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Koomori Koomori is offline
Posted 1st July 2015, 12:59 PM
Join Date: Mar 2015
Country: United States
Location: Upstate NY
Posts: 145

Feeder Watch, Anyone?


Hello anyone who reads this,

I'm a pretty avid bird watcher but due to some medical restrictions, I don't get to get out much to actually travel, especially to anywhere outside of New York State (where I live). I'm wondering if anyone would like to share some feeder watching data with me through here so that possibly, I could note the location (or even see pictures) of some birds that are outside of my area.

To participate, just set up a feeder and devote maybe 10-15 minutes (can be broken up, or even if you just randomly glance, whatever I'm not picky) to noting the birds that visit.

At the end of each week, just post the species here. If you don't know the species but still want to participate, just post a picture and I would enjoy trying to figure out what's at your feeder for you.

I am doing this for an avian record I will be submitting to my DEC office so here is how I am collecting my data in case anyone is wondering. Keep in mind that while school is out and I am not employed - I have no life. I don't expect this much out of anyone. But you can use it as a template if you'd like. I do three sessions a day (so I devote about 45 minutes a day to my feeders).

Date:
Session #:
Session Duration:
Time:
Weather:
Feeder Location:
Feeder Type(s):
Food Supplied:
Species Seen:
Species Heard:
Species Nearby:
Notes:

A finished write-up looks like this:

Date: 7/1/2015
Session #:
2
Session Duration: 15 minutes
Time (at start): 2:41 PM EST
Weather: 79(F), Precip. 24%, Hum. 58%, Wind 11mph
Feeder Location: Facing deciduous woodlot and stream, rear of house on window, 17.5 ft. in air
Feeder Type(s): 14'' hanging tray with 16'' squirrel buffer overhead
Food Supplied: Black Oil Sunflower seed, crumbled bits of fruit and nut suet, left-over basic pigeon food, halved blueberries
Species Seen:
  • Gray Catbird
  • Hairy Woodpeckers (5)
  • Downy Woodpeckers (2)
  • Black-capped Chickadees (4)
  • Northern Cardinal (male)
  • Tufted Titmice (3)
  • White-breasted Nuthatches (6)
Species Heard:
  • Pileated Woodpecker (wok-wok call, drumming)
  • American Goldfinches
  • European Starlings
Species Nearby (Not at feeders, ground foragers):
  • Mourning Doves (2)
  • American Robins (2)
  • House Wren (male)
Notes:

The Hairy Woodpeckers seem to be a family grouping, with young still begging to be fed and still too clumsy to fly to the feeders without collision. They mainly wait in the trees nearby making begging rattle-noises until they are fed by what I am assuming are older siblings because they lack the size of what I have previously noted as the parents. The young boys will play and compete and the girls seem more likely to approach my window but reluctant to engage in acts of aggression with other birds.

The Tufted Titmice and American Goldfinches seem to have begun their moult, I have found several discarded feathers and photographed several members of each species with patches of moulted feather tracks inconsistent with a brood patch.

The Mourning Doves seem to be attracted by the food I discard from Archimedes's cage each morning, and they visit frequently compared to the rare visits before I began chucking pigeon food out there. Makes sense. Increased chipmunks and squirrels though so, downside. Buffer has been working great on feeder box but it discouraged the regulars from approaching it for a solid day.

.... so that's it. That's my log for today, actually. I collect data over a 15 week period so I figured, now that a lot of the babies have fledged, many of the wild birds will be moulting and then preparing to migrate so I'm going to be covering the data from now, up until the end of the September migration and probably conclude my study at the end of October, just to be certain the winter migrants have come and the summer migrants have left.

I'll keep posting here, if that's okay, and I welcome anyone to join me with any observations, pictures or location data (especially if you're out of state). One of the focuses of my work in ornithology so far as been migration patterns and diversity in migrating species.

