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fusilier



Posts: 212
Joined: Feb. 2003

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 11 2008,07:23   

Dr. GH:
Your hummies feed at the gooseberries?  We have gooseberries and I've never seen 'em feeding there.  Instead, they feed at our Nicotinea and morning glories.

This time of year (currently cold enough to freeze the family jewels off the appropriate metallic monkey) we don't have too much wild-life.

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fusilier
James 2:24

  
ppb



Posts: 325
Joined: Dec. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 11 2008,09:42   

We live in suburban Boston (Lexington) so our wildlife consists mainly of squirrels, chipmunks, various songbirds, and the occasional possum or raccoon.   One day though I looked out and saw this perched on top of our screened tent.



My first thought was "Oh cool!  We have a Great Blue Heron in our back yard."  Then I remembered our fish pond and thought "Oh sh*t!  We have a Great Blue Heron in our back yard."

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"[A scientific theory] describes Nature as absurd from the point of view of common sense. And it agrees fully with experiment. So I hope you can accept Nature as She is - absurd."
- Richard P. Feynman

  
C.J.O'Brien



Posts: 395
Joined: Aug. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 12 2008,13:20   

Finally got out to Point Reyes to see the elephant seals. So cool. Most of the action was over a few weeks ago. ("The action" being the fighting and dominance displays between the bull males for the prime spots and the biggest harem.) There were about 200 females on the beach, divided into (I think) three harems. The big-daddy alpha bull was 20 feet long if he was an inch. The docent at the viewing site (overlooking the beach) said they were estimating he was about 5000 pounds. There were some younger males hanging around, too (poor guys --most of them, after getting sand kicked in their faces, depart to other, nearby, beaches), and I actually saw a fight between two. Not sure why they were fighting, since the prizes were all spoken for. And it wasn't two alpha-males going at it, but still quite impressive. Two 15 to 17 foot long, 4000 lb. beasts makes for quite a bout. Very interesting creatures that you don't see every day. And a nice day on Point Reyes, which it almost never is.

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

  
Albatrossity2



Posts: 2779
Joined: Mar. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 12 2008,13:41   

Quote (C.J.O'Brien @ Feb. 12 2008,13:20)
Finally got out to Point Reyes to see the elephant seals. So cool. Most of the action was over a few weeks ago. ("The action" being the fighting and dominance displays between the bull males for the prime spots and the biggest harem.) There were about 200 females on the beach, divided into (I think) three harems. The big-daddy alpha bull was 20 feet long if he was an inch. The docent at the viewing site (overlooking the beach) said they were estimating he was about 5000 pounds. There were some younger males hanging around, too (poor guys --most of them, after getting sand kicked in their faces, depart to other, nearby, beaches), and I actually saw a fight between two. Not sure why they were fighting, since the prizes were all spoken for. And it wasn't two alpha-males going at it, but still quite impressive. Two 15 to 17 foot long, 4000 lb. beasts makes for quite a bout. Very interesting creatures that you don't see every day. And a nice day on Point Reyes, which it almost never is.

Wow!  I didn't know that elephant seals had made it to Point Reyes; when I was in grad school they weren't any further north than Ano Nuevo. And that was in the days when you could walk on the mainland beach, strewn with bachelor males who got kicked off the island. Probably not the brightest thing I ever did... Here's a pic from those days, ca 1974-75.



Don'cha just love those cute eyebrows?

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

   
C.J.O'Brien



Posts: 395
Joined: Aug. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 12 2008,14:01   

Albatrossity:
They've been making a comeback. From the National Park Service website

Quote
After being absent for more than 150 years, elephant seals returned to the sandy beaches on the rocky Point Reyes Headlands in the early 1970s. In 1981, the first breeding pair was discovered near Chimney Rock. Since then, researchers have found that the colony is growing at a dramatic annual average rate of 16 percent. When severe storms occurred in 1992, 1994, and 1998, many pups were killed. During the El Niño winter of 1998, storms and high tides washed away approximately 85% of the 350 young pups before they had learned to swim. Nevertheless, the Point Reyes elephant seal population is between 1,500 and 2,000. Fanning out from their initial secluded spot, the seals have expanded to popular beaches, causing concern for both their safety and that of their human visitors.


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

  
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4505
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 12 2008,14:20   

I think somewhere around the beginning of the 20th century, the Northern Elephant Seal was assumed to be close to extinction. A report of eight seals galvanized the Smithsonian Institution into action. They sent a crack team... to kill the remaining seals so they could be added to the museum's collections while there were a few available.

