Monday, August 29, 2011
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Wild Bird Rescue has taken in over 1000 wild birds so far this year. The drought has really hit wildlife hard. This year the center took in over 50 purple martins and over 80 Mississippi kites due to the heat and the lack of insects. Most of those birds have been released back into the wild, with many still in care. A dozen newly released Mississippi kites were circling over Wild Bird Rescue last weekend.
Monday, August 22, 2011
Sunday, August 21, 2011
The black-necked stilts are still present in decent numbers and easy to identify. There were also some blue-winged teal on the barrow pit.
I was sitting on one of the benches along the trail looking over the barrow pit. The stilts were unusually quiet. Then all of a sudden all of the birds starting making noise. When I looked up, there was a Cooper's Hawk flying over the water, probably looking for breakfast. A couple of killdeer flew up and mobbed him into the trees. I don't recall seeing shorebirds mob predators before, but obviously they do.
A little later, I was trying to identify a little Empid (no luck there) when I had the chance to watch two black-chinned hummingbirds chasing each other all over the area.
On the way back to my truck, I watched a pair of orchard orioles searching through the willows for bugs. All in all, a good morning.
Monday, August 15, 2011
I was just thinking this AM that I was going to have to go get some food--the gluttons are going through the seed. Even though I only have one feeder going right now, I have lots of visitors.
Sunday, August 14, 2011
Monday, August 8, 2011
I have been reading The Atlas of Birds: Diversity, Behavior and Conservation, by Mike Unwin and published by Princeton University Press. Another "must have" bird book.
I admit, the book was not exactly what I expected when I ordered it