RSS Feed (xml)

Powered By

Skin Design:
Free Blogger Skins

Powered by Blogger

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Canvasbacks on the lake

On my way into work today I found two drake Canvasbacks at Peace Valley floating among several thousand Canada Geese. These birds are regular, but uncommon, migrants here in SE Pennsylvania, so good to see them here.

Yesterday I ended up with 32 species for the day (160% of Bird RDA), including 7 Northern Flickers on my morning walk. This is way higher than the 1 or 2 that I might see on a good walk, so perhaps these birds are already moving north.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Birds on the Farm

Monday I spent the day in meetings at the Agricultural Wildlife Conservation Center of the Natural Resources Conservation Service in Madison, Mississippi. This office works with partners to develop resources to help farmers and others maintain wildlife on their property. NRCS is the principal federal agency working with private landowners to protect wildlife, and I've enjoyed working with them the last few years at Audubon. If you have a farm, the AWCC is there to help you create and protect wildlife habitat on your land.

The AWCC office used to be relatively isolated, but it is surrounded now by retail development. There are still Eastern Towhees and Brown Thrashers nesting in the bushes between the parking lot and the building, and over 45 Eastern Bluebirds have fledged from the box on the tree near the parking lot.

Driving around before the meeting, and on the way to the airport, I easily saw 24 species (120% of Bird RDA). Most notable to me, were the sheer numbers of Eastern Towhees calling all over town. In many cities, these birds are driven out by a lack of shrubby woodlands, but Jackson is almost all shrubby woodland--even the residential neighborhoods--so these birds are plentiful.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Going to Jackson

I'm humming Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash's duet Jackson, since that's where I flew to this morning. Jackson, Mississippi is a well wooded town, and I easily found 20 species driving around for a little bit, including an Anhinga on Lake Hico.

After grabbing a bite to eat at Wendy's, I drove north on the Natchez Trace Parkway. I was amazed to see a large flock of over 55 Canvasback. But the real highlight were several large flocks of Horned Grebes--diving in unison near the edge of Ross Barnett Reservoir. All in all I saw over 300 of these sharp-looking black and white divers.

I found three more new year birds at the Pearl River Wildlife Management area along the Pipeline Rd: Red-headed Woodpecker, Pine Warbler, and Brown-headed Nuthatch. Nice to see lots of ducks, including several pairs ofHooded Mergansers. I was a bit surprised to not see any Osprey or Bald Eagles on the reservoir, but a 45 Greater White-fronted Geese feeding on a dike at the management area were nice.

Day List: 64 species (320% of Bird RDA)
2008 List: 274 species
BIGBY List: 53 species

Neither snow, nor sleet

Neither snow, nor sleet, nor rain will keep me from getting my Bird RDA. Friday, I woke up to snow and if I wasn't trying to get my Bird RDA, I would have bagged it and stayed inside. After taking the kids sledding, I took a short walk down by the creek. It was too slippery to really go for my usual full walk. Finally, a Carolina Chickadee called, getting me to my Bird RDA, and a Downy Woodpecker called, putting me over the top. Calling it good, I scurried home.

Saturday was clearer, but sleet continued. I took my normal walk and had a great morning, getting three new birds for my BIGBY List. First 6 Common Mergansers flew over, then I found five more in the creek. Later, I saw five gulls flying, with heavier wingbeats than the Ring-billed Gulls in the area. When they got closer I could tell they were all adult Lesser Black-backed Gulls. Finally, I heard a Brown Creeper in the woods.

Saturday Day List: 35 species (175% of Bird RDA)
2008 List: 270 species
BIGBY List: 53 species

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Iceland Gulls

After work today, I drove up to Lake Nockamixon to look for the Red-shouldered Hawks that others are seeing in the area. No dice, but I did see three different Iceland Gulls--including a very nice adult bird. Usually I just see the young birds here.

Lots of birds at the feeders at work. All in all, not a bad day for birds.

Daily List: 35 species (175% of Bird RDA)
2008 List: 270 species

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

eBird Rare Bird Map

Jack Siler, web pioneer and owner of one of the most important birding sites in North America, has hit another one out of the park with his new eBird Rare Bird Map, showing the locations of rare birds across North America reported to eBird. Check it out. And set it as a tab on your browser homepage if you want to know about the best birds being seen in the US and Canada.

