@yakkoTDI Kestrels are gorgeous. My wife and I were driving and I saw one sitting on a fence post. He let us watch him for a bit from about 10 feet away before he left. I never realized how many colors they actually have until I saw that one take flight from up close.
I saw a green heron once. That’s another beautiful bird.
@kittykat9180@lordbowen They’re wicked smart! Once one was repeatedly dropping a whole walnut from a streetlight across from us until it finally broke open. Apparently he does that a lot because quite a mess accumulates. I have to say they can be fun to watch.
I used to have one I’d see in the front yard almost every day in the early spring. Gave me a good feeling about winter’s coming demise. It was a fixture for several years.
Haven’t seen it in a couple of years. (About the same time I started having cats around a lot. Coincidence?)
I also have mockingbirds, blue jays, and the occasional cardinal. All of them try pilfering the cat food in the back. And quite a few grackles patrolling my yard for insects. Their feathers sure add color to my lawn,
@tweezak there’s a sizable flock of them in the neighborhood that we love until they steal all the cherries from the cherry tree before they’re actually ripe enough to pick… still, it’s hard to be mad at them
@ybmuG I was speaking from an aesthetic standpoint but yes, ravaging your cherry tree would tend to make them a little less appealing. It’s possible, however, that the presence of the tree is probably the only reason you get to watch them at all.
I see a lot of bluejays - they’re cheeky devils but fun to watch. I love hearing robins and occasionally I see some goldfinches or little red-headed woodpeckers. I wish the cedar waxwings came around but I haven’t seen them for years.
There are two hawks that have been coming to my back yard every day lately to eat bugs. Sometimes it’s just one and sometimes it’s the pair. They swoop down, and run around the lawn eating bugs and worms, then they fly off. They also aren’t bothered by my presence. They just look at me disapprovingly when I go outside.
Here’s one of them:
Anybody know what species it is? In North Carolina.
I love them all, but i have a special place in my heart for robins, since i rescued one as a kid. I have a pair that loves to build nests in the rafters of the pergola that covers my walkway, right near the big gate that leads to the driveway, which is a little dicey when coming & going.
They already fledged a brood right before i got home from being away for 4 months, so i knocked down the nest (because i read that they won’t reuse them) & they built another one within days. They’re industrious little creatures!
@ircon96 I used to have a birdcall ringtone on my cellphone; it was a robin. I loved it but when I switched to my iPhone I couldn’t figure out how to get it again. It was fun how confused people would get when it chirped!
@Kyeh That’s hilarious! It might have been even more entertaining if you had one that added fluttering wings, so especially nervous people would dive for cover! I’ve had a couple of poor birds that got stuck in my enclosed porch & that sound sure is startling when you’re not expecting it!
@ahacksaw@shampshire Until I read your post, I had forgotten:
At my previous home, I walked my dog through the back alley, as part of the regular circuit. There was a large and great smelling honeysuckle plant along one wooden fence.
At the present place (4 years now), there are no such plants in the vicinity, that I am aware of.
Didn’t realize that I had been missing it!
At a previous house (until about 3 decades ago), I had honeysuckle growing from my side across a chain link fence. I loved watching the bees, butterflies, and occasional rabbit visiting those plants. I also enjoyed the aroma. The property owner on the other side there removed ALL the honeysuckle, without conferring at all. Pissed me off. I let it go, though, because she was an unfriendly grouch anyway, and besides, I could hardly ask her to replant it.
@hchavers When we first moved into our neighborhood (brand new builds) all we had were Killdeer; which are loud and obnoxious birds!
I started planting trees the first week in the house and now, 9 years later, we have a nice variety of backyard birds. All sorts of finches, swallows, morning doves, robins, woodpeckers… and, of course, starlings. Ugh.
I’ll give a plug for the Merlin app from Cornell Labs. Identifies birds from sounds and even pictures though they have to be pretty clear. We’ve found it to be pretty accurate. And it identified an indigo bunting recently which we’ve only seen once several years ago.
/image indigo bunting
My favorite bird in my neighborhood is the Mocking Bird that greets me when I come home from the gym at night. The variety of bird calls he makes is amazing. Everything from a simple chirp to sounding like an exotic bird in the tropics. I made a 6 minute recording of his calls and play it back to him as I walk by. It’s so fascinating how him mimics the recording. No idea what is being communicated, but he doesn’t seem phased by it.
@capnjb We keep some chickens. There are hawks, eagles and owls in the (rural) neighborhood. When a large bird flies over, the roosters make a peculiar moaning sound (kind of reminds me of the muted “Ahhh…” sound the crowd makes at a pro golf match) and the flock runs for cover.
It’s kind of funny to watch, particularly if it’s just a raven or blue jay that sparks a false alarm. Sometimes they even do it when I toss a frisbee for the dog. Can’t be too careful, I guess.
@Oldelvis You wouldn’t know it by looking at them, but those birds are Troglodytes!
(scientific naming is weird sometimes)
Fwiw, your link is to a page on the Eurasian wren. Wikipedia says their range does not extend into North America.
The official house wren looks (and sounds) very similar to me (I don’t think I would be able to tell them apart) and covers the Americas.
