ibis (Ibi? Ibises?), and it was just then that the sun broke through the clouds behind me, giving me perfect light. I shot off a few gajillion shots of the waders, then hurried back to get some of the Mergansers before the clouds took over again.

And just as I was taking my last few shots, the sun disappeared and it was all dreary and crappy again, and I didn't get another decent shot of anything at the lake.

ETA: So the point of that was that in just a few minutes out of several hours, I got a really nice addition to the life-lists (the Mergansers), a Little Blue Heron that was actually blue, and a pair of White Ibis that weren't actually white. It was a very lucky few minutes.

Edited by Lou FCD on Dec. 22 2011,15:32

--------------
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

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Robin



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 23 2011,10:16   

Awesome pics as usual Lou! Truly amazing! I'm with Albatrossity on the Mergansers - great shots - but I also really like that Great Egret pic.

--------------
we IDists rule in design for the flagellum and cilium largely because they do look designed.  Bilbo

The only reason you reject Thor is because, like a cushion, you bear the imprint of the biggest arse that sat on you. Louis

  
Kattarina98



Posts: 1254
Joined: Sep. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 23 2011,12:12   

These pics are great!
I guess the Mergansers are too small to make a Christmas dinner?

--------------
Barry Arrington is a bitch.

  
Albatrossity2



Posts: 2777
Joined: Mar. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 23 2011,17:41   

Quote (Kattarina98 @ Dec. 23 2011,12:12)
These pics are great!
I guess the Mergansers are too small to make a Christmas dinner?

Yes, too small. And they eat fish, so they don't taste very good either. Much better to just enjoy them visually!

--------------
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

   
Lou FCD



Posts: 5375
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 24 2011,12:44   

Thanks, Robin and Kattarina!

I love sharing my shots, I'm glad you like them.

--------------
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

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Robin



Posts: 1430
Joined: Sep. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 27 2011,08:31   

Ok wildlife folk, I have a quandary for you all.

We have some nocturnal creature romping through our neighborhood in Fairfax City, Virginia. My wife and I have now heard it on four separate occasions over the last three weeks or so. We are about 95% percent certain that it is a bird; it moves around our backyard area, mostly up in the trees or around the roof, and then through the neighborhood fairly rapidly. I can't think of any insects out at this time of year, and I just don't see mammals (with the possible exception of Flying Squirrels) getting around - particularly up in the air - so quickly. Here's the real kicker though - it has a very distinct two-note call. The call is a sharp hoot/bark sound, where the bark part is like a soft "kah" or "chah" sound that is like a catch in the throat. So the sound is sort of like (phonetically) "hoechhh-hoechhh". It repeats that very 5 or so seconds. I've checked every owl and nightjar/poor-will app and site I can find and aside from a few Australian owls, I can't come up with anything close.

Oh...a little more info: three of the incidents were late night/early morning - between...say...2AM and 5AM. Last night we heard it around 10:30PM. Don't know if that helps at all.

Anyone have any suggestions? I'd really like to find out what this is. Needless to say I've not spotted the culprit, nor do I have a recording of it.

--------------
we IDists rule in design for the flagellum and cilium largely because they do look designed.  Bilbo

The only reason you reject Thor is because, like a cushion, you bear the imprint of the biggest arse that sat on you. Louis

  
Kristine



Posts: 3037
Joined: Sep. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 27 2011,08:52   

Rudolph the red-nosed 'possum was playing some opossum games in the alley behind our house...



I've never seen one so close before.

--------------
Which came first: the shimmy, or the hip?

AtBC Poet Laureate

"I happen to think that this prerequisite criterion of empirical evidence is itself not empirical." - Clive

"Damn you. This means a trip to the library. Again." -- fnxtr

  
Robin



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Joined: Sep. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 27 2011,08:57   

Quote (Kristine @ Dec. 27 2011,08:52)
Rudolph the red-nosed 'possum was playing some opossum games in the alley behind our house...



I've never seen one so close before.

Cool! Nice pic!

--------------
we IDists rule in design for the flagellum and cilium largely because they do look designed.  Bilbo

The only reason you reject Thor is because, like a cushion, you bear the imprint of the biggest arse that sat on you. Louis

  
qetzal



Posts: 308
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 27 2011,14:45   

Quote (Robin @ Dec. 27 2011,08:31)
So the sound is sort of like (phonetically) "hoechhh-hoechhh".

