The Cornell Lab Bird Academy Discussion Groups Joy of Birdwatching Activities: Exploring Bird Habitats

    • Manyu
      Participant
      Chirps: 42
      Activity 1 - Place 1 - My office in industrial area - I saw jungle babblers, sunbirds, treepie, red vented bulbuls, tailor bird, Indian robin, Brown rock chat, francolin, swifts, green bee eaters, house sparrows and of course pigeons. Place 2 - Man Sagar lake, Jaipur  - I saw Mallards, Egrets, little cormorant, herons and other water birds.
    • Karen
      Participant
      Chirps: 9
      I am blessed with living on a farm where we have several habitats, including crop fields, pasture with hedgerows, an orchard, pine forest, mature hardwood forest, pond and lakeshore.  I watch Canada Geese, mallards, wood ducks, mergansers and grebes on the pond and lake.  Osprey and kingfishers also choose to fish there.  The Kingbirds that spend time catching insects in the pasture will often come skim the pond surface for water bugs, or to get a sip of water.  (I’m not sure what they are getting, I just see them swooping down to the pond’s surface.) Great Blue Herons also stalk around the shallow edges of the pond and lake and they hunt for fish. The hedgerows along the pasture are home to field sparrows, Gold Finches, and Purple House Finches.  We often see Meadowlarks and Mourning Doves in the pasture, along with Redwing Blackbirds, Cowbirds, and Starlings. Bluebirds and Kingbirds perch on the power line above the pasture searching for insects to catch.  In the orchard, I see Mockingbirds, Blue Jays, Cardinals, and sometime, Phoebes. The crop fields host a variety of birds, depending on the crop planted there.  Corn, soybeans, peanuts and cotton are the crops usually grown, rotated yearly.  Seagulls fill the field the days the fields are tilled, and for a couple days thereafter.  Tilling time is the only time I see Seagulls on our farm. Once the crops begin growing, the bird population in the field changes. Killdeer have been known to nest in the field between crops. The mature hardwood forest hosts Great-horned Owls, Wild Turkeys, and Pileated Woodpeckers.  Many small birds flit between trees and I struggle to identify them when I only get a brief glimpse. (this course is helping, as I am using Merlin, and a camera to capture pictures I can study)
    • Manyu
      Participant
      Chirps: 42
      Activity 1 - Lockdown has been lifted partially , 7 Am to 11 AM only, will try to go to lake Mansagar tomorrow. Activity 2 - Two spots in Arizona: Roger Road and Mt. Lemmon Belted Kingfisher,Mallard,Great Egret,Snowy Egret,Double-crested Cormorant,Green winged teal, double crested cormorant and wood duck these birds indicate that there is a lake/river at Roger raod.  This is the only difference that I can prove through the difference is the species , without looking at the terrain maps of these two places.  
    • Donna
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      Activity 1: The land right around my home has both open field and trees/wooded areas so we have birds that one would expect in that habitat, but do not see water birds. When we ventured to a nature preserve nearby located on the Shenandoah river, we saw great blue herons nesting, plenty of Canada geese, and a bald eagle. When bicycling along the C&O Canal towpath we saw common loons and a green heron on the water in the canal.
    • Robyn
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      Activity 2: Roger Rd. vs. Mt. Lemmon in Tucson, AZ I know this area of Pima County well having lived there for over a decade.  Mt. Lemmon's peak is around 9,000 feet.  Switch-backing up the mountain, one begins in a lush riparian ecosystem called Sabino Canyon filled with seasonal waters from spring snow melt on the mountain.  Roger Road is in the arid, flat lands of the Sonoran Desert.  The Pima, who call themselves Tohono O'odham people, were early engineers channeling run off from the mountain and annual monsoon rains for agriculture whilst also utilizing desert native plans such as prickly pear cactus fruit and mesquite beans for flour.  These two location, as one would expect, are as geographically different as night and day--literally alpine forest vs. desert floor and the bird diversity or lack thereof is evidence of that.  Roger Rd. has no bird sightings yet for May on eBird and only a few bird sightings (2 doves, 1 vireo, 1 flycatcher) in April.  Contrast that with the bird diversity and abundance on Mt. Lemmon which had, in May so far, more than 10 each of:  yellow-eyed junco; house wren; violet-green swallow; stellar's jay; as well as a wide-array of other birds including robin, warblers, thrush, and hummingbird. Activity 1:  My neighborhood (Los Gatos, CA) vs. Los Gatos Creek/Vasona Lake My neighborhood has lots of both native (California Buckeye, Coast Live Oak, Redwood, Sycamore) and imported (Chinese Elm, Magnolia, etc.) and flowering bushes of lots of varieties (bottlebrush, oleander, etc.), so it attracts a wide-array of tree/shrub dwellers year round:  red tailed hawk; tree swallows; hummingbirds; wrens; oak titmouse; sparrows; etc.  At the end of my street is the entrance to the Los Gatos Creek trail.  The trail is fed bay Vasona Lake which is fed by the Lexington Resevoir in the hills.  The Creek is set about with willow, oak, and other native trees.  On the creek you'll find coots, mallards, egrets, herons, and Canada geese.