Fortunately, that apparently was not the very last of the population. I know people who do studies on NESs, and the genetics of a very recent and drastic population bottleneck are an ever-present part of any population work done.

Edited by Wesley R. Elsberry on Feb. 12 2008,14:20

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

    
BWE



Posts: 1896
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 12 2008,18:53   

Close up



This guy was standing on my neighbor's roof. Shot from my back porch.




Full view.








Taking off close up:





Full view:



The summer before last, a female Perigrine landed on our fence not three feet outside the kitchen window. I ran to get the camera but when my wife saw our kitten hiding under the wheelbarrow not three feet from the perigrine I had to change course and chase her away. Too bad on that one.

--------------
Who said that ev'ry wish would be heard and answered
When wished on the morning star
Somebody thought of that, and someone believed it
Look what it's done so far

The Daily Wingnut

   
Albatrossity2



Posts: 2779
Joined: Mar. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 12 2008,20:08   

Quote (BWE @ Feb. 12 2008,18:53)
The summer before last, a female Perigrine landed on our fence not three feet outside the kitchen window. I ran to get the camera but when my wife saw our kitten hiding under the wheelbarrow not three feet from the perigrine I had to change course and chase her away. Too bad on that one.

A peregrine is probably not much of a threat to your cat; they generally eat birds, and they generally have to knock them out of the sky. They rarely take prey from the ground; unless your cat develops wings, it's probably safe!

Of course, it can be tough to convince the cat about that...

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

   
BWE



Posts: 1896
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 12 2008,20:35   

Quote (Albatrossity2 @ Feb. 12 2008,20:08)
Quote (BWE @ Feb. 12 2008,18:53)
The summer before last, a female Perigrine landed on our fence not three feet outside the kitchen window. I ran to get the camera but when my wife saw our kitten hiding under the wheelbarrow not three feet from the perigrine I had to change course and chase her away. Too bad on that one.

A peregrine is probably not much of a threat to your cat; they generally eat birds, and they generally have to knock them out of the sky. They rarely take prey from the ground; unless your cat develops wings, it's probably safe!

Of course, it can be tough to convince the cat about that...

I'm aware that they are suppose to eat birds, but I wasn't sure if the peregrine knew that. She landed on the fence in order to inspect the kitten (now a cat).

She was easily 3 times the size of the kitten.

--------------
Who said that ev'ry wish would be heard and answered
When wished on the morning star
Somebody thought of that, and someone believed it
Look what it's done so far

The Daily Wingnut

   
J. O'Donnell



Posts: 98
Joined: Sep. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 12 2008,20:40   

A friend of my friend had a stream at the back of his house so I went looking for critters and found this:



More pictures here.

And yes, the little bastard does have my thumb.

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My blog: Animacules

   
nuytsia



Posts: 131
Joined: June 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 13 2008,06:01   

Quote (IanBrown_101 @ Jan. 24 2008,16:36)
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.

Ian I saw my first ever chough in Aberystwyth (actually it was a small flock) and I was ever so excited.

In terms of my backyard - well I don't actually have one but out of the back window I do see blackbirds, house sparrow and starlings... but occasionally I get some native birds like New Holland Honeyeaters, Yellow Wattlebirds and the Sulphur Crested Cockatoos have returned now that the neighbours almonds are starting to ripen. :-)

I was out rockpooling (US translation: looking at stuff in tidepools) over the weekend and had a brilliant time. I haven't done this in years and have never done this in Australia and it was so cool.
(Few clicky images below)

Saw my very first live keyhole limpet - not IDed as yet.

Weird shell to body ratio?

There were lots of these cool decorator crabs Naxia tumida


This little half crab was pretty cool. Lomis hirta

Apparently this is in it's own monotypic family.

Some pretty variable seastars. Patiriella calcar


Oh and a sea anemone that actually stalks it's prey. Phlyctenanthus tuberculosa


And loads of other bits and pieces including some of the largest starfish I think I've ever seen. Selected image from the day here.
This was so much fun, that I've ordered a load of Australian marine life books and hope to get back out there again ASAP.

This is the dawn of my second third childhood! :-)
Just need a decent net and bucket....

   
Richard Simons



Posts: 425
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 13 2008,08:01   

Nuytsia, unless things have changed since I was there, you were lucky to see choughs in Aberystwyth. Although they were in the Cwm Rheidol area they seldom seemed to reach the town. I remember watching my first choughs on Bardsey Island. With their bright red beaks and the habit of making a loud, cheerful sounding caw while flicking their wings I could see where the expression 'I felt chuffed' came from.

