The Cornell Lab Bird Academy Discussion Groups Joy of Birdwatching Activities: Noticing Behaviors

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    • Bird Academy
      Bird Academy
      Bird_Academy
      Share your experience participating in this lesson's activities. Comment on as many or as few activities as you'd like.
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    • Aiden
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      afwinsor
      I saw a number of Dark-Eyed Juncos feeding. They appeared to just be pecking the ground. All about birds says that they do this by hopping around on the ground and also glean insects. At the Panama feeder cam, the hummingbirds take quick sips from the feeder then dart away. Given that it is nighttime, that's all I could see. At the Ontario feeder cam, I listened to a previous highlight recording. I heard at least four different species: a loud call that I presumed to be the woodpecker shown in the video, a whooping call (Northern Cardinal? We don't have any where I live), a number of higher pitched calls (maybe chickadees) as well as a common raven.
    • BJORN
      Participant
      Chirps: 40
      suzukiawd13
      Activity 2 - The larger birds, like Cardinals and Blue Jays, do not get displaced as easy. A Junco, or Chickadee, gets easily scared, and displaced. By, the larger Birds, and the threat of predators. The smaller birds, seem to stay at the feeder for less time. By putting food in their cheeks, and then depositing them at a safe nest. The larger birds, Cardinals and Blue Jays, crack the nut and seeds, at the feeder. Also, they are not as super scared, of predators, or other birds. They are still flighty, and they fly away over sounds, or perceived threats. But not as much, or as in such a hurried frenzy, as Juncos, Sparrows, and smaller Finches. Larger billed birds, seem to have an easier time, with seeds and nuts. Taking more at once, and eating in place. Smaller birds, are scared of being out in the open. So they eat less in place, and take more back to home base. (nestled nest.)   Activity 3 -  I hear a lot of Blue Jays, and Cardinals. With the background of Chickadees and Nuthatches. I would say, the most common sounds are, the WHOOP TK WHOOP TK WHOOP, of the Northern Cardinal. And the JEER JEER, of the Blue Jay. The Blue Jay, has an ugly sound, for such a beautiful bird. Strange, that the best looking bird, sounds so off/weird. The Cardinals' sound is more, easy on the ear. Those two, make the loudest sounds. And the Chickadees, and Nuthatches, and Titmice, make softer, background noises. In more constant bunches. ????
    • BJORN
      Participant
      Chirps: 40
      suzukiawd13
      Activity 1 - I went on a nature walk today, and saw a whole pond of Ducksblue duck 2, in a DABBLING PATTERN. Where every Duck, would dunk, and bob, in a pattern. For minutes on end. The same way a Robin, on the lawn, or a Shorebird, on the sand, would routinely forage. The Ducks, would go under, and come back up, for minutes on end. They seemed to dunk, and come back up, without really hunting. I know, that they are not Diving Ducks, they were Dabblers. So it seems they would dunk a few feet, and 'buoy,' back up. But without any real aim. Because the whole pond of ducks, were doing so, for the whole time I was there. What energy ! Do they get tired ? Does it work ? Fish or/and plant hunting ?
    • JackBird21
      Participant
      Chirps: 23
      TBMachine
      Activity 3: I chose to listen to bird songs by watching and listening to the Canopy Lodge Bird Cam for five minutes.  While there were many  different species on screen, they were not vocalizing.  What I have discovered in my first year of birding, is that "hearing" the birds is critical to finding the birds.  I am studying bird song each day on Merlin and challenging myself with app games.  My hearing is not as good as others, but with time I am hoping to get better at knowing many of the species songs.
    • JackBird21
      Participant
      Chirps: 23
      TBMachine
      Activity 2:  I chose to watch several beautiful birds at Canopy Lodge in Panama on Bird Cam.  While watching these birds on Bird Cam, I focused my attention to how the different species use different techniques for eating.  The Gray-colored Thrush never seemed to leave the table with the fruit and while they grabbed pieces to eat, they were constantly looking around and guarding this food source.  The Blue-Gray Tanagers, The Green Honeycreepers were NOT to be driven completely away by the Thrushes, however they were clearly intimated by them.  Especially the Green Honeycreepers would not leave and they would sneak in grab fruit and sometime continue to eat if not bulled away too badly by the Team of Thrush Guards !  The Flamed-rumped Tanager (in his striking yellow & black plumage and white/blue beak) would fly in and charge the Thrushes and drive them off !  It would then leisurely eat as much fruit as it wanted and withing 20 seconds it would be gone again !
    • JackBird21
      Participant
      Chirps: 23
      TBMachine
      Activity 1: What could be more fun than to watch beautiful birds at Canopy Lodge in Panama on Bird Cam !  I have been watching for over 30 minutes and have been able o observe the foraging behavior of Clay-colored Thrush, Green Honey Creepers, Blue-gray Tanagers, Crimson-backed Tanagers, Flame-rumped Tanagers, Chestnut-headed Oropendolas and Gray-headed Chachalas !  These would of course, all be Life Birds for me if I were there live!  5 pieces of cut fruit are laid on a board on a table and 2 sugar feeders hang from nearby posts.  The Gray-colored Thrush' are dominating the table and they chase off the smaller species from the fruit.  The Green Honeycreepers cleverly sneak in and grab fruit when the Thrushes are pre-occupied chasing others or flying away.  The Green Honeycreeper is bold enough to never fly off and it continued to hop around the table waiting for another chance to get some fruit ! It was obvious that the Green Honeycreeper continually looked up & around between bites of fruit to stay on guard for predators. The Blue-gray Tanagers were much more timid and kept their distance from the Thrushes.  They would land on corners, farther away from the Thrushes and only move in for the fruit when the Thrushes had completely flown away.  However, the Flame-rumped Tanager is aggressive and it charged the Thrushes with its beak extended and chased them off.  It then took its time eating the fruit.  This was a fun assignment !  
    • Joe
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Orbnauticus
      Activity 2: I watched the Cornell FeederWatch Cam, and saw several species, including Northern Cardinals, Red Wing Blackbirds, Blue Jays, American Goldfinches, Black Cap Chickadees,  a Red Bellied Woodpecker and Tufted Titmice (does the plural of Titmouse work the same as the rodent mouse?). The larger species (Cardinal, Blackbird, Woodpecker) as well as the Goldfinches posted up and ate for a little bit, looking up between bites to maintain vigilance. But the chickadees and the titmice would grab one bit of food and fly back to the cover of the trees. Perhaps their size makes them feel a bit more vulnerable out in the open?
    • Devin
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      Devin66
      Activity 1: I used Merlin to identify a Pied-billed Grebe as it swam along in a slow-flowing river. Then it looked like the bird went underwater. I assumed it was looking for food, but it seemed to stay submerged for a long time. I looked it up in my field guide, and the guide mentioned that this species sometimes hides from intruders by sinking until only its head shows. That was the exact behavior I witnessed. Activity 2: I just watched the American Crow at the feeder cam in Ontario, Canada. It was greedily hording a stash of peanuts. It looked like it completely filled its bill with as many nuts as it could hold. I read in the comments that American Crows will look for places to stash its food and then come back later when it wants to eat. Like it has its own pantry. Activity 3: At my favorite birding hotspot, I've been able to identify the Norther Flicker's call. I also hear lots of Robins. The Black-capped Chickadee has a distinctive hey sweetie call, too.
    • Gerard
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      jerrymiknis
      I live in Mechanicsburg PA.  Since enrolling in the Joy of Birdwatching course, I have notice a significant drop in Northern Mockingbird sightings.  I would see them daily in my back yard as well as when riding my bike through the local parks and adjoining neighborhoods. In fact, I haven’t seen any mockingbirds for at least two months.  They are supposed to be year long residents here. Anybody else notice this?
      • Mary
        Participant
        Chirps: 1
        MDFrance
        I also live in Mechanicsburg, PA and have observed the same reduction in Mockingbird sightings. I have only seen a few during the last year when they used to be numerous. No idea why. I miss hearing their extensive repertoire of songs.
    • Jon
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      jekielty
      Activity 1 : Last weekend while birding in Central Park I spotted a small brown bird climbing the trunk of a tree. The way it was moving up the tree and pecking at the wood for insects was an immediate indication it was likely a Brown Creeper. I was able to confirm this once I got my binoculars on it. The shape of the bird and its beak was also a clear indication. Out of many of the birds I've seen while in the field, this bird is a standout example of identifying a bird based on it's behavior.
    • Patricia
      Participant
      Chirps: 18
      patofvta
      Activity 1. I saw a good number of American Crows on the beach, they were tossing seaweed about and then digging into the sand.  I had not noticed this behavior with beaks in the sand and quarreling over the spot too.  I knew it was foraging for food but what kind?  My friend knew that we had a grunion run and the tide came in as far as the seaweed.  They were eating the fish eggs. Activity 2. This was the first time I watched a bird feeder cam, what a treat to see so many East Coast Birds.  It can be addictive and so very busy.  I was trying to ID the birds and then realized that I need to record the eating behavior.  So I noticed that the Eastern Phoebe comes to the feeder and takes a seed and is gone.  Mourning Doves feed off the fallen seed and often had a several birds that pretty much ignored the others.  Blue Jays would come and go eating 1 to 5 seeds, they were constantly checking the activity.  A Common Flicker takes a seed and goes elsewhere to eat.  The Tri-colored Blackbirds came in a group of 5 to 6 and got down to the business of eating.  And a few Brewer Blackbirds came in very aggressive and succeeded in getting some of the birds to leave until they were gone. Activity 3.  In the morning, I have a regular greeting from the back yard birds.  I have not been able to indentify all the species I hear.  But I can tell the following by sound;  American Mocking Bird, Humming birds (now Allen’s or Anna’s), Titmice, Finches (Lesser or House), American Crows, Acorn Woodpeckers, Red Shoulder Hawk, Red Tail Hawk, Mourning Doves, and Black-headed Phoebe. Pat
    • Juli
      Participant
      Chirps: 13
      Juli1321
      Activity 3: I sat out in my backyard and listened carefully to all of the birds. This was not much different from what I normally do, as I birdwatch in my yard pretty much every day. I am always listening and hoping to hear something I do not recognize. This particular time I hear many of the usual birds, Northern Cardinal, Carolina Wren, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Carolina Chickadees, Northern Mockingbird, Downy Woodpeckers, and Blue Jays. Then I heard something I had not heard for a good while, a Northern Flicker, first one of the season! First I heard his "kleer" and then I was able to locate him and see him, as well as get a picture of him. Listening is a skill I continue to work on. I recognize many of the birds I see (and hear) on a regular basis but I am not familiar with the calls or songs of birds I do not frequently see and hear. If I hear a bird I do not recognize, then I do all I can to track it down and figure out what it is. I often listen to calls/songs on Merlin of birds that might be in my area that I am not familiar with their calls.IMG_4943 (2)
    • Jessica
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      jessbird22660
      I watched a Tufted Titmouse for quite some time.  Firstly, I noticed it flying back and forth between the two feeders in my yard.  I then saw it perched on top of the bird feeder pole as it was cracking open a sunflower seed.  I also saw it engaging in what appeared to be playful behavior with the other Titmice around the feeders.  I wasn't really surprised with any of my observations as I often watch them at the feeders.  They are very vocal, playful birds.   Again, the Tufted Titmice typically appear to take one seed at a time and crack it open.  They spend a lot of time at the feeders and flying back/forth from them.  The White Breasted Nuthatch tends to spend less time at the feeders and will only climb up or down the poles--not across the feeders.  The Mourning Doves are ground feeders and will only stay on the ground to eat the seed on the ground. Listening to the birds for five minutes I heard Black-Capped Chickadees, Tufted Titmice, White Breasted Nuthatch, a Caroline Wren in the background as well
    • Juli
      Participant
      Chirps: 13
      Juli1321
      Activity 2: For this activity - watching different birds feeding, I frequently see the different eating styles of my typical birds at my feeder. For example, the Carolina Chickadee and the Tufted Titmouse make trips to the feeder to grab their prize and take it to a nearby branch to work on it, while the House Finch and the Northern Cardinal stay at the feeder eating seeds and nuts one after the other. I went to a local lake where I observed a Little Blue Heron and a Tri-color Heron feeding in the shallows almost side by side much of the time. These two birds appear very similar standing side by side but watching them feed, their feeding styles differ greatly. The Little Blue Heron stood still or slowly walked calmly and attentively looking around as it foraged in the shallows. When it saw something it would tilt it's head, look, and then grab its prey and eat it. The Tri-color Heron was almost never still. It would zoom and dart all around, opening it's wings and holding them up casting a shadow that somehow assisted it's efforts. When it located it's prey it would often appear like a coiled snake striking, pulling it's head back in a cocked position and then strike out almost over extending itself and grabbing it's prey and wolfing it down. Then more dancing and zooming around to do it all over again. While I had seen these behaviors in the past, I had never really studied them in this manner with the intent of really recognizing the difference in different birds feeding behaviors.IMG_1650IMG_1654IMG_1661
    • Ann
      Participant
      Chirps: 16
      BCHeritage
      The picture below after this shows the quail at our feeder. We thought they were only this organized when they had their babies but some groups remain this organized.  Some are more free for all like this one. MFDC0566
    • Ann
      Participant
      Chirps: 16
      BCHeritage
      MFDC0960
    • Jon
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      jekielty
      In our backyard here in Queens NYC we have a family of 5 Northern Cardinals. The Male, Female, and 3 juveniles. This past week we started to see them out together a lot more throughout our backyard and the ones surrounding it. The Male and Female would fly to different areas of the yards and call their young to follow. We watched as they seemingly were teaching them how to do different things such as cleaning their bills. We also watched as they fed them and seemingly showed them how to forage for food. While both the Male and Female are present, it seems as though the majority of the back and forth between the juveniles and the parents is done by the female and the young with the male nearby and involved but not as much.
    • Doug
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      dhsphawk
      I drove out to a nearby lake and dam area and saw bald eagles diving at duck and geese. Also saw "mobbing behavior" where red wing blackbirds were mobbing crows.