Weekly Birding Update

Its been a long week with the Partners in Flight Conference, Great Backyard Bird Count, flying to Texas and back. Hardly any time to go birding, right? Not if you know me! Here's the quick and dirty:

Wednesday, Feb 13
Flew in to Austin, and drove around the ponds at Hornsby Bend real quick before heading down to the Rio Grande Valley. New year birds:
Purple Martin--three at the colony I helped establish at the CER building, freshly arrived from winter in South America, apparently I'm the first to see these guys back at Hornsby this year.
Loggerhead Shrike--stopped to scope out the fenceline as you enter the pond area, a traditional spot for these guys. Sure enough, there was one of these masked butcherbirds hanging out there.
Blue-winged Teal--not sure why I missed this one in Arizona last month, but there were fifteen of these early spring migrants on the ponds, right on time.
Day List: 30 species (150% Bird RDA)
2008 List: 225 species

Thursday, February 14

Valentines day. And since I couldn't be back in PA with my own sweeties, I had to take the second best thing I love--birds! Before the Partners in Flight conference, we spent the morning at Santa Ana NWR. Good to see a bunch of my old South Texas friends--Plain Chachalaca, Green Jay, Long-billed Thrasher. On the way back to the conference, a stop at the Frontera Audubon sanctuary got us Clay-colored Robin. Nice.
Day List: 51 species (255% of Bird RDA)
2008 List: 241 species

Friday, February 15
Before the PIF meetings in the morning, we hit Bentsen/Rio Grande SP World Birding Center and the Valley Nature Center. Finally got Altamira Oriole for the trip at Bentsen, and heard the Tropical Parula. Otherwise slow. Best bird of the day was probably the Tropical Kingbird at the Llano Grande mobile home community.
Day List: 34 species (170% of Bird RDA)
2008 List: 247 species

Saturday, February 16
Morning to Laguna Atascosa. Very windy, but picked up some shorebirds for the year, including Willet and Black-bellied Plover. Watched several Reddish Egrets hunting in the shallows. Very windy, so not much else. After the PIF conference we caught up with the Red-crowned Parrots in Weslaco.
Day List: 72 species (360% of Bird RDA)
2008 List: 265 species

Sunday, February 17
Long drive back to Austin. Stopped at my old church and saw some friends in the afternoon, and heard Monk Parakeets from the church parking lot on Oltorf Rd. Best birds were four species of geese 13 miles south of Alice: Snow Goose, Ross's Goose, Greater White-fronted Goose, Cackling Goose.
Day List: 52 species (260% of Bird RDA)
2008 List: 267 species

Monday, February 18
Long day of mostly just working on the Great Backyard Bird Count from my hotel. But I had to slip out in the afternoon to get my Bird RDA. Only had time for a quick look at the Walnut Creek Sewage Treatment Plant pond on MLK Boulevard--which got me a Wood Duck for the year. A short walk at Hornsby Bend led me to a Lincoln's Sparrow but not much else, and the pond at the northeast corner of Congress and Woodward on the St. Edwards campus got me a Sora and Marsh Wren. Not bad for a quick hour and a half.
Day List: 33 species (165% of Bird RDA)
2008 List: 270 species

Tuesday, February 19
Another day of working the GBBC. Even though the count period is over, there's lots to do to get it all wrapped up. I also had to fly home. So, not a lot of time to get my Bird RDA. Fortunately, I know my old stomping grounds pretty well, and I was able to get a few species at the Austin Memorial Garden near where I used to live when I first moved to Austin, and a quick stop at Walnut Creek on my way to the airport put me over the top, with no time to spare.
Day List: 22 species (110% of Bird RDA)
2008 List: 270 species

Wednesday, February 20

Back in PA, after a long night arriving home at 1:30am. Not much at Peace Valley on my way into work, a lone Common Goldeneye the best bird there. The feeders at work were reliable, as usual, getting me over the top with good looks at both Carolina Chickadee and Black-capped Chickadee.
Day List: 23 species (115% of Bird RDA)
2008 List: 270 species

Do you like kitty poop?

In your sandbox? How about at your beach, the biggest sandbox of them all? Apparently, Cape May, NJ still wants you to come visit their beaches even if they let feral cats roam there.

