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Thread: Any birders here?

  1. #1 Any birders here? 
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    I'm not really a birder. I don't make or keep species lists. I don't go on organized bird watches. But I do love wildlife and have been feeding the birds (and other wildlife) on our property for many, many years. I have four wildbird seed feeders, three finch feeders, four hummingbird feeders, and one large ground-level feeder. I have a 24-hr a day ground watering system for all wildlife.

    Any hard-core birders here?

    I do have a list of all the birds that I've seen on my property but I haven't updated it i a couple years now -- no new bird species seen.


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    Malignant Pimple shlunka's Avatar
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    Two ground bird feeders and two hummingbird feeders on this end. Have 16 birds as indoor pets, but haven't bothered to count the wild ones that visit.


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  4. #3  
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    Quote Originally Posted by shlunka View Post
    Two ground bird feeders and two hummingbird feeders on this end. Have 16 birds as indoor pets, but haven't bothered to count the wild ones that visit.
    There are about a dozen hummingbirds that stay here all year round -- our winters are pretty mild. The northward spring migration of hummers is starting. I then see a couple more species than the Costas and Annas that we have all year round.
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  5. #4  
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    Quote Originally Posted by shlunka View Post
    Have 16 birds as indoor pets,.
    What kinds? I love birds but we have cats.
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  6. #5  
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    I'm not hardcore but I love to see birds out and about. A couple of years back there was a reintroduction of Red Kite in woodland not far from here and it was so successful they are almost as common as pigeons now. We have one that comes over my house every afternoon about 1pm and its just beautiful to see - it comes in low and you can hear the cry. I have robins nesting in my garden shed and he sits in the tree in the morning singing beautifully.
    In my old house one winter it was quite deep snow and I put out suet feed all over the garden and hung loads on the washing line. Sitting in my upstairs office my cat was sitting in the window with her tail swishing and 'nattering' like cats do so I assumed there were loads of birds in the garden. Then I realised I couldn't hear anything so I got up to see what she was looking at and there was a sparrowhawk sitting on the fence. I quite often saw owls there too.
    Unfortunately Millie the cat used to 'treat' me to a close up of birds occasionally although she's really a mouser but ever the opportunistic killer..... I used to keep a box ready in the airing cupboard for those that looked like they might recover and I'm pleased to say I managed to save a few that way - and mice too.
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  7. #6  
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    Yeah, unfortunately the Cooper's Hawks that live nearby take a bird quite often.

    Our cats do what you call "nattering" at the birds thru the windows. We call it talking to them. Things like, "come over here little birdie and I will bite your little head off." Of course when a Cooper's Hawk, Raven, or Road Runner shows up, they're not so brave.
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  8. #7  
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    Quote Originally Posted by PumaMan View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by shlunka View Post
    Have 16 birds as indoor pets,.
    What kinds? I love birds but we have cats.
    14 zebra finches and two cockatiels. Also have cats, love them all. I also don't keep them I'm the same cage.
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  9. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by shlunka View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by PumaMan View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by shlunka View Post
    Have 16 birds as indoor pets,.
    What kinds? I love birds but we have cats.
    14 zebra finches and two cockatiels. Also have cats, love them all. I also don't keep them I'm the same cage.
    I had to look up Zebra Finches. Quite handsome.

    I'm looking out the window now at about 15 Lesser Goldfinches hanging all over the thistle feeders.
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  10. #9  
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    Bird spotting Craggy Island style:

