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Assassinator



Posts: 479
Joined: Nov. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: April 30 2008,12:25   

Question: how the hell do you keep those bees in the box, and isn't such a hive way to heavy for a cardboard box like that?
Anyway, 2 days ago I saw a pretty nice bird, wich I've never seen here before. I didn't take a picture, because I was just on my way back from school, but I think it was this one:

The Eurasian Nuthatch, mainly because it was spurting down up and down the trunk of a tree so smoothly. But I could be wrong ofcourse, I'm far from a connaiseur ;-)

  
Albatrossity2



Posts: 2777
Joined: Mar. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: April 30 2008,13:24   

Quote (Assassinator @ April 30 2008,12:25)
Question: how the hell do you keep those bees in the box, and isn't such a hive way to heavy for a cardboard box like that?

The bees stay in the box as long as the queen is there. It was really interesting; the bee guys knew that they had captured the queen because immediately some of the worker bees positioned themselves around the vent at the top of the box, and started fanning their wings rapidly, to keep the temperature in the box comfy enough for a queen.



And it is not a permanent home, but merely a transport device to get them to a regular wooden new hive/home. I'd imagine that the whole swarm weighed under a kilogram, so the box could easily hold them.

Nice bird, BTW.

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

   
Nomad



Posts: 303
Joined: July 2007

(Permalink) Posted: May 02 2008,00:59   

Well look who I caught in the act:


This cute little guy (or girl, I have no idea on the gender) has been living in the attic above my bedroom for years.  The truth is the roof needs to be repaired, there's a gap on the side with plenty of room for inquisitive wildlife to enter.  All attempts to keep him from climbing up to the roof have failed, it appears he's shimmying up the drainpipes.  The drainpipes now have a spiked collar around them, but somehow he climbs up in spite of them.

At least he's been penned in, most of the attic is blocked off by a wire mesh fence.  So instead of a luxury suite he's limited to a sort of studio apartment.

It was fascinating to catch him up there (that's the lower level of the roof just above the front door).  Once he saw me he seemed to be about to climb back up that drainpipe, but then he thought better of it and curled up in the corner, it's like he decided to out wait me.  It was evening and he was headed out, but clearly wasn't interested in hopping down with me out there.  He stayed put long enough for me to bring my camera and tripod (it was getting dark fast, the exposure on this shot was 3.2 seconds) and take as many pictures as I wanted.

Eventually I went inside and watched from a front door window as he climbed down via a tree, demonstrating fairly impressive dexterity.  I tended to think raccoons were a bit less limber than that, they seem too heavy to gently lower themselves down onto the end of a branch while supporting their weight on their front legs (on the end of the branch, not a very large surface).

I'm hoping that this encounter will deter him, but I kind of doubt it.  I'm sure he knows he's living above humans, finally seeing one can't be that scary.

  
J-Dog



Posts: 4360
Joined: Dec. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 02 2008,09:26   

That is a cute little bugger - and he looks a lot more intelligent than those pictures of Nein Stein in shorts...

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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: 2777
Joined: Mar. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: May 02 2008,11:56   

It's been hectic here as we near the end of the semester, but I finally got around to posting the checklist of birds seen by the KSU Field Ornithology class yesterday. Here is the list (49 species), along with an interesting story about our encounter with a black rat snake.

Enjoy!

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

   
rhmc



Posts: 340
Joined: Dec. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: May 03 2008,21:26   

was southeast of savannah today for a "derby" party.
wandering the grounds we saw a 4' black snake (probably a racer but didn't see the white chin), brown pelicans and a flight of wood storks.
some bottle nose dolphins cruised up the creek.
beautiful day.  mostly cloudy, 15kt winds, around 80f.

  
Richard Simons



Posts: 425
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 04 2008,00:28   

Assassinator:
The European nuthatch is fairly common, especially around old deciduous, rough-barked trees like oak. They are the only bird that habitually goes head-first down tree trunks and under large branches. Usually you hear them first - their call has been described as like fairy trumpets. And yes, they are attractive, especially as they can be more stongly-coloured than the one in the photo.

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All sweeping statements are wrong.

  
jeffox



Posts: 530
Joined: Oct. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: May 04 2008,01:24   

I got out of town today on a geology field trip.  I saw numerous vultures at the landfill we visited, one marsh hawk later, and one common merganser.  Oh, and a good ol' sloughpumper (great blue heron).  

The day started out very cool and drizzly but the sun came out by mid-afternoon for a nice day.  Still too cool here for most fungi.

I hope e1 had as nice a day as I did.