Federal and state officials want the city to remove feral cats from the beaches, as they can threaten endangered Piping Plovers. City council is balking. To me the answer is easy, and doesn't have to have anything to do with birds.

Just ask yourself this question:
How would you like to find kitty poop in the sand next time you go to the beach?

Cape May, all I can say is EW YUCK!

GBBC in Weslaco

It was fun in Texas to run into a group of birders doing a count for the Great Backyard Bird Count. I've posted about it over at the GBBC blog. Here we are franticly counting birds at the Valley Nature Center!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Birdchaser at PIF--confirmed record

To quell the rumors about whether I really did attend the Partners in Flight conference (rather than merely bird the whole time), Nuthatch got photographic evidence of my conference attendance. Valley birding--Good. Conference talks--less memorable. Hanging out with cool bird people--priceless.

Of course, there is plenty of photographic evidence for my being away from the conference center as well, including a shot with a college friend at dinner (here) and hanging out with a local birding club (here). We call this networking.

Green Parakeets in McAllen

McAllen is one of the best places in The Valley to see Green Parakeets. You don't want to spend a long time hoping to stumble upon them in residential neighborhoods, so the best way to see them is to hit their traditional evening roosts at 10th and Violet Streets. The birds gather on the wires and parking lot trees here outside the Hastings book store, and put on quite a show as they fly around squawking before bedtime. There were easily over 150 birds there the evening we visited right at sundown.

Birding the Rio Grande Valley

The Rio Grande Valley (The Valley) is one of North America's best birding areas, since it is in the northernmost part of the range for many Mexican birds, including Green Jay, Plain Chachalaca, Altamira Oriole, Olive Sparrow, and over a dozen other species. While in McAllen for the Partners in Flight conference, I was able to check out many traditional birding spots before and after the conference each day. For a more detailed list of places to go birding in The Valley, check out the Lower Texas Coast map of the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail.

Santa Ana NWR: Always one of my favorites. I walked around Pintail Lakes and part of Willow Pond. The feeders at the visitors center were quiet when I was there, others saw an Orchard Oriole that is spending the winter there. I missed Hook-billed Kites that others saw at various places around the refuge, and a Zone-tailed Hawk that was seen by folks on the daily bird walk. There are always more birds here than you can see on a single visit, and more trails to walk than you can get to in a day. But Santa Ana is always worth a half day or at least a few hours.

Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley SP/World Birding Center: This used to be the first place most folks would hit when birding The Valley--campers used to have feeders out, lots of people were on hand with the latest info on where the birds were, and you could drive around at your leisure. Now all that has changed. There are still feeders, but they are widely scattered, you have to walk or ride a tram, and there just aren't as many people there to really find the good birds and keep an eye on them. Most birders who know the old park are disappointed when they visit here, but there are still many birds to be found. Just be prepared to walk, and find your own birds, rather than have them pointed out to you. We did hear the Tropical Parula that has been hanging out on one of the trails, and this was the only place I visited where we found Altamira Oriole, but I let there with a pretty small species count for having spent a couple hours walking around.

Frontera Audubon Center: A nice 15 or so acres of forest, with trails and feeding stations. A great place to quickly see many of The Valley specialties. There was a Clay-colored Robin there when we visited.

Valley Nature Center: In Weslaco, this is another patch of forest habitat, with birds similar to those at Frontera Audubon Center. We saw another Clay-colored Robin there. A little more habitat than Frontera, but similar in many ways.

Laguna Atascosa NWR: This is over an hour east of where we were staying, so we only made it over there one morning. Lots of shorebirds and waterfowl, as well as open scrub and grasslands. We missed the Aplomado Falcons that have been released there, as it was as windy as all get out the morning we were there. Just to let you know how windy it was, we saw a Merlin perched in a bush only 3 feet off the ground. These birds normally perch pretty high! When it took off, it never flew more than 8 feet off the ground!

Anzalduas County Park: South of Mission, this park has scattered trees and access to the river. Mostly it seems like you go here to look for Sprague's Pipit in the open field as you enter the park, and warblers or other goodies moving through the trees. But its just a park. It was still closed the morning we tried to go there, the gate didn't open until 7:43 that morning, at which point we were already in Santa Ana NWR. Least Grebes were easy to see in the pond on the left as you enter the park, especially from the road above before you drop down into the park.