We see an amazing variety of birds especially considering we don’t even have a yard, just a three foot strip of grass between our road and the one behind us. We have feeders that attract sparrows, bluejays, doves, grackles, starlings, catbirds, brown headed cowbirds, assorted woodpeckers, occasional mockingbirds, and very rarely blue birds. Currently the cardinals and finches are feeding their fledglings out here and boy are they noisy. Hummingbirds have not been around much this summer but I’ll continue to put out sugar water.
Having all those birds brings the hawks when they can’t find food elsewhere, usually coopers.
I saw a gorgeous cardinal yesterday, so I chose that in the poll, but we have hawks that show up occasionally, and they’re magnificent. My favorite neighborhood bird to hear, though, is the mourning dove.
@ircon96@Kyeh Thank You!, The photo group I shoot with, Well lets say they push you to be better. Yes we kid each other about the camera they shoot with. (Richmond Photo Meetup Group- RPMG) we have a Facebook page too, the Meetup page is paid. But you get so much back. Also My user name is the same for Instagram. I will be uploading some more stuff soon!
@fibrs86 Uh-oh, need better leave those robins alone! Lol… I’m jealous, tho, cuz my robins insist on building their nests up in the rafters where i can’t see them. Next, they’re probably going to get a restraining order.
@blaineg I have at least one woodpecker that loves the corners of my roof, the part that just happens to cover the section of the house where i spend most of my time. I had to hang mylar ribbon to save what’s left of my sanity. It seems to work really well, apparently anything shiny that blows in the wind freaks them out. I’m just glad the solution was something cheap! (Or, should i say “cheep”? Ok, I’ll see myself out…)
@blaineg@ircon96 Once I was hiking in the forest land behind my place. There is a main electric distribution line that runs through it, with four main lines attached to big metal towers. As I walked by a tower, I heard a loud metallic groaning sound and my first panicked thought was “Oh crap - the tower is collapsing!” Then on closer inspection I realized the sound was a woodpecker pecking on one of the struts of the tower. It was incredibly loud and resonant.
@blaineg@Kyeh@macromeh Yes! I found out they also love metal when one started drumming on a vent cap on the other side of my roof. It freaked me out at first, i thought my water heater was about to explode or something! That’s how loud it sounded in the house. Luckily, he decided to move on before too long, cuz I’m not quite sure how i would have deterred him from that particular spot!
@blaineg@ircon96@Kyeh@macromeh I can relate. My house has a floating steel roof. About five or so years ago, a pileated woodpecker seemed fixated on the roof and kept testing out spots to do some drumming. It was irritating, but he finally found a spot on an edge that made a big chunk of the roof vibrate and make a hideous creaking noise. Either it worked to impress a mate, or the sound scared even him, because he stopped after that.
One year I also had a pileated woodpecker that found a way to drink from a hummingbird feeder. The first time I saw him was early before my morning coffee. My first fuzzy thought was that there was a tabby cat hanging from the feeder, and wondering how it got there. Since the openings were too small, he would just hang from the feeder, grab a port bee guard and “flower” and toss them away. I finally solved that by switching to feeders with slit openings with no detachable covers, then raising the feeder up under a plastic cone.
@blaineg@ircon96@macromeh@rockblossom–for some reason I was under the impression that you were in CA but from your local birds I realize you must not be.
I’ve never seen a pileated woodpecker - they look huge in the pictures online!
We just get little guys around here. Although we also have flickers; they drum on the house sometimes.
@Kyeh Pileateds are slightly smaller than a domestic crow, so pretty big.
I’m in the Arkansas Ozarks, where it’s either Tick Season or Ice Storm Season. Last week they overlapped, and I now have a new task on my list of things to do: replace two window screens that got shredded by hail. I just hope the killer hail managed to take out a few ticks.
Oh, no! We’ve had unnaturally rainy stormy weather in CO so lots of ticks and mosquitoes .
Hail, not too large in my neighborhood, but up to softball sized farther east. The poor concert audience at Red Rocks got pelted with heavy hail Wednesday night.
And they actually had a tornado in a town near Denver on Thursday!
I’m surprised that this has been up for a day and a half and no one has said: “Chickens and turkeys, on the backyard grill.” - or some equivalent.
I have backyard turkeys but they are feathered and mobile. They can be irritatingly loud, but not as annoying as the brown thrashers that land on my bedroom windowsill before dawn and announce themselves. Loudly.
@Kyeh Mockingbirds, catbirds, and thrashers are all in the family Mimidae. Thrashers are dressed in country brown while the other two sport more formal grays. All of the bird books say thrashers are “hard to spot” - which isn’t true when there are a dozen wandering around my yard. They are also described as “exuberant singers” - which I heartily agree with, if “exuberant” means both non-stop and loud. And they live here year-round.
A park across the street from my former work office is apparently a favorite stop for migrating Canadian geese. As you might imagine, you have to keep an eye to the sky when walking around the park, lest you get bombed.
@sammydog01 You should hear what grackles can do. The ones around the University of Houston parking lots can imitate car alarms faithfully. It’s slightly unnerving to hear one gong off in the top of a tree.