    • Gracen
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      gefbirds
      Some of the birds I saw eating at a feeder would take the food and go, while others ate one seed at a time. I found that fascinating because it really shows how their beaks are designed to eat in a way that is comfortable for them and serves them the best.
    • Allison
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      AKirchner1979
      These were challenging, but fun, activities.  I realize that I "watch" all the birds at our feeding station, but I rarely pay attention to one specific bird for an extended period of time.  It was interesting to change my perspective in that way.  My best observations come when I am inside the house watching through a window, but I lose sight of the bird when it flies off into the trees.  Also, when I am inside, I can't really hear their vocalizations. To do the third activity, I sat outside in a quiet spot and heard at least five or six different bird songs.  I was able to easily identify the sound of a blue jay (since I'd just heard it on one of the links presented earlier in this class), and soon I could spot it flying from tree to tree.  It's most common call was three loud repeated sounds, not quite the "caw-caw-caw" of a crow but a bit similar.   I saw a mockingbird fly from our roof to a tree, and it made a short call (five notes or so) that was not particularly distinctive.  There were several house finches, actively flying back and forth between the trees and the feeders. Their call sounded a bit like "cha-cheep cha-CHEEP, cha-cheep cha-CHEEP."  Two slightly different songs were extended repetitive and regular sounds, almost like a trill but not as fast.  One was quieter than the other, almost like a background noise.  I heard another bird call that sounded like "chirp-chirp-chirp" and another than sounded to me like "tweeter-tweeter-tweeter."  I couldn't see any of these birds, so I queried Merlin for typical songs and calls for the birds I see most often in my yard.  It is possible that the "tweeter-tweeter-tweeter" was a titmouse and possible that some of the quieter repetitive sounds were from goldfinches, chickadees and/or nuthatches.  A chirping sound seems to be often associated with robins, but I haven't seen any robins lately.  It could have been a slightly different song from a mockingbird, cardinal or other bird.  I have a LOT to learn.
    • Lesley
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      LNinNanaimo
      California Quail are common in our region (Central Vancouver Island, British Columbia) and it was a treat to watch the behavior of a covey in our backyard all this summer (2020) that were almost daily visitors. My husband and I decided that they are quite eccentric birds in their behavior, but really they were just demonstrating all the topics in this section. The male's song declared his territory in the spring, sharp calls alerted danger, soft coos and clucks from the adults moved the group along or signaled the parents' location to the brood. At first it was just a male and female that made an appearance in the yard, scratching for seeds that that other birds had kicked out of the feeder. They stuck close to one another and nonchalantly meandered into and out of the open area, ducking under the hedge when it was time to go. Eventually, one or the other showed up alone, and although we worried a bit, we concluded that there must be eggs in the nest and that they must be spelling each other off. I don't know if this is true, but this is what we surmised. Eventually, we watched 15 chicks scramble through our yard when they first hatched. The male kept a perch up above, either on the roof of the house, or from a fence post, watching for dangers (aka the neighbor's cat.) Over the coming weeks, the number of chicks dwindled down to four that began to grown big, but then there were three. Happily we got to see these three grow as big as the adults, every day showing up in the yard to eat seeds, the male usually perched somewhere above them, watching, or he'd flutter down to eat and lead the group through to the "exit." A curious behavior that we observed was that the little family was joined in mid-summer by another adult male and female, a pair not quite as large as the parents -- we wondered if this was last year's kids! The four adults and three juveniles hung out in our yard, visiting two or three times a day, sometimes taking mud baths and siestas in soft dusty soil in the flower beds where I'd often see them altogether as a group. Gradually, we began to see the chicks' feathers taking on male or female colors, and their "fascinators" taking shape on their heads. Darling birds. One day, in later August they didn't come to visit. We have no idea where they went and they haven't been back. I read that quail will form larger coveys with neighboring quail in the autumn, so we like to think that they are all tucked into a nearby thicket of blackberry bushes, having a quail party.
    • Juli
      Participant
      Chirps: 13
      Juli1321
      For Activity 1 I went outside and sat and watched several birds. First I watched three Tufted Titmice as they gleaned bugs from the undersides of the leaves in an oak tree. I saw several times some beak wiping. Then one of them started calling repeatedly and then flew across the yard to a magnolia tree. The other two followed. They seemed to be a family unit. Once they got over to the magnolia tree they continued gleaning bugs from the undersides of the leaves, and the one that had been calling continued being very vocal. It was joined by another group of Tufted Titmice. It turned out there were a total of seven of them. After that I watched a Downy Woodpecker as it foraged in the branches of a small dead tree. It found a sunny spot and started fluffing and preening. It was also doing some scratching of it's head with it's foot. I never would have realized that this was just a part of the preening process. The fact that they can not reach their head in any other way had never occured to me. Watching in this moment it was clear that it was a part of the birds preening.
    • Christine
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Chrissy63
      I particularly enjoy watching blue jays pick through the peanuts-in-the-shell I put out for them, but haven't seen any in quite a while (and even when they are around, they really are quick about picking what they want and taking off). Meanwhile the red winged blackbirds and grackles took off with most of the peanuts while the blue jays were on hiatus. I have never been good at recognizing bird sound (or musical notes, for that matter), but I have been listening to different bird sounds here. Today I heard a loud distinctive call outside, and I just knew it was a blue jay, and sure enough, I ran to the window and there was a beautiful blue jay standing on top of the curved hook on my feeder crowing and scaring everybody else away.
    • Luke
      Participant
      Chirps: 13
      Lukins
      Activity 3: Birding by ear for five minutes. I was able to recognize five bird species; Carolina Wren, American Robin, Black-capped Chickadee, White-breasted Nuthatch and Gray Catbird. I also heard a burbling, warbling kind of a bird sound in a shrubby, weedy area but I couldn’t see the bird.
    • Luke
      Participant
      Chirps: 13
      Lukins
      • Activity 2: Cornell Lab Feeder Cam
      • Black-capped chickadees invariably grab one seed and go.
      • Mourning Doves prefer to sit in the seed tray and swallow as many small seeds as they can.
      • Northern Cardinal likes to take medium to large seeds, open them at the feeder And discard the husks, and will stay long enough to take a few seeds.
      • Red-bellied Woodpecker alights on the vertical tube, takes a mouthful and flies off.
      • Common Grackle pushes other birds out and takes the biggest seeds, crushing them in its large beak.
      • Red-winged Blackbirds perch on the tube feeder to eat and will stay a few minutes.
    • Kathryn
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Stellyyellowb
      Is this a Broad Winged Hawk?
    • Kathryn
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Stellyyellowb
      IMG_7870
    • Cynthia
      Participant
      Chirps: 16
      Cynthia_Case
      Activity 2: To keep the Hooded Orioles away from my hummingbird feeders, I put up an oriole feeder with oranges and grape jelly, as I had been advised.  The orioles love it, and it did the trick.  But when they come to feed they swoop in quite noisily and frighten away all of the other birds from the tube feeders, mostly finches and sparrows. The orioles will stand on the other feeders, even though they have no interest in the food contained therein, then erratically fly to their own feeder where they nervously peck at the food for a few seconds and fly off.  Interestingly, the House Finches have also taken a liking to the jelly and oranges, and I see them feeding at the oriole feeder more often than the orioles.  The finches take their time, as long as they aren’t being harassed, luxuriating on the jelly and oranges.
    • Luke
      Participant
      Chirps: 13
      Lukins
      Activity 1: I watched a Cedar Waxwing for about ten minutes. It was early morning and the sun’s rays were just kissing the treetops. The waxwing sat in the highest tips of a dead tree in the bright sunlight and was preening and stretching . I imagine the bird was warming up for it’s busy day.
    • Kenton
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      Kmakings133
      The birds I saw at the feeder were a variety of birds. The first bird I saw was a European Starling, feeding on some sunflower seeds for about 7 minutes. I then saw a Nuttall's Woodpecker for about 11 minutes on 2 different feeders. Then, I saw two Red-Winged Blackbirds in exactly the same area. They had one thing in common: they stayed away from each other.
    • Jennifer
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      Tanagerlover
      Activity 2: I watched the Cornell Feeder Cam and what a cornucopia of birds to see! The first bird to appear was a Blue jay followed shortly thereafter by a Red Winged Blackbird. They were both on the same feeder. The Jay didn't stay very long. Another Red Winged Blackbird appeared on a separate feeder but a Grackle landed and seemed to chase the Blackbird off. A Mourning Dove appeared. The Grackle landed near it bit didn't scare it off. Shortly thereafter another Mourning Dove appeared at the feeder. The Mourning Doves spent the most time at the feeder. Shortly thereafter a Woodpecker appeared ( Possibly a Hairy Woodpecker) followed by a second one. There also appeared to be a male and femalle Cardinal. It was fascinating to watch.
    • Lisa
      Participant
      Chirps: 15
      lisabj
      Activity 1 I watched a group of Oak Titmice with great admiration and amusement. The group descended in to an oak tree. So many can fit in there but they are so tiny you can hardly see them from a distance. Such a cute bird with a lot of personality. They were crawling all over the branches and many were hanging upside down. I learned that this is their method of foraging for insects. Oak Titmice can also open nuts by holding them with their feet and pecking with their bill. I have not seen this yet but will be watching for it.
    • Lisa
      Participant
      Chirps: 15
      lisabj
      Blue Jays were the first birds to appear when I watched the Cornell Lab Feeder Cam at Sapsucker Woods. First there was one using a fly in, grab, fly out technique. Then there were two using the same feeding method. One then settled on the solid seed feeder and took his time pecking while the other perched nearby and almost seemed to be keeping watch. A Red-winged Blackbird landed on a sunflower seed feeder and ate for about twenty seconds before leaving. Mourning Doves ate from the bottom tray of the little house feeder. They take their time and seem to eat a seed at a time. I am going to check back to the Panama Fruit Feeder. When I looked before there were Hummingbirds. One at a time they zipped in and out from the feeder so fast I am not even sure what kind they were.
    • Lisa
      Participant
      Chirps: 15
      lisabj
      Certain birds come around every evening at this time of year and from practice I can identify some of their songs. The Mourning Dove, California Scrub-Jay, American Crow are very distinct. It is nice to hear the Common Raven’s croak. The Dark-eyed Junco, the Spotted Towhee and the Bewick’s Wren have unique songs. The California Quail make their ca CAA ca and kissing sounds. When I hear drumming the  Nuttall’s Woodpecker is usually near. The Red-shouldered Hawk’s screech can not be mistaken.
    • Mark
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      markraby
      Activity 1: After watching the Cornell Feeder Cam I can say I saw a lot of foraging of seeds. At first a mourning dove arrived but was chased away by grackles. Shortly after the grackles arrived, so did a blue jay. The grackles were looking up quite a bit but I’m not too sure if that’s anti-predator behaviour. Grackles are fair sized birds. Finally the grackles left and the mourning dove returned and really just did nothing but eat for quite a while. Activity 2: Cornell Feedercam: Mourning Dove, Grackles and a Blue Jay Activity 3: Listened to the feedercam but couldn’t make out too many bird calls or bird songs. I’m really bad at identifying bird calls and bird sounds though.
    • John
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Jaenike
      This past summer in Rochester, NY I saw two peregrine flacons harassing a red-tailed hawk that was flying over. The peregrines would take turns flying about 30-40 feet above the red-tail, which was flying, and then diver bomb it. At the last second, the red-tail would flip upside down and extend its talons in the direction of the diving peregrine, which would then pull away. They did this for about 5-8 dive bomb attacks. Eventually, the red-tail flew off and settled down in a tree. Were the peregrines hunting the hawk, or trying to drive it away?
    • Yulia
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      Koreshok
      Activity 1: A couple of Croaking Ground Doves was bringing dried plants and hairs (the type one might find inside a vacuum cleaner) on our movement light outside. Clearly they were trying to build a nest. It didn’t go very well since all their building material was falling down. IMG_2100 Some other Croaking Ground Doves or Quiguaguas as they are called here were taking dust baths. All About Birds looks like a website that can provide a lot of information on birds. I’m considering getting a monthly or yearly subscription. Activity 2: I was observing birds from the Cornell Lab Feeder Cam in Supsucker Woods. Common Grackles came in a group of 7 and sort of scared 2 Red-Winged Blackbirds and 2 Mourning Doves. But these guys came back. Unlike Grackles that ate altogether, Mourning Doves didn’t let the 3rd Dove land on the feeder. Grackles, Doves and Blackbirds stayed for a long time helping themselves with seeds. Blue Jays were more of solitary eaters: the second one came after the first one left. Red-Bellied and Downy Woodpeckers came at different times and left fast. They attached themselves vertically to a feeder that looked like a tree trunk. Grackles and Doves sat on trays and Blackbirds, Jays and a Northern Cardinal ate from perches. None of these birds would grab just one seed and leave. Activity 3: The birds around my house are pretty much the same all the time: Turkey Vulture/Jote, Rock Pigeon/Paloma, Andean Gull/Gaviota, House Sparrow/Gorrion, Rufous-collared Sparrow/Chincol, Croaking Ground Dove/Tortolita Quiguagua, West Peruvian Dove/Kukuli and Oasis Hummingbird/Picaflor del Norte. So I can hear them daily, except Turkey Vulture and Rock Pigeon that are only visible to me from the far. (I never heard a sound from a Vulture). They prefer to stay on top of the apartments across the highway in front of our house. And I can only hear Sea Gulls, so I walked around to make sure that they were Andean Gulls picking on city garbage. According to Merlin bar charts, they are here all year round. About 2-3 years ago I started hearing a beautiful song of a Shiny Cowbird/Mirlo. Since then I can see groups of them outside on the trees and cables in the mornings when they come for food.
    • Meg
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      BigYear4ML
      Activity 3: Although only one bird species was vocal at the time, I now have an understanding of the behavior. I could hear the urgency in a robin's call in my parents' backyard, so I ventured outside to see what was provoking it. I spotted the neighbor's cat crouched in the flowers below the birdbath. Thanks to the robin's mobbing, the cat's hunting attempt was thwarted and no birds were harmed!