/sciencey nerd stuff
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CBL's Avatar
CBL CBL is offline
Posted 1st July 2015, 06:06 PM
Join Date: May 2014
Country: Canada
Posts: 1,966
Wow that is WAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY too much work lol, unelss getting paid to do so or a school project lol.

I am an avid birder for years. I just this may went to point pelee, which is a birding hotspot, people travel from all over for bird migration there. Upgraded my binos to Zeiss. Love them and as I said to hubby, start in your own backyard. We found MORE species in my own yard than at pelee

I got
mourning doves
cat birds
cardinals nesting
pigeons
Orioles and fledglilngs at feeders
hairy
downy's
Pilateeds
blue jays
sharpies
coopers
owls
wrens
nuthactches
chickadees
hummers
robins
various warblers, redstarts, yellow sided, yellow, black and white and more....
waxwings
kingfisher (im on the canal)
herons
ducks
geese
kinglets
grackels
red wing black birds
crows
night herons
bald eagles
osprey
tree swallows
cliff and barn swallows
sparrows
yellow shafted flickers
Goldfinches
house finches
purple finches

All of these are in or over my yard on any given day, and thats just off the top of my head.
I keep an eye out for the blue warbler but have not seen it this year yet, doesnt mean it aint here, I just havent had that time to sit and watch the feeders. Indigo bunting thats the one. Spectacular, male two years in a row.
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cwebster cwebster is offline
Posted 1st July 2015, 07:02 PM
Join Date: Dec 2010
Country: United States
Location: Central Coast, CA
Posts: 6,286
We have hummingbirds, red tailed hawks, red shouldered Hawks, finches, robins, crows, scrub jays, juncoes, acorn woodpeckers, California thrashers, and others. Haven't seen them but hear there are also roadrunners here.
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CBL CBL is offline
Posted 1st July 2015, 07:36 PM
Join Date: May 2014
Country: Canada
Posts: 1,966
Cool roadrunners !!!!!
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Koomori Koomori is offline
Posted 2nd July 2015, 06:11 AM
Join Date: Mar 2015
Country: United States
Location: Upstate NY
Posts: 145
LOL Cbl, That's why I said "I don't expect this from anyone" blah blah in my blah post, I really don't. Ha ha, I'm just overly detailed on my own. You should see my care sheet for Archimedes in combination with what I call a "Running Ethograph" which is pretty much a live study on his behavior, bodily functions, dietary habits and changes, etc... I even keep track of his baths and what I perceive to be his emotional psychology (his willingness to be held, his levels of aggression, time in the nest)... you've all gotta realize by now I'm one of the more constructively insane people you'll ever meet.

However, I'm going to use my data for a citizen science entry. I'd also really love to get published in Auk or Condor, Hell I'll even take Birds and Blooms - but getting accurate data to report on is critical for me in that regard.

In terms of all of ya'll, I really just wanted to get to know your local birds. I can get the gist of your locations through your profiles but what I am after is which birds are there this time of year.

I'm loving the entries too... many of these birds I will never get the chance to see off the internet. Roadrunners have got to be cool looking. I'm pretty sure I can't get night herons either, maybe if I go a little more north than where I am (I'm near Albany) toward Fort Niagra.

I've never seen a Cliff Swallow or a Yellow-shafted Flicker, though I get Barn and Tree Swallows and and Northern Flickers near my campus.

Right now my greatest ambition is warblers. I have an INCREDIBLY hard time telling them apart and I've, to date, only gotten one warbler in my yard (a Yellow-rumped Warbler) and it just came and left. I've gotta actually go out and find the suckers.

I just take pictures first and then sift through bird ID books later.

Cwebster... I love woodpeckers and I'm so happy that you have acorn woodpeckers. There are only a few woodpeckers up here in NY and currently I have pictures of all of them except the Red-Headed Woodpecker.

Since you're in CA you'll probably get Sage Grouse too, you should check for those. They're just really cool looking. I would love to travel out of NYS and birdwatch. Got a trip planned for FL in the fall so I'll post my sightings.

