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Posts posted by millipede

  1. 24 minutes ago, Charlie Spencer said:

    Is marijuana legal in MA now?

    Question. This sounds judgy. Are you suggesting anyone that would be uncertain about the bird must be on drugs? If so, well...  I'm having a bad moment because of another conversation somewhere else but, I'm offended.  Kind of a condescending thing to say if I'm interpreting this correctly.  😕

    • Sad 1
  2. 15 minutes ago, Seanbirds said:

    Since they didn’t vocalize, that makes me want to lean cormorant now.

    That's one of the reasons I considered cormorants in the first place...  not too high flying v, not a huge group, headed north of the lake. It's been a while since I've observed it but certain times of year there's flock after flock after flock of cormorants that head north, I believe heading from one body of water to another one... There's a few good bodies of water in the area and I think, during certain times of year, they move around from one to the other every day... I think.

    I waited a little while to see if anymore would fly over for me to be certain but no other groups came by.
    About  18 canada geese at the lake that day but they were NOISY... and stuck around.
    eh... I'm sure it wasn't a group of rare birds I've never seen before so I'm not too worried. 🙂


  3. 9 minutes ago, Seanbirds said:

    Geese. Tails are too short for Cormorants.

    I'm not going to say you're wrong... but, can we judge the length of anything? This is shot from almost directly behind the birds as they were just about out of view.
    If they had been making sound I would have looked up sooner. Hate when I just get the tail end of something... 
    Might not be identifiable, at least to exact species, so I may just leave them off the list.

    • Like 1
  4. I wanted to call these blackbirds at first... light was getting poor so it was impossible to pick up on details... but they do seem like they're mostly the same shape and now that I'm looking at pics, I'm leaning towards grackle... Thoughts?  There were about a thousand of them split up yet seemingly all coming from and to the same places, meaning one flock but split up into sections if that makes sense...



  5. cormorant or goose? Really? Yeah... Sun was getting lower and I was leaving my local hostpot(NW Arkansas, just the other day) when I got the tail end of a V in the sky... tried through the binoculars...unsure... TRIED to grab a pic... thought I failed til I just found part of it in the lower corner of the photo... so, here's a clip of the whole flock(I believe, 10 to 15 birds maybe) and after I'll see if I can choose part of the pic that looks like it shows more detail on the birds... I like having ID's for my eBird checklists... at the time I just left this off completely...




  6. Too lazy to go back and find the direct quote but, someone messaged Mass Audubon who said Tufts Wildlife something or other says that dried meal worms are ok sometimes... comparing them to potato chips. Not an all the time snack.

    This has me thinking, given the responses and how often they're used, that this ought to be studied even more...  hmmm

    lots of other thoughts but I'm tired.


  7. Someone posted in the Birding in Massachusetts facebook group and shared a link that described how feeding meal worms to your birds, dried ones, was BAD... just bad.
    It goes into a lot of detail. I honestly like some of what they had to say... talked about how we can lure birds into an otherwise not so bird friendly habitat... and how we really need to just make the yard more bird friendly with plants and bugs, etc... Good stuff.
    But, I typically see everyone talking about using dried meal worms to bring bluebirds in... and before this, I'd never seen anyone say it was bad.
    So I'm looking for some thoughts... educated thoughts most of all but, general thoughts are welcome too.
    This is the link to the article...

    I'd like to learn more... I told someone on facebook that when I "learn" something new, I like to make sure that what I'm learning is accurate. I don't personally put dried meal worms out but want to be educated in this just in case I ever do or if I feel the desire to talk to others about it 🙂

  8. 1 hour ago, Tony Leukering said:

    I don’t recall where you are, and that might help.

    The birds’ necks look short to me, suggesting CACG, not CANG, although that could be an artifact of the photos and lighting. I could see them being GWFG. They’re NOT white geese.

    I'm in the NW corner of Arkansas. CACG come through from time to time but, usually just one or three mixed in with other geese. A flock of 80 would be pretty unheard of here. Man I wish I paid more attention to the calls... or recorded them.

