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Showing content with the highest reputation on 12/05/2020 in all areas

  1. As many people have already written about, there are many factors that go into FINDING rare birds, and luck can be one of them, but is by far not the most important. It's not simply a coincidence that good and experienced birders find good birds. In terms of finding a rarity, one of the most important things you can do is to rule out the expected and common species in your area. My biggest piece of advice is to familiarize yourself well with the field marks, behavior, calls, songs, etc., of your local and expected species, both residents and migrants. That way you will know when something different shows up and it will trip your ID sense that something is not what it should be and you should try to figure out what it is. Hearing a song or call that is unfamiliar, or seeing a drab fall warbler or shorebird that just feels "off" to you from what you are used to seeing is often the first step to IDing something rare. One can do this much more reliably when they have a good grasp on IDing their local birds. There is always that unmistakable mega rare crippler that will show up (a Common Cuckoo doesn't look like anything else in N.A. for example), but more often than not you will find someone good that actually looks like another species and you have been the one who eliminated the more expected possibility.
    4 points
  2. The point of this topic is FINDING, not CHASING... Paying attention to rare birds popping up in other counties in your state is a good idea as well. You can pick up on unusual birds moving through your general region, then use that knowledge to pick specific targets, and be the first in your county to find a certain species. Pay attention to weather patterns as well. During spring, try to get out birding after a clear night with winds out of the south. If you’re near the coast, strong wind events can blow pelagic migrants closer to shore. Pay attention to weather fronts and use them to your advantage! While others here suggest that finding rarities comes down to luck, that is only a part of it. Really, there are three main components - LUCK, STRATEGY, and SEARCH EFFORT.
    4 points
  3. I followed and contributed to this site for years before the big crash. Whatbird crashed, my website was corrupted (BirdsWeSee.com) permanently and my wife and birding partner passed away. I'm remarried and happy as can be. Back to birding...
    4 points
  4. Late in the day yesterday, my first barred owl
    4 points
  5. I wouldn’t worry about the hawks effect on small native animals as the hawk itself is native. Their prey have adaptations to not get eaten, and even when they do it’s beneficial to the ecosystem as a whole. Most of its prey are ‘pest’ animals so without the hawk and other predators keeping their numbers in check, they could seriously overpopulate and negatively effect the environment. Red-tails are adaptive birds and he is probably there as there is ample food sources whether that be mice or squirrels or whatever that often come with human habitation. I don’t feel that removing the bird would solve the issue at all as that would just provide an opportunity for a new predator to occupy the area. Plus, it’s not the birds fault that its habitat has been taken over by development. Don’t think there is much you can do except be cautious with your pets... I have a miniature dachshund and have to be careful to watch out for bobcats when letting her out and great horned owls, but can’t really do much but make sure none are in the yard when she’s out. Perhaps try to limit bird feeders and other sources that attract its prey?
    3 points
  6. Is this A Orange-crowned Warbler ??Taken this A.M. in Boynton Beach ,Florida
    2 points
  7. Lol no offense I agree with your assessment of the photos - but they are identifiable! Definitely a Merlin
    2 points
  8. @Kevin and @floraphile I'm going to respect the original poster's preference on this one. I would however recommend moving it to the non-North America forum because threads like this sometimes get buried very quickly. Most of my ID requests went unanswered in "the old days" until the non-North America forums were created. The instructions for the North American forum don't define North America, and the reason for the separate forum is to create a space where the posts about other areas won't get buried in the overwhelming volume of N.A. ID requests. And - speaking as a WhatBirder here, mod hat off - I've always assumed that North America for these purposes means ABA area. And, for what it's worth, nobody in Central America considers it to be part of North America.
    2 points
  9. ok I like @HamRHead 's the most
    2 points
  10. Even better when you start to see other well known birders reporting your bird!
    2 points
  11. Well I don't think it was a fluke - on Monday I put out the remaining 3/4 cakes - in separate feeders this time. The Woodpecker is gone and the other two have nearly 1/2 remaining. I watched the bushtits finish it off - there was about a square inch left and 10 of them were all fighting over it while others waited in line - meanwhile the other feeder 2' away with most of a cake left only had 2 or 3 on it at any given time.
    2 points
  12. If you want to find rare birds for your self, there's a few things you'll need to do. Remember, you're in the Orange County area, so rare birds can show up anywhere, which is a plus. First, You need to get reeky familiar with all of your normal birds, learn all plumages, learn everythings calls and songs. This will first help you, as you can spend more time looking for something out of the ordinary, as if you hear a Townsend's Warbler chip, you wouldn't need to spend tons of time looking for it. It also makes you a better birder in general. Once you are pretty confident with all of your local birds, there are a few things you can do to greatly increase your chances of finding a rarity. First, migration is key, there will be lots of birds moving through the area, and you're more likely to find something interesting. I will note, winter isn't bad in the LA/Orange/San Diego area, I know a lot of birds are still being found, and I found some things when I was down there for 2 days in February. Next, even though rarities get spread out in the LA area, the old saying still holds true, Location, Location, Location! Find parks with lots of trees and habitat, something that stands out from the surrounding neighborhoods. While some lesser rarities often show up in neighborhoods, it's still better to head to parks and places where there is better habitat. And lastly, you want to be in the mindset of finding something interesting. This might seem dumb, but most rare birds are found by people looking for rare birds, and that especially holds true with passerines. If you want to find something, look for it. Intently check every flock of birds that you come by, pish birds in, listen for anything out of the ordinary. I'm sure much more could be added on to this.