    Father Ted Tom Shoots Bird - YouTube
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  11. #10  
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    I'm not hard core but I enjoy watching the birds. My backyard and my cabin in Northern Ontario is set up like PumaMan's except there's a couple suet stations. I've found that suet in a mesh wire holder is the best way to attract the woodpecker. I usually get the Downy and the Hairy Woodpecker but last year I saw a Red-Breasted Woodpecker a few times. Living where I do is right on the migration path for many birds. Hummingbirds from May to early September, Red-Winged Blackbirds from Spring to Fall and many other species including several warblers and finches, grosbeaks, juncos, grackles, starlings, cardinals, blue jays, crows, orioles, sparrows and to top it off I get the occasional hawk, falcon, kestrel etc who fly in to catch unsuspecting diners. I went and bought a bird book so I can identify what I see. My advice is not to buy an illustrated book but one with photos of the birds with their natural plumage colors. Northern birds seem to be less colorful than birds I've seen in other areas, in particular the tropics. Hardest thing is to differentiate between juvenile and adult birds, I don't know they do it. If I go down by the Niagara I see a great variety of waterfowl and I am impressed by the knowledge of the true birdwatchers I meet there. At least I think they know what they're talking about.
    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
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  12. #11  
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    We see Gila Woodpeckers every day. They like the hummingbird feeders and, of course, they climb up and down the trees looking for insects.

    Oh all right, here is by "backyard" list:

    Black-headed Grosbeak
    Bronzed Cowbird (Summer)
    Brown-headed Cowbird (Summer)
    Bushtit (most likely a Verdin)
    Cactus Wren
    Canyon Towhee
    Cooper's Hawk
    Crow/Raven
    Curve-billed Thrasher
    Desert Cardinal (Pyrrhuloxia)
    Desert (Black-throated) Sparrow
    Gambel's Quail
    Gila Woodpecker
    Greater Roadrunner
    Great Horned Owl
    Great-tailed Grackle (Summer)
    Hooded Oriole (Summer)
    House Finch
    Lesser Goldfinch
    Lesser Nighthawk (Summer)
    Mourning Dove
    Northern Cardinal
    Phainopepla
    Red-winged Blackbird (Summer)
    Starling
    Turkey Vulture
    Verdin
    White-throated Sparrow (Winter)
    White-winged Dove (Summer)
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  13. #12  
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos View Post
    Hardest thing is to differentiate between juvenile and adult birds,
    +1

    I gave up trying to identify hummingbirds. The females of one species look like juveniles of another species, and vice versa. Plus, unless you get them in the sunlight at exactly the right angle, you miss their iridescence.
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  14. #13  
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhDemon View Post
    Bird spotting Craggy Island style:

    Father Ted Tom Shoots Bird - YouTube
    Now that's mean!
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  15. #14  
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    I was on a bird forum the other day and someone posted "how can you not believe in God when you see a hummingbird. They are so beautiful."

    Well, they definitely are beautiful. But maybe that is why God shortchanged them in the brains department. They may be able to migrate between South America and Canada twice each year but they can't find their way out of my garage -- with the garage door wide open. About once a month I get one or two that cannot find their way out. I leave the door open for hours and they're still stuck in there. Almost always I have to herd them out with a broom.
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  16. #15  
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    Quote Originally Posted by PumaMan View Post
    I was on a bird forum the other day and someone posted "how can you not believe in God when you see a hummingbird. They are so beautiful."
    I think God would say the Mantis is beautiful too.....Ouch!!
    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
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  17. #16  
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    Yeah, I've seen pics like that before. Nature is a cruel mistress. Another reason I don't believe in a god.
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  18. #17  
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    Most of my birding is done through Wikipedia, but I do a lot of it. I like to start somewhere birdy and then follow a line of thinking/ links as far as my mind can carry me.
    It is by will alone I set my mind in motion.
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  19. #18  
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    Whatever.
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  20. #19  
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    Quote Originally Posted by PumaMan View Post
    Whatever.
    What's this little bit of attitude supposed to mean?
    It is by will alone I set my mind in motion.
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  21. #20  
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    Being mostly a suburbanite, I'm more inclined to notice the absence of birds that used to be common. The big problem is modern gardens. We've overcome the destruction of native trees that meant, at one stage in the 70s, that a local politician seriously proposed that we should have concrete replicas of magpies in our city parks with little buttons that people could press so that they could here what magpie song used to sound like. Now we've got plenty of magpies again. Where we are now, though, there are no kookaburras which annoys me a bit. I used to like the morning succession of magpies warbling from dawn onwards, then kookaburras laughing from about 9am. I rarely heard them around our back yard at the same time.