    In a little bit, if I remember, I'll post a resized(not cropped) version of each full picture so you can see all the bird in them. Then if there's any(they'll look small) that look like birds to look closer at, I'll post a larger(cropped) image of those specific birds... if any of that makes sense. 🙂

  9. I should have recorded audio. I remember hearing them, then needing to find them. I feel like the pitch would have been okay for gwfg but, I don't recall hearing the pattern they have in their honking... but...
    1. I was more focused on trying to get some pics for ID(they were high up there) so I didn't fully pay attention, not enough to remember 😞
    2. I'm used to hearing canada geese down low so a larger flock(counting in my pics there were at least 80) at a greater height than I'm used to, might sound different than when they're closer by?
    I really wish I had a better memory... a longer lens on the camera... and recorded it perhaps. Oh well.

    They were fairly talkative... but I've heard flocks of snow and gwfg that were pretty noisy... then again, I don't normally catch any of the flocks heading north... I usually see them on their trips south.
    Wish the lighting was better.

  10. The lighting is bad on these geese... flock flying HIGH over me as the sun was going down so it's likely these colors are off... 
    These pictures are going to be just partial so they're not huge... but if one of the pictures has a particular part or bird that looks like you'd get more if I zoomed in, I can add larger views. The color makes me feel like they're just canada but, I'm not sure if they sounded right or not, and the sun is definitely affecting their color here... and, while they do fly in big flocks, I never see large flocks of canada up high... usually just snow and greater white-fronted... with Ross' thrown in there sometimes.





    And this hawk, I was thinking cooper's in the field... still kind of leaning that way but wish I got better shots. I like when hawks circle around a little and aren't in such a rush to go by.




  11. Thanks all.  I often feel like, if you don't know it's probably a red-tailed... ha. 
    The tail? I'm not sure I looked hard at that one but didn't see much that said anything to me.
    Then again, I think the legs distracted me more than anything.
    I'm guessing it's just that I never observe them in this posture? I mean, it really looks like it's wearing sweat pants or something.
    I'm glad the person got this shot because, as I said, I just never view them this way. They're usually flying or perched on a tree or pole or post.

    • Like 2
  12. This is someone else's from the Birding in Massachusetts group on facebook...
    They posted it as a harrier, which everyone else knew it wasn't. Someone said red-tailed... someone said ferruginous, which is highly unlikely... 
    I tried with Merlin and it said RTHA...

    But I look at the photo and scratch my head some. It could just be that I never look at hawks at this angle with this pose... I feel I can see SOME color at the patagial area but, not what I'd expect on a red-tailed... and those legs...  crazy fluffy speckled legs... I want to ID it but something about the bird just has me scratching my head... 
    Maybe I need a nap...


  13. Hmmm....  interesting...  I'll mention this to the listserv and see what their thoughts are. I imagine some of the people had water available.
    I can say that the local lake that I  normally see plenty of bluebirds at has water. Most of the lake froze but the creek feeding it had plenty of water, including good places for them to drink from.

    A lot of the reports are just nest box after nest box with multiple dead birds.
    I'm not sure what to think... but again, I'll mention it to the group and see if anyone reporting the issues has thoughts.
    They're talking about multiple states with LOTS of reports. 😞

  14. On 2/20/2021 at 10:34 PM, Seanbirds said:

    You will. The more you practice, the more you’ll get right. Glad we could help! :classic_wink:

    Some birds take a lot of practice... and, some people require more than others. ha.
    I'm looking at these and, some look easy... some, not so much. The one on 8/2, one of the things I look for in a pewee is the upper and lower bill being different colors. what would distinguish that one from, say a olive-sided flycatcher? Is it the fact that the vest is "soft" like someone mentioned? Rather than that looks a bit more "sharpened?"  Comparing in a field guide I can see differences... but I still need practice...
    like the last two profiles are dark and not a lot of detail is shown... what in those pictures says pewee?
    I'm not challenging the ID's at all... but these are photos that I might bring here myself as I think I would have been stumped on a few...
    In the field I can rely on other things such as behavior and, hopefully, calls...  if they're talking to me it makes it a lot easier. HA

    And welcome Brenda... I'm in Benton county... if you're ever in the NW part of the state and want to know good places to bird I can point you in the right direction.

    • Like 2
  15. I hope this will make sense. Try to follow. HA

    I don't personally have bluebird nest boxes so this discussion is just in general because of other discussions elsewhere.