I also started an album in my profile for this thread too, btw. All pictures are taken by me, all species will be labeled. Anyone is free to download and use my pictures as long as I get mentioned for taking the photo. I'm not picky, we're all friends here.
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cwebster cwebster is offline
Posted 2nd July 2015, 06:47 AM
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Location: Central Coast, CA
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Will look for the sage grouse. Am hoping to see roadrunners too. Especially love the acorn woodpeckers because they have granary trees here...telephone poles with zillions of holes in them for acorns. They have very weird family lives and look like clowns. Became aware of them when we found a baby passed out in the road with a worried mom beside him. We put him in a quiet place until he revived so he and mom wouldn't get run over and took him back outside and he flew right up to mom and dad which made our day.
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cwebster cwebster is offline
Posted 2nd July 2015, 06:49 AM
Join Date: Dec 2010
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Location: Central Coast, CA
Posts: 6,286
Will look for the sage grouse. Am hoping to see roadrunners too. Especially love the acorn woodpeckers because they have granary trees here...telephone poles with zillions of holes in them for acorns. They have very weird family lives and look like clowns. Became aware of them when we found a baby passed out in the road with a worried mom beside him. We put him in a quiet place until he revived so he and mom wouldn't get run over and took him back outside and he flew right up to mom and dad which made our day. We also have Downey and nuttalls woodpeckers a couple if miles away here.
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Koomori Koomori is offline
Posted 2nd July 2015, 07:01 AM
Join Date: Mar 2015
Country: United States
Location: Upstate NY
Posts: 145
That is a great story. The same thing happened to me with a Gray Catbird. I never really knew what they were until I saw one fly into the window of a passing car and knock himself out. I ran over to it, scooped it up in my hat, took him over to the shade and waited until he snapped out of his daze.

He made these really weak "mew" wheezes and I figured, "Oh... maybe that's why they call them catbirds." But then he flew away and it made me happy to see him recover.

If you ever happen to have a camera on you and those woodpeckers are around, please take pictures. Same goes for the sage grouse and roadrunners. All of my bird ID books are paintings and even though I guess I could go and google some, there is nothing like knowing that someone was there, had the experience and took the pictures. I enjoy getting the eye candy from other birders I can talk to about the event rather than just looking at stock photos.

It'd be pretty cool, anyway! I'm going to start another album for just regular birdwatching too. The pictures in my Feeder Watch album is only going to have birds at or around my feeders, but I see really cool stuff when I do get out on the field.
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Koomori Koomori is offline
Posted 22nd July 2015, 03:40 PM
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Well, seeing as no one really wants to do the feeder watch part with me, I suppose this thread can be canned. No fun posting up my scientifically detailed blather if no one will understand it or read it. Besides, I kinda got off my own research while dealing with a severely sprained ankle so I'm missing my consistent data tables for the last two weeks.

On the plus side, now all the young are fledging and the premigratory hyperphagia is about to set in so I should be getting more birds to my feeders if I put high-fat foods out there. During migration, a bird's main source of energy is fat and they will gain additional body weight to compensate for the emergy they spend commuting to the south. The down side? I get a lot of year-round birds at my feeders. The only change I am expecting is the arrivals of the Dark-Eyes Juncos, the Red-bellied Woodpeckers, and the Common Redpolls.

Anyway, please feel free to check my albums in my profile. I'll still be posting my bird pictures in the Feeder Watch album. That way you can all enjoy the benefits of my observations without all the details. I do post blurbs about the birds but nothing too critical.
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Jay3 Jay3 is offline
Posted 22nd July 2015, 06:03 PM
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If you want to attract a lot of birds with high fat food, try chopped unsalted peanuts. I haven't seen many birds that don't relish them. Also, those small suet balls that they sell in bags, flavored like fruit or with chopped peanuts in them. They love that too.
I can't leave my peanut jar for one minute outside or little thieves will pilfer from it, like this gray catbird. Try them. They work well.