    The ones I really miss are the little birds, honeyeaters and the like. With garden space for newly built houses barely able to accommodate a clothesline, there's no place for shrubbery, nor for the big old-fashioned fruit tree. Even in decent sized gardens, the preference for standard roses and few shrubs that aren't trimmed beyond reason means that the previous thickety, scratchy, overlapping fairly dense foliage that small birds need for protection from other birds and from cats or dogs is just not available. Nor are their preferred food sources. Succulent gardens and rose gardens and artistically placed tropical plants beside backyard pools are not honeybird or other small bird friendly.

    And I used to love flocks of rosellas - small colourful parrots - that used to fly through our previous neighbourhood like a miniature air force flyover at the Grand Prix. They more or less disappeared during the drought of the previous decade. Nowadays we seem to have more Rainbow Lorikeets. Very pretty, but not the same.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
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  22. #21  
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    Quote Originally Posted by pyoko View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by PumaMan View Post
    Whatever.
    What's this little bit of attitude supposed to mean?
    You're the one posting crap in my thread. I've never done that to you.
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  23. #22  
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    double post
    It is by will alone I set my mind in motion.
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  24. #23  
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    Crap? What the hell are you talking about? I said I was extremely interested in birds but the only way I can learn about them (for practical reasons) is by following online information. Your attitude is moronic. My post was on topic and I expressed how I study birds.
    It is by will alone I set my mind in motion.
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  25. #24  
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    Your post had nothing to do with birding.
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  26. #25  
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    Quote Originally Posted by PumaMan View Post
    Your post had nothing to do with birding.
    I'll stay out of your thread since it's obvious you can either not read and/ or have a horrible attitude. Have a nice day.
    It is by will alone I set my mind in motion.
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  27. #26  
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    Quote Originally Posted by PumaMan View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by pyoko View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by PumaMan View Post
    Whatever.
    What's this little bit of attitude supposed to mean?
    You're the one posting crap in my thread. I've never done that to you.
    What crap? I perfectly understood what pyoko was getting at.

    As you obviously didn't, I'll give you my reading. He's not in a position to actively watch birds, probably because of where he lives and/or his occupation. He satisfies his interest in the topic as best he can with online and similar secondhand references. It might be crappy to be unable to follow every interest you might have, but that's about the limit of the crap here.

    Calm down. Both / all of you.
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  28. #27  
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    Ok, if there is something about him that I don't know and everyone else does, then it was my fault. But how could I know if he is disabled or something like that? What kind of place doesn't have birds? NYC even has birds.
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  29. #28  
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    What kind of place doesn't have birds?
    Plenty of cities/suburbs are overrun with non-native or pest birds which are there, but not very interesting. If you want to know about interesting or attractive or native birds, in your garden or outside your window is a very boring place to look.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
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  30. #29  
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    Quote Originally Posted by PumaMan View Post
    Ok, if there is something about him that I don't know and everyone else does, then it was my fault. But how could I know if he is disabled or something like that? What kind of place doesn't have birds? NYC even has birds.
    Thank you for the post and also the derogatory private message you sent me about me being retarded. You must be fucking kidding me. Expressing my intense interest in a bird-interest page is both relevant and contributes to the content by stating that as I cannot presently have the luxury to go out there and do real observations and cataloguing of the avian variety and expressing the ways that I can still continue my interest in birds via the Internet. All you can come up with is "are you retarded?" Nice, one. Nice.

    Also bird watching takes TIME and just because there are birds in the city doesn't mean one has the time to go out there with all the equipment and do proper birdwatching. You are really thick, you know that? also way to make friends (or at least appear vaguely friendly) on a forum.
    It is by will alone I set my mind in motion.
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  31. #30  
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    Moderator Warning: pyoko, adelady gave a very clear post that did two things:

    a) Supported your position in this thread and confirmed the validity of your post.
    b) Asked both of you to calm down.

    While I understand the frustration you may be feeling your post #29 does not fit the category of "calming down".

    The correct response for dealing with posts or pm's you consider abusive is to report them.