    • Olivia
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      NightwingMoonwatcher
      ADORABLE ALERT: CUTE ADORABLE PUFFED UP BLUE BIRD I think this guy/girl is very cute. Do you agree? Here is my reason: He/she is all puffed up, looking at the camera, and half-spreading his/her wings. Look it his/her ADORABLE CUTE SMALL BEAK!!! Also, he/she is a juvenile.
    • C
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Dinosauring
      Activity 3:  I could hear the flight calls of an American Goldfinch, the calls of a Carolina Wren and a Grey Catbird while outside today.
    • wendy
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      wsummers76
      Activity 1: I think I was watching a staling at feeder. It seemed to peck a few times at seeds then raise head and eat. It flitted from one feeder to next. Activity 2: watched feeder cam which showed many birds. Some picked once from suet but most went to seeds. Blue jay seemed to peck several times in a row. Downy woodpecker pecked in upright position atvfeeder. Also saw pleated woodpecker. Some stayed a while and tried several feeders. Some went to one and flew away. Activity 3: really hard. On Cornell webcam. Heard a blue jay give a squawk when it left. Mourning dove wings beating when they flew. Heard some background song but couldn’t identify. Saw lots of birds though and with merlins help could identify some
    • wendy
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      wsummers76
      Activity 1: I think I was watching a staling at feeder. It seemed to peck a few times at seeds then raise head and eat. It flitted from one feeder to next. Activity 2: watched feeder cam which showed many birds. Some picked once from suet but most went to seeds. Blue jay seemed to peck several times in a row. Downy woodpecker pecked in upright position atvfeeder. Also saw pleated woodpecker. Some stayed a while and tried several feeders. Some went to one and flew away.
    • Mary
      Participant
      Chirps: 12
      tortorello
      Activity 3:  Late afternoon in my backyard. Heard a woodpecker.  Mourning dove. Some kind of squawk, maybe catbird? Miscellaneous chirps, unidentifiable. This is really hard.
    • Mary
      Participant
      Chirps: 12
      tortorello
      Activity 2: I watched the Cornell Lab Feeder in mid-afternoon and saw several Mourning Doves and Grackles. The Mourning Doves fed from the floor surface, while the Grackles fed from both the floor and perch feeders. The Grackles held seed in their beaks, often rotating it before eating it.  Blue Jays also visited, mostly taking seeds from the perch feeders. They took larger seeds and often flew away with them.  I saw one Blue Jay that held two seeds at once in its beak and flew away with them. Red-winged blackbirds also came, not staying long, just taking seed away from the perch feeders.  The feeder was also visited by two woodpeckers, I think a male Hairy Woodpecker (looked like the longer beak type) and female Downy Woodpecker (shorter beak).
    • Mary
      Participant
      Chirps: 12
      tortorello
      Activity 2: I watched the Panama Fruit Feeder around 1:30 pm on Aug 15. Nobody was there for a few minutes, then one bird flew onto a branch. It was a small bird, with a distinct yellow cap, black back, and yellow chest.  From eBird, I tentatively identified it as either a Yellow-crown Euphonia or a Thick-Billed Euphonia.  It stayed on the branch for a while, constantly looking around. Then it came in a little closer, flying onto a perch above the fruit, also constantly looking around, and stayed there for a while longer.  Finally, it flew onto a banana and started to peck at it, still always looking around.  It stayed on the banana and fed for a bit, then flew away. It seemed that it was constantly on guard at the feeder, always checking around for incoming competitors.
    • Tricia
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      fred daly
      Activity 1: I watched a pair of Galahs sitting on a fence engaged in preening behaviour.  They both preened their own breast feathers and then took turns to preen the head and neck of their partner. Activity 2: My backyard bird feeder (in Canberra, Australia) attracts mostly Galahs, sparrows and crested pigeons, with the occasional visit from Crimson Rosellas and Sulphur Crested Cockatoos.  The Galahs are usually waiting when I put out the Wild Bird seed mix.  There is usually one Galah on the feeder, one on watch and a few others queuing up waiting for their turn at the food.  The one on the feeder usually gathers a few seeds in its beak and then grinds or cracks them.  I am fascinated by the way these birds also use their beaks as climbing tools to get on and off the feeder.  Once the Galahs have had their fill the sparrows and pigeons move in to clear up the leftovers.  In my front yard I watched a Red Wattlebird feeding on an Eremophila plant, pushing its beak right down into the bell-shaped flowers to get to the nectar. Activity 3: I can recognise many of the calls of the common birds in my neighbourhood - the Australian Magpie and the Kookaburra are unmistakeable!.  I can also recognise the Crimson Rosella, the Raven, the Magpie Lark, the Red Rumped Parrots and the Faiy Wrens.  The Koel is a seasonal visitor to the area and is another unmistakeable bird call that I have heard a few times lately.
      • Tricia
        Participant
        Chirps: 6
        fred daly
        Update - i have just been watching two Galahs who appeared to be sharpening their beaks.  My bird feeder hangs from a wooden pole and i noticed that these two birds were both pecking at the wood - they were tearing small bits out.  After a few minutes of this they started rubbing the sides of their beaks on the wood - just like a chef sharpening a knife!  They were doing this for about 10 to 15 minutes.
    • Michele
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      MicheleTourné
      I have a few Anna's hummingbirds who hang around my patio feeders. A few times I have seen one of the males flying erratically- and close to the ground. I had worried that he may have been sick or injured but today the angle of the sun was just right and I noticed he was eating small insects- catching them while he flew. Also I have a lot of white winged doves at my feeder. They are a bit too big to perch on the feeder, but will try anyway- often landing on top of one another to force their way to the feeder. And while house wrens and house finches eat from both the feeder and the ground, Aperts Towhees only eat seeds that have fallen on the ground. I have not yet seen them perch on the feeder.
    • amanda
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      achildebrant
      I was watching the sapsucker woods live cam and I noticed that some of the grackles at the feeders were pointing their heads up or looking up while others were minding their own business. I think the ones that were looking up were acting as sentinels looking out for predators. And I was watching the Panama live cam and a grey cowled wood rail came up to the feeder and ate the bananas for a while. Not many other birds came up to it while it was eating except for some snow bellied hummingbirds. Also at the Panama feeder, I saw some type of euphonia and some southern bentbills i think. The euphonia was more solitary and ate much slower than the bentbills.
    • Laurie
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      llanodelrio
      Activity 1: We have a charming little Oak Titmouse in our yard and one day we saw him pecking on our Wisteria.  We did a bit of research and found out that Oak Titmice do peck on wood however, they have an uneven tap while our Acorn Woodpecker have a specific rhythm they stick to. Activity 2: We noticed that our House Finches eat almost all of our seed in one day, but the Oak Titmouse will drop by, take a seed, and leave.  The White-breasted Nuthatch does not take any seeds and we just see a blur of white and black. Activity 3: We have learned to identify the song of the Spotted Towhee which is three beats and a trill.IMG_3863IMG_3754 IMG_3803
    • Lydia
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      lpultorak33
      Activity 1: I watched birds on the Cornell Feeder Cam. There were so many different species. I noticed mourning doves, red winged blackbird males and females, grackles, a woodpecker, and a chickadee. I noticed that when a bird got close to the grackles, they would scare them away. All of these birds were eating seeds. I did not know that woodpeckers eat seeds, although I do sometimes have one show up at my bird feeders. The mourning doves and grackles would sometimes call. I am wondering if it is to tell other birds where the food is or to keep together. I also watched the hummingbird camera. I just watched it for a minute or so and I must have seen about twenty hummingbirds. It was so neat! There were a couple different types there. I know one was the ruby-throated hummingbird. There was a type with a black head and I was wondering why a black head would benefit them.
    • Janet
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      Janetcaperobin
      20200807_164947 Activity 1: Building nests This is a nest that is currently being built/weaved by a "Southern Masked Weaver" I was watching the weaver carry strips of bamboo leaves to build his nest, extremely fascinating how these little birds can build such intricate nests only with their beaks. I could not get close enough to take a photo while the Masked Weaver was weaving and I did not want to frighten him, so while he was away collecting more building material I took a close up shot of his nest.
    • Jon
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      jonblum
      We have four blue jays that come to our feeder.  When we have sunflower seeds, they take one at a time.  But they love peanuts and when we have peanuts without shells in the feeder they manage to take 3 or 4 at a time, shoving them down into their mouth.
    • Jon
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      jonblum
      Why is the Birdnet app only available for Android phones?  When will it be available for iPhones?
    • Jamies
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      Jamies007
      Activity 3: I usually could identify calls from American crow, Black-capped chickadee and American Coot. I usually use the BirdNet App to help me identify. Those birds are common near where I live.
      • Rylan
        Participant
        Chirps: 3
        Super bird
        what is the birdnet app?
      • Olivia
        Participant
        Chirps: 4
        NightwingMoonwatcher

        @Rylan I dunno

    • Kimberly
      Participant
      Chirps: 9
      ageek917
      I observed birds on the Panama Fruit Eater cam. I observed 4 different bird species eating together at the feeder. One small finch like bird was at the feeder in a group of about 5 of the same species. They spent their time alternately eating and looking around. One of them acted as the sentinel for a period of time. In general they flew in one at a time, but flew away together. The different species did not seem to mind each other, although the smaller birds would move over to make room for bigger birds.   Listening to bird sounds outside my house- I can identify four specific birds by sound now. In my yard cardinals, carolina wrens, wood thrush and a yellow billed cuckoo are very common.
    • Linda
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      LindaJimP
      I saw a blue jay way up on top of an evergreen tree just happily fluffing and pruning his feathers.
    • Ken
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      tiberius37
      Some house wrens have set up shop in a nest box attached to one of the pillars of our 2nd floor deck so we have been able to really observe them closely over the past few weeks.  The male started by sitting on top of the box endlessly whistling his beautiful mating song.   Since finding a mate and building a nest we've been constantly hearing their tsk-tsk-tsk scolding song.  The female (I'm guessing) sticks her head out of the box and gives the song, then I hear the mate answering her from one of the trees on our property or from the woods along the back.  The most interesting habit we've observed a couple of times is one of them trying to "mix it up" with the squirrels that like to climb up to the feeders on our deck.  The wren will "dive bomb" at the squirrel, flying back and forth sometimes seeming to peck at the squirrel as the bird makes its pass.  The squirrels don't seem to be paying a lick of attention, but eventually saunter off just to get the wren off its back.  Just today (Aug 1), about a month after first seeing them, I heard the little chirping of the hatchlings from inside the box.  Can't wait to see if they'll poke their little heads out the hole!
    • rita
      Participant
      Chirps: 15
      rlaurance
      Activity#1 I watched a pair of Flickers for about a half hour one evening- the were foraging on the ground  for food at first, and one was feeding the other. Then later I saw them again foraging on the ground for food, but near what looked like an old tree stump, an still one was feeding the other. I didn't know that Flickers were ground birds, really, and although of course they feed their young, these two both had adult plumage and markings, even though one was slightly smaller than the other. So I thought that it was an adult feeding a juvenile, and maybe teaching it how to find food. Activity #2 This is a very good activity for me at present. I have just put up bird feeders around the yard, including a finch feeder and a stocking full of thistle seed. I also put some suet in a suet cage and some peppery bird seed in a bird feeder. One of my neighbor's cats likes to come by and the birds are especially cautious if they see it, so I am trying to position the feeders away from any larger plants. The goldfinches just take a seed at a time, and stay a short while, as do the house sparrows- but that may be because of the cat- while the larger birds, such as the jays and crows, with eat quite a lot of bird seed. I had a juvenile red winged blackbird that wound itself around d the suet cage and ate quite a bit- whereas the downy woodpecker that comes only spends a short time at the feeder. The goldfinches haven't bothered with the thistle seed- they seem to prefer the peppery mix. And some birds will eat on the ground, such as robins and crows, and jays. Activity #3 I generally hear a lot more species of birds than I see, and I only know a few of the bird songs. But I have been able to find birds after having heard them sing. And I now know the robin's alarm call that it makes as I am walking near its nest or on a path that runs by its nest.
    • Ruth
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      RuthT1918
      #2IMG_9130 I just added a humming bird feeder since not too many flowers in the back yard, the humming bird found the feeder the first day, and very territorial to other humming birds. They also eat bugs (I think) off this cactus, then head for the feeder, they only feed for a few seconds, ready to chase others out but they come different times during the day. Yesterday was cleaning the beak off the clothespin I am using to hold the feeder from the wire, was very funny.
    • Ruth
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      RuthT1918
      There are some Eurasian Collared doves, which now I know they are not natural for this area or the US, sometimes not sure if I am watching her or the opposite, but I have a dog water bowl in the yard and she comes regular ( and other birds) to drink, I can tell she is watching were I am sitting almost look as she is tip-toe behind the bush to drink the water. Survival mode in the dry desert.    
    • Theresa
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      tet1512
      The other morning when I was out running I stopped to watch 4 egrets in a pond in my neighborhood.  A couple of them were wading, presumably hunting, and the other two were taking turns hopping up, flying down to the other end of the pond and looping back to where they started.  One would hop up and fly away and the other would follow.  Not sure if they were playing or if it was a territory thing.  One of them did a little vocalizing on one of his loops and let's just say he's not the singer that some of the birds in the Birdsong topic were....more of a croak than a song.   Red-tailed hawks are very common around here and I always get a strange sort of kick out of seeing them get mobbed...the "mobbers" really don't hold back.  The other night I saw a hawk getting mobbed and it even looked like one of the smaller birds (couldn't tell what they were) clipped him.  Must be a real rush for the little guys.  ;)
    • Devery
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      Devhow
      I've been watching birds at a feeder that hangs just outside a dining room window.  It's a cylindrical tube feeder covered in wire mesh with 4 perches and holes where the birds can eat the seeds.  I typically see house sparrows and house finches on it, occasionally a song sparrow and goldfinch. Mourning doves and sometimes cardinals will be on the ground below, along with squirrels and sparrows,  picking up what has fallen out of the feeder or birds have dropped.  At times as many as 8 or 9 birds will be hanging onto the feeder fighting each other for a perch and food.  They will fly to the top of the garage which is about 10 feet away to take a break and plan their next attack on the feeder. Some of them are quite aggressive and will push others off the perches or, while on a perch, fight other birds tying to get on.  They are voracious and can devour all the seeds in the feeder in less than a day.