We hit a couple other places, but these are the most popular spots. The birding trail map has other places listed, and it would have been fun to explore some of the others. 10 years ago, birders usually hit Bentsen and Santa Ana, some urban parrot roosts, maybe Sabal Palm and Laguna Atascosa closer to the Gulf, and then headed up to Salineno (for Brown Jays and Audubon's Orioles) and perhaps San Ygnacio (for seedeaters). Now there are many more options available. If you are coming for the first time, give yourself at least five days to really explore. You will still miss a few species you are looking for, and have to come back, but that should give you several shots at some of the trickier birds to find.

Yellow-headed Parrot in Weslaco

Each evening, dozens of Red-crowned Parrots flock to roosts in Rio Grande Valley cities from McAllen to Brownsville. On Saturday night, we checked out the roost in Weslaco. After talking with some local folks in the neighborhood about the birds, the flock finally showed up about 6:15. A couple van loads of birders arrived and started racing around then neighborhood to get better looks. At one point, 15 birders were running down the street to try and get closer to the birds.

The birds flew, and we were able to drive right up underneath the flock of maybe 60 birds in a couple trees. Among the birds was one that was slightly larger, with yellow from the top of the head to the throat--a juvenile Yellow-headed Parrot.

Yellow-headed Parrots are not on the official North American bird list. A few were seen with valley flocks in the 1980s, and some argued they were wild birds from Mexico. Others thought it more likely that they were escaped cage birds. Several species of escaped parrots show up with flocks of parrots in the Valley--including West Mexican species that wouldn't likely occur here on their own. So its hard to know if the bird we saw was more likely to be a young bird dispersing from southern Tamaulipas, or a young bird captured or bred in the pet trade and escaped.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Partners in Flight Report

We'll, today was the last day of the Fourth International Partners in Flight Conference in McAllen, Texas. With eight concurrent sessions going on all day for 2 1/2 days, good South Texas birding spots to hit, GBBC activities to run, and colleagues to catch up with, there was just way too much to see, do, and hear. I met some great folks--including some I've emailed for years. I also saw some birds I haven't seen for a couple years (think Green Jay, Plain Chachalaca, Clay-colored Robin). I also got to meet some great folks doing the Great Backyard Bird Count as a local birding club activity. More updates and reports later--I'm exhausted!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Blogging Partners in Flight

If I can get out of Philly early tomorrow morning (there's a storm raging), I'll be off to the Fourth International Partners in Flight Meeting in McAllen, Texas. I missed the last PIF meetings (2002), but had a great time at the 1995 PIF meeting at Cape May. If you're in Texas for the meetings, drop me a note. Maybe we can get some Green Jays and Chachalacas together. Or you could stop by my paper presentation on urban bird conservation on Friday afternoon.

Here's my paper abstract:

Urban Bird Conservation: Linking Yards and Neighborhoods to Regional Bird Conservation Initiatives.

The majority of North Americans (76% in Mexico, 81% in Canada and USA) live in urban areas. In the United States, urban areas cover over 3% of the contiguous 48 states, and an additional 25% (1.39 million km2) of the land is developed at exurban residential densities greater than one house per 40 acres. These areas include important habitat for at least 100 of the 178 species listed on the 2007 WatchList, and 110 of the 121 species recently identified by Audubon as Common Birds in Decline. This creates the duel challenges of a) engaging urbanites in bird conservation and b) protecting vulnerable bird habitats and populations in urban, suburban, and exurban settings. Audubon programs address these challenges by committing landowners to bird-friendly gardening and landscaping practices, and by teaching landowners how to manage their individual properties and local neighborhoods for birds of regional conservation concern. A survey of Audubon state programs and 490 local Audubon chapters identifies challenges and opportunities for engaging urban audiences in bird conservation and linking management of yards and neighborhoods to national, state, and regional bird conservation initiatives.

Three Mergansers

Some people get excited about the Three Tenors. Me, I'm a Three Mergansers kinda guy. Today at Peace Valley on my way into the office, I finally found a female Red-breasted Merganser in with the 3,200 Common Mergansers that have been building in numbers there all week. And as I was scoping out the Canada Goose flock on the far side of the lake, a pair of Hooded Mergansers flew by. All three North American merganser species at one spot. Nice!