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kiddy kiddy is offline
Posted 22nd July 2015, 06:32 PM
Join Date: Feb 2015
Country: India
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Koomori View Post
Well, seeing as no one really wants to do the feeder watch part with me, I suppose this thread can be canned. No fun posting up my scientifically detailed blather if no one will understand it or read it. Besides, I kinda got off my own research while dealing with a severely sprained ankle so I'm missing my consistent data tables for the last two weeks.

On the plus side, now all the young are fledging and the premigratory hyperphagia is about to set in so I should be getting more birds to my feeders if I put high-fat foods out there. During migration, a bird's main source of energy is fat and they will gain additional body weight to compensate for the emergy they spend commuting to the south. The down side? I get a lot of year-round birds at my feeders. The only change I am expecting is the arrivals of the Dark-Eyes Juncos, the Red-bellied Woodpeckers, and the Common Redpolls.

Anyway, please feel free to check my albums in my profile. I'll still be posting my bird pictures in the Feeder Watch album. That way you can all enjoy the benefits of my observations without all the details. I do post blurbs about the birds but nothing too critical.

Oh even I liked this thread but didn't post as you must not be looking for Indian birds, also I can't name all of them. I can tell few in Hindi. Lol what we call them here. I can't take their pics too as I don't have a good camera phone. My only better camera is out of order
Now if I try to take any pics from this mobile camera , it seems like I am miles away from the bird, like here this pigeon in just neighborhood but seems.... You yourself can see. Lol. So I don't mind a camera gift from you for this feeder watch, I can prove a good photographer.
So pls don't drop this thread, I am trying to buy a camera if you do not gift me, and I will be an active participant of this thread, never give up.
Also see these doves on my terrace boundary which were like few feet away from me, I can't go this much close to any other bird, they all will fly
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Please read and remember while going to vets and don't let the vet euthanize your bird:
1)when you go to a vet, tell him/her that the bird is ALWAYS your pet, (unless you know the vet and know they will not euthanize) 2)You STAY with the bird, even while they are taking samples for tests or whatever 3) You NEVER walk away and leave the bird with vet. Else... they may just Euthanize it.

Last edited by kiddy; 22nd July 2015 at 06:35 PM..
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Jay3 Jay3 is offline
Posted 22nd July 2015, 06:47 PM
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Your doves are cute. I think it would be great seeing birds from other countries. Makes it more interesting. Thanks for the doves.
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kiddy kiddy is offline
Posted 22nd July 2015, 06:54 PM
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And what about that poor pigeon? Lol
Could you see him too?
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Please read and remember while going to vets and don't let the vet euthanize your bird:
1)when you go to a vet, tell him/her that the bird is ALWAYS your pet, (unless you know the vet and know they will not euthanize) 2)You STAY with the bird, even while they are taking samples for tests or whatever 3) You NEVER walk away and leave the bird with vet. Else... they may just Euthanize it.
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kiddy kiddy is offline
Posted 22nd July 2015, 07:09 PM
Join Date: Feb 2015
Country: India
Posts: 3,058
And what do you people call this bird? One of my sister caught it when she entered in her room flying day before yesterday. She kept it in a box for night to save her from cat and released in morning. We had many like them in our previous home.
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Please read and remember while going to vets and don't let the vet euthanize your bird:
1)when you go to a vet, tell him/her that the bird is ALWAYS your pet, (unless you know the vet and know they will not euthanize) 2)You STAY with the bird, even while they are taking samples for tests or whatever 3) You NEVER walk away and leave the bird with vet. Else... they may just Euthanize it.

Last edited by kiddy; 22nd July 2015 at 07:12 PM..
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Jay3 Jay3 is offline
Posted 22nd July 2015, 07:16 PM
Join Date: May 2008
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Posts: 29,811
Barely. LOL.
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