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#1 Chloe Chloe

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 09:13 PM

Well I'm interested in birding now! Does anyone have any good tips?

#2 1965healy

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 09:39 PM

Check the cloudy days forum

#3 vinnie

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Posted 18 May 2013 - 12:09 AM

Hi Chloe

In which way are you interesting in Bird Watching (well that's what we call "Birding" in Australia, anyhow LOL)?

Photography, or Binoculars or with a Telescope/Spotting scope or just using your eyes?

#4 brentwood

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Posted 18 May 2013 - 12:28 AM

I'm no birder, but I belong to this so I can read their binocular section.

#5 snorkler

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Posted 18 May 2013 - 12:30 AM

Your local Audubon Society chapter may give bird identification classes. Whether it does or doesn't, it's a good place to meet other birders.

Buy a good birding identification field guide and study it. Go to a nearby birding festival.

#6 vinnie

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Posted 18 May 2013 - 01:31 AM

I'm no birder, but I belong to this so I can read their binocular section.


Hi Brent

Long time....

Well I'm not a Birder/Birdwatcher either but I am a bird lover. The wild birds just let themselves into my home, and well sometimes they poop where it is not preferred but they do, but other than that it is amazing. Maybe you could set up a feeder or something in your yard, Cloe. Just be careful that you check out what is good for the wild bird species in your area. Sometimes our best intentions do attract birds but what we offer them as food can be rather unhealthy for them, even dangerous. For example I have many Blue Faced Honey Eaters, and Rainbow Lorikeets that visit me and sometimes I give them a treat of a little Glucose mixed with some Organic Wholemeal Flour. That's OK, but if I fed them Cane Sugar or Processed Honey they'd gobble the lot and actually get quite sick as a result.

Hi Darrell

Again long time...

Yes the Butcher Birds still steal any meat that isn't guarded LOL! How's your bucket list going Mate, we are both getting older y'know ;)

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#7 KennyJ

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Posted 18 May 2013 - 05:34 AM

Some "wild birds" will happily come and sit on your arm once they sense it is safe to do so.

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#8 mooreorless

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Posted 18 May 2013 - 08:40 PM

Vinnie I hope the birds don't poop on your beer making equipment!

Kenny thanks for posting that picture, I remember it and if I remember right your brother is up on the roof.

#9 vinnie

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Posted 18 May 2013 - 10:29 PM

Vinnie I hope the birds don't poop on your beer making equipment!

Kenny thanks for posting that picture, I remember it and if I remember right your brother is up on the roof.


Yes Steve I remember that one very well. The poor old bloke forced to sleep on the roof wearing second hand Blucher Boots while KJ munched crisps and wore Beatle Boots.

Ignore us, Chloe. Just a few old mates that haven't got together for a while.

Again, tell us more about your particular interests or expectations in birding

#10 KennyJ

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 03:27 AM

There are a lot of nature reserves with sanctuaries that attract many thousands of birds and scores of observers, often all at the same time, typically draped in almost uniform subtle green waterproof anoraks, carrying their green khaki case covered spotting scopes and tripods over their shoulders with binoculars around their necks.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with that, and these kind of people are usually very gentle, nature loving types with a vast knowledge of birds, their habits, individual sounds and gender nuances in appearances and behaviour.

If you wish to learn more about these finer points, attending such locations may well may be a good way to do so in addition to just reading the countless books and articles available via the internet.

The Birdforum website that Brent directed you to is an excellent internet source for all aspects of birding.

Although not "a birder, per se", being born and bred within a five minute walk of the countryside, I've always enjoyed roaming it's fields, woodlands, streams and river banks, with binoculars around my neck.

Because I enjoy the relative peace and private space afforded by these places, I actually prefer to do so alone, although it's also enjoyable doing so occasionally accompanied by one or two friends or family members.

I mention this because I don't particularly enjoy the more regimented feel to being amongst a dozen or more people, be they familiar faces or strangers, on "organised walks" or "organised birding missions".

I love the SOUNDS of birds in spring and summer as a natural sonic backdrop to the more serious business of identifying distant landmarks, such as hills and remnants of the area's industrial past.

The sheer wonder and excitement of looking at such objects through a spotting scope at 30x to 40x magnification at around the age I was in the above photo has never deserted me, but for practical convenience, I've grown to prefer to travel as lightly as possible, without the hindrance of a spotting scope or tripods, but instead just with my favourite binoculars strung around my neck.

After years of trying out all kinds, more recently I've settled for the Nikon 10x42SE and my little Panasonic point and shoot digital camera.