    • Cathy
      Participant
      Chirps: 37
      cgtv123
      I just spent some time watching the hawks on the webcam.  There were separate videos for each hatch (of 3 eggs) and then for their fledging.  It was interesting to see the birds move here and there, stretching self and wings sometimes before flying off for the first time.  It really did seem they were working up courage. It was interesting, when the first hawk flew off for the first time, the others watched it fly off and where it went. There was also a video of the parent feeding the little bird.  One bird seemed to get the most food; I didn't know if the parent was purposely doing that or if that is just how the video recorded it. I was quite saddened to read one of the birds died in an accident after the videos.  I got quite attached to them after watching for quite a while.  I guess that's how it goes.  But these are definitely interesting and beautiful birds.
    • Eva
      Participant
      Chirps: 9
      Toucanny
      Activity 1: A common bird around here is the Rufous-collard Sparrow, who hops around and is brave enough to enter my house, probably to look for food, although it quickly flies away when I come down. Another bird I have seen around here is the Rufous-tailed Hummingbird, who comes and drinks nectar from red flowers outside of my house. It usually doesn't stay still but hovers when drinking nectar. Activity 3: I can hear Crimson-fronted Parakeets every day. Today they were very noisy when they were perched in the tree by my house. I have also heard and seen the Great Kiskadee when it flies by my house too. Here is a photo of the Crimson-fronted Parakeet. a9e1bfe5-7709-456a-9937-eecc406fe2ec
    • E halg.
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      elvispreslydent
      I see mockingbirds doing flagging which looks like semaphore
    • Jennifer
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      jennferguson76
      Activity 1: I observed some white-breasted nuthatches. There were three of them skittering up and down the tree, but they were vocalizing and fluffed. To be honest, I couldn't tell if the behavior was play or territorial. I've never seen them fluffed before, so it was fun to observe. I also got to observe some Cooper's hawk feeding behaviors and an American Goldfinch bathing. IMG_2883IMG_0402
    • Cathy
      Participant
      Chirps: 37
      cgtv123
      Activity 3:  I took a walk in our complex, part of which borders some woods.  I heard a wide variety of bird sounds.  I am sure there are many I could not identify.  I did note sparrows singing.  In particular, I noticed how very loud just one little house sparrow can be.  He was perched on top of my garden apartment building, singing loudly. I also heard the beautiful song of the wood thrush.  I knew I had heard that beautiful song before, but after reviewing the songs for this bird I now know that sound I heard was the wood thrush. Of course, as is typical this Spring, I heard robins singing, as well as cardinals. Activity 1:  On a recent walk, I enjoyed watching 5 mockingbirds calling to each other.  I did not realize there were so many in my complex, but while focusing on them and hearing their calls, I could see at least 5.  I also noted the many blue jays in my area calling to each other.  I even noticed this activity with the sparrows.  When I was walking, I noted how when I walked in their path, when they flew away as I approached, they made a squawk sound.  I realize now this may be their way of notifying others as I took their spot on the sidewalk.  During this same walk, I saw two birds chasing and seeming to fight each other.  I didn't realize birds could fight each other so much (it almost seemed they would hurt each other), but now I realize they may have been fighting over territory. I did notice something quite interesting a few weeks back which seemed to be mobbing.  I was watching two types of birds walking around looking for food in the grass.  One was a minority (maybe a grackle if memory serves correctly) and the others were often forcing it to move.  But when another of the same type flew in, the other birds stopped hassling the first bird as much.  I found that interesting (although a little sad - as it was bullying - but that is how nature is). I look forward to watching behaviors more.
    • Leslie
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      lkrjgarden
      In 2019 we had a pair of northern cardinals raising a cowbird. For a week or so I observed the parents, perhaps more the male more than the female, feeding the juvenile cowbird.  The two parents and the 'adopted' cowbird sat in a Cornelian cherry dogwood feeding seeds from our feeder to the juvenile.
    • Marcia
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      m.kaye
      Activity #1: We have two nests on our house at the moment, each full of baby American robins. We have a particularly good view of the one above our front porch light. The babies keep their mouths open all the time, often even when they're sleeping. The mother and father robins take turns bringing worms and removing the fecal sacs. The mother, who of course does the brooding, is used to me by now and doesn't move when I go in and out of my house. But the father is much more defensive, making a lot of noise and flapping around whenever I'm near. fullsizeoutput_2799 Activity #2: At our seed feeder, the little Black-capped Chickadees take out seed quite carefully. The Common Grackles, who are really too big to perch, have learned to swing the feeder so a little seed spills out, then they fly to the ground and eat it. What's left is cleaned up by the Mourning Doves, who walk around under the feeder.   Activity #3: I'm terrible at identifying bird vocalizations! I might be getting a tiny bit better now. I can recognize the Red-winged Blackbird by hearing it before seeing it. And I can tell the dawn chorus of the American Robin from the Northern Cardinal's sharp chirp. Still learning to identify the Black-capped Chickadee regular song (chick-a-dee-dee-dee) from its mating call (hey, sweetie!)
    • Tim
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      Gilmore6080
      I sat outside in my back for about an hour and half, I observe a lot of small birds; which looked to  me to be house finches, and house sparrows. The behavior was that the finch stayed on the ground eating out of the ground feed tray and the sparrow would be eat from the feeder.   I have learned a lot so far, thank you   Tim
    • Louisa
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      lulu1
      Activity 2:  I watched my feeders regularly when I lived in Oregon (don’t have as good a view in Idaho due to window placement). Chickadees and red-breasted nuthatches would grab a sunflower seed and fly off to a nearby branch or tree to either hammer it open and eat it or cache it, often in bark crevices.  House finches would park themselves on a perch and gorge.  During the breeding season, the house finches would “eat” several seeds and fly to their nearby fledgling and stuff seeds into their mouths.  Evening grosbeaks would stop by during spring migration and gorge as well, but usually were present for only 7 days or less.  I threw corn kernels on the ground and groups of wood ducks would come and hoover them up, sometimes with a couple of mallards in the group as well.  There was also “disputes” between individuals as to who could have access to the corn and sex of the two disputants would vary (e.g. males would chase females and vice versa, not just males chasing males or females chasing females).  The Steller’s jays appeared to weigh each peanut as they would pick up one and drop it, pick up another and drop it, and so on until a particular nut satisfied them.  They would then either fly to a nearby branch and open and eat the nut or cache it.  Occasionally I would discover peanut plants growing in my yard, I assume from a forgotten cached nut.  I also wound up with a couple of walnut saplings, that did not survive in severe summer droughts, and a couple of hazelnut trees that produced nuts after several years.
    • Bobette
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      Bobettem
      Activity 1 - I had a downy woodpecker nesting in a dead tree in my yard. I noticed that the male woodpecker would bring insects to the babies and then fly over to my red oak tree where I had bark butter, it would take some of the bark butter to the babies. That was the feeding cycle.
    • Hannah
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      hvelde
      Activity 1: While watching the Cornell FeederWatch Cam, I observed a Common Grackle (I believe it was a male because of the blue head?) feeding two juvenile grackles from its beak. The adult would pick up some seeds from the feeder with its beak and allow the juvenile grackle to grab them from his beak. The adult took turns feeding each of the two grackles. I have observed this behaviour in my own backyard over the past couple weeks, as well. I often see juvenile grackles following the adult grackle around with their mouths wide open, while making harsh begging calls that almost sound like quacks. Activity 2: On the Cornell FeederWatch Cam, I observed a Red-winged Blackbird, some European Starlings, and a Downy Woodpecker. The Red-winged Blackbird spent considerably less time at the feeders than the starlings. It spent about 15-20 seconds eating seeds before flying away. The starlings spent a great deal of time at the feeders, often jumping and walking around the feeders. They would take a couple mouthfuls of seed and then walk a couple steps before eating some more. The woodpecker perched itself on one of the hanging feeders, pecking at the feeder with quick, swift movements of its head. Every few seconds, the woodpecker looks around, as if keeping watch for predators. Activity 3: On the Cornell FeederWatch Cam, I heard European Starlings, the harsh “check-check-check” of the Common Grackle, Red-winged Blackbirds, and the characteristic call of the Mourning Dove as it flies away. I was able to identify these bird sounds as I could also see them with my eyes. I was unable to identify any of the background noises of the birds, which will come with more practice.
    • Kathleen
      Participant
      Chirps: 12
      nielsenearl
      Activity 2:  Watch birds at a bird feeder—your own, at a nature center, or on feeder cams (the Cornell Lab Feeder Cam or the Panama Fruit Feeder Cam). Pay close attention to how different species use slightly different techniques for eating. How much time do they spend on the feeder? Do they take one seed at a time, or multiple seeds? Share what you see in the discussion. I watched our regulars at our bird feeder, as we have many Chestnut-backed Chickadees & Oregon Juncos living in the juniper trees around our lot.  Then just days ago the House Finch came to call. Here are the results I saw: Chestnut-backed Chickadees- # of seeds=1.  Amount of time=about 1 second.  Fly away to a nearby tree, while another Chickadee flies in & repeats the steps.  It’s like they are on a fast merry-go-round! Oregon Juncos- # of seeds=3-4.  Amount of time=as much time as it takes to find 3-4 of their favorite seeds.  Fly away to a nearby tree, while another Junco flies in & repeats the steps.  It’s like they are on a slow merry-go-round! House Finch-# of seeds=as many as they can cram in their bills (males first).  Amount of time=As much time as it takes to find their favorite seeds to fill their bill.  Fly away or eat the seeds there, scaring off the other birds until they are full.
    • clara
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      clarys_clgd
      Actividad 1 En mi jardín vi al Pichitanka (Zonotrichia Capensis), el comportamiento que note en mi observación fue la de búsqueda de comida la cual la realiza en el suelo, ya que se alimenta de semillas el mismo tiene movimientos rápidos de picoteo pero inmediatamente mira a su alrededor para ver si hay algún peligro, otro comportamiento que observe otras ocasiones fue la de vocalización cuando nota que otro animal o persona se acerca a sus pichones revolotea por todos lados y empieza a emitir un sonido ensordecedor que muestra nerviosismo y angustia por la seguridad de sus polluelos. Actividad 2 El pájaro carpintero se alimenta en un comedero, este llega tranquilamente al lugar, camina despacio al comedero vertical y empieza a sacar varias semillas a la vez, pasa en el alimentador como dos minutos sin moverse a diferencia de otras especies que comen alguna semilla y se van para regresar un momento después para continuar comiendo. Actividad 3 Al escuchar las canciones que emitan las aves en la mañana pude reconocer al menos cuatro especies el Pichitanka (Zonotrichia Capensis), Picaflor Verde (Colibri Curuscans), Carpintero Andino (Colaptes Rupicola), Y Canastero Rojizo (Asthenes Dorbignyi)
    • Mary G
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      MGFerrante
      I was hiking yesterday in a forested area of Western Massachusetts near the New York border.  I didn't see any birds, but I heard quite a few.  I recognized four of them.  And I didn't know any birdsongs a few weeks ago!  I heard the Ovenbird quite a few times.  Teacher teacher teacher!  I haven't seen one yet, and I can't wait to see one because they look so exotic in the pictures!  As we hiked up a hill we started hearing the beautiful haunting song of the Wood Thrush.  I've heard it many times in the past but not yet this year.  I wasn't sure of my identification, so when we sat down to eat lunch I checked on my phone, and I played it a few times to make sure.  The Wood Thrush had been further off but when he heard my phone he came over to investigate!  He sang at the top of his lungs for a few minutes  right nearby.  Could we see him?  No way.   The other birds I identified were a Chipping Sparrow (there's one my yard too) and a Red Eyed Vireo, which I've heard quite often on my walks.
    • Kara
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      kfawley
      #1: The other day I was gardening in my yard when I saw three crows join together at the top of an electric pole. They appeared to be in some sort of discussion, facing and garbling to one another. Then a blue jay's scolding call comes from a nearby tree, and then the jay joins the crows on the other side of the electric pole (i.e. from a safe distance) and "yelled" at the crows, as if making its case. The crows continued to "discuss" the situation, and after a few more scolds the blue jay flew off. I wonder if the crows had encroached on the jay's territory or taken some food! #2: At our feeder we have had a bunch of different birds that eat different ways. The sparrows eat directly from the feeder, while the cardinals try to eat from the feeder but they are too big and so eat on the ground. The mourning doves eat from the ground as well. The other birds usually leave when a blue jay arrives. The red-bellied woodpeckers hang off the feeder and peck at the seeds. I did see a white-breasted nuthatch take the seed and bang it into the trunk of the tree to open it. #3: I often hear cardinals, robins, song sparrows, blue jays, Carolina wrens, catbirds, eastern peewees, and red-bellied woodpeckers, occasionally crows, and a far-off wood thrush in the evenings. I have been hearing a full melodious song all spring and had been trying to identify the singer for months. It always sounded like it was a few houses away, so our yard must not be in its usual territory. I went on All About Birds, listening to different song recordings of our usual guests - to no avail!! Then, just this morning, right out my window, I heard the song and a little house finch was singing in an arbor vitae. I actually recorded it, because there is nothing like it among the recordings I listened to. I think it must be a regional dialect for the house finch!