    Any further discussion by you, or Puma Man, or other members. of this disagreement in this thread will automatically lead to a suspension. Feel free to raise it with any moderator via pm, or all moderators by reporting this post.
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  32. #31  
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    How in the world does a thread about bird watching turn into a fight?

    Anyways, we don't get many birds where I live right now. I've been thinking of putting out a few feeders to change that. I have a cat, but he's a mouser and tends to ignore birds. My pitbull loves to watch them, though.
    "Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." -Calvin
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  33. #32  
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    Post removed by me and instead sent to the mods/admins.
    Last edited by PumaMan; March 11th, 2014 at 09:00 AM.
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  34. #33  
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    Well I've been called a "birdbrain" many times so I guess I'm a "birder" by namesake.

    When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace.
    Jimi Hendrix
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  35. #34  
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    Quote Originally Posted by PumaMan View Post
    Yeah, unfortunately the Cooper's Hawks that live nearby take a bird quite often.

    Our cats do what you call "nattering" at the birds thru the windows. We call it talking to them. Things like, "come over here little birdie and I will bite your little head off." Of course when a Cooper's Hawk, Raven, or Road Runner shows up, they're not so brave.
    When I lived more in the country I liked feeding the birds. The birds I liked the best is the Stellar's Jay (picture below).



    You will never see a Jay of any kind get taken by a cat or hawk. They maintain a very high level of awareness and are very quick to respond. If you have jay's their favorite food is peanuts in the shell, if you put out more than one kind of food the peanuts will go first. But the problem with peanuts is other animals like them too. Especially the crows. Did I mention I hate crows because they are the bullies of the bird world. When they sweep in, they chase all the other birds out and then consume all the food. If you say to yourself okay I'll just put more food out, then you just get more crows.

    One thing about crows is they must get shot at a lot, because when you clap loudly they take off.
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  36. #35  
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    Quote Originally Posted by PumaMan View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by shlunka View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by PumaMan View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by shlunka View Post
    Have 16 birds as indoor pets,.
    What kinds? I love birds but we have cats.
    14 zebra finches and two cockatiels. Also have cats, love them all. I also don't keep them I'm the same cage.
    I had to look up Zebra Finches. Quite handsome.

    I'm looking out the window now at about 15 Lesser Goldfinches hanging all over the thistle feeders.
    Lesser Goldfinches - Bing Images

    I didn't see any of these where I lived or anywhere else in the state of Washington.
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  37. #36  
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    Quote Originally Posted by PumaMan View Post
    We see Gila Woodpeckers every day. They like the hummingbird feeders and, of course, they climb up and down the trees looking for insects.

    Oh all right, here is by "backyard" list:

    Black-headed Grosbeak
    Bronzed Cowbird (Summer)
    Brown-headed Cowbird (Summer)
    Bushtit (most likely a Verdin)
    Cactus Wren
    Canyon Towhee
    Cooper's Hawk
    Crow/Raven
    Curve-billed Thrasher
    Desert Cardinal (Pyrrhuloxia)
    Desert (Black-throated) Sparrow
    Gambel's Quail
    Gila Woodpecker
    Greater Roadrunner
    Great Horned Owl
    Great-tailed Grackle (Summer)
    Hooded Oriole (Summer)
    House Finch
    Lesser Goldfinch
    Lesser Nighthawk (Summer)
    Mourning Dove
    Northern Cardinal
    Phainopepla
    Red-winged Blackbird (Summer)
    Starling
    Turkey Vulture
    Verdin
    White-throated Sparrow (Winter)
    White-winged Dove (Summer)
    And not a crow in sight. How did you get so lucky?
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  38. #37  
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    Quote Originally Posted by PumaMan View Post
    I was on a bird forum the other day and someone posted "how can you not believe in God when you see a hummingbird. They are so beautiful."

