Forum Role: Participant
Active Since: April 9, 2020
Topics Started: 0
Replies Created: 10

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Viewing 10 posts - 1 through 10 (of 10 total)
  • Robin
    Participant
    cherobinlee
    Birds matter to me for so many reasons!  They really are a joy to watch, as stated in this course.  But most importantly, they are indicators of ecosystem health, and without a healthy natural world, our human spirits will suffer.   Spending time in nature is key my emotional well being and birds are a big part of that! Seven simple acts to help birds ... I am already doing many of these!  But I will say I have not yet gotten stickers for my windows and thankfully have not had any birds that we know of fatally crashing into them.    We do have a window feeder now, so that the cats can enjoy from indoors.   Luckily our yard already had lots of native plants there when we moved in 12 years ago and I already have been trying for years now to cut down plastic use but could always do better, and feel good  that our family of five never even fills the smallest garbage receptacle the city of Seattle offers.  No pesticide use, except for a month ago, when we needed to treat our birch tree, or it would be overcome by the bronze birch borer and have to be taken down.  It didn't seem like there were many options left, late in the game to realizing the problem.  I think there is an 8th, very important thing every bird lover can do - write their state and local lawmakers and tell them you support legislation that will protect and conserve bird habitat.  Be as specific as you can.   I can't say whether I have personally noticed bird populations changing over time.  i will note, that growing up in AZ, my parents used to have very large flocks of Robins come through every winter and though I don't live there anymore, they report that only a few here and there are ever seen.  I'm sure there could be many reasons for this.  I have moved around a lot in my adult life and now, having been in Seattle for a time, can't say about the populations in that time period - also  because I have just begun to devote more time to watching the birds during the pandemic. Yes, this course, and Liz's Nature Journaling course got me hooked on learning as much as I can and now I can't stop!  I am a lifelong learner.  But I must say that the Pandemic made this all possible since my part time jobs are not happening right now, and these courses are also something I share with my three girls while we are all at home all the time.
  • Robin
    Participant
    cherobinlee
    My daughters and I took the Nature Journaling course that Kevin mentions in one of these lessons.  And when sketching birds that we see, I take as many field notes about observations that I can then later, look up more about the bird.  I might add some facts to the page.   This has helped me immensely in learning how to ID the bird next time and generally about the bird.  And yes, the notes help with the ID.  It's slow going but a super satisfying process for me and one I have shared with my kids.  Merlin is super helpful for the quick ID and have recently added e bird to be able to submit the data.
  • Robin
    Participant
    cherobinlee
    I chose the two AZ spots, being a graduate of the University of AZ... Clearly Roger Road is near water, since there are so many species of ducks and other waterfowl.  But there are also many sightings of species like flycatchers, warblers, kinglets and wrens that require some understory so I imagine it being a brushy type habitat with some desert trees.  Mt. Lemmon has more birds of prey, woodpeckers, and, and owls that might require suitable trees for food and homes.  The top of Mt. Lemmon is a much hire elevation and vegetation is so different than at its base - but maybe that is cheating!
  • Robin
    Participant
    cherobinlee
    I watched a bird - wasn't able to ID it at the time - at the Panama fruit feeder using its foot to preen the head feathers.  Cool to realize now that of course they have to use their foot on their head for this very important task.  It was also rubbing its beak back and forth on the branch.  I often wondered about this behavior and it seemed almost of a social one, now I know it could be, but primarily is for cleaning the beak area. I identified a Summer tanager at the Panama Fruit feeder as well - it was eating not from the fruit, but from within the wood.  Wondering if there are insects placed there - I read that it eats bees and wasps in a rather violent matter to first remove the stinger. Some birds seem to stay for a longer period of time, while some others just grab a seed and go - but have seen this happen as a result of displacement. I am growing very familiar with the birds outside my house and can readily ID the songs/sounds of at least: dark eyed junco, chickadee, Steller's Jay, golden crowned sparrow, bushtit, Northern flicker, and song sparrow.
  • Robin
    Participant
    cherobinlee
    Wow!  Had no idea how different the Loon's plumage appeared from summer to winter.  And, is the more dull plumage in the winter for the American Goldfinch due to need for camouflage when there is less foliage or just to save energy during the non-breeding season?
  • Robin
    Participant
    cherobinlee
    This is for #2 - Anna's Hummingbird, Northern Flicker, and Great Blue Heron are year round residents that I have seen in my area.  In fact, I have seen pretty much all of the year round residents in my area - except the Brown Creeper, Red Crossbill, Peregrine Falcon and a few more.  I have seen less of the species that only live here part of the year - but I have been lucky to spot the Black Turnstone, Brandt, and Barrow's Goldeneye.  Love the diversity 0f birds in the Seattle area!
  • Robin
    Participant
    cherobinlee
    Wow, the cardinal does not migrate any distance - perhaps elevationally? It also sticks to the South and Eastern US.   That it not apparent from the maps.  The warbler crosses the Gulf of Mexico and makes its way North all the way to Hudson Bay, and probably needs a lot more resources (primarily fuel) than the cardinal, since it does not move around as much. I found it very interesting that the Tanagers both avoid the very middle of the country right down the midwestern states - perhaps they do not find food or refuge here.  The Western Tanger sticks to just that  - the western part of the US and Central America.  But the Scarlet Tanager seems to occupy the longitudes that are farther east, reaching into South America and parts of Central America. The Rufous Hummingbird seems to start at higher latitudes in Central America/Mexico and sticks to the Western coastal areas in North America for the most part as it moves north in the spring/summer, but turn fall, it migrates back down to Central America over the mountains and surounding areas  - the Rockies/Sierrra Nevadas.  Ruby Throated stays more Easterly as it migrates north in the warmer months and never makes it past the midwestern US.  Maybe they have evolutionarily adapted to the Eastern patchwork of vegetation, cities, and  agricultural areas?
  • Robin
    Participant
    cherobinlee
    Activity 2: I just positively identified the bird whose beautiful song I have loved hearing every fall and spring for so long but have never 'seen'!!!  The golden crowned sparrow!  My daughter and I watched some  at our feeder just now and were so excited to hear their song with the Merlin ap.  It is only during this time of COVID that I have been able to really watch the birds at our feeder and am so thankful for that.  We also have the birds by ear class to complete next after the Joy of Birdwatching!
  • Robin
    Participant
    cherobinlee
    I always love watching the crows in our neighborhood, and see them trying to scare away the cats.  I talk to them, and seem to be interested in listening.
  • Robin
    Participant
    cherobinlee
    IMG_2414IMG_2415IMG_2416
    in reply to: Jump Right in! #681497
Viewing 10 posts - 1 through 10 (of 10 total)