Saturday, November 10, 2012

A Complete Guide to Bird Watching

A student in Maine was conducting research for his class and shared the links from our page in his "show and tell" project as he and his father are avid birders. He was then assigned the task of sharing another page with us. This is the one he picked: Design 55 Bird Watching.

It's based out of the UK and has some interesting links for beginning birders. It may be something you'd like to share with people you're trying to attract to birding or it may provide you with lists of birds present in the location of your next travel destination. Whatever the case, we'd like to acknowledge this student's hard work and continue his interest in birding.

Thanks for thinking of us, buddy!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Fascinating Video of OvenBirds Constructing Nest

Whether you're a bird person or not, this is stunning!!! Not to detract from the sheer magic of it, but in practical terms, how M A N Y trips would a bird have to make with that tiny little quantity of mud/clay it could carry? If you take the construction of a circular bowl in your stride as instinctive, consider how the Ovenbird comes up with the windbreak/entrance design that shields the eggs/chicks from the elements and at what point in fashioning the bowl do they start to construct it?


Watch the slideshow here: Youtube Slideshow of OvenBirds Building Mud Nest

Photos by: Daniel Carbajal Solsona.
Video by: fabianno de Lucca.
Text by: Daniel Carbajal Solsona

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Rare video of Great Blue Herons

Check out this fascinating video of Great Blue Herons hatching in the wild:
Great Blue Herons Hatching

Below is some additional background information provided from the website www.allaboutbirds.org

About the Herons

Herons at Sapsucker WoodsThis Great Blue Heron nest is in a large, dead white oak in the middle of Sapsucker Woods pond, right outside the Cornell Lab's Johnson Center for Birds and Biodiversity. Herons have nested here since summer 2009, hatching and fledging four young each year and raising them on a steady diet of fish and frogs. Though neither bird is banded, you can identify the male by the absence of a hallux (the rear-facing toe) on his right foot. Adult herons can be up to 4.5 feet tall, with a wingspan up to 6 feet. Despite their large size, they typically only weigh around 5 pounds.
Herons at Sapsucker WoodsHerons usually lay 2-6 eggs and share incubation duties for 25-30 days. Incubation begins with the first egg, and the young hatch asynchronously (not at the same time) over 2-5 days. After hatching, it'll take 7-8 weeks before they fly from the nest for the first time.

About the Nest

In 2009, the herons brought in the first few twigs that would become the first known Great Blue Heron nest in the history of Sapsucker Woods. Early in the spring of 2012 we installed two cameras to bring the hidden world of their nesting habits into full view. The nest itself is nearly four feet across and a foot deep, and wraps almost entirely around the trunk of the tree. The birds have slowly built up the nest over the last three years.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A fun birding website

Just came across this site: http://twofistedbirdwatcher.com

There are all kinds of fun resources on the site for birders--photos, stories, and more.

So if you get a chance, go check it out!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Some fun facts and info on hummingbirds

To learn more about these beautiful birds and how to attract them to your home, click on the following link:

http://www.herbco.com/t-hummingbird-gardens.aspx

Monday, February 27, 2012

An amazing video...


We came across a video we thought you might enjoy--like them or not, this is an impressive display of nature at its finest. Take a look!

A mystery of nature:

No one knows why they do it. Yet each fall, thousands of starlings dance in the twilight above England and Scotland. The birds gather in shape-shifting flocks called murmurations, having migrated in the millions from Russia and Scandinavia to escape winter’s frigid bite.
Scientists aren’t sure how they do it, either. The starlings' murmurations are manifestations of swarm intelligence, which in
different contexts is practised by schools of fish, swarms of bees and colonies of ants. As far as I am aware, even complex algorithmic models haven’t yet explained the starlings’ aerobatics, which rely on the tiny birds' quicksilver reaction time of under 100 milliseconds to avoid aerial collisions—and predators—in the giant flock.

Two young ladies were out for a late afternoon canoe ride and fortunately one of them remembered to bring her video camera. What they saw was a wonderful murmuration display, caught in the short video whose URL is below. Watch the variation of colour and intensity of the patterns that the birds make in close proximity to one other.



http://vimeo.com/31158841

Sunday, July 31, 2011

A Birder's Thoughts on the New Improvements to the Refuge

We always enjoy hearing about your visits to the Stillwater Refuge. 

We think the following thoughts recently shared with us from an avid birder concerning changes to the area may be of particular interest to you for your next visit:

Hi birders....A quick note to indicate that I decided to do a tour of Stillwater NWR today, having heard and seen reports that its water supply was up this year. Indeed it is.....but equally impressive are the improvements made by Mike Goddard and his staff over the past several years to make the place more user (birder/casual viewer) friendly.

The big improvements occur at the south end of the complex, where one enters the refuge and encounters the "Auto Tour" entrance. The old maintenance shops have been removed, a nice big parking lot with kiosk/maps/info is there, along with an impressive viewing stand looking south into the marshes. Toilet facilities are also present.

The "Auto Tour" road proceeds north and makes a loop around Upper Foxtail Lake which gets the viewer fairly close to water at the upper end of the tour road. It is the quickest and easiest access to water at Stillwater, and many of the usual and expected birds can be seen along that short trip. There is also a new walking trail (Tule) off Hunter Road, just north of the intersection where Hunter Road turns north from the refuge entrance road.

For the more hardy among us, there is lots more water...widely distributed...further north along Hunter Road/Navy Cabin Road/Center Road. North Road has little to offer, has a soft roadbed in places and probably takes more time than it's worth to traverse. The water in the north end of the Stillwater complex is a bit harder to access, for the most part, requires a scope and a bit of hiking to get the most of it.

Road conditions are good, vegetation is as green and lush as I've seen it in many years, and there are birds to be seen as well. While I spent most of my time driving/viewing conditions from the car, what birding I did was productive of the usual and expected species. Travelers are reminded that to do a "complete" tour of the refuge requires considerable time, and adequate fuel. (I drove 220 miles round trip/ door to door/ from Reno.)

Again, my congratulations to Mike Goddard and his staff at Stillwater for doing a really nice job making Stillwater a much more desirable location to visit/bird than perhaps was the case in the past.

Friday, November 26, 2010

American Avocets

From birds

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Stillwater Refuge Overlook

From overlook

Yellow-headed Blackbird

From birds