I've become a fair weather walker, observer and photographer.

If it even LOOKS LIKE it may rain, I stay at home, and if it's any colder than around 12 degrees Celsius, likewise.

Consequently, it's almost a year now since I bothered to venture outdoors to enjoy any of these pastimes.

I just hope this late spring and summer brings more suitable weather.

Kenny

#11 mooreorless

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 11:32 AM

Here is some of my field I am more a back porch birder, but I do have my pretty good size field I can watch. I have quite a few hawks and hopefully these will come through again.

#12 Pinewood

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 07:43 PM

Well I'm interested in birding now! Does anyone have any good tips?

Hello,

Indeed, Birdforum.net is a great source of information. I have been bird watching, since 2004, in a very laid back fashion. I walk to New York's Central Park, less than a km, away, almost daily, since March. For many months before that I was limited to what I could see outside my window. Without a feeder, strictly forbidden by my building, I do see many species. Yesterday, a common yellowthroat and a red bellied woodpecker were in the bushes outside my window.
First off, unlike astronomy, a center focus binocular is pretty much mandatory. You do not have to use the latest $2000+ binocular, but don't expect to be satisfied with a cheap binocular in a bubble pack from Walmart.
Kenny mentioned bird watchers in Britain carrying 'scopes but I rarely see a 'scope among American bird watchers. I generally carry an 8x32, the most popular glass among bird watchers, but at the shore, I add a 12x50 on a monopod.
Of absolute necessity is a good field guide, price about $20.
Digiscoping is something I avoid. However, on Cloudy Days, we had a great photographer, Sparrow2, whose work was so good, it seemed fruitless to get started.

Happy observing,
Arthur Pinewood

#13 snorkler

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 04:31 PM

I hope we haven't scared off the OP, Chloe.

Vinnie, a long time indeed. I've made little progress on my bucket list. Too many things to do, and not enough time. I'm giving $1000/month to each of my children out of my pension (my former spouse's share of it, since she passed away). So, to spite her, I'm planning to stick around another 20 years. That will give my kids a quarter million dollars each. before their share of my estate.

Back to birding, one of the few things I've done on the bucket list is added half a dozen life birds to my North American list last year.

Darrell

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#14 vinnie

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 03:55 AM

Well there ya go Darrell!

Great to hear from you, mate

I'm staying another 20 years just stick it to pretty much anyone and everyone.


Chloe, talk to us. Us bird people are a bit weird but we don't bite.....

#15 Chloe Chloe

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 07:12 PM

Sorry I have been really busy guys !

#16 Pinewood

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 07:41 PM

Hello all and Snorkler,

My retirement plans have been going well. Although I have yet to compose a bucket list, my pursuit of "life birds" proceeds. Only two days, ago, I spotted a redheaded woodpecker, an uncommon visitor to Central Park.

An image of the woodpecker by Louis Agassiz Fuertes, from the Birds of New York by Eaton, v.2, 1914 may be found at
http://www.archive.o...e/n625/mode/2up
Happy observing,
Arthur Pinewood

#17 snorkler

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Posted 31 May 2013 - 10:03 PM

Hello Arthur.

Redheaded Woodpeckers are one of my favorites, and one of North America's beauties. Congratulations on your sighting.

My North American life birds last year were Falcated Duck, Brown-capped Rosy-Finch, Black Rosy-Finch, Rosy-faced Lovebird, and Violet-crowned and Lucifer Hummingbirds. The ABA hasn't accepted the Lovebird yet, but the AZ RBC has accepted it. Technicalities aside, it will bring my North American list to 658, and my world list over 2000.

Vinnie,

I've been sidetracked by technology. I got into Android tablets with a Google Nexus 7. Then I got into mini-PCs or Android TV players with MK808 and MK808B devices. Now my current thing is car DVRs or dash cams.

Darrell

#18 Binojunky

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Posted 05 June 2013 - 03:25 PM

Just a question to the Woodpecker fans,is the Ivory Billed Woodpecker extinct or do a very small population survive?, thanks for any information, DA.

#19 Pinewood

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Posted 05 June 2013 - 07:56 PM

Just a question to the Woodpecker fans,is the Ivory Billed Woodpecker extinct or do a very small population survive?, thanks for any information, DA.

Hello Binojunky,

Answering that question might raise a long debate. A few years, ago, there was a sighting claimed but nothing since.

Happy observing,
Arthur Pinewood

#20 Binojunky

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Posted 07 June 2013 - 11:10 AM

Thanks Arthur, I read a book on the subject and also the article in the Nat: Geo:, neither one really cleared the question up,DA.