An owl with a bad chest cold?  ;)

  
Albatrossity2



Posts: 2777
Joined: Mar. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 27 2011,18:50   

Quote (Robin @ Dec. 27 2011,08:31)
Anyone have any suggestions? I'd really like to find out what this is. Needless to say I've not spotted the culprit, nor do I have a recording of it.

Barred owls make a lot of noises that don't seem to be captured in a lot of the recordings online. I'm betting that it is a barred owl.

--------------
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

   
Henry J



Posts: 4013
Joined: Mar. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 27 2011,20:58   

Quote (qetzal @ Dec. 27 2011,13:45)
Quote (Robin @ Dec. 27 2011,08:31)
So the sound is sort of like (phonetically) "hoechhh-hoechhh".

An owl with a bad chest cold?  ;)

So bad that it can't make itself give a hoot?

  
rhmc



Posts: 340
Joined: Dec. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 28 2011,07:36   

Quote (Robin @ Dec. 27 2011,09:31)
The call is a sharp hoot/bark sound, where the bark part is like a soft "kah" or "chah" sound that is like a catch in the throat. So the sound is sort of like (phonetically) "hoechhh-hoechhh".

was it very loud?

  
Robin



Posts: 1430
Joined: Sep. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 28 2011,08:06   

Quote (qetzal @ Dec. 27 2011,14:45)
Quote (Robin @ Dec. 27 2011,08:31)
So the sound is sort of like (phonetically) "hoechhh-hoechhh".

An owl with a bad chest cold?  ;)

Heh!

--------------
we IDists rule in design for the flagellum and cilium largely because they do look designed.  Bilbo

The only reason you reject Thor is because, like a cushion, you bear the imprint of the biggest arse that sat on you. Louis

  
Robin



Posts: 1430
Joined: Sep. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 28 2011,08:14   

Quote (Albatrossity2 @ Dec. 27 2011,18:50)
Quote (Robin @ Dec. 27 2011,08:31)
Anyone have any suggestions? I'd really like to find out what this is. Needless to say I've not spotted the culprit, nor do I have a recording of it.

Barred owls make a lot of noises that don't seem to be captured in a lot of the recordings online. I'm betting that it is a barred owl.

A reasonable thought Albatrossity. The problem I have with that hypothesis, however (and I entertained it too) is that in my (albeit limited) experience with them, they tend to vary their calls. Whatever this creature is, it has only done the two-note call on the four occasions. What are the odds of a barred owl doing that?

OTOH, I will admit that the sound has a similar pitch to a barred owl hoots I've heard. Definitely not like a Great Horned. I've been betting on either an Eastern Screech or a Saw-Whet, though in both cases the call is a complete anomaly to their normal calls.

Thanks for the input though.

The manager of the preserve I volunteer at has offered to lend me a bionic ear and recorder along with a night vision scope. I'll let you know if that pans out.

--------------
we IDists rule in design for the flagellum and cilium largely because they do look designed.  Bilbo

The only reason you reject Thor is because, like a cushion, you bear the imprint of the biggest arse that sat on you. Louis

  
Robin



Posts: 1430
Joined: Sep. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 28 2011,08:17   

Quote (rhmc @ Dec. 28 2011,07:36)
Quote (Robin @ Dec. 27 2011,09:31)
The call is a sharp hoot/bark sound, where the bark part is like a soft "kah" or "chah" sound that is like a catch in the throat. So the sound is sort of like (phonetically) "hoechhh-hoechhh".

was it very loud?

Yes, pretty loud. We can both hear it fairly clearly all over the neighborhood with the windows shut and heat running in our house.

--------------
we IDists rule in design for the flagellum and cilium largely because they do look designed.  Bilbo

The only reason you reject Thor is because, like a cushion, you bear the imprint of the biggest arse that sat on you. Louis

  
rhmc



Posts: 340
Joined: Dec. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 30 2011,08:50   

some years ago, at 3am in the middle of the okeefenokee, something right outside the tent made a noise similar to what you describe.  
i characterized it as more of a "WHAaaaCK, WHAAaaCK".  
whatever it was made the sound thrice, a moment or two of silence and then made the noise twice again.  
VERY loud.
and right beside the tent.
then either it or its companion made the noise again a bit further away.  
and after a few moments we heard the noise again but way off in the distance.
being awakened like that at that hour in the middle of the swamp was a bit scary.  
there were some "WTF was THAT?" remarks as we rummaged around in the dark looking for something to defend ourselves with.
very weird.

we met some park rangers that afternoon and as i described the noise, they looked at me like i was nuts and began to edge away as they said they had no idea and had never heard anything like that.