    • Margaret
      Participant
      Chirps: 13
      pegkahn
      Activities 1 and 2 merged, with some other lesson-based observations. We have many House Sparrows near and in our yard, and they participate in a dawn chorus around 4:30 or 5 am (first light) in June. It is difficult to detect where in structures they are nesting.  They perch in nearby trees and dense bushes or brush. They are regulars at our feeders, eating mainly smaller seeds (not striped sunflower) and millet, many at the feeding area about the same time, though arrival is staggered and alternating. They also eat on the ground. One neighbor seems to throw out stale white bread, which the birds occasionally have in their beaks as they hop around on the ground. Sparrows also seem to be one of the local urban birds (along with starlings, blue jays and robins) that eat from our overgrown cherry tree. Multiple sparrows at our feeders seem fairly cooperative, with the sparrows either physically spacing themselves out around a flat feeder or perching in turn on the tube feeder rail. They stay longer at the flat feeder than on the tube. They are easily startled.   In colder months I’ve seen them pecking at the climbing roses branches, assuming they were taking in the moisture from morning moisture or other, but now I wonder if they were gleaning. On nearby wires when two are in proximity there is a fair amount of tail twitching.  They also seem to fluff their feathers a little bit; this is a whole-body movement not just a tail twitch. They preen.
    • julie
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      smithallisonj
      Hi- I live in the foothills in Colorado. #1- I have noticed mobbing behavior of Bluejays defending their nesting territory from Robins? Its funny as I never considered Robins to be aggressive birds.  They both like the tall spruce in front of our house. We love watching the Broad tailed and Black chinned Hummingbirds come to the feeder in back when we are eating dinner. They seem to have no fear of us and like to come at sunset or dusk. They can become aggressive at defending their spot at the feeder. The females are always quieter and hardly hum. #2- House finch in pairs stay and feed leisurely at the feeder, Black capped chickadees flit in and take a few seeds then fly to a branch and crack seeds, Blue jays hang sideways take seeds then fly to branches to eat-then they rub their beaks on the branches, White breasted Nuthatches flit in- grab some feed upside down- then fly away. #3- I have learned to recognize the House Wren- a beautiful wide pitched complicated song, the Hermit Thrush when we hike in the mountains- which has a distinct flute echoey sound- I always wondered what that beautiful song belonged to! and at night the Eastern Screech Owl- which to me sounds like a squeaky Halloween gate. I am so enjoying this course and the Merlin app!
    • Barbara
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      Bjburg65
      Activity 3:  I have spent more time listening to the birds in my area (central Florida).  I have identified the more common ones: Northern Mockingbird, cardinal, Sandhill Crane.  It is interesting to know that they have different songs and calls for different activities! I appreciate the audio clips provided so that I can listen and check.  
    • Rebecca
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      raheller28
      Hello!  Today in Roanoke, VA it has been 90+ degrees and very humid.  In the creek behind our house, we observed a great blue heron perched on a log lying across the water holding its wings out to the side and repeatedly blowing its cheeks  or skin under the beak in and out.  I have seen other birds holding their wings out to the side.  But I have never seen the mouth/beak movements.  Is this also a way for birds to cool themselves in the extreme heat?  We wondered why the heron did not seek out shade.  The heron was in the sunshine when behaving this way.  Thanks to anyone who can answer my questions.
    • Mary
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      MDV1952
      Activity 1: I live on a 45 acre property that is mostly forested but has some open fields and a stream.   I have been thrilled to be able to observe some feeding behaviors up close that were discussed in this module.  For example,  I have seen a Great Horned Owl at dusk perched on a branch watching for prey and then swooping down to the ground,  pouncing up and down on the prey (mouse or vole),  grasping it in its’ talons and flying away. I have also seen a Red-shouldered Hawk catch  crawdad in our stream and sit on the railing of the footbridge that crosses the stream eating them. Another behavior I have found fascinating is mobbing.   I have observed and heard crows mobbing a Great Horned Owl on our property. Activity 3: Some of the birds I see and hear most frequently on our property are the Eastern Phoebe, Blue Jay, Northern Cardinal, Carolina Wren and American Goldfinch.  We also have a Northern Mockingbird that nests in a shrub near our house and it is fascinating to listen to the different bird songs the mockingbird imitates.  I have been recording other bird songs that I do not recognize and using the Merlin app to look at birds I would expect to see in my area to try to identify what birds I am hearing.
    • Kathy
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      kjdodson
      I spend quite a bit of time listening to the birds when working in my back yard or sitting on the back porch.  We  face a "green space" with a lot of trees.  I have cardinals, bluejays, doves (two kinds), house finch, Carolina wren, chickadees, cow birds (both male and female), red wing (both male and female) blackbirds, and a black chinned hummingbird (male and female).  The wren has a nest in my wood pallet planter.  The other day I saw the hummer doing a courting dance!!  The female just sat in my pink muhly grass and watched. they did this for several minutes!  It was amazing to watch!
    • Catherine
      Participant
      Chirps: 16
      cvanderplaats
      Yesterday I observed some interactive behaviour between a crow and a squirrel.  I have just installed a new flowergarden in my front yard: new soil, compost, plants... the works, so perhaps a really good buffet table for birds and... squirrels, of course. So yesterday one crow and one squirrel met there. It gave me the opportunity to observe how really large a crow is: larger than the squirrel! And though the animal hissed, the crow cawed: much more loudly and aggressively, and... chased the squirrel off. I had seen this type of behaviour before--on the street, but never this closely or this long. Yesterday (what a day!) I also "saw" a hummingbird. As I live on the Island of Montreal, I assume it is the ruby-throated, which I think is the only one in this area. I put "saw" because it zoomed past my window, and I heard it more than I saw it. I do hope to really see one on my flowers, and not dazed on my deck after a collision with my large windows.... Catherine
    • Brad
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      bmiles33
      muteswansI've been fascinated by the apparently aggressive behavior of the Mute Swans in our area.  I never knew such beautifuk birds could be so 'meanacing'.  I've notices the 8 cygnets have whittled down to only 4.  Also in this area the swans coms towards humans, and I am guessing that is looking for food as many visitors must bring food for the birds.
    • Donna
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      DonnaAllis
      Activity 1: This is my first post and I'm so excited to share our recent experience with what we are pretty sure is a Say's Phoebe. We live in Central Washington on 20 areas of what is largely bunchgrass.   The couple built a nest in our wellhouse that has some open access and raised five little birds. We kept a camera on them and were glued to it from the time the eggs arrived until the little ones took flight.  The eggs arrived one a day but the babies all left within two days and now the nest is empty. I miss them and hope they come back next year! Now I assume they are on their way to Arizona or Mexico.
    • Gabrielle
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      gaviots
      We have been observing Black-capped Chickadees at our feeder for the past 3 months. In the last 2 weeks or so we have noticed a change in their behaviors. They used to come to the feeder one at a time, take one seed, fly away to a tree to eat it before returning for another seed and then repeating this a few times. Lately, a group of 3-8 chickadees will congregate at the feeder, take many seeds before flying away, making lots of noise and ruffling their feathers frequently, even scaring away larger birds like finches.
    • Barbara
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      Bjburg65
      I was watching a Northern Mockingbird in my neighbor's shrub ground area tonight.  The mockingbird flashed its white wing bands, hopped a bit farther, and repeated this action 4 or 5 times. Mockingbirds are very common in central Florida but I had not seen this behavior.  I read that some feel they may be trying to startle insects in order to flesh them out for eating.  Any other reasons for this behavior?  
    • Carol
      Participant
      Chirps: 12
      Carol8632
      Activity 2 I have been watching birds at my Feeders in the last month. The White Throated sparrow and White crowned are mainly ground feeders and are under the feeder getting what falls down.( unfortunately they have now left) The Juncos were ground feeders mainly. I had Clay Colored sparrows at my feeders.  The Flickers in the yard are not at my feeder but on the lawn looking for food. The House and Purple finchs are at the feeder and they seem to really like the one with sunflower seeds. They also have been at the Oriole Feeder. The American Goldfinch are at the feeders. The House Sparrows are mostly at the feeders but also on the ground. The Rose Breasted Grosbeak was mainly at feeder.The Chipping Sparrow is mainly at Feeder.  The Mourning Dove was mainly feeding on ground under feeder at things dropped down. I had Cedar Waxwings one day but they only in my apple tree eating blossoms. The Baltimore Oriole was mainly at the Oriole feeder, unfortunately he is not around much
    • Mavis
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      mavisstreyffeler
      The male Black hooded Oriole Visits the jelly dish multiple times a day, all day long.  Stays 3 seconds, gulps 3 bites and flies away?  Feeding young? Or mama n the nest? We recognize his call now.
    • Alexis
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      LLLearner
      I saw this mallard duck in a spot I’d only thought of as a man-made mess. He very kindly fed at the surface of the water and ducked his head into the water, including pulling up some greens. 9A06CB2E-83F7-4BC4-849A-10816EFCCB91871E88D2-5CB6-4D43-B45C-0418EF2FAF7249FB3A48-67C3-4507-ACCF-E2F368D5CC5C
    • Aixa
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      topsytree
      Bird Cam feeding observations: The Mourning Doves stay on the flat surface feeding, for the most part. Saw one feeding from one of the cylindrical feeders -- the one close enough to the rectangular platform on which the bird was standing. A Red-Bellied Woodpecker holds on and eats pecking at one of the cylindrical feeders. The same with the Downy Woodpecker. The Common Grackle is an equal opportunity and aggressive feeder. They feed from all feeders. Also, one flew into the rectangular platform holding an insect in its beak and pestered a Mourning Dove to move over so he could also grab some seed. The European Starlings, the Blue Jays and the Red-Winged Blackbirds try all the various feeding stations. Haven't seen a bird feeding from the oranges yet.  
    • Rachel
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      RPowell3
      I'd been enjoying my Baltimore Oriole feeder, multiple sightings everyday until we were sitting out on the patio, and the male came multiple times yelling at us and flying away.  Now they seem to have stopped coming, hoping its just a short time before they feel comfortable about feeding there again!
    • Vicki g
      Participant
      Chirps: 21
      vickigoldsmith
      Activity 2 at the feeder: as I have been practicing my photography/identification sitting still at my still sparsely visited feeder, I have been observing the different feeding behaviors. The goldfinches will perch for a good while on the thistle feeder eating (allowing many pics, thank you!). black capped chicadee and song sparrow and chipping sparrow are definitely prettyIMG_8354 quick grab and go at the sunflower feeder. I can watch the chickadee as it approaches from nearby tree branches, and then swiftly returns (but not as swiftly as the sparrows). The sparrows, on the other hand, more particularly the song sparrow, will also drop down to the ground to continue feeding on any spillage or other things. Fun to watch the white breasted nut hatch hop down and up vertically. The downy woodpecker at my suet feeder is quite shy to movement or noise ... he/she (I have had both) seem in no hurry to fly off, unless they catch a movement from me or a noise. There is a male cardinal that seems (my imagination?) in charge of letting the rest of the bird world know what is happenning in my yard. He and the she as well, do't seem to frequent the feeders much, but he is often perched on the outside shower or somewhere else int he yard, and seems to call out after I have added seed, etc.  Activity 3: songs - I love the songs, I have become more awake to the different songs and calls (albeit realizing that sometimes quite different melodies may be from the same bird-song) but I have realized that song memory is very difficult for me. OH - but, as I love to watch the hunting birds, some time ago I learned to be alert for mobbing and watch the skies - for the emergencence of a hawk being mobbed etc
    • Vicki g
      Participant
      Chirps: 21
      vickigoldsmith
      Activity 1 - I have been going back regularly to one particular harbor quite near me, just to watch the geese and couple of ducks, and on occasion certain shore birds that drop by. The behaviors of the Canada Geese feeding and seemingly resting in this area have come to interest me - especially all the different and gorgeous neck movements of the geese ... for example as they were accompanying this gosling v. as they are elegantly or cozily feeding on grasses. I was also curious last night about a group of 5 adults in one spot, and a single goose about 30 yard away who did not move into "their" spot until they had departed. IMG_8282  
    • Sarah
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      PowellS9
      Activity 3: I listened to bird songs outside by our bird feeder for 5 minutes, and thought I picked out 5 different songs/calls.  It was definitely a chorus out there-there was constant sound from the birds and confusing to listen and pick out individual songs, and then keep track of what I had already heard or what was distinct or new.  I recognized the red winged blackbird song, and common grackle had a chipping sound as it was close at the feeder.  My other guesses from checking in with Merlin ID are black capped chickadee, because I've seen them around lately, and various warblers and finches based on songs or chirps I was hearing but can't identify specifically.  This activity goes to show my ears can use a lot of practice listening to and picking out bird song.  It was fun, though!
    • Mary Alice
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      Landyce1
      Activity 1 - Have been watching red-tailed hawk in my back yard. He swoops through occasionally with a flock of vigilant grackles or crows mobbing him. Other times he sits perched in a tree scanning the area, presumably for prey. The other day he was perched on a large limb of an oak with grackles mobbing him, making quite a din. He did not budge. Observing him, I noticed he had prey between his claws and was eating it. At one point, he dropped some. My neighbor joined me and pointed out that he was raiding a nest. The portion dropped was a nestling. He finished all the contents of the nest, then swooped down to retrieve the dropped bird and flew off, grackles in noisy pursuit. Activity 2 - I have an oriole feeder outside filled with grape jelly and oranges. The orioles love it and are now on their third jar of jelly. They seem to drink the jelly, dipping their beaks in then raising them. The also hang from the feeder to peck out the pulp of the oranges. They make quite a racket of chittering calls when they feel threatened. A kind of warning, I suppose. Catbirds also frequent the feeder. They perch on it and voraciously bury their beaks in the jelly. They feed at the oranges too, but more often from the perch. The orioles feed from dawn to dusk, most frequently certain times of day. Cardinals also visit the feeder, but less frequently. The orioles are the most aggressive, often chasing the catbirds away. Activity 3 - It's mid-day and the birds are less vocal. They are flying back and forth across the driveway. I can hear finches singing. Grackles mobbing a hawk. Occasionally a nestling calls to its parents for food. A Great Crested Flycatcher and Baltimore Orioles occasionally call from the treetops.