    Well, they definitely are beautiful. But maybe that is why God shortchanged them in the brains department. They may be able to migrate between South America and Canada twice each year but they can't find their way out of my garage -- with the garage door wide open. About once a month I get one or two that cannot find their way out. I leave the door open for hours and they're still stuck in there. Almost always I have to herd them out with a broom.
    Yes and they sometimes knock themselves out by flying into a window. They are also, very territorial and fight with other hummers all the time. My mom actually saw one hummer spear another hummer and get stuck, they both hit the ground and died. I used a hanging feeder with a 24oz bottle. The hummers liked the sugar water I mixed up for them much better than any store bought solution you can pay big bucks for. I would fill the feeder with bottled water then poor it into a pan for heating. I would then bring it to a boil and turn the heat off then add sugar until some of it wouldn't dissolve anymore. This would leave it a bit supersaturated, but the hummers loved it.



    I've never seen so many hummers on one feeder before, but then I probably wouldn't use an open troff type feeder as it would be impossible to keep the bees and flies out of it.
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  39. #38  
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by PumaMan View Post
    I was on a bird forum the other day and someone posted "how can you not believe in God when you see a hummingbird. They are so beautiful."
    I think God would say the Mantis is beautiful too.....Ouch!!
    This has to be Photoshopped, there is no way a mantis is going to catch a hummer.
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  40. #39  
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    Here, purely from memory- since I don't pay any attention, is my list:

    Raven
    Crow
    Starling
    Blue Tit
    Magpie
    Pheasant
    Great Tit
    Robin
    Chaffinch
    House Sparrow
    Swallow
    Swift
    Greenfinch
    Blackbird
    Herring Gull
    Heron
    Peacock
    Barn(?) Owl
    Partridge
    Pigeon

    The peacock turned up one day from somewhere. The cat eyed it up with considerable confusion. It could see it represented some serious eating, but clearly understood that bringing it down could be problematic. Despite calls to the local protection of animals society and our vetrinarian, no one could suggest where it might have come from. It left within a couple of days, leaving no forwarding address.
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Here, purely from memory- since I don't pay any attention, is my list:

    Raven
    Crow
    Starling
    Blue Tit
    Magpie
    Pheasant
    Great Tit
    Robin
    Chaffinch
    House Sparrow
    Swallow
    Swift
    Greenfinch
    Blackbird
    Herring Gull
    Heron
    Peacock
    Barn(?) Owl
    Partridge
    Pigeon

    The peacock turned up one day from somewhere. The cat eyed it up with considerable confusion. It could see it represented some serious eating, but clearly understood that bringing it down could be problematic. Despite calls to the local protection of animals society and our vetrinarian, no one could suggest where it might have come from. It left within a couple of days, leaving no forwarding address.
    I had a couple of peacocks in my area for a few days, but didn't try to feed them and didn't see them spread their tail.

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    While involved in an ecology project a few months ago I ran into a team at an Nature Reserve trying to sort through bird count data and any changes through a restoration project. Considered data mining ebird, which is a good collection of bird sightings going back decades. At the reserve and surround area there's a big peak in water bird sightings in November, a drop off December and January, than another peak in February. Unknown is how well the sightings actually represent population during those months or whether the drop off in December and January is simply due to lower birders because of poor weather conditions. Anyhow I've been considering relating registration counts into the Nature preserve, relating it to weather and trying to normalize the sightings based on those numbers to get a better idea of actual bird populations.

    Pumaman are you aware of similar studies? If not I'll review methods for similar observation challenged fields, such as those that normalize severe weather reports to population to get a better estimate of actual incidents.
    Meteorologist/Naturalist & Retired Soldier
    “The Holy Land is everywhere” Black Elk
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  43. #42  
    Bullshit Intolerant PhDemon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bad Robot View Post

    Caption: Wot you lookin' at?
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  44. #43  
    AI's Have More Fun Bad Robot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhDemon View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Bad Robot View Post

    Caption: Wot you lookin' at?
    You don't get out much do you? But sense the subject of peacocks came up I thought a great picture would help.
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  45. #44  
    Bullshit Intolerant PhDemon's Avatar
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    I get out enough, it seems you didn't like my attempt at humour...
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  46. #45  
    AI's Have More Fun Bad Robot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhDemon View Post
    I get out enough, it seems you didn't like my attempt at humour...
    That was a little bit dry even for me. But what can you expect from some one that misspells humor.
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