    I'm on two listservs, one for Oklahoma and one for Arkansas, that deal with birds. The other weekend we had snow and very cold weather... below zero weather which doesn't happen extremely often here. It was -11°F here one morning and other areas got even colder. Since last weekend(side note, it was 72° yesterday and the snow is gone now) there have been a lot of discussions about dead birds... mostly, but not only, bluebirds. People checking their boxes and finding piles of dead bluebirds. LOTS of such reports from both states and discussions that it's being reported in other states as well. I was thinking about it more this morning... I haven't SEEN that myself... I don't have nest boxes to check and I just haven't found dead birds anywhere. But, I have not reported ANY bluebirds since before that cold snap so, I think I'm seeing the results, just not finding bodies myself.
    Someone commented this morning that a lot of the local CBC's this year had record bluebirds... and now we're not seeing any... so, that's a bit drastic.

    I typed up a reply this morning with an idea... and, this is where I'd like input from all of you... either just your general impression or, even better if you have any first hand knowledge and advice...
    Before humans started cutting down every "ugly"(I think they're cool) dead tree and before we introduced starlings, bluebirds had a lot more natural habitat and did not rely on us making nest boxes. I am thinking that many tree cavities would be warmer than your average nest box.
    My ideas included:
    1. Insulating current nest boxes. Think of a warm jacket. Something that velcroes or snaps onto an existing bluebird house giving it more insulation and more protection from the wind.
    2. Taking down current nest boxes and put up winter boxes each winter... maybe slightly larger, THICKER walls, and perhaps straw or hay added as well. Maybe not as much "ventilation" as a typical house. 

    The insulating idea could be something that someone could just put out IF they know a cold enough front is coming in.
    The question here really is... would either of these ideas increase the likelihood of survival for these birds that huddle up out of the cold at those times?
    or, are there other ideas?
    Someone else mentioned brush piles... and I imagine that for some birds, brush piles is where they'd take shelter. But, I'm thinking that bluebirds are not one of them.

    Anyway, anyone have any thoughts on this?
    I am thinking that, unless someone has first hand knowledge, this might be something that would need to be tested in the field... which would be hard to do without having another severe cold snap.

  16. 16 minutes ago, Avery said:

    Plus the strong border on the neck

    Thanks for mentioning that. It's good to have another thing to look for... if I remember.

    As I said, I reported it as common merganser because of the white chin...  I've seen some red-breasted pictures with a LITTLE white there... but not quite like a common.
    Anyway... thanks for confirming everyone.

    • Like 1
  17. Mergansers...
    I was at city lake in Siloam Springs, AR on February 14th during the GBBC and thanks to that wonderful COLD stormy weather, there were a decent amount of ducks to watch. I had been there a while... I start at the main lot near the water's edge where you can see the bulk of the lake... Then I walk the field down towards the blind where you can see a smaller part of the lake but, often has more waterfowl, when they're present... Anyway... I often go back to where I started to see if anything changed over there. Sometimes there's more birds than were there... other times less...
    So, I was back at that lot, ready to leave... I saw two ducks flying in. It was COLD and gloomy... I don't remember if I was looking through a rolled up window in the car or not...  but I remember seeing two green-winged teal flying down... No idea how/why...  After they landed and I looked at them again... they were mergansers. wow...

    My first impression was red-breasted... the bills look(ed) REALLY thin to me. Then I took pictures and I noticed a white chin patch... which should suggest common.
    The pictures are not good...  the bill still looks thin to me. I reported them as common and said I'd look at the pictures later... I guess no is later.  ha. 
    I have two pictures that are just barely okay. I have others that are all weird angles that just don't show much... 
    Opinions on these two birds? Common or red-breasted???
    I wish I had better looks and photos... I wouldn't be struggling so much.
    I could put up some other images but you wont see any more details in regards to those features... heads turned in awkward directions... just no good.



  18. 19 minutes ago, Charlie Spencer said:

    If you already know what it is, would you mind using the new 'General Birding Topics' forum for games and quizzes?  That way, we can leave this forum for requests for ID assistance.


    Kind of late for that... 😞 
    Part of me wants to just say I forgot, or didn't think of it... because I didn't...
    The other part of me... the more cynical part... wants to ask... does anyone look at any other sections of this forum? It's been a while since I checked around but I know a while back they were very much overlooked... which is kind of sad 😞  eh... rambling...

    I'm impressed that a few people got it so easily. What did you see that pointed you in the right direction? For those that got it right...
    I got several pictures of the bird. My daughter noticed it first. This was eating in our front yard today...  the leucism made a really nice mask...
    Had another one with a long curved bill, reminding me of gonzo from the muppets...


    • Like 1
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