    2 points
  13. Beautiful bird photographed at the feather River yesterday hanging out in the bushes. Lots of these birds around. Northern California. Thank you for the ID
    1 point
  14. Of course my birds would have expensive tastes ? looks like their favorite flavor is also more $$
    1 point
  15. 1 point
  16. Yes, shape and structure are very important, and you can see some field marks that support MERL. Faint mustache and HEAVILY streaked breast are good clues.
    1 point
  17. Yes, these are all Song Sparrows
    1 point
  18. From the shape, looks like a Merlin. I would stick with Merlin.
    1 point
  19. I looked up a Rough - legged Hawk and the patterning is way lighter then the one above. So I don't think it is a Rough - legged...
    1 point
  20. For a second I thought it was a Golden Eagle! lol ?. Yes, this bird is a red tailed Hawk.
    1 point
  21. Why is the second bird a Rough-legged?
    1 point
  22. First bird is a Red-tailed Hawk Second bird is a Rough-legged Hawk
    1 point
  23. Eye color is an indicator of age for Red-tails and some other hawks
    1 point
  24. Lol! I guess it just depends on how bad you want to see a bird. Maybe I let some of my eBird obsession show in that last post!
    1 point
  25. Lol. We can leave this one here. I'll post any additional Costa Rica birds on the the other forum. ?
    1 point
  26. This thread has been pretty hot to that may or may not apply in this case. But I think in general it's true because they don't drop down as fast. So you let me know what you prefer and I'm fine with either choice. (If you change your mind in the future that's fine too!)
    1 point
  27. Oh, it's definitely not South America. Panama and, to lesser extent, Costa Rica are a transition zone from North America to South America, due to the on-again, off-again presence of the land bridge that currently exists. Eastern Panama (particularly the Darien) is really the only part of the mainland New World north of Colombia that could be considered to truly be South American. I understand the political definition, but I have always objected to the politicocentric view of Americans and Canadians (particularly the former) whereby they abscond with a reasonably adequate geological definition of the Americas and restrict it to those two countries. It's ridiculous, but nothing more than I expect.
    1 point
  28. The ones at the feeders look good for adult male Purple-throated Mountain Gems.
    1 point
  29. Another google ID without prior experience: Spotted Wood-quail.
    1 point
  30. I still have trouble with Black Chinned vs. Ruby Throat!!
    1 point
  31. It was definitely sensory-overload, as far as hummingbirds are concerned. ? iNaturalist poster ID'd as Stripe-Tailed. I haven't heard back on the possible female Purple Throated Mtn Gems
    1 point
  32. Rufous-tailed hummingbirds have a red bill and they don’t have those white-outer tail feathers. With that curved bill, I’m pretty sure the first is a coppery-heard emerald. Not sure on the others, didn’t get to experience those while I was down there!
    1 point
  33. I hope you get some! I love the look of watercolors, too, and they are so fun to use.
    1 point
  34. I know of a turkey farm in Addison County that attracts a lot of Bald Eagles and ravens in the winter. We counted 16 eagles and 70 ravens. Others reported even more eagles.
    1 point
  35. I requested a set of watercolors for Christmas. I have no experience with them but I like that look, so if somebody comes through for me I'd like to give it a try.
    1 point
  36. Are we still doing this? I wanna draw some birds! And see everyone else's drawings too. Like I said, this kind of thing gets me motivated to practice and draw in my sketchbook more often.
    1 point
  37. For this forums purpose, I think the Help me Identify A North American Bird is the ABA area, as in U.S. (without Hawaii?) and Canada. I agree that we should at least include Mexico. If the forums start getting a major influx of Central American bird questions, maybe we should make a new sub-forum!
    1 point
  38. I hate it when that happens. I hope you see it! And after you do, can you send it East, preferably the Champlain Valley?
    1 point
  39. I thought once I said what they were it would be easier.
    1 point
  40. That feeling when you get the email and it has your name and a big ole CONFIRMED at the end of it.... Ooh hoo boy, that is the stuff.
    1 point
  41. 1 point
  42. Yes, this is a red - tailed hawk
    1 point
  43. It seems like everyone should be happy while vacationing at the beach. I'm not sure why he was so grumpy.
    1 point
  44. Green-winged Teal:
    1 point
  45. "This here feeder ain't big enough for the two of us!" "So, you gonna fight for it?" "Alright then, git outta here!"
    1 point
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