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All sweeping statements are wrong.

  
rhmc



Posts: 340
Joined: Dec. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 13 2008,10:02   

Quote (nuytsia @ Feb. 13 2008,07:01)
[quote=IanBrown_101,Jan. 24 2008,16:36]
I was out rockpooling (US translation: looking at stuff in tidepools) over the weekend and had a brilliant time. I haven't done this in years and have never done this in Australia and it was so cool....
This is the dawn of my second third childhood! :-)
Just need a decent net and bucket....

That's also one of my favorite activities.
To add to the experience, several years ago I bought a 100' long seine to drag the beaches with.
You simply have no idea what lives right off the beach until you do something like that.

A side benefit of the seine is that you can also feed the family on a fairly regular basis.  :)

  
Dr.GH



Posts: 1956
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 13 2008,10:46   

Photos from Photobucket?   ???

They don't seem to link.

Size a problem?





Ah, that seems to do the trick.

That is the yard (plus dog).  The growing area is about 5X5 meters, and we have about 35 plant species.  You can see we are in an urban area.  (The occasional shootings are an urban bonus).

Here are some gooseberry that I trained up w/ flowers popular with humming birds.  I also vined some goosberry into the willows which discourages cats and other critters from raiding nests.



Edited by Dr.GH on Feb. 13 2008,08:57

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

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

   
Richard Simons



Posts: 425
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 13 2008,12:36   

Dr. GH:

Your gooseberries don't look like what I know as gooseberry (Ribes spp. - currant). Do you know their scientific name?

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All sweeping statements are wrong.

  
Dr.GH



Posts: 1956
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 13 2008,13:58   

Quote (Richard Simons @ Feb. 13 2008,10:36)
Dr. GH:

Your gooseberries don't look like what I know as gooseberry (Ribes spp. - currant). Do you know their scientific name?

According to the Jepson Manual, and Munz (they don't always agree- understatement!), Ribes speciosum, Fuchsia-flowered Gooseberry.  Recall I have woven them together.  In the wild they are climbers, or small shubs if browsed.

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

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

   
Richard Simons



Posts: 425
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 13 2008,17:15   

Quote (Dr.GH @ Feb. 13 2008,13:58)
Quote (Richard Simons @ Feb. 13 2008,10:36)
Dr. GH:

Your gooseberries don't look like what I know as gooseberry (Ribes spp. - currant). Do you know their scientific name?

According to the Jepson Manual, and Munz (they don't always agree- understatement!), Ribes speciosum, Fuchsia-flowered Gooseberry.  Recall I have woven them together.  In the wild they are climbers, or small shubs if browsed.

That explains it. I do not know the species but it is in the same genus as the one I know, which is a small shrub with off-white, greenish flowers. The flowers did strike me as being like those of fuchsia. I had no idea that Ribes flowers could be so conspicuous.

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All sweeping statements are wrong.

  
Reciprocating Bill



Posts: 4244
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 13 2008,19:18   

You guys!

When I look out the winder I keep it simple. You got your birds. You got your bugs. You got your cats, dogs, other four-leggity critters. You got your worms. You got your people. You got your bunnies. I thought that about covered it.

But the other day I was pissing out back when this thing jumped out of my chest. Anybody know the species?



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

  
Dr.GH



Posts: 1956
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 13 2008,21:36   

The images from Aliens are basic wasp or beetle larva.

For example, these from my front yard;



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

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

   
ck1



Posts: 65
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 13 2008,21:59   

Suburban location near a stream and park.  We have squirrels, chipmunks, foxes, racoons, black snakes, box turtles, and a family of beavers.  

But mainly deer.  Lots and lots.  They eat everything.    Except daffodils.  And create problems for drivers - we have hit two of them on the road.

  
Albatrossity2



Posts: 2779
Joined: Mar. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 14 2008,14:23   

My field ornithology class this morning saw relatively few birds, but they did see some that are relatively uncommon here. These included Purple Finches (nice flock of about a dozen) and a Loggerhead Shrike. This latter species has become quite scarce in the northern part of its winter range in recent years; it has been almost a decade since we saw one on the Manhattan Christmas Bird Census, for example.

The complete checklist can be found here.