#21 Hikari

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Posted 07 June 2013 - 11:41 AM

Extinction is always hard to prove, unless you are talking about dinosaurs. But the odds for the Ivory Billed Woodpecker are not good.

#22 snorkler

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Posted 07 June 2013 - 04:20 PM

The Passenger Pigeon is coming back. Why not the Ivory-billed Woodpecker, too?

#23 Chuck Hards

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Posted 27 July 2013 - 11:29 PM

I am more a back porch birder, but I do have my pretty good size field I can watch.


I'm a back-yard birder, for the most part. When my daughter grew-up, I converted the ladder portion of her childhood backyard slide into a feeding station. I will sit in our bedroom, or the open back door of the garage and see who comes to the yard, with a small binocular. It's usually the same species for any given time of year, but every once in a while a more exotic guest stops-in.
It's also interesting to see the different feeding habits of the various species. While the finches and sparrows happily take seed right from the dispenser, the juncos prefer to pick-up what falls out, from the ground below. I also find it ironic that while the small birds deftly crack the seed hulls and eat only the nutmeat within, the much larger mourning doves just swallow the seed whole.

I've got a dove nest in the front yard that produces one or two chicks every year, and the fledglings hang around the yard for a week or two before moving on to a dove's life. They allow you to get quite close when fresh from the nest. I also get a family of quail about every other year. I like to watch the biddies toddling around after their mother. I put out a few hadfulls of turkey starter for them to peck at when very small. Funny how the baby quail remind me of barnyard chicks, they act very much the same.

#24 ndelo

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Posted 02 August 2013 - 07:14 AM

Yes, my advice - become obsessed!

Most of the birders I know are passionately obsessed with the hobby and will drive many hours on the news that some rare bird has been spotted in some obscure location.

Seriously though, some people bird casually, just looking out the window at whatever flits into the bird feeder (I do this at lunch), for others it is an outright passion/obsession. I fall into this category as well - sometimes I plan what work conferences I want to attend based on what birds are in the area that I haven't yet seen! (shhhh . . . don't tell my boss). ;)

Finding new or unlikely bird species locally or afar is probably akin to seeing M31 or M13 for the first time -- your jaw drops and you're just like - OMG THERE IT IS, A [insert_bird_species_here]! Even if it's a common species for the area, if you've never seen it before it's exciting to see it for the first time.

It can be a LOT of fun. There are a lot of birds to see. In my small *BLEEP* county in NJ, I have tallied over 200 species.

My advice, aside from a decent pair of bins (I like 8x42s) -

1 - get a good ID guide that's not too hard to carry in the field (I like Sibley's).

2 - Go online and see if you can find out where the local migrant traps or hotspots are.

3 - Meet a fellow birder or two and pick their brain. Towards this end, visit a local Audubon society location or find a local birding club and attend one of their walks/lectures. You don't necessarily have to join the club, but you can learn a ton just from attending a walk once.

4 - Have fun and don't get scared of trying to learn all the LBJ's (little brown jobs) - aka - the myriad of sparrows that all look alike when you first set out. I love ID'ing sparrows in fall, searching you that rare uncommon species mixed in a flock of more common birds!

5 - Read a lot and learn everything you can about birds habits, migration patterns, habitats, plumage variations, calls, food preferences, etc. You never run out of things to learn.

6 - Sign up for a listserv reporting interesting bird sightings or news for your area. There are a lot of these and they are a wealth of great information.

7 - Just go out and look around and enjoy the day!

Seriously birding is a vast hobby and you can get as involved as you want. There is a very interesting and vast science/amount of knowledge that goes into it if you like that kind of stuff. But, if you prefer to just bird casually in your back yard when the mood strikes you -- that's Ok too. It shares this aspect with astronomy. You can get as deeply or casually involved as you wish.

Unlike astronomy, and what makes birding exciting, is that moment when a rare species accidentally shows up in your area. Chances are that it ain't hanging around and will be gone in mere days -- whereas in astronomy, M31 ain't going anywhere. It's the thrill of the chase!

Good luck and have fun.

#25 wavecloud

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 07:03 PM

If you want to go a bit beyond birding to something that makes you able to see far more birds than you ever imagined, and understand their actions, too, go into Bird Language study. You do not need lots of time, or ornithological knowledge, you just need your eyes, ears, nose, and sense of touch. A good starting point us John Young's exellent book " What the Robin Knows." In the process you will become a true naturalist.






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