  
Albatrossity2



Posts: 2777
Joined: Mar. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: May 04 2008,17:01   

It was cold last night, with a north wind, which should keep some of the northbound migrants grounded for an evening. So I ventured out this morning to see what I could see, bird-wise. There were lots of migrants, but some of the best views I had were of some of our regular summer breeding birds. These included this male Summer Tanager (Piranga rubra)



and this female Scissor-tailed Flycatcher (Tyrannus forficatus)



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

   
Reciprocating Bill



Posts: 4234
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 05 2008,06:42   

Quote (Albatrossity2 @ April 29 2008,15:19)
Got a call that there was a bee swarm near one of our buildings this afternoon, so I went to see it. It was pretty cool, and a decent size swarm, as you can see.



We contacted the extension entomologist to see if anyone wanted to collect it (it is worth about $80-100 to a beekeeper). That question was answered in the affirmative, and so we helped collect them. That is a very high-tech process, involving a cardboard box and a couple of people shaking the branch to dislodge the bees, allowing the swarm (hopefully containing the queen) to drop into the box.



A chemistry prof (not shown) who is an amateur beekeeper was the lucky recipient. As the old English rhyme goes:

   A swarm of bees in May is worth a load of hay;
   A swarm of bees in June is worth a silver spoon;
   A swarm of bees in July isn't worth a fly.

We also found the parent hive from which this swarm originated; it is in a hollow branch of an oak tree about 30-40 feet from where this swarm was found. Maybe we'll get to find another one next spring!

I had a very similar experience 15 years ago. I returned from work one cool spring evening to find a large swarm nestled under one of the eves of my house. We called an exterminator, but they suggested bee keepers. An elderly couple arrived with a box and a broom. They climbed out a window onto the porch roof below the eve, dislodged the swarm with the broom and it dropped into the box.

Plop.

I was amazed.

--------------
Myth: Something that never was true, and always will be.

"The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you."
- David Foster Wallace

"Here’s a clue. Snarky banalities are not a substitute for saying something intelligent. Write that down."
- Barry Arrington

  
Albatrossity2



Posts: 2777
Joined: Mar. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: May 08 2008,15:42   

On our last field trip for the semester, the KSU Field Ornithology class found 68 species on a calm, bright, and pleasant morning. The highlights included good looks at American Redstarts, Northern Parulas, Orchard Orioles, and a Green Heron. The entire checklist can be seen here.

This is a fun class to teach, but unfortunately only 3 of the 7 enrolled students managed to get out of bed in time to come to class today, and it was the nicest day of the semester, both in terms of the birds seen and in terms of the weather...

--------------
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: May 10 2008,14:28   

I just spent about a half-hour tossing the ball with Shakespeare in the back yard.

While I was standing by the back tree line, a Catbird alighted on a branch about ten or twelve feet from me and decided it was safe to serenade us.  Shakespeare just took a seat beside me and watched him rather calmly.

It seemed like he pulled out every piece of sheet music he had.  Catbirds always fascinate me in that such a wide repertoire is contained all in one animal.

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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

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carlsonjok



Posts: 3324
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 10 2008,15:14   

Quote (Lou FCD @ May 10 2008,14:28)
I just spent about a half-hour tossing the ball with Shakespeare in the back yard.

While I was standing by the back tree line, a Catbird alighted on a branch about ten or twelve feet from me and decided it was safe to serenade us.  Shakespeare just took a seat beside me and watched him rather calmly.

It seemed like he pulled out every piece of sheet music he had.  Catbirds always fascinate me in that such a wide repertoire is contained all in one animal.

I just spent an hour and a half rescuing a baby barn swallow out of my barn loft.  The swallows like to build nests in the rafters of the lower level of my barn. I normally tear them down immediately, but they managed to put a nest in a new location and by the time I discovered it, there were already chicks in it. Those chicks are now learning to fly and one managed to find its way into the loft. I opened the loft doors and gave the little fella some time, but he never managed to fly out.  So I grabbed a towel and captured the little fella and took him down to ground level where his sibling was hopping around.  They have both now disappeared, so I assume my rescue was successful.

I have dubbed the episode "another chapter in the book why animal lovers shouldn't live in the country."

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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!)

  
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 10 2008,15:34   

Quote (Lou FCD @ May 10 2008,12:28)
I just spent about a half-hour tossing the ball with Shakespeare in the back yard.

While I was standing by the back tree line, a Catbird alighted on a branch about ten or twelve feet from me and decided it was safe to serenade us.  Shakespeare just took a seat beside me and watched him rather calmly.