--------------
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: Feb. 14 2008,18:21   

Quote (ck1 @ Feb. 13 2008,22:59)
But mainly deer.  Lots and lots.  They eat everything.    Except daffodils.  And create problems for drivers - we have hit two of them on the road.

are you from a part of the world that considers "road kill" to be manna from heaven?

i once got into a discussion about whether or not eating road kill was moral but how long could it lay on the road before it was not really edible.  :)

we decided if it was still twitchin', it was worth grillin'.

only in the south, eh?

  
Dr.GH



Posts: 1956
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 14 2008,22:27   

Quote (ck1 @ Feb. 13 2008,22:59)
But mainly deer.  Lots and lots.  They eat everything.    Except daffodils.  And create problems for drivers - we have hit two of them on the road.


road kill deer would be perfectly OK if you avoided the meat with massive bleeding.  (Oh, and if you like deer meat).  I'd rather bleed it out myself.

I had road kill mountain lion once- a bit like pork, but very dry.

Edited by Dr.GH on Feb. 14 2008,20:28

--------------
"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: Feb. 21 2008,15:06   

The intrepid students in the KSU Field Ornithology class braved snow and sub-zero wind chill temperatures today, but were rewarded with some nice bird sightings. The highlight was a Barred Owl; the entire checklist is here.

We're all hoping for warmer weather and a lengthier checklist next week...



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

   
EoRaptor013



Posts: 45
Joined: Sep. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 21 2008,16:03   

Quote (ck1 @ Feb. 13 2008,22:59)
Suburban location near a stream and park.  We have squirrels, chipmunks, foxes, racoons, black snakes, box turtles, and a family of beavers.  

But mainly deer.  Lots and lots.  They eat everything.    Except daffodils.  And create problems for drivers - we have hit two of them on the road.

Sounds like New Joisey. I was born and raised out West; moved to NJ back in '93 (in a covered wagon, up hill both ways, by crackey!) These mangy varmints they call deer out here are a real nuisance. Did, however, see an albino once. It was cool except for what it said about predator depletion and likely over-population too.

The one fantastic/disappointing experience I had was driving back West with my son a couple of years ago (he goes to school in Olympia, WA). We stopped in Yellowstone, in the middle of Elk rutting season. The bull elk were magnificent in appearance but I couldn't believe their rutting calls! Nothing that big and regal should have a call like a cranky 6 mo. old baby!

Saw the rest of the big five while we were there: bison (hard to miss - they're all over the place), prong horn, moose (in the Tetons), a single Griz.

  
EoRaptor013



Posts: 45
Joined: Sep. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 21 2008,16:20   

Gotta tell you a story. I swear on a stack of Origin of Species that this is true.

Sr in college -- '73 I guess it was -- my girlfriend in those days and I drove down to San Diego to a relatively new Lion Country sort of thingy (can't remember if it was an actual Lion Country or a clone). Back in them days, you drove through the park and there were plenty of warning signs about keeping windows closed, don't harass the citizens, etc. So, we drive along the road and come around the bend just in time for an indian elephant to step onto the road, then just stand there sweeping up bunches of grass from the road's shoulder. My girlfriend, never the patient type (think that's why she dumped me), sat for a couple of minutes drumming her fingers on the steering wheel. Finally, she can't stand it any more, rolls forward a foot or two, and honks the horn! While I'm going "GAAAK!", packy looks over, hrm.. her(?) shoulder, twitches her ears a bit and then... I SWEAR... sat on the hood of the car!!! (would that have been the bonnet even though the boot was in front?) Well, maybe it was more like leaned one haunch on it for a second; doesn't matter, put a goodly sized crunch on the hood of her car.

The rest of the story has to do with a chain-reaction accident we just barely avoided on the freeway and a CHP officer who didn't believe the story, either.

  
carlsonjok



Posts: 3324
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 22 2008,08:29   

Earlier in this wildlife thread, I mentioned that I rarely carry my camera out back with me.  This morning was one such occasion I wish I did.  Oh, well. But what happened does raise an interesting animal behavior question that I thought someone here might be able to answer.

I have three large dogs, who accompany me out to the barn in the morning when I throw hay to the horses.  They usually explore the properties to the north or west of me while I go about my morning chores.  This morning was no exception. However, one of my dogs (who is scared of everything) came running back barking her fool head off, with her dorsal hair standing straight up.  That generally isn't a good sign.  So I ran in the direction she came from and, after crossing onto my neighbors property, found my other two dogs facing off with two coyotes.

