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Nature_and_Environment.66

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Birds

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{Nature_and_Environment.66.1}: Kai Hagen {kai} Tue, 24 Feb 2004 01:46:39 CST (HTML)

The "Birds of a feather" topic in the old Nature forum {Nature.Old_Nature} had more than 3,000 posts.

We can pick up the discussion here.

Any recent sightings to share?

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{Nature_and_Environment.66.2}: Steve {srs} Wed, 25 Feb 2004 20:50:23 CST (5 lines)

During the last week or two the Cowbirds, Grackles, and Robins have
arrived here. But today when a Red-Wing Blackbird showed for the
first time this year did I really believe that spring is nearly
here. He must have heard that we were going to take a run at 60
degrees this weekend.

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{Nature_and_Environment.66.3}: Kai Hagen {kai} Wed, 25 Feb 2004 23:31:28 CST (HTML)

Where is "here," Stever?

Based on what you just said, I'll take a wild stab at the Virginia-Maryland area?

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{Nature_and_Environment.66.4}: annie {oceanannie} Fri, 27 Feb 2004 19:54:16 CST (11 lines)

The housefinches are busy around here this week - here being on the
north shore of Lake Ontario by Etobicoke Creek (almost opposite St.
Catharine's on the south shore).  The males aren't singing their
little hearts out just yet, more twittering going on between the
sexes and coy little hoppings away, then closer. Our balcony isn't
suitable for their nests so they don't stay long.

Later (and as I have to move away by the end of May I not get to
hear) the males perch on the parapet top and sing wonderfully. Nor do
all of them fly away if I am already outside, but sometimes hop right
up close giving little questioning tweets.

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{Nature_and_Environment.66.5}: annie {sggriffith} Fri, 27 Feb 2004 20:01:25 CST (1 line)
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{Nature_and_Environment.66.6}: Suzanne {oceanannie} Fri, 27 Feb 2004 21:40:46 CST (8 lines)
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{Nature_and_Environment.66.7}: annie {sggriffith} Fri, 27 Feb 2004 21:51:17 CST (1 line)
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{Nature_and_Environment.66.8}: Suzanne Griffith {sggriffith} Fri, 27 Feb 2004 21:52:09 CST (3 lines)

I thought I saw a duck flying into the woods today. That's such a
weird thing to see that I'm not sure I saw it, but it sure looked
like a duck.

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{Nature_and_Environment.66.9}: Kai Hagen {kai} Sat, 28 Feb 2004 20:37:22 CST (HTML)

It may not be what you expect. But there are ducks that live in the woods. Some, of course, that next in trees, even.

Did you get any sense of its look or coloration?

You do have wood ducks out there.

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{Nature_and_Environment.66.10}: Suzanne Griffith {sggriffith} Sat, 28 Feb 2004 23:13:07 CST (3 lines)

I didn't get much of a look at it. I mostly saw that duck shape. But
it seemed brown and a light color. I don't think it was a wood duck,
but I've never seen one flying.

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{Nature_and_Environment.66.11}: Kai Hagen {kai} Sun, 29 Feb 2004 20:03:20 CST (HTML)

Well...the female wood duck dosn't have all the colors, and is largely brown with white.

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{Nature_and_Environment.66.12}: Suzanne Griffith {sggriffith} Sun, 29 Feb 2004 20:08:46 CST (2 lines)

I'll walk up there and check out the stream and the woods when it
dries out just a little.

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{Nature_and_Environment.66.13}: Helge Hafstad {hhaf} Thu, 04 Mar 2004 07:27:42 CST (4 lines)

Is that how the bird got it's name? *Viewer sees fast bird flying
straight(!) into the woods,  ... thinking Duck!"

;)

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{Nature_and_Environment.66.14}: Kai Hagen {kai} Thu, 04 Mar 2004 07:55:34 CST (HTML)

Heh.

But, actually...yes...sort of. The name comes from the fact that it lives in the woods, and nests in trees.