ETA:  here, east of savannah, we have great horned owls, screech owls and barred owls but in the 3 decades i've lived here, i've never heard anything like that racket.

  
Lou FCD



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Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 31 2011,07:27   

Quote (Robin @ Dec. 28 2011,09:14)
The manager of the preserve I volunteer at has offered to lend me a bionic ear and recorder along with a night vision scope. I'll let you know if that pans out.

Oh, that in itself is very cool. I trust you'll post the recording somewhere?

--------------
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

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Lou FCD



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 31 2011,07:28   

Quote (Kristine @ Dec. 27 2011,09:52)
Rudolph the red-nosed 'possum was playing some opossum games in the alley behind our house...



I've never seen one so close before.

Sweet! I wish I could get more shots of mammals.

--------------
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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Kristine



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 31 2011,12:38   

Rev. Barky actually snapped that photo. Here's one I took:



Baby robin on the day he left the nest - hung around the back yard for a while, flopping into the fence, then off! :)

--------------
Which came first: the shimmy, or the hip?

AtBC Poet Laureate

"I happen to think that this prerequisite criterion of empirical evidence is itself not empirical." - Clive

"Damn you. This means a trip to the library. Again." -- fnxtr

  
ReligionProf



Posts: 33
Joined: Oct. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 31 2011,12:47   

I have a creek behind my house, and so I get to see a lot of interesting wildlife.

We get deer, foxes, raccoon, squirrels and I am sure I saw a beaver twice.

We get the usual birds at the feeder - cardinals, black-capped chickadees, nuthatches, house finches, goldfinches, etc. But we also get occasional visits from pileated woodpeckers (which are amazing creatures) and Eastern wood pewees.

--------------
http://www.patheos.com/communi....rmatrix

   
Dr.GH



Posts: 1950
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 31 2011,22:16   

I make a point of fishing on the last day of the year. Today was very pleasant, if a bit cold for southern California- a high of just 61. The fishing was better than a few weeks ago as we targeted scorpion fish, Scorpionidae Scorpaena guttatus (IRRC), in about 300 feet of water. Very tasty. But the best wildlife on display were a pod of three mature California Grey Whales, and a younger solo.

Edited by Dr.GH on Dec. 31 2011,20:21

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

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

   
Robin



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Joined: Sep. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 03 2012,08:15   

Quote (rhmc @ Dec. 30 2011,08:50)
some years ago, at 3am in the middle of the okeefenokee, something right outside the tent made a noise similar to what you describe.  
i characterized it as more of a "WHAaaaCK, WHAAaaCK".  
whatever it was made the sound thrice, a moment or two of silence and then made the noise twice again.  
VERY loud.
and right beside the tent.
then either it or its companion made the noise again a bit further away.  
and after a few moments we heard the noise again but way off in the distance.
being awakened like that at that hour in the middle of the swamp was a bit scary.  
there were some "WTF was THAT?" remarks as we rummaged around in the dark looking for something to defend ourselves with.
very weird.

we met some park rangers that afternoon and as i described the noise, they looked at me like i was nuts and began to edge away as they said they had no idea and had never heard anything like that.


ETA:  here, east of savannah, we have great horned owls, screech owls and barred owls but in the 3 decades i've lived here, i've never heard anything like that racket.

Yeah...that sounds about right. Except, I don't live in a deserted-for-miles-around swamp. I live in a suburb of Washington, DC.

Still trying to determine the critter's ID. So far all the experts I've checked with (4 naturalists, 1 ornithologist, 1 preserve manager) either shrugged or (like rhmc's experience) edged away. Of course, I have not heard our little (big?) friend since I last reported it, so maybe we'll never know.

--------------
we IDists rule in design for the flagellum and cilium largely because they do look designed.  Bilbo

The only reason you reject Thor is because, like a cushion, you bear the imprint of the biggest arse that sat on you. Louis

  
Robin



Posts: 1430
Joined: Sep. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 03 2012,08:16   

Quote (Lou FCD @ Dec. 31 2011,07:27)
Quote (Robin @ Dec. 28 2011,09:14)
The manager of the preserve I volunteer at has offered to lend me a bionic ear and recorder along with a night vision scope. I'll let you know if that pans out.

Oh, that in itself is very cool. I trust you'll post the recording somewhere?

Absolutely...if I get anything.

--------------
we IDists rule in design for the flagellum and cilium largely because they do look designed.  Bilbo

The only reason you reject Thor is because, like a cushion, you bear the imprint of the biggest arse that sat on you. Louis

  
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