Now this is where it gets strange.  Very quickly, the coyotes caught sight of me and ran off, with my dogs in pursuit.  But from what I saw of the "incident" and the subsequent chase, there was no signs of aggressiveness in either my dogs or the coyotes.  My Aussie was barking alot, but there was no growling or teeth being bared.  If I didn't know they were coyotes, I would have sworn it was two pairs of friendly, but unfamiliar dogs, checking each other out.  Is that even possible or am I over-analyzing what I saw?

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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: Feb. 22 2008,12:33   

Quote (EoRaptor013 @ Feb. 21 2008,14:20)
Gotta tell you a story. I swear on a stack of Origin of Species that this is true.

Sr in college -- '73 I guess it was -- my girlfriend in those days and I drove down to San Diego to a relatively new Lion Country sort of thingy (can't remember if it was an actual Lion Country or a clone). Back in them days, you drove through the park and there were plenty of warning signs about keeping windows closed, don't harass the citizens, etc. So, we drive along the road and come around the bend just in time for an indian elephant to step onto the road, then just stand there sweeping up bunches of grass from the road's shoulder. My girlfriend, never the patient type (think that's why she dumped me), sat for a couple of minutes drumming her fingers on the steering wheel. Finally, she can't stand it any more, rolls forward a foot or two, and honks the horn! While I'm going "GAAAK!", packy looks over, hrm.. her(?) shoulder, twitches her ears a bit and then... I SWEAR... sat on the hood of the car!!! (would that have been the bonnet even though the boot was in front?) Well, maybe it was more like leaned one haunch on it for a second; doesn't matter, put a goodly sized crunch on the hood of her car.

The rest of the story has to do with a chain-reaction accident we just barely avoided on the freeway and a CHP officer who didn't believe the story, either.

I recall reading this many years ago.  In 1973, I was a student at UC Irvine just a few miles from Lion Country Safari- Orange County not San Diego.  As I recall the story, it was a volkswagon that was sat on.

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

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

   
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 22 2008,13:10   

Okay, enough with the pitiful HOMO stories of your Rock Doves, House Sparrows, and Starlings. :angry:

Just got back from the eastern Sierras. There I saw a Townsend's Solitaire, a White-Headed Woodpecker, Mountain Chickadees, Black-Billed Magpies (the western limit of their range; 50 miles west over the mountains it's Yellow-bills), and Dark-Eyed Juncos (which I still think of as Oregon Juncos). Probably would have been more, but there's two feet of snow on the ground there. Got to hear coyotes yelping frenziedly around dusk, too.

For some reason the Feather River Canyon was full of a ginormous number of Shovelers. The Central Valley had the usual array of YB Magpies, Acorn Woodpeckers, White-Tailed Kites (my personal fave), Cooper's Hawks, Kestrels, and about eight dozen Red-Tail Hawks, which seem to be about as numerous as all the other Buteos put together for some reason.

Okay, back to your "I saw some sparrows in my back yard I think", ladies. :angry:

(Except for Albatrossity. I tip my bird nerd cap in his direction, now and always.)

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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

  
improvius



Posts: 807
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 22 2008,14:27   

We have a wide range of customers at our backyard feeders.  Currently we have:

Dark-eyed Juncos (slate form)
Black-capped Chickadees
Tufted Titmice
House Finches
Northern Cardinals
Red-bellied Woodpeckers
Downy Woodpeckers
Goldfinches
White-breasted Nuthatches
House Sparrows

At other (warmer) times we have had:

Bluejays
Indigo Buntings
Wild Turkeys
Rose-breasted Grosbeaks
Red-breasted Nuthatches


Though they are dull little birds, I have a certain affinity for the juncos.  Maybe I just feel sorry for them because they don't seem to be built correctly for perching on feeders.  I'm hoping we get the buntings again this summer - I had no idea what the hell they were when we first saw them.

The coolest thing we've seen was definitely the turkeys.  We had a "rafter" of maybe a dozen of them walking/hopping around the yard. I wasn't expecting them to perch, and was frankly surprised to see several of them them hop up onto our chain link fence.  One of them saw us and took off into a tree.  A very TALL tree.  The bird made a nearly vertical ascent that seemed to take forever.  Most birds make flying look easy.  But to the turkey, getting up to that branch was clearly a herculean effort.  Anyway, I just hope they didn't all get shot by hunters.  I'd love to see them again.

Oh yeah, and of course we have tons of deer all over the place.

--------------
Quote (afdave @ Oct. 02 2006,18:37)
Many Jews were in comfortable oblivion about Hitler ... until it was too late.
Many scientists will persist in comfortable oblivion about their Creator ... until it is too late.

  
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