It's also considered the most beautiful duck on th continent, and perhaps the second most lovely in the world (behind the Mandarine duck:

http://www.birds.cornell.edu/programs/AllAboutBirds/BirdGuide/Wood_Duck.html

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{Nature_and_Environment.66.15}: Suzanne Griffith {sggriffith} Thu, 04 Mar 2004 10:45:55 CST (1 line)

They're very beautiful. I've only seen two of them myself, in ponds.

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{Nature_and_Environment.66.16}: Kai Hagen {kai} Thu, 04 Mar 2004 11:00:48 CST (HTML)

We have them on our pond each spring, hanging out on their way through mostly, it seems. I put up a wood duck nesting box three years ago, which was ignored for the first two years. I was starting to think I'd placed it badly or something. But then, last year, it was used...and successfully at that!

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{Nature_and_Environment.66.17}: Suzanne Griffith {sggriffith} Thu, 04 Mar 2004 11:12:44 CST (1 line)

That's great! Are the nesting boxes specially made for that species?

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{Nature_and_Environment.66.18}: Tom Elliot {telliot} Thu, 04 Mar 2004 11:37:07 CST (HTML)

Just saw our first Grosbeaks of the year, going after some seed I left outside yesterday. We generally see them around this time of year and then only rarely once it warms up. A neighbor spotted the first bluebird (the rocky mountain variety, fluorescent blue) the other day. I'm always amazed that these birds show up here when we still have the possiblity of at least 8 more weeks of Winter, maybe more.

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{Nature_and_Environment.66.19}: Steve {srs} Thu, 04 Mar 2004 12:17:18 CST (12 lines)

A Wood Duck nesting box, that's cool Kai. I have put one out the
last few years (4 or 5 yrs, I think) And it has always been used,
but sometimes I don't think the hatch rate of the eggs has been that
good. Often there are several un-hatched eggs found when I clean out
the box. Along with the ones I can tell did hatch.

Do you have any information on the average number of eggs lain and
the percentage that hatch?

The Wood Ducks who live around me are very skittish. Just turning
the door knob to go out or walking too fast past the window will
send them flying and yelling across the lake. Are yours that jumpy.

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{Nature_and_Environment.66.20}: Kai Hagen {kai} Thu, 04 Mar 2004 13:01:30 CST (HTML)

Perhaps not that jumpy, but we can't get too close, certainly.

I don't know, offhand, about the average number of eggs laid.

> Are the nesting boxes specially made for that species?

Yep.

It looks similar to this:

http://www.ducks.org/conservation/woodduck_box.asp

...except that ours is at least ten feet up on an old red maple, above a shallow marsh.

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> first Grosbeaks of the yea

Cool!

We usually see bluebirds here quite late in the fall and pretty early in the spring. We're not that far from areas where they can be found all winter.

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{Nature_and_Environment.66.21}: Diane Hamilton {dianeh} Thu, 04 Mar 2004 23:04:25 CST (5 lines)

We have red wing blackbirds all year round in Cape May.

I got to see displaying woodcocks on Sunday just after sunset.  Also
saw short eared owls, red tailed hawk, a flack of black crowned
night herons and an eastern meadowlark.

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{Nature_and_Environment.66.22}: Kai Hagen {kai} Fri, 05 Mar 2004 08:19:58 CST (HTML)

That's a cool shortlist! A good day.

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{Nature_and_Environment.66.23}: Diane Hamilton {dianeh} Fri, 05 Mar 2004 21:38:59 CST (2 lines)

I went to one of the local "walks" led by volunteer naturalists.  It
was very productive.  The woodcock display was really cool.

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{Nature_and_Environment.66.24}: Helge Hafstad {hhaf} Mon, 08 Mar 2004 02:43:00 CST (7 lines)

My bird feeder has finally paid off! It has been fairly disappointing
this winter (since December) with little activity, but now it is
warmer and the activity has picked up considerably. I have 2
tallow balls and one feeder tube with 6 stations. The birds seems to
obey certain "rules of engagement" with one at a time at the balls
and only 2 at a time on the feeder. Several birds are waiting their
turn in the bushes. :)

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{Nature_and_Environment.66.25}: Diane Hamilton {dianeh} Mon, 08 Mar 2004 09:48:35 CST (1 line)

It is funny how they line up, isn't it.  Pecking order, I guess.

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