    • natsuko
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      natsukoYK
      P5225556 (2)P5225557 (2) Activity 1 : I often see White-cheeked Starlings these days while walking around my neighbour. I have not noticed them before but once recognized, they became one of my regulars. They usually walk on glass fields carelessly, looking for foods. I do not know what they eat.
    • Mary Ann
      Participant
      Chirps: 13
      makelly415
      S2D2F1E81-8DBB-449E-B9F5-CB44C118BCDB Sorry, I had trouble posting these pictures-Pileated Woodpecker and I thought this was a Yellow Warbler at my bird feeder. 29BF299C-7D72-49C3-99A6-AFCE235130C1
    • Mary Ann
      Participant
      Chirps: 13
      makelly415
      1. I was walking thru a state park in NY and came upon  a Pileated Woodpecker on a huge dead tree log. I just read that these woodpecker make rectangular holes to find carpenter ants. He (she?) was so busy feeding that I was able  to watch for awhile. 2. The Mouring Doves at the bird feeder always remain on the ground. I just read that they peck and push ground  cover around, never scratch at it. I thought I had a yellow warbler at bird feeder but I just read they don’t come to feeders because they eat mostly insects. 3. On a walk in my neighborhood, I heard an unusual call and looked up and saw a Baltimore Oriole. On a another walk, I heard a Rose-breasted Grosbeak before I found it. The Gray Catbird is very distinctive and they seem to give long, complex songs.  
    • Deanna
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Dhostler
      I watched a robin, it was standing on the ground in the yard singing but did not seem to be foraging for food. There are also sparrows in the yard and several other bird calls beside the robin
    • Patrick
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      pyoung_2024
      After about 10 minutes listening different I could identify a blue Jay, chipping sparrow, house wren, and also a morning dove. It was interesting who many different sounds these birds can make.
    • Vashti
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      vashti
      2.  At our feeder in winter, the chickadees land at the feeder, pick one sunflower seed, then fly over to the hawthorn tree, hold the seed with their toes, and peck until they get the seed open.  The redpolls mostly land on the deck as a group, and hop around, sifting through the sunflower seeds that have been scattered.  They eat the seeds while standing on the deck.  The hairy woodpecker lands on the feeder and digs thrugh the seeds, scattering sunflowers all over the deck.  He finally selects one, then flies back to the aspen trees on the edge of the yard. 3. Today out my window, i here lots of robins and white throated sparrows, and an occasional raven.  I hear several other bird calls, but I haven't got them figured out yet.  Maybe a chipping sparrow and a yellow rumped warbler?
    • Julie
      Participant
      Chirps: 13
      juliehoskins
      Activity 1 - Today I saw a Hutton's Vireo bathing in the fountain in our backyard. We just learned about cleaning, so the timing was great. The bird started at the top tier of the fountain, which is a very small area, about 10 inches across, with moving water coming into it. He would jump in, shake his feathers, then hop to a nearby branch on a shrub to clean his beak. Now that I know that rubbing the beak on a branch is a form of cleaning, I could see that he was doing a cleaning routine - fountain to branch, then repeat. It took him a while. I read about them on All About Birds, it says they appear in twos which does seem to be the case, because I have seen the other one.
    • Marlene
      Participant
      Chirps: 17
      mg47831
      Hello everyone. We've enjoyed watching all the birds this Memorial Day weekend. Many different behaviors observed now that I know what to look for. Many different feeding habits for different birds. The Baltimore Orioles love the thick slices of oranges we are providing them. Almost more than the liquid feeder. Amazing how quickly they can extract the juices from the pulp of the oranges with their pointed beaks. Two female turkeys have also become regulars underneath the bird feeders in the last two weeks. They scratch the earth to make sure they get every last seed that falls. We also see a male Cardinal who prefers to show up just at dusk on many evenings. We see him during the day, but much more often in the early evening. The Eastern Bluebirds are my favorites right now. They are busy picking at the ground for bugs. We also started putting out some meal worms and they seem to love them. I have one female bluebird who perches on a shepherds hook by my window and preens herself early each morning. She fluffs and seems to be drying her feathers. This is also one time I can actually get a closer look at the pretty blue feathers under her wings. Northeast Wisconsin. 20200525_072235[1]20200525_073205[1]
    • Laura
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      LauraBea
      Activity One - We just put up a feeder here on Long Island, NY, but birds are taking awhile to visit it. There are a couple of "regulars" already though- one a Downy Woodpecker and another that looks like a Finch. The Sparrows seem to prefer to peck at the seed that falls below the feeder. I have had trouble observing bird behavior for any length of time because they birds in our backyard fly away quickly. Activity Two - I enjoy watching the Cornell Bird Cam. I have observed that the Mourning Doves try to be as inconspicuous as possible when they are at the feeder, particularly when the Grackles show up. The Cardinals are similar and stay on nearby branches awhile until it looks like it's safe to be on the feeder. The Woodpeckers however do not seem as cautious, and once on the feeder, they seem pretty comfortable. Activity Three - I can now identify the Blue Jay's call as well as the Robin's song and that of the Black-Capped Chickadee. I often hear the birds singing before sunrise.
    • Wendy
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      wrogan
      House Sparrows enjoy dust bathing in the dry, sandy patches of my backyard. I wondered if they might prefer a water bathing area, so I bought a 20" plastic birdbath (the hanging type) but placed it in a raised planter bed instead of suspending it. So far, I have observed only one sparrow using it! So dust bathing must be very effective as a means for cleaning feathers.
    • Richard
      Participant
      Chirps: 20
      rspayne
      Activity 3 Noticing behaviors, Listening to birds,  I had two song listening experience yesterday.  I went to take a daily picture at a pond where Ibis with friends like to gather.  As I arrived a flock of 30+ Ibis took off and flew away before I had my camera out of the car.  They started to dribble back one at a time, but only 30 feet from me a redwing blackbird landed on some long reeds.  He picked a particular reed and shimmied down the reed to someplace near the water and out of my view. I theorized he was either eating or more likely there was a nest down there.  His "red wing" had faded so I think it was after the beginning of the breeding season.  He chirped a few times to another blackbird without a red wing patch who remained about 15 feet down the shoreline on another reed.  They chirped back and forth.  Then the unmarked (female?) burst into song.  Recently I read that northern birds both males and females sing but southern birds exclusively males sing.  As I see the red winged blackbird  in MA as well, along with cardinals and blue jays quite regularly, I guess the rule is not hard and fast or maybe applies to only the species that don't change or span large ranges of latitudes. The male and female are shown below.P5200107P5200116Later in the day I was listening on my lanai and I head a sound like the end of the northern cardinal (who seems to live year rounding southwest Florida).  The song was moving slowly from my right to my left.  I finally caught sight of the cardinal quite low in the trees and shrubs.  It was definitely a male cardinal.  I didn't get his photo but have included one of my favorites from last year pretty close to the same place and time in 2019.cardianal leaf side I guess this guy just likes the last half of his song.  He didn't do the first two long notes, just started in the middle doing the staccato notes.  I had thought the ever so noisy mockingbirds were the ones doing partials on the cardinal song but by paying attention for the course I found I was wrong.
      • Karen
        Participant
        Chirps: 11
        Northstar56
        I like your story about the Red-winged Blackbirds. I see them a lot in the cat tails around a small lake I walk by every day.
      • Catherine
        Participant
        Chirps: 16
        cvanderplaats
        Red-winged blackbirds are very common in my area (Island of Montreal), but I've never seen one with so much orange on the wings (your first photo): maybe regional, or just the way the wings fluffed? Catherine
    • Cynthia
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      credford62
      Went on a nature walk and saw several birds and heard several birds. Birds we saw were: Yellow-rumped warbler, Blue-headed vireo, Dark-eyed Junco, Chipping Sparrows, Mallards, and geese. Birds we heard were: Wood Thrush, Robins, Yellow Warblers, Pileated Woodpecker, Morning Doves, Cardinals, Black-throated Green Warbler, White-breasted Nuthatch, Blue Jays, Wood Duck, and a Black-capped Chickadee. It was pretty awesome to see so many birds and hearing all the different birds was amazing also.
    • Charlotte
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      Cnemeth
      Several ruby throated hummingbirds have been active at my feeders however despite the multitude of flowers I have provided, all of which are hummingbirds' favorites, they seem to prefer the feeders. Having researched this behavior it seems that it should be the opposite as flowers should be the preferred food. So I am not sure why this seems to be the case.
    • Kristine
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      klolorenzo
      I tuned in to the Cornell Lab Feeder Cam and dropped into a bird party! Common Grackles, one Blue Jay, one Red-Winged Blackbird, a Red-Bellied Woodpecker, male and female Northern Cardinal, a couple European Starlings, a Mourning Dove, and a little guy I couldn't ID. It was interesting to see how the woodpecker seemed to prefer of hanging under the feeder, and how it seemed to prefer some feeders over the others. The woodpecker also showed some aggressive postures toward birds that came too close. The others were chill about sharing space. Oh, now everyone is gone and a squirrel is just sitting in the feeder lol
    • Ethan
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      fishfalcon
      It's amazing what you can hear and see in just 5 minutes. A total of 14 species, including red-winged black birds, northern cardinals, and red-tailed hawks.
    • Tricia
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      tdthrasher
      I just set up some feeders and added one for orioles. After 3 days a male Hooded Oriole found it. It has come back the last few days and lands on the top of the pole and calls, then flies down to feed. Today after he did this he was joined by a female.
    • Sam
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      samalama
      I've been seeing a fair amount of Anna's Hummingbirds in our neighborhood.  This morning I was able to observe one perched on a branch from some english ivy.  She was cleaning her beak on the branch!  She then flew off out of sight and came back a couple of minute later to shake her feathers and clean her beak some more.  It looks like we both had some pretty satisfying showers this morning.
    • Richard
      Participant
      Chirps: 20
      rspayne
      Activities Observing Behavior. Activity 1 and 2 were spent looking at the Sapsucker woods bird cam.   Most of the birds seemed to be on pretty good behavior.  Some like the blue jays seemed to be one at a time visitors. Others like the boat tailed grackles seemed to come in bunches.  The Baltimore Orioles, and Cardinals and Doves were often in pairs.  The only birds eating fruit were the Baltimore Orioles and the Robin.  There were mostly middle sized birds there, no Crows or bigger birds and I saw only one smaller Tufted Titmouse and one Nuthatch. Most of the birds seemed to be focused on feeding.  The grackles seemed to have a tendency to look up quite often.  They were in the largest numbers today and seemed to be looking up a lot.  Most other birds seemed to be looking more at the seeds. The Downey and Red Bellied Woodpeckers all fed on vertical feeders. Just as they are mostly observed hunting and digging on the side of trees , Activity 3 sounds in the background: The honking of Canada Geese and several other background trill calls were there in the background. I am not familiar with   Birds on the feeder were very quiet..
    • W. John
      Participant
      Chirps: 9
      charlottelass
      [1] The only behaviour that I found to be unusual -- and unnoticed until this course -- is the backwards scratching at the ground of certain sparrows. I still find this fascinating to watch. No other of my birds seems to do this. [2] I have noticed that my black-capped chickadees, much like a great many small birds, take one seed at a time. Sometimes they fly away with the seed, smack it open, eat it, and then return for another. Other times, they sit right at the feeder and eat the seed. Even when there is nyjer on the ground, they seem to prefer to cling to a tube-feeder and eat directly from it. The dark-eyed juncos, on the other hand, seem to eat exclusively on the ground. [3] I have been working on learning to identify bird songs since taking that course in January. I am getting much better at it but still have a long way to go. The song that I lost recently learned is that of the House Wren, which sounds rather like being scolded. I have been trying to learn to distinguish the different chips of various woodpeckers. This will take me some time but I seem to have a great deal of time on my hands these days.
    • Nicole
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      rosie2020
      1. Watching an American Robin in my backyard (Westchester County, NY). I feel that they have a distinct stride or hop and spend so much more time on the ground then other "backyard birds". I understand that part of the reason may be the type of food they search out. Watching a green heron today (which is not all that common in my area at this time of year) he was sitting pretty high up in a tree. He was preening himself for quite some time. I noticed that he also dips his head, almost completely underneath himself- perhaps this is telltale of a heron. I have seen the night heron make this move as well. Earlier today I also saw two adult Canada geese and their 3 goslings. The parents are very attune, understandably, to where the babies are at all times. One seems to be look-out while the other keeps eye on the kids. The goslings were so sweet and followed what mom and dad were doing- dunking in the water-looking for things to eat. DSCN4518 DSCN4545 DSCN4626 Birds really do have unique ways of eating, what they eat and how they approach food. The red-bellied woodpecker in my yard tends to come in for one piece of food and then fly a short distance to the nearest tree. He will repeat this numerous times. On occasion he will stay for a second bite- it usually depends on if it is seed or suet. I have also seen him take nuts and find hiding places for them. The woody and hairy woodpeckers seem to be more comfortable spending more time at the feeder. Working to get more a meal or multiple bites in one visit. I love watching the doves feed. They will come to me deck when I sprinkle seed and spend some time in one area while they feed as long as they are not disturbed. They also seem willing to have others (birds) around when they are eating. The starlings seem to drive lots of other birds away because they are very dramatic (chaotic). They flap their wings a great deal and "yell" at one another. They seem to give each other a hard time at the feeders and rarely let another near. 3. I am slowly starting to be able to recognize a few different birds by their songs or calls. I am amazed at how many different sounds some of them have. I imagine they mean different things to those who know them. I heard a gray catbird up close for the first time and it really did sound like a meow. However, later in the day I heard a different one and it sounded very different. I have a long way to go.