Very cold today with a storm moving in after lunch. Birds were very active at the feeders at work, but nothing that hasn't been around for the last couple weeks. There are some really nice Black-capped Chickadees in with the resident Carolina Chickadees. I'll have to get some pictures.

Daily List: 35 species (175% of Bird RDA)
2008 List: 222 species
BIGBY List: 50 species

New Fun Bird Game

To help us promote the Great Backyard Bird Count, Audubon has created a fun new online bird game--Eagle Eyes. Test how observant you are, and see how your observational skills stack up against those of your friends!

For the sake of full disclosure, on my first time through the game (with 30 seconds per photo) I got 20/25 to score as a FLEDGLING!

Can you do better than that?

Click here to find out!

The Bird Man of Brooklyn

Everybody loves Monk Parakeets--those green and gray South American jewels that have colonized cities across North America. But some people love them more than others. Check out this Brooklyn Daily Eagle story about Steve Baldwin, the Bird Man of Brooklyn.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Stuck in February

The reason we do the Great Backyard Bird Count in February is that most birds stay pretty much put this late in the winter. That makes it a stable time to do a winter bird count, but also means that with very little migration going on, things can be kind of slow.

I haven't seen anything really unusual the last few days. Highlight may have been a Fish Crow on my morning walk on Saturday, bringing my 2008 BIGBY list up to 50 species. Other fun birds that have been around include the lingering female Eastern Towhee under my feeders at work, and Hooded Mergansers at Peace Valley. Like I said, nothing too unusual!

At least I've been getting my minimum recommended daily allowance of birds every day.

Feb 11 Day List: 31 species (155% of Bird RDA)
Feb 12 Day List: 22 species (110% of Bird RDA)
Feb 10 Day List: 29 species (145% of Bird RDA)
Feb 9 Day List: 24 species (120% of Bird RDA)

2008 Year List: 221 species
2008 BIGBY List: 50 species

MEGA: White-crested Elaenia, TX

(photo:Martin Reid)

A White-crested Elaenia, a South American flycatcher, and a first North American record, was found this weekend on South Padre Island, in TX. Details here. Hope it sticks around until I can get down there later this week for the Partners in Flight meetings!

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Intro to the Great Backyard Bird Count

Here's a great little slideshow from my friend Pat Leonard at Cornell.

And then there's the GBBC videos I helped with last year.

Win a Book

Thanks to my blogging buddies over at 10,000 Birds, you can win a free book by helping to promote the Great Backyard Bird Count. Check out how to win this new book by my friend and Backyard Bird Guru, Audubon VP Steve Kress, by visiting the contest post at 10,000 Birds (here).

Belated Score

(photo:Robert Royse)

On January 10 I had a slow day up Madera Canyon in Arizona looking or Crescent-chested Warbler--which would have been a new ABA bird for me. But I was denied! However, while I was up spending a quiet morning in the canyon, I did see a nice "Red-backed" Dark-eyed Junco. I just found out this morning that this is a very rare bird in the area. According to Rich Hoyer, "there are about 6 records of Crescent-chested Warbler in the past 10 years, compared to about 4 or 5 for Red-backed Junco." So, at one level, its even more rare than the bird I missed. A nice consolation prize. And BTW, this is one of the sharper of the various types of Dark-eyed Junco. Just look at this beauty. I think it should be considered its own separate species, don't you!?!

Friday, February 08, 2008

Bird-friendly Architecture

Check out the latest on birds and glass windows, from the Architectural Record. Here's the bird-strike resistant glass from Isolar in Germany. Here's an article about the development of this glass. Unfortunately, the planned product release for the US is apparently on hold for now.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Birdchaser on the Radio

Yesterday I did a 20 minute spot about Great Backyard Birdcount on Bridget Butler's BEEKS radio show out of Vermont. Check out the podcast here.

Birding the Year of the Rat

Happy Chinese New Year--its now Wu Zi, the Year of the Rat. I'm not a big rat fan--they kill lots of birds on islands and places where they have been accidentally introduced. In fact, here's a recent story of efforts to eliminate rats from Rat Island in Alaska to help protect seabirds. Fear of rats is also a reason some folks give for not feeding birds in their yard, though the problem is usually easy to remedy.

But don't forget that rats and other rodents are a primary food source for lots of raptors. Some folks even keep old hay bales in their fields just to attract rodents for their local hawks to eat. Maybe we can invent a rodent hopper feeder for hawks and owls?