    • Diane
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      1.  Mowed acre field, north Florida: rose breasted grosbeak (immature male or female, migratory) ruby-throated hummingbird Carolina wren chickadee Adjacent Lobloly pine and sand pine forest: white eyed vireo cardinal Carolina wren whipporwill (evening)   2.  Roger Road: water/shore birds   Mount Lemmon: no water/shore birds
    • Marty
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      Activity 1 Our local pond has many species of birds. when walking around the pond we saw mallards, some with babies, Canadian geese, and we saw one white goose. downy woodpecker. We also saw a group of chimney swifts flying by. Our other habitat is our neighborhood. We saw European starlings - lots of them. Also we saw sparrows, robins, mourning doves, cardinals, turkey vultures and a flicker feeding on the ground.
    • Paula
      Participant
      Chirps: 19
      In my area I have a more suburban stretch with flowing trees and gardens, and also not too far away a boardwalk along and estuary.  In the former I see and hear many types of sparrows, woodpeckers, robins, cardinals, blue jays, mourning doves, starlingss and red wing blackbirds.  These species also appear in the estuary area but join ring and herring gulls and mallard ducks, cormorants and fish crows.   Comparing Roger Road vs Mt Lemmon, we have a wetland or marsh area at Roger Rd vs a Moutainous region wt Mt Lemmon with both open and wooded areas. Looking at Down House and Seven oaks we have two areas in 'settled' zones. The former in the midst of rural fields with trees and hedges dividing them while Seven Oaks seems to be a small wood near a village.  
    • Rosemary
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      Along the Cuyahoga River will have area's where the Green Heron, Great Blue Heron search for food along the river in more shallow areas and then there are Mallards diving in the deeper areas.   Further away from river are a pair of Bald Eagles nesting.   In the forest area's I see Nuthatches, Brown Creepers, Pileated Woodpeckers and downy woodpeckers. On Roger Road I noticed more waterfowl and at Mt. Lemmon more smaller song birds.   At Down house I noticed more medium sized birds along with gulls from a nearby shore and at Sevenoaks I notices lots of waterfowl and birds that nest near ponds.
      • Katie
        Participant
        Chirps: 13
        Yay! Another Cuyahoga River area person! It has been amazing to see the river's transformation just within the last 7 years or so when they got rid of a few more dams, only two more left now! I've noticed more Kingfishers and the Bald Eagles.
    • Ryan
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      Activity 1 Yesterday I went to the nearby nature reserve called the Marshlands Conservancy, and there are primarily two different habitats.  At the beginning of the trail, it's heavily forested; however, the trees gradually ease off until you arrive at a large marshy wetlands.  In the forested area, I saw many different songbirds, including Robins, Blue Jays, Tufted Titmouse, Downy Woodpecker, and Red Bellied Woodpecker, as well as some Wild Turkey.  When we got to the wetlands, I started seeing less of these species, and started seeing Great Egrets, Osprey, Red Winged Blackbirds, Mallards, and Herring Gulls.  And this is all in the same square half mile!  It just goes to show how many different species can live in very different habitats, in a very small space.
    • Deanne
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      I live in a forest area, there are many different habitats just looking out my window, an old forest, a newer forest, grassy area, a field, and a short distance away is a marshy area. There's several Bald Eagles around, and an abundance of variety.  This is my favorite time of year, as the migrant birds are coming, as well as old familiars that have hung out all winter. In the photo attached, you can see the various habitats just outside my front window. I am interested in finding out more about Sand Cranes, as in this picture you can see a field, they make a lot of noise, then swoop in and hang out in the field. Why? For many years there were only 2 of them, this spring upon their return there's a 3rd. Seems to be the same pair year after year, same pattern. Lots of noise by the marshy area, then they land in the field and hang out there awhile.turkey with young
    • Ray
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      1. Just by looking at my backyard through my bedroom window I can see several types of birds, including finches and juncos at our feeder, ring-necked and black ducks in the pond at the edge of my yard, and starlings and robins searching for food in the open patches of grass that have started to show through the snow. When I visited a local park earlier I saw ruby-crowned kinglets, chickadees, a red-breasted nuthatch and a hairy woodpecker that was vigorously drumming on a birch tree.
    • Mark
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      1. Near my house is a small lake with a trail around it, where I walk frequently. The lake is man-made. Near the dam end, one frequently sees tree swallows, Canada Geese swimming, and Osprey overhead. At the other end is a wooded area where the stream feeds the lake, there are cardinals, robins, sparrows, etc. Along the sides, and in between, one frequently sees mallards, red-winged blackbirds, and a great blue heron. 2.Mt Lemmon and Down House would seem to be more wooded, while Roger Road and Sevenoaks would seem to have a body of water present.