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Bird of the year


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19 minutes ago, Moonhawk said:

Y'all are saying things not just like "hummingbird" but the *type* of hummingbird. Did I miss a class as a child? Did you get a handout while I was sick? Did your parents actually take you outside and point and say, "This, my child, is a Cornelius Fudgebird." ? Do you go out and practice weekly? I feel very inadequate on my birding skills, lol. 

LOL! I only know a few of the very common birds -- crows, cardinals, robins, jays. I know woodpeckers and hawks, but not types. Most others I'm like -- "some little brown/grey/whatever bird."

The only reason I know ruby crowned kinglet is because I was curious last year and got very lucky when I Googled something like "small bird with red spot on its head" and found exactly the right match easily.

I used to have the Merlin bird ID app on my phone, but I never found it particularly helpful.

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23 minutes ago, Moonhawk said:

Y'all are saying things not just like "hummingbird" but the *type* of hummingbird. Did I miss a class as a child? Did you get a handout while I was sick? Did your parents actually take you outside and point and say, "This, my child, is a Cornelius Fudgebird." ? Do you go out and practice weekly? I feel very inadequate on my birding skills, lol. 

Just learn one at a time, looking out your window. Generally you will get the same few over and over and over.... My favorite windowsill reference book is from the National Audubon Society and has the birds sorted by profile with color pictures up front. That makes it pretty easy to figure out the bird and then flip to the reference pages for more information.

Writer Anne Lamotta tells a great story about her dad and her brother. Brother had put off a middle school assignment to create an illustrated bird book and now it was the night before and he was having a bit of a cry and panic attack. "How am I going to do this??!!!" Dad sat down at the table next to him, put his arm around Brother's shoulder and said, "Bird by bird, Buddy. Bird by bird." This is my folding Laundry-Mountain mantra. 😂

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Non-identifiable brown seabird. I’m not sure what to make of that.

Eta obviously the mystery sea birds were not at my feeder. Lol. I haven’t seen a single bird at my feeder or in my yard all day, which is very unusual. 

Edited by MEmama
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Dark-eyed junco for 2021. Popped up on the porch rail, looked like he was wearing a little tuxedo for the occasion (slate color variation). I first thought it was one of the resident wrens, but it was definitely a junco. I had my glasses on. 😁

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Mine was a chipping sparrow. They were new to our yard/feeder in 2020 and seem to be non-migrators because we have as many now as we did in the warmer months.

Edited by ScoutTN
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Mine turned out to be a chickadee. I love those tough little guys! They stick around all winter, will sometimes feed from my hand, have a fun and distinctive call, and come to my feeder when the weather is at its worst. I find that all very inspiring. They are definitely the bird I feel the strongest connection with. And they are super cute, too. 😃

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Male cardinal for me. Each member of my family saw a different bird and seemed to really enjoy this new tradition. 

We also saw a beautiful red breasted nuthatch.  I've never seen one before, as it's usually not in my neck of the woods. 

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1 hour ago, wintermom said:

Mine turned out to be a chickadee. I love those tough little guys! They stick around all winter, will sometimes feed from my hand, have a fun and distinctive call, and come to my feeder when the weather is at its worst. I find that all very inspiring. They are definitely the bird I feel the strongest connection with. And they are super cute, too. 😃

They are like tiny circus clowns. Quite loud, too!

@fairfarmhandI think you are the one who said tufted titmouse. They are among my favorites. For some reason they make me think, if a hamster had wings and could fly... it would be a titmouse. Same bright round eyes as one of our old family pets. 

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6 hours ago, Seasider too said:

Wow, that’s quite a winner! Do you see snowies very often?

Yes, they started wintering here in coastal Maine about 15 years ago.  I usually see 3 or 4 per winter, though occasionally 4 or more on one hike.  I love them so much.  Yesterday was a clear blue sky with no wind, low 30s - perfect hiking weather for the many folks we could see along the ridgelines looking at this one and two others higher up.  This young female was completely unfazed by her spectators, and we stayed well away to avoid flushing her.