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Fasnacht Birding

Fueled by an excess of fasnachts (or perhaps to keep myself from having another!), I took a walk down to the creek at work and was able to pick up a couple new species for my 2008 BIGBY List--American Black Duck and Hooded Merganser. The merganser pair were the first ones I've seen on the property at work, so a nice sighting on my afternoon break.

Daily List: 42 species (210% of Bird RDA)
2008 List: 221 species
BIGBY List: 49 species

Birding by Ear

On my morning walk in heavy fog this morning I found 24 bird species (easily reaching my Bird RDA). But how many did I actually see?

Seen only after hearing first--13
Heard only--7

That means I only saw four species (Mallard, Rock Pigeon, European Starling, and Song Sparrow) that I saw before hearing. Just goes to show how important it is to know bird calls and songs to a) find birds that are out of visual range and/or b) locate birds to watch.

Here's the seven species that I only heard this morning:
Red-bellied Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, Blue Jay, American Crow, Carolina Wren, Northern Mockingbird, and House Sparrow

Being able to identify these birds by sound was the difference between reaching my Bird RDA before breakfast, or having to leave for work with unfinished bird business!

Blogging the GBBC

For the past three years, I've blogged here with Great Backyard Bird Count news from behind the scenes. This year, most of my GBBC blogging will take place at the brand, spanking new Official GBBC Blog on the GBBC website.

So join me at the Official GBBC Blog for all the GBBC news that's fit to print, and perhaps for more tawdry tales of birders gone wild!

Birding on the Decline

Troubling news, summarized well by Chuck Hagner at Birder's World.

Bird Puzzle of the Week

Elegant Terns. Enjoy!
Click to Mix and Solve

Monday, February 04, 2008

Eastern Towhee

At work this morning, I got to watch a female Eastern Towhee hopping and scratching around under my feeders for several minutes. I was surprised at how often she flicked her white outer tail feathers--once every five seconds or so. You don't always get to watch towhees out in the open for so long, since they normally forage in leaves on the ground under thick brush.

Daily List: 34 species (170% of Bird RDA)
Sunday List: 28 species (140% of Bird RDA)
2008 List: 221 species
BIGBY List: 47 species

Every birder's worst nightmare

Very sad, story here.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Coolest Bird the World

Check out Robert J. Lang's bird origami. All from uncut paper. Amazing.

Good Bird Karma Slowly Returns

I almost got my Bird RDA by just watching and listening for birds while my daughter sold Girl Scout cookies for an hour outside the post office this morning. Most surprising at this urban location was an Eastern Bluebird on a wire over the road. Other birds seen included Tufted Titmouse, Carolina Wren (calling from behind a house across the road), Northern Cardinal, Dark-eyed Junco, and Mourning Doves. Canada Goose, Ring-billed Gull, and Turkey Vultures flew overhead. I ended my point count at 17 species.

A quick drive past a local duck pond got me Mute Swan, Mallard, and Northern Mockingbird to get me to twenty species.

My afternoon walk netted 23 species, including, finally, a new species for my BIGBY List--Ruby-crowned Kinglet.

Day List: 31 species (155% of Bird RDA)
2008 List: 221 species
BIGBY List: 47 species

Getting my quota in the rain

Woke up to ice and a two hour school delay. By 10:30 it was just rainy and cold. Not the kind of day you usually want to spend a lot of time out birding. I headed over to Peace Valley Park and scoped out the lake and spent 15 minutes in the bird blind in order to get my minimum recommended daily allowance of birds. Nothing surprising, but nice to do some feeder watching to continue my recovery from the ill-fated Slaty-backed chase. Lots of White-throated Sparrows around the feeders, a pair of Hooded Mergansers were on the lake. My happiest moment was hearing three Cedar Waxwings high in a tree. Their calls are so high-pitched that they are one of the first birds you can't hear when you start losing your hearing. I've had several times in the past year when I've seen them without hearing them very well--making me wonder if they had just been silent, or if I was starting to lose my hearing. Today I heard them clear as can be. Hopefully I'm not losing my hearing yet!

Day List: 29 species (145% of Bird RDA)
2008 List: 211 species
BIGBY List: 46 species
Nature Blog Network Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites