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Navy salad
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PostTue Feb 28, 2012 2:04 pm 
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Pine Siskans have been visiting our bird feeders in droves lately and also appear to show little fear of humans -- although maybe not as fearless as yours! On the other hand, maybe you've got that Saint Francis vibe going on and they can sense you don't pose a danger!

We also get visits from about four Stellars Jays most mornings at our peanut feeders.
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ChuckM
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PostWed Feb 29, 2012 7:50 am 
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That's too funny about the Stellars Jays.  They had me faked out for a while too until I actually saw one make that call through my binoculars.  This is the first place I've read why they make that call.

Great shots FS with the Pine Siskan. I might give that a try too.

Bob is also an occasional fan of our backyard bird (and squirrel) feeders ...

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Flower Sniffer
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PostWed Feb 29, 2012 7:19 pm 
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Wow!  Seriousy?  That is tooooo coooool!

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ChuckM
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PostWed Feb 29, 2012 9:21 pm 
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Oh yeah ...  seriously!

But ...  being new around here I don't want to inadvertently hijack this very cool thread.  Maybe I should start my own backyard bobcat thread?

My fun experience was this last summer when I would see a Western Tanager at a distance.  They are sooo gorgeous but very timid.  So I tried this experiment where I used a birding app on my Droid that played the WT's song.  I had the camera all set up and when I spotted him I played the song on my Droid ...

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boot up
Old Not Bold Hiker



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PostWed Feb 29, 2012 9:34 pm 
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coooool! That sounds like a fun App!
Which App?

cool.gif

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olderthanIusedtobe
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PostWed Feb 29, 2012 9:44 pm 
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Western tanangers are beautiful.  I've seen them a few times around the Teanaway area.

Sorta related to this thread, I just watched "The Big Year."  Entertaining movie.  It's based on a book, I'm sure it was Hollywoodized a fair bit.  It's about 3 guys that are hardcore birders traveling all over North America competing to see who can sight the most different species of birds during the course of a calendar year.
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ChuckM
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PostWed Feb 29, 2012 9:55 pm 
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I use iBird Yard + which was about $2.00.  There is a free version that you can download in the Market.  The Pro version is $4.00.

I do try to be conscientious about any predators before "luring" a song bird out in the open ...

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lookout bob
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PostFri Mar 02, 2012 6:47 am 
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what a great thread!!!  Really awesome pictures!  Flower Sniffer....great siskin stuff....I've never seen one get on one's hand.
I did have an interesting hummingbird experience.  Went to a friends house in North Bend...he had hummer feeders outside a casement ( sliding) window.  He had me hold the feeder in my hands and the hummingbirds would come and land on my extended fingers to use the feeder!!!  They are so awesome and their feet are so delicate.  Cool experience. up.gif  cool.gif

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DIYSteve
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PostFri Mar 02, 2012 8:23 am 
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I have two birding apps:  iBird Pro ($4) and Sibley Birds ($35).  I now never use iBird Pro.  Sibley has more images, more info, more calls and songs
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Flower Sniffer
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PostFri Mar 02, 2012 8:32 am 
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That's cool lookout bob!  I've had them land on my feeder when I'm hanging it.  It's so neat to see them up close!  If you've got 4 minutes, this video is pretty neat.  It's got some advertising stuff at the end, but overall, super cool!


Chuck, what's the story with the bobcat?  Does it really come to your feeder?  I've only seen one once and it was pretty dang neat!  I didn't know there was an app for attracting birds!  That's tempting!  smile.gif  I've only seen one Western Tanager in my backyard.  They are so beautiful. 


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ChuckM
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PostFri Mar 02, 2012 10:15 am 
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Hey BigSteve, thanks for the  heads up on Sibley Birds.  It's on sale now in the Market for $19.99.  Got it!

Flower Sniffer, thanks for the really cool video with the hummingbirds.  I may start a new thread tonight (?) titled Backyard Wildlife and contribute all my bobcat related stuff there.

In the meantime ...  I love hummingbirds too!

What's that clicking sound?
What's that clicking sound?
Eyes closed ...
Eyes closed ...
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Mike Collins
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PostSat Mar 03, 2012 9:00 am 
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ChuckM wrote:
That's too funny about the Stellars Jays.  They had me faked out for a while too until I actually saw one make that call through my binoculars.  This is the first place I've read why they make that call.

The Steller's Jays are making the call but I doubt that particular vocalization has evolved since the introduction of bird feeders. The use of the call is similar to a person using a monkey-wrench to hammer in a nail. You can get the job done (birds leaving the feeder) but the tool was designed for an entirely different reason. My suspicion is that the hawk mimicry initially evolved as a means to assist it in nest predation. The entire jay family are intelligent and able to utilize many food sources. One of these is to prey upon the nests of other birds. It might be that rather than just flying around and finding a nest by mere chance the Steller's Jay has adopted a strategy to increase its success of finding a nest. When mimicing the cry of a hawk many passerine birds will fly out to mob the hawk in an attempt to drive it away from the area. We have all seen small birds pecking at the tail feathers of a hawk or eagle to annoy it. By mimicing the hawk's cry an observant Steller's Jay would be able to see from what general area a bird has flown and increase the likelihood of finding the nest (i.e. food source). A helpful article on Steller Jay vocalizations is written up in Bird Behavior but is only available for in library reading at UW. I hope to review it when I am in the U-district. You of course will hear the hawk mimicry outside of the nesting period but it would be an interesting study to see if the mimicry was increased during nesting as I suspect it might be.
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meandering Wa
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PostSun Mar 04, 2012 7:24 am 
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Pine Siskin populations regularly go through crashes, particularly involving Salmonella

It is important to clean feeders regularly.  If you have a large flock ( I have had up to 250) which appears to have ill birds, pull your feeders do disperse the birds from the territory.  Clean and dry feeders using a 10% Clorox solution.

Stellers Jays mimic many sounds, most effective is Red-tailed hawk.  They will give this call when coming into a feeder to disperse other birds.

jays will also meter peanuts.  The pick up and put down each nut and consistently take the heaviest nut first.  I have watched a Jay sort through and select peanuts, managing to carry off 3 whole peanuts in shell at once.  One was stuffed way down into the crop.

The weighing research was done in a closed lab with captive birds.

I also watched Jays , in the same feeding station, patrol the roof line of the apartment opposite looking for those nuts after a snow.  They would cache the nuts under the shingles and it was fun to watch one patrolling during a thaw and actually pulling out nuts from their hiding place
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olderthanIusedtobe
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PostSun Mar 04, 2012 11:39 am 
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I like the hummingbird pics.  We had one nesting in the neighborhood by where I work a couple years ago.  It was amazing to see the babies, so tiny!  They fledged quickly, I think they were gone from the nest less than a month after the first time I saw them.  The female was back on the same nest last year, but she abandoned it.  Something must've gone wrong.  I think the tree she was using is gone now, this is about the time of year I saw her the last couple years and I haven't seen her yet this year.  There are definitely still hummingbirds in that neighborhood, I hear/see them frequently.
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olderthanIusedtobe
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PostSun Mar 04, 2012 11:41 am 
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Nobody has mentioned crows.  I'm sure everybody has them around.  They are so common they're easily overlooked, but I think they are fascinating birds.  There are a bunch around the neighborhood where I work that follow me almost every day when I go for a walk at lunch.  I throw out a few scraps of bread crust for them.  I'm sure they know me by sight.
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