    • Lisa
      Participant
      Chirps: 13
      Lucylocket
      1. Watching an American Crow: He waddles and searches my yard looking for nuts that were buried by squirrels. When he finds one, he chips at it till he gets it. Sometimes, he'll fly to the birdbath and put the food in the water, waits a few seconds and scoops it up to swallow it. He is definitely less afraid of people and will  allow me to get much closer to him that other birds. He "caws" a LOT and sticks his neck out each time. He probably broods in a huge evergreen tree across the street. They fight and fly around incessantly. 2. The House Sparrow stays put at the feeder for much longer than any other birds that visit. He seems pretty unafraid. He also chases off other birds. Right now, I have a nest right next to the right side bird feeder. This feeder is generally the most popular, due to a lavender bush situated next to it. It always empties first. Now however, it is nearly still full after 3 weeks due to the fact that the mama sparrow chases off the other birds. They have to attempt to use the left feeder if she lets them. The chickadee comes and goes quite quickly; flies to a branch and eats there. But the redbreasted nuthatch comes and goes the quickest. A speedy entrance and a quick grab - away it goes. It never eats at the feeder nor does it eat in a nearby bush or tree. 3. If I'm in the woods, the bird that I usually hear the most is the Swainson's Thrush- my favorite song of all. I've never spotted it however. I also hear the Robin and the woodpecker, sparrows and chickadees. I LOVE the Chickadee's two-noted song during mating season. It's a minor interval and totally fascinating to me. Also, I can sometimes hear the nuthatch's little horn like, monotone song, which even though it's not very exciting, I still find very fun to listen to.
    • Cathy
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      CathyBonnett
      IMG_0009I was in the Galapagos on March 12 of this year.  These are Blue Footed Boobies doing a mating dance.  There were lots of vocalizations which I got on video.  Truly an amazing experience and in the time of COVID I am so thankful I squeaked that one it.
    • Laura
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      gruffie14
      I am fortunate, in this time of COVID, to live on a property that has multiple habitats. I live on the river, and have both a large clearing and a wooded area. At the river, we see numerous Eastern Phoebe, Red Winged Blackbirds, Heron, and an very special Bald Eagle. In the plain grass, we have Robins, Grackle, Brown headed cowbirds and starlings, In the wooded brush, we have multiple types of sparrow, Eastern Bluebirds, and purple and golden finches. Throughout it all, we have so many woodpeckers: Red bellied, Downy, Hairy, Piliated, and Northern Flicker.We have one lone red headed woodpecker (see an awful picture of this striking bird) It has been fun to watch my more common birds more closely, and I am grateful for this lesson in teaching so many valuable things. I have seen: two Robins fighting over territory, Red wing Bred headed 2Blackbirds puff up their colors around other birds, and Starlings, Grackle, Robins, and Brown Headed Cowbirds all eating peacefully together.
    • Jill
      Participant
      Chirps: 9
      jluccaHR
      IMG_0297Activity 1: We watched the Ring-billed Gulls in action alongside our area's large lake. The Merlin app really helps to differentiate on the spot but the All About Birds website review certainly makes one a local expert. The flying, wading, behaviors we've noted for years take on new meaning with this birding course. We live in a breeding area for these gulls so they are everywhere. Unfortunately they draw tourists who feed them anything and everything which always brings on a flock. / Activity 2: We seem to watch the squirrels try every antic they know to acquire seeds from our "squirrel proof" bird feeder but watching birds for 15 minutes will be our challenge going forward. We'll have to add more feeders to attract an array of birds that stay awhile. / Activity 3: Recognizing bird songs will also take more practice ---made more fun with the games at the Cornell Ornithology website. The dawn chorus is a little early for us!
    • Danya
      Participant
      Chirps: 14
      dfurda
      Activity 1:  We have noticed a lot of Blue-gray Gnatcatchers on our walks lately.  They are so difficult to photograph because they constantly moving about eating insects.  Activity 2:  We have a lot of different birds that come to our bird feeders and each species does seem to have its own style.  The Downy Woodpecker always goes to the suet and is not shy about sticking around; the Red-bellied Woodpecker and Blue Jays take a peanut and leave to eat it on our maple tree; the European Starlings, our least favorite birds, come in a flock, crowd out the other birds, and make a mess by spilling the bird seed all over the patio.  Activity 3:  We are beginning to notice a few more bird songs than before.  We can identify the Cardinals, Blue Jays and Gray Catbirds immediately.  We were treated to a wonderful song by a Wood Thrush recently. 22-IMG_4938 04-IMG_5134 01-IMG_5124
    • Annie
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      akiene
      Activity 2: The Northern Cardinals at my feeders will park themselves at my feeders and eat seeds there typically. They'll stay for long periods at a time if not disturbed. I also spotted some courtship behavior the other day in which the male cardinal was feeding a female. The Carolina Chickadees are more likely to hop on the feeder for a moment, grab a seed, and fly off again and then repeat. Same thing with my Tufted Titmice - they'll take a seed and eat it elsewhere. The doves are usually on the ground by the feeder and will graze there, though I did see one on my feeder today! Like the cardinals, the doves tend to stick around for a while as long as they aren't bothered. There is a red-bellied woodpecker who also enjoys our bird feeder. It will stop and eat seeds for about half a minute before flying off again into the trees. I saw a brown thrasher trying somewhat successfully to get some suet from our woodpecker suet feeder. It balanced awkwardly but managed to get a little before giving up and going elsewhere. Our crows do the same thing. They peck a little at the suet feeder, but as it's not built with them in mind, they don't spend too much time on it.
    • Link
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      Leafblade61
      Activity 1: I was watching a House Finch sitting on top of a pole. He was mostly looking around. He fluffed up once and did a little bill-wiping, but not much other than that. I'm guessing that he was mostly just keeping an eye out for predators and his kind. Activity 2:I heard the songs of the American Robin, European Starling, House Finch, and Eurasian Collared Dove. I'm learning that birding is just as much about sound as it is about sight.
    • Mark
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      Mark Mcgeachie
      1. Sulphur Crested Cockatoos have been landing in a tree over our pool late in the morning and staying much of the day. They are eating the seeds off the tree by biting  off the tips of branches, holding them with their feet and picking off the seeds. The branches land in our pool. There are many birds in the valley behind our home and periodically a cockatoo will give off a scare call and the cockatoos in the tree will join others forming a large squawking flock that circles the valley with other species joking them for part of the action. Eventually they will settle again. 2. The Cockatoos in our tree (eucalyptus) snap the tips off branches, pick off seeds with their beak and crack a seed open. they discard the outer part of the seed. 3. Noisy minors, Lorikeets, King Parrots, Magpies, Currawong.
    • Betsy
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      BetsyPowers
      1. Watching the barn owl in the Webcam, I noticed it standing on one leg. Today's lesson informed me that the Barn Owl was stretching. I now recall, she had her wing extended as well. She does a lot of preening of her feathers and adjusting herself. 2. The Oak Titmouse will sit on one of my feeders and eat once seed after another until something spurs it to move away. My robins do not go up on the feeder but prefer to graze the ground beneath it and forage for dropped seeds and likely ground insects. 3. I really want to learn to identify more Bird Song. For now, I know the Blue Jay, the Mourning Dove, the American Robin and of course, the Crow. And I know the woodpecker's pecking sound and easily observe them at the tops of the palm trees. I also love to hear the Barn Owls after dark and occasionally a screech owl.
    • David
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      dbagwell
      I remember an activity of a finch that had created a nest in a hanging flower pot on our front porch.  On an extremely hot day the sun was pouring down on the nest with the young inside.  In order to protect them from the sun, the female (or male?) perched on the edge of the nest and fanned its wings out to shade the young.  It recognized the danger of the hot sun that would overheat the young in the nest.  The finch continued this for some time.
      • Cathy
        Participant
        Chirps: 37
        cgtv123
        David, Wow, that's very interesting and must have been neat to see the parent shading it's young. Cathy
    • Alexis
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      LLLearner
      In the Washington DC suburbs. #3: Gray catbird, northern cardinal, house sparrow, American crow were birds I could identify by their songs/calls. The way I usually identify a mockingbird is by hearing a whole series of bird calls, one right after the other. I've heard and seen more blue jays this year than in other years. I was surprised to realize that I'd forgotten what their calls sound like, but I've got it now. #1: American Robins really do go bob-bob-bobbin' along the ground looking for their meals. I see and hear lots of house sparrows and song sparrows, although the individuals don't tend to hold still long enough for much watching.
    • Jane
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      Jane_Stewart
      Activity 1 DSCF0613 Watching this beautiful lady have her breakfast was exciting!! I never realized  Pileated Woodpeckers have such a long, narrow tongue. She spent a few minutes enjoying the suet feeder then flew to a nearby tree where she wiped her beak several time to clean off remnants of food.
      • Cathy
        Participant
        Chirps: 37
        cgtv123
        What a great picture, Jane.  Thanks for sharing. Cathy
    • Sandra
      Participant
      Chirps: 31
      sg333
      Activity 3: In central British Columbia we have Violet-green Sparrows breeding! Several of them flew on my deck yesterday morning. They glided over the railing of up to the rafters, then flew away. They have a very quick chirpy sound. House sparrows are numerous in a large tree close by, as are American Goldfinches. European Starlings have a funny song. Several Mallards and Canada Geese flying over towards the numerous ponds and marshes close by. I don't like the sound crows make, but they are interesting and smart. There was one sound I could not make out. Going through sounds on Merlin I believe it is the Yellow-rumped Warbler. I am still working on locating through sound; a challenging task, considering the abundance of species here in the spring. SutherlandMay2020 (23)
      • Aaron
        Participant
        Chirps: 16
        A.M.Bradley
        Didn't you mean Violet-green Swallow. They are so pretty nice picture.
    • Sandra
      Participant
      Chirps: 31
      sg333
      Activity 2: I watched the Ontario cam for a while, but only Sparrows. Surprising to me they were eating from the feeders facing down, like the Nuthatch. Then were feeding from the tray. The 5 of them were quite civilized. On the Cornell cam were several blackbirds eating from the feeders and the tray, with a lot of exuberance and fighting. As I expected, the woodpecker was hanging on the side of the feeders, pecking slowly. The Mourning Dove was pecking slowly on the tray. I wonder how humans would eat if social pressure to conform was not there? lol
    • Sandra
      Participant
      Chirps: 31
      sg333
      Activity 1: at one of my favorite marshes, there were few birds, but a lot of activity. A Red-winged Blackbird and crow squawking and flying at one another. The crow was low in the tree, which i do not normally see, and was intent on annoying the Blackbird. Male Mallards chasing one another. Fighting over the female close by I think. The Osprey were busy the past few weeks nest building, but I only saw the female today sitting low in the nest. Keeping the eggs warm. I found an empty Robins egg on the ground, but did not see any Robins. Red-winged blackbirds in several different trees were sending out warning signals when I got close. I am used to their annoyed calls, but these calls were more protective sounding. Many House Sparrows hopping from one bush to another, angry at each other. I have seen them be territorial before; not like the Red-winged Blackbird is though.
    • Julian
      Participant
      Chirps: 11
      FishIsTheWord
      2: I have enjoyed watching White-Crowned Sparrows, Harris's Sparrows, and a Mourning Dove graze on scattered seeds as the day cools down. When I go outside, nobody comes down to the yard. If the dove doesn't come down to look for snacks, I probably won't see the sparrows either. The sparrows wait in the bushes and then some will go to the seeds to forage. They like it best when it's in the shady evening. If the dove flutters in, the sparrows are pretty quick to join. There are always hidden sparrows looking out for the foragers, but I think seeing the dove foraging makes them feel more comfortable. After all, it's very easy to hear when a dove gets spooked and flies away. The dove is much less timid than the sparrows and eats its fill before leaving. Sometimes a single male Common Grackle will come to eat some leftover corn, but nobody likes being around him. The robins always throw a fit when the grackles are too close. The grackle doesn't care if people are in the yard or not. He is a hardened corn-snatcher, and he chews his food loudly.
    • Deborah
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      debcuk
      I watched and heard some birds at The Cornell Lab Feeder Cam.  I recognized the call of the red-wing blackbird and downy woodpecker.  They both came to eat.  The red-wing black bird ate several seeds at a time whereas the cardinal ate one seed at a time from the tray.  The black capped chickadee ate one seed at a time from the tube feeder.  The downy woodpecker took a quite a bit of time to eat from the center feeder and ate a lot at once.  It was fun to see all the activity!
    • Manyu
      Participant
      Chirps: 42
      SManyu
      Activity 2 - Cornell Lab Feeder Cam 5th May 2020 7:35 AM to 7:45 AM 1. A male and female Northern Cardinal were there. 2. I think it was a forest which came and disturbed the Cardinals. 3. There were couple of yellow sparrow sized song birds. Black crown, white stripes on black wings. Stayed for very short periods. warbler ? 4. Again Raven came and they went away. 5. Red winged black birds were there. I saw one showing it's red wings to other with an aggressive call. 6. Yellow-Crowned wood pecker was attracted towards only one feeder which looks like tree's trunk. It and dove were the only birds not afraid of Raven. 7. A squirrel also was seen enjoying the feed.
    • Manyu
      Participant
      Chirps: 42
      SManyu
      Activity 3 : Was able to listen to 14 songs/calls. I was able to recognize the following : - 1. House Sparrow 2. Common Myna 3. House Crow 4. Indian Peafowl 5. Brown Rock Chat 6. Rose Ringed Parakeet 7. Eurasian collared Dove. 8. Black kite 9.Red Vented Bulbul 10. Red wattled lapwing 11. Little Swift
    • Manyu
      Participant
      Chirps: 42
      SManyu
      Activity 1- Red vented BulBul Saw it scratching it's head , cleaning the bill, fluffing up the feathers, eating raw fruits from trees and trying to catch an insect. It was about to rain and couple of Bulbuls went for higher trees. They became more active when it rained and moved from tree to other. I saw it cleaning the wet wings. Also noticed the bigger birds straightaway went for some place which can save them from rain like Myna, Pigeon and crows. Saw the bird cam too and if I am correct ravens and squirrels were enjoying the feed.  Ravens were fighting among themselves.