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8 hours ago, Seasider too said:

They are like tiny circus clowns. Quite loud, too!

@fairfarmhandI think you are the one who said tufted titmouse. They are among my favorites. For some reason they make me think, if a hamster had wings and could fly... it would be a titmouse. Same bright round eyes as one of our old family pets. 

I love the nuthatches as well for their clown-like characteristics. They can also grab onto the side of a perch upside down! They also stick around all winter and seem to be more bold than chickadees.

image.jpeg.17009858de14ace523280ce9015351a7.jpeg

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Well I never see a proper feeder bird yesterday, but this morning the bluebirds are back. Do they count? 😂

(The bluebirds got there before the woodpecker)

A7A7132D-3B57-4181-86E6-2EE07C0A4AE3.jpeg

Edited by MEmama
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On 1/1/2021 at 2:27 PM, MEmama said:

Non-identifiable brown seabird. I’m not sure what to make of that.

Eta obviously the mystery sea birds were not at my feeder. Lol. I haven’t seen a single bird at my feeder or in my yard all day, which is very unusual. 

Year of the Seabird sounds delightful to me (who lives nowhere near the sea!) 

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7 hours ago, wintermom said:

I love the nuthatches as well for their clown-like characteristics. They can also grab onto the side of a perch upside down! They also stick around all winter and seem to be more bold than chickadees.

image.jpeg.17009858de14ace523280ce9015351a7.jpeg

They are fun for sure! I used to have a big tree outside my great room window and every now and then would see a nuthatch working its way down the trunk, while a brown creeper was working its way up. I learned to identify the nuthatch because it was always the upside down one!

Edited by Seasider too
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We had a downpour for most of the day yesterday, but during one of the brief breaks, a brave (and, I assume, hungry) little yellow-bellied sapsucker came out and hammered on one of the trees in our backyard. So 2021 shall be the year of the yellow-bellied sapsucker! Not sure whether that’s a good or bad thing. They're cute little stinkers, but can do a lot of damage to trees!

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45 minutes ago, I talk to the trees said:

So 2021 shall be the year of the yellow-bellied sapsucker!

What a striking bird! We must not have those in my neighborhood, too bad! As a childish insult it sounds like the most cowardly of cowards.

(Hooking thumbs on gunbelt) You callin' me a coward Frank?

(Availing himself of nearby spittoon) Yer not just a coward, but a Yeller-Bellied Sap Sucker!!

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We like Stan Tekeila’s bird books. We have his TN one and one on owls. The state books sort birds by color, with colored edges to the pages - very kid friendly. 
 

I saw a blue heron in a creek today.

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I think I know what the small birds I am seeing around the house are...Carolina Wrens.  I love this that I found about the symbolism.

The wren is an active little bird, and so its symbolic Celtic meanings include activity, vibrancy, alertness and efficiency. The wren is rarely seen resting on her laurels. The Celts honored that fastidiousness, and took the lesson of making progress each day to heart in their own lives.  Further, the wren is quite sociable. She reminds us to keep a happy heart and be kind to others.

Edited by mom31257
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27 minutes ago, mom31257 said:

I think I know what the small birds I am seeing around the house are...Carolina Wrens.  I love this that I found about the symbolism.

The wren is an active little bird, and so its symbolic Celtic meanings include activity, vibrancy, alertness and efficiency. The wren is rarely seen resting on her laurels. The Celts honored that fastidiousness, and took the lesson of making progress each day to heart in their own lives.  Further, the wren is quite sociable. She reminds us to keep a happy heart and be kind to others.

We have a pair that live somewhere in the yard, they visit our deck regularly. They are my favorites. I love that little tipped-up tail. 

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This morning, the birds teased me again from the laurel bushes.  Such a pretty song too.  On the way to work while one bird scrambled into a tree like it's tail was on fire and too fast for me to see, another landed in the middle of the street and posed.  A Crow.  Magic, mystery, wisdom, changes.  Hmm! 

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