It seemed like he pulled out every piece of sheet music he had.  Catbirds always fascinate me in that such a wide repertoire is contained all in one animal.

While we sadly don't have Catbirds out in the West Coast, I've always thought Mockingbirds were even better for that. When I was a kid there was a nesting pair in my back yard for several years. The male used to attack cats during the nesting season, and he had a song that he basically sang all day for 6 months of the year. In peak summer you'd hear it all night, even at 2-3am. The song took about 3-4 minutes to 'recite' in full and was so consistent that after a few years I actually knew what notes were coming up next.

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"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
stevestory



Posts: 8838
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: May 10 2008,15:53   

Just moved back to Carrboro. Nice little garden out back. Mint, basil, rosemary, tomatoes, etc. Only wildlife to report around here are lots of deer.

   
Lou FCD



Posts: 5375
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 10 2008,16:04   

Quote (Arden Chatfield @ May 10 2008,16:34)
Quote (Lou FCD @ May 10 2008,12:28)
I just spent about a half-hour tossing the ball with Shakespeare in the back yard.

While I was standing by the back tree line, a Catbird alighted on a branch about ten or twelve feet from me and decided it was safe to serenade us.  Shakespeare just took a seat beside me and watched him rather calmly.

It seemed like he pulled out every piece of sheet music he had.  Catbirds always fascinate me in that such a wide repertoire is contained all in one animal.

While we sadly don't have Catbirds out in the West Coast, I've always thought Mockingbirds were even better for that. When I was a kid there was a nesting pair in my back yard for several years. The male used to attack cats during the nesting season, and he had a song that he basically sang all day for 6 months of the year. In peak summer you'd hear it all night, even at 2-3am. The song took about 3-4 minutes to 'recite' in full and was so consistent that after a few years I actually knew what notes were coming up next.

I get regular visits from mockingbirds as well, though for whatever reason it seems like the catbirds, the robins, and the red-bellied woodpeckers are the most frequent "serenaders" in my yard.  (I don't guess that's the best word for the woodpecker's call, but whatever.)

I have a line of azaleas about 30' long and 5' tall across the back fence, and there's always some very pretty music emanating from the depths of that, but even with 10X50 binoculars from the window, it's usually not possible to see exactly who's making it.  Sometimes I can recognize the songs, sometimes I can figure it out from the Cornell site, but a lot of times I can't, so I just sit and listen.

There's a Catbird (the same one as earlier maybe? - the song is definitely different but similar) out there letting it rip now, in fact, accompanied by a Cardinal and someone else who just seems to be "peep"ing (that might be another Cardinal, but I can't locate the exact source).  There's a Blue Jay in the background, further away somewhere, and some other bird I haven't heard before just joined them.

The latest guest sounds like a Cardinal's peep 8 or 9 times in a row in quick succession, like a machine gun.  Almost a trill, but not quite.  'bout the same pitch as a Cardinal, too, but I've never heard a Cardinal do that before.

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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

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Albatrossity2



Posts: 2777
Joined: Mar. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: May 10 2008,16:29   

My bird adventure of the day was an excursion to try to photograph a Prothonotary Warbler (Protonotaria citrea), aka the "Golden Swamp-warbler"). These are rare and local around here, but there are at least a couple of pairs at a local campground, so I headed out before the thunderstorms hit this afternoon. I got lucky.



In keeping with the FtK theme that science=religion, I should also note that the name of this bird derives from its bright yellow color, which is the same yellow as the color of the robes of papal officials known as "prothonotaries apostolic". These high ranking monsignors were (and still are) keepers of the papal documents.

In keeping with the FtK and Wee Willy Wallace theme that science=atheism, I should also note that the Prothonotary Warbler figured prominently in the HUAC investigation of Alger Hiss, an accused communist whose prosecution initiated the rise of the political career of Richard Milhous Nixon.

But sometimes a bird is just a bird.

--------------
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: May 10 2008,16:48   

That is an amazing shot.

--------------
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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stevestory



Posts: 8838
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: May 10 2008,16:58   

Quote (Lou FCD @ May 10 2008,17:48)
That is an amazing shot.

It's less amazing if it's a telephoto lens, but the blurry leaves in the background suggest it might not be such a thing. Impressive.

(also, lovely plumage ;-) )

   
khan



Posts: 1479
Joined: May 2007

(Permalink) Posted: May 10 2008,19:17   

I live in a small house on a small lot (~50' x 100').  Electric wires run across the back of the property.

Observed: a cardinal on a wire singing; another cardinal on a wire ~50 or so feet along, singing;  first cardinal walks sideways on the wire and resumes singing; second cardinal responds; first cardinal walks sideways a bit more and resumes singing...

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"It's as if all those words, in their hurry to escape from the loony, have fallen over each other, forming scrambled heaps of meaninglessness." -damitall

That's so fucking stupid it merits a wing in the museum of stupid. -midwifetoad

  
jeffox



Posts: 530
Joined: Oct. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: May 10 2008,22:26   

Finally got some fungi up here in WI.  Coprinus Micaceous (sp.) in copious amounts on and around an ash tree stump near my apartment.

Keep in mind, we've only had one day all year in the 70-80 F range, so far.  Today was mid-60s F.

  
nuytsia



Posts: 131
Joined: June 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 10 2008,23:34   

Quote (stevestory @ May 10 2008,08:58)
 
Quote (Lou FCD @ May 10 2008,17:48)
That is an amazing shot.

It's less amazing if it's a telephoto lens, but the blurry leaves in the background suggest it might not be such a thing. Impressive.

(also, lovely plumage ;-) )

Well speaking as someone who has a telephoto lens (not a swanky one, mind) I'd be bloody chuffed with that shot. :p

That's a great shot and a gorgeous bird.

   
Albatrossity2



Posts: 2777
Joined: Mar. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: May 11 2008,07:10   

Quote (nuytsia @ May 10 2008,23:34)
 
Quote (stevestory @ May 10 2008,08:58)
     
Quote (Lou FCD @ May 10 2008,17:48)
That is an amazing shot.

It's less amazing if it's a telephoto lens, but the blurry leaves in the background suggest it might not be such a thing. Impressive.

(also, lovely plumage ;-) )

Well speaking as someone who has a telephoto lens (not a swanky one, mind) I'd be bloody chuffed with that shot. :p

That's a great shot and a gorgeous bird.

Thanks.

The lens is a 100-400 mm telephoto zoom (Canon). To most folks, that upper end (400 mm, or about 8X in telescope terminology) seems plenty powerful enough for shots of small birds. But it's not; warbler-size birds have to get really close (4-5 m) before you can get a decent shot. And they don't get that close very often... People who do small bird photography for a living often use a 500 mm lens and a 1.4 tele-extender to get an effective focal length of 700 mm. The rest of us just have to wait for the odd bird to pop up close enough.

So yeah, I was bloody chuffed when I got home and saw those pics on my computer screen. Thank goodness for (nearly) instant gratification!

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

   
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 11 2008,11:08   

Indeed, the fact that's also a rather scarce (and gorgeous) species of bird makes it even better. Even the big mosquito in his mouth is a delightful touch.

Do you take requests? How about a Bachman's Warbler next?  :p

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"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
khan



Posts: 1479
Joined: May 2007

(Permalink) Posted: May 11 2008,12:03   

Quote (Arden Chatfield @ May 11 2008,12:08)
Indeed, the fact that's also a rather scarce (and gorgeous) species of bird makes it even better. Even the big mosquito in his mouth is a delightful touch.

Do you take requests? How about a Bachman's Warbler next?  :p

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki....nesbury

Quote
Dick Davenport - Lacey's longtime friend later married. An avid bird watcher of endangered bird species. Died in a controversial 1986 strip asking God to take a picture of a bachman's warbler.


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"It's as if all those words, in their hurry to escape from the loony, have fallen over each other, forming scrambled heaps of meaninglessness." -damitall

That's so fucking stupid it merits a wing in the museum of stupid. -midwifetoad

  
Dr.GH



Posts: 1950
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: May 15 2008,16:30   



Today's shot of a Mourning Cloak laying eggs

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

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

   
Lou FCD



Posts: 5375
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 18 2008,06:56   

The woodpeckers are not shy this morning.  In the last hour or so, I've heard through my window the calls of a Red Bellied, a Northern Flicker, and a Pileated.

I listened to the Plileated pecking for a while, matched the sound on the Cornell Ornithology site, then got out the 10X50s and crept to the window for a look.  I located the general area way up on a pine tree along the back tree line, but he was behind a bough and all I could get was little pieces of him.  Then a little flash of movement caught my eye just to the left, so I moved the field of view a little to see what it was.

There on the trunk of an adjacent tree was a perfect shadow of him in the morning sun, and I watched him pecking around for a little while, in shadow.  I really wish I had a nice long-lens SLR.  The shot would have been beautiful.

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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

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Zachriel



Posts: 2594
Joined: Sep. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 18 2008,09:49   

From Ben Bova's Jovian Travelogue,

Quote
Huge balloonlike creatures called Clarke's Medusas drift in the hurricane-like winds surging across the planet. Birds that have never seen land, living out their entire lives aloft. Gossamer spider-kites that trap microscopic spores. Particles of long-chain carbon molecules that form in the clouds and sift downward, toward the global ocean below.




(Sometimes, if you're patient, Earthling spaceships can be seen flying by!)



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There is only one Tard. The Tard is One.

   
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 18 2008,16:12   

Quote (Lou FCD @ May 18 2008,04:56)
The woodpeckers are not shy this morning.  In the last hour or so, I've heard through my window the calls of a Red Bellied, a Northern Flicker, and a Pileated.

I listened to the Plileated pecking for a while, matched the sound on the Cornell Ornithology site, then got out the 10X50s and crept to the window for a look.  I located the general area way up on a pine tree along the back tree line, but he was behind a bough and all I could get was little pieces of him.  Then a little flash of movement caught my eye just to the left, so I moved the field of view a little to see what it was.

There on the trunk of an adjacent tree was a perfect shadow of him in the morning sun, and I watched him pecking around for a little while, in shadow.  I really wish I had a nice long-lens SLR.  The shot would have been beautiful.

That's an amazing coincidence, since I saw my first Pileated woodpecker this weekend -- Saturday and Sunday.

Staying in cabins in the Santa Cruz mountains, I was sort of half-dozing at about 7am when I heard a loud "BAK BAK BAK BAK BAK BAK" that sounded really close by. I sleepily got up to see what kind of bird it was, not expecting much, when I looked thru the front window of the cabin, and the big guy was no more than 10 feet in front of me. He was alternating between running up and down an oak tree and picking for food inside a fire pit in the campsite. All in all he gave me a nice, 6 minute long look at him.

Then this morning he reappeared at the same time and did exactly the same thing, for about 3 minutes. Also I kept hearing his hammering all morning. Now I know what they sound like.

I know this isn't a big deal for folks in the Eastern US, but Pileateds are *not* common in California. After 25+ years of birding in Calif., it's the first one I've seen. I had no idea they had them in Santa Cruz County -- it appears to be on the extreme southern tip of their West Coast range.

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"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
Lou FCD



Posts: 5375
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 18 2008,17:16   

Quote (Arden Chatfield @ May 18 2008,17:12)
Quote (Lou FCD @ May 18 2008,04:56)
The woodpeckers are not shy this morning.  In the last hour or so, I've heard through my window the calls of a Red Bellied, a Northern Flicker, and a Pileated.

I listened to the Plileated pecking for a while, matched the sound on the Cornell Ornithology site, then got out the 10X50s and crept to the window for a look.  I located the general area way up on a pine tree along the back tree line, but he was behind a bough and all I could get was little pieces of him.  Then a little flash of movement caught my eye just to the left, so I moved the field of view a little to see what it was.

There on the trunk of an adjacent tree was a perfect shadow of him in the morning sun, and I watched him pecking around for a little while, in shadow.  I really wish I had a nice long-lens SLR.  The shot would have been beautiful.

That's an amazing coincidence, since I saw my first Pileated woodpecker this weekend -- Saturday and Sunday.

Staying in cabins in the Santa Cruz mountains, I was sort of half-dozing at about 7am when I heard a loud "BAK BAK BAK BAK BAK BAK" that sounded really close by. I sleepily got up to see what kind of bird it was, not expecting much, when I looked thru the front window of the cabin, and the big guy was no more than 10 feet in front of me. He was alternating between running up and down an oak tree and picking for food inside a fire pit in the campsite. All in all he gave me a nice, 6 minute long look at him.

Then this morning he reappeared at the same time and did exactly the same thing, for about 3 minutes. Also I kept hearing his hammering all morning. Now I know what they sound like.

I know this isn't a big deal for folks in the Eastern US, but Pileateds are *not* common in California. After 25+ years of birding in Calif., it's the first one I've seen. I had no idea they had them in Santa Cruz County -- it appears to be on the extreme southern tip of their West Coast range.

Funny, 'cause I'd never seen one until I moved here.  Of course, I never really paid a great deal of attention before that, I don't think.

If I happened to notice a blue jay, it was worth noting to someone later in the day.

"Hey, I saw a blue jay earlier."
"Doesn't take much to impress you, does it?"
"But he was right there in the yard!"
"You're an idiot."
"I saw a Cardinal, too."
"I'm gonna go watch paint dry."
"Hey they're pretty rare!"
"No, Cardinals are pretty common."
"This one had lasers for eyes."

Edited by Lou FCD on May 18 2008,18:44

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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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