    • Jason
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      Jason Stanley
      Activity 1: I picked a European Starling to watch, mostly because most of the other birds I see outside don't stick around for long enough to watch! The bird was on a grassy section of a park feeding with several other starlings. It pecked at the grassy lawn, and walked around as it did so. The other starlings in the group did the same thing. The bird constantly looked up, likely to check for predators, and then back down to continue foraging for food. It never strayed more than a meter or two from the other birds in its group. At one point, one bird in the group suddenly flew away into a nearby tree, and the rest of the group departed too, though they didn't all congregate in the same tree. While the birds were grazing, they rarely made calls and didn't sing, but when they departed in flight they did make calls, and then one in the tree one of them started singing. Activity 2: I watched the Sapsucker Woods feeder cam for about 10 minutes. I saw an American Robin land on the flat surface (not the hanging feeders), look around (perhaps for predators?) for about 10 seconds, and then fly away without having taken any seeds. Then, a White-Breasted Nuthatch landed on a perch of one of the hanging feeders. The bird spent most of its time glancing around in different directions, jumping to adjust its position on the perch so it could see in different directions. Finally, the bird dug its head inside the feeder and eventually grabbed a seed and flew away. A minute later, a Nuthatch arrived back at the same feeder -- likely the same bird. It took another individual seed and flew away again. This happened a few more times. I also saw a Northern Cardinal land on the flat surface and peck at individual seeds, also looking around constantly for vigilance. After a minute of this, the Cardinal hopped up onto a perch of one of the hanging feeders and grabbed individual seeds from inside this feeder. Comparing the Nuthatch and the Cardinal, the larger bird (Cardinal) seemed more interested in the flat landing area, whereas the smaller bird only landed on the perch. This might also have to do with the Nuthatch's specific preference for surfaces like a tree truck -- maybe another small bird, like a sparrow, would also be comfortable on the flat surface. Again comparing the two, the Cardinal spent longer at the feeder than the Nuthatch did -- the latter had a pattern of landing, grabbing a seed, departing with it, then returning to start the cycle over again. Activity 3: I often spend a bit of time on my balcony observing birds. I've been amazed at how much of my experience is now auditory as opposed to just visual. Immediately, when I go outside, I hear a single House Sparrow chirping away loudly from inside a cedar bush. Then, as I grow accustomed to this sound, my ears open up to other bird sounds. I hear a black-capped chickadee's song in the distance, the song of a Northern Cardinal, the periodic calls of Ring-Billed Gulls as they pass overhead, the caws of American crows, the rhythmic beating of duck wings as a mallard shoots by, the songs and calls of Red-Winged Blackbirds in the distance, and the honking of several Canada Geese as they fly overhead. The list goes on!
    • cindy
      Participant
      Chirps: 16
      CindyFowler
      Activity 2.  Eastern Bluebird likes to eat meal worms. The mother and father are feeding the juveniles with open mouths and scream demanding food.   The red-bellied woodpecker likes the suet feeder with the tail prop.  Occasionally it will eat from other feeders but looks uncomfortable as it tries to contort itself to access the seeds. The cardinals Prefer to eat off the ground but will eat from platform feeder.
    • Minor
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Minor123
      As a rank amateur, I have trouble identifying the birds because before I know it they are gone.  It has been helpful watching the feeder cams and taking a screen shot when I see a bird I want to identify.  This gives me a chance to identify it using Merlin.
    • Paula
      Participant
      Chirps: 19
      Pklazrus
      I looked at the Barred Owl cam. There are 3 (it took me a while to figure out how many) little owls. They are downy.  At the start they seemed to all be just dozing. Then the back one started changing position as if snuggling up to one of the others, or maybe trying to wake them up. It opened its eyes and looked around an up, perhaps looking for the return of its mother.  Then the second owl started pecking near the awake owls beak.  At first I thought it was grooming the other owl, but then perhaps it thought maybe it had food for it. Finally the third owl which had been so curled up I thought it might be part of one of the other two stirred and I saw their were three. Finally the second owl started preening.   Nice to watch them close up.   At the Ithaca feeder the mourning dove was standing on the edge of the platform with it's head almost totally in the bottom hole of the feeder although it seemed to take out only one seed at a time it took breaks between eating but ate right at the hole. A goldfinch then dropped in on a higher rung and it would peck in grab a seed pull back seeming to break the husk and drip it while eating the inside. Finally a grackle came by, the others flew off and it stood on the corner of the platform pulling seeds out.  When it left a Blue Jay flew up and ate seeds from the platform picking them up and sort of tossing them back while lifting it's head, while another mourning dove pecked at the seeds eating with it's head down close to the seeds.   Out my window I can hear cardinals, blue jays, downy woodpeckers, song sparrows and maybe a mocking bird.  There are other sounds I can't identify (but hope to with time).
    • Donna
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      glomdoc
      Activity 1: I watched a blue jay as he flitted back and forth between the seed feeder, peanut feeder, the ground and a nearby tree. He carried a whole peanut away in his beak and then proceeded to hold it against a branch pecking at it. I also noticed him swiping his beak against the tree branch. Activity 2: The different feeding techniques I noticed were the downy and hairy woodpeckers pecking away at the peanut feeder, a house finch at a seed feeder picking at the seeds, a pair of rose breasted grosbeaks eating black oil sunflower seeds on the feeder and spitting out the hulls, and mourning doves and red wing black birds foraging together eating the seeds on the ground. Activity 3: I heard at least 12 different species based on songs/calls. I find this to be the most difficult aspect of bird identification - associating the call with the bird out in the real world! The ones that I heard today that I can reliably identify are the blue jay, cardinal, red wing blackbird, American crow, mourning dove, gray catbird and pileated woodpecker (who was off in the distance).
    • Jay
      Participant
      Chirps: 19
      PeanutJay
      Activity 1: It was quite rainy today but, nevertheless, the birds were out exhibiting a range of the behaviors described in the lesson. As Kevin said: “To survive, a bird needs to eat and not get eaten.” These are a few of the behaviors I observed: Foraging for food — catching insects: this Downy Woodpecker flew from tree trunk to tree trunk and, starting at the bottom and working her way up, proceeded to hunt for and eat (I’m assuming) insects. IMG_5955 Self care — beak cleaning: although I missed the quintessential act, you’ll have to take my word for it that a Northern Cardinal was cleaning his beak on a branch! Parental behavior — feeding young: a House Sparrow went between the feeder and the feeder arm, bringing food to her cheeping fledgling (you can just make out the baby’s open and waiting mouth in this shot). I guess this pesky invasive has already successfully hatched a new brood… IMG_5960 As I said, it was quite rainy, and I often wonder… what do birds do when it rains really hard? Perhaps this Mourning Dove has the answer: he (or she) sat very still in a tree with his/her head tilted upward, as if exposing a smaller profile to the sky(?). IMG_5958
    • Rosemary
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      stagero
      At the bird feeder today the Blue Jay would take a seed and fly away and eat it them come back and get another seed and repeat.  The Mourning Doves were foraging on the ground and the sparrows just hung on the metal change and ate until something startle them and then they all flew away.
    • Katie
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      karboga3
      Activity #1 I glanced out the window today and saw a different looking bird sitting in a tree next to my feeders. I grabbed my binoculars to take a closer look. I'm so glad I did because it was a quite uncommon White-Crowned Sparrow. I watched him sit there brave as can be and then he began to pick at the tree a bit and move farther down it. Then he flew just a few feet and began foraging on the ground under my sunflower seed feeders. So excited to see an uncommon bird in a city setting. Activity #2 I regularly have House Finches at my safflower feeder and they grab the seed and either feed right at the feeder or sit nearby and eat it and then go in for some more. Unlike the few chickadee and titmouse that show up where they grab a seed and then hide in the nearby tree and bang at the seed between their feet to get parts of it open. Then they will go back and get another seed. The Gold Finches at the thistle feeder sit there for a long time eating away but they have been getting more territorial with each other. Activity #3 Around my house today, I heard House Sparrows, House Finches, Gold Finches, Tufted Titmouse, CardinalIMG_6102IMG_2863
    • Robyn
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      RobFork
      Activity 3:  Heard simultaneously this morning: crow, dove, wren, sparrow, hawk, warbler, hummingbird Activity 2:  Bewick's wren fiercely defending his territory when a Junco was at the feeder in the garden area adjacent to his nesting box on my patio. Activity 3:  Observed Bewick's wren couple for 30 minutes.  Thought they were incubating eggs--just had paused in nest building.  Today they picked up with nest building activity.  Thought I'd heard pipping of chicks--just the male and female communicating in a different way than when they were singing.  Female went into nesting box first and called to male.  Male arrived later and sat atop nesting box.  The two communicated in short, high pips, chirps, and cheeps.  The male alternated between foraging and gathering nesting materials.  Observed the male problem-solve:  after consistently dropping willow branches that wouldn't fit through the nesting box hole sideways, he put them atop the nesting box and fitted them through the hole one-by-one.  Later observed the male defend his territory from a larger Dark-eyed male Junco at a nearby feeder--shrieking and waggling his tail from side to side and hopping up and down until the Junco flew away.
    • Anna
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      AnnaBasso
      Activity #1 I have  pileated wood pecker who lives in the woods around my house and get to observe him almost daily. Today he spent some time on the ground close enough for me to have a good view. It looked like he was going through leaves, I assume to find bugs to eat. I love hearing him and watching him fly between the trees. Activity #2 I have a bird feeder near the creek in my back yard. This week, I've seen three indigo buntings, which I think are just passing through. I've noticed they seem to stay on the ground and eat the dropped seeds more often than sitting on the feeder. We have two pairs of nesting cardinals and I've seen the males chase each other away from the feeder. I also have three suet feeders and have quickly realized that almost all the birds (with the exception maybe of the chickadees) prefer the peanut butter suet. Activity #3 We have many woodpeckers in the woods around our house. I've heard the pileated call and recently have heard a red-bellied call and never realized how similar they sound. I'm not sure now if everything I thought was the pileated might have actually been the red-bellied!   20200422_124710 This is a downy woodpecker at one of the suet feeders (I think! I'm struggling to figure out which ones are downies and which ones are hairies. I think we have both!)
      • Aaron
        Participant
        Chirps: 16
        A.M.Bradley
        This one's a Hairy Woodpecker so how long its bill is compared to its head it is almost the same length as its head. Whereas the Downy Woodpecker is only about half the size of the head. Hope this helps!
    • Deanne
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      14deenray
      I also was able to get this image on another camera, a flock of Black Birds found something to eat. The more they called out, the more showed up. I wanted to share due to it shows so many different stages of their flight. birds2
    • Deanne
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      14deenray
      Activity #1: I watched daily, a flock of Blue Jays that hang out. I set up a trail cam near where they nest and over a  winter got some really nice pictures on the cam. It almost seems like one sits high up in the trees while the others were foraging in the snow. (is that a feather from preening in the lower right?) Activity #2: I watched a variety at my home bird feeder this morning. A "flock" of 4+ yellow finches hanging out on a block i put in a hanger. Several brown headed cow birds at the feeder eating.Activity #3: Listening out my door this morning I could hear some Sand Cranes calling (the echo in the woods sounds like we live in Jurassic Park!), I heard the Red Wing Blackbird call and the distinct tap tap tap of a Woodpecker. Blue jays in flight 2 5
    • Sylvia
      Participant
      Chirps: 9
      SylviaA
      Activity #1: I watched a Hairy Woodpecker hanging upside down to jab at the Cornell Lab feeder that looks like the little rooftop of a house. He was really enjoying jabbing at whatever is in the feeder, and seemed perfectly content to be upside down hanging from the feeder by his feet. Activity #2: There were a few Red-Crowned Woodpeckers (the caption said; I didn't know the name!), and one of them kept feeding fruit to another one standing nearby that was not feeding, just waiting to be fed. The odd thing was that they looked identical, so I don't think it was a male feeding a female, or an adult feeding a fledgling. Would one adult male feed another? I guess it's possible one had less red on the head, so was a female, but I'm not sure. Activity #3: Listening outside my window for five minutes...it's a quiet day. I heard Northern Cardinal singing, and House Sparrows chattering. That's about it.
      • Kevin
        Bird Academy
        kevinmcgowan
        I saw that too, and my conclusion was that it was a large fledgling still being fed. That's the only logical thing I could think of.
    • Mark
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      hallmarkf
      I’ve been listening to recordings of different birds, on Merlin and on a CD. When out walking today I heard a sound I recognized as a Pileated Woodpecker call, I looked and sure enough there he was. I almost got an even better picture of him on the side of a tree a few seconds later, but a person was walking from the other direction and the bird flew away. 6835C746-D808-48A6-82D3-1967541E4B8C
      • Deanne
        Participant
        Chirps: 10
        14deenray
        Really neat picture!! This is my favorite bird. I have one in my trees, comes often to my bird feeder, but every time i try to get a photo he becomes camera shy! Thanks for sharing.
    • Emily
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      ericharson1227
      Activity 1: I watched the Red-Tailed Hawk cam for a little while, and got to see a hawk preening its feathers while sitting on some eggs! What a special view. The hawk used its beak to clean feathers on its belly and sides. We got a nice zoomed in view of two or three eggs in the nest. This hawk is not just preening, but incubating as well! After a while, the hawk stopped preening and went back to sitting still and looking around.   Activity 2: I watched the Cornell Feeder Cam for a bit, and noticed a few different feeding behaviors. A European Starling picks up seeds and cracks them in its beak, eating the insides. A Mourning Dove picks up seeds it can easily eat, and does not break them. Unlike what I read in the lesson, the Blue Jay I saw eating at this feeder selected seeds it could quickly swallow whole. A strange, fluffy bird with four legs and a big tail arrived to eat a snack. It scared all the other birds away. I could not identify this bird in the Merlin app, leading me to think it was a VERY rare sighting! ;)   Activity 3: I listened to birds on the feeder cam. I recognized a blackbird, a chickadee, and a goose. Because this is an east coast camera, there were many other sounds I did not recognize.
      • Jay
        Participant
        Chirps: 19
        PeanutJay
        Keep those four-legged fluff balls safely ensconced in "cat patios" to protect our bird friends -- especially during nesting season! https://www.allaboutbirds.org/news/faq-outdoor-cats-and-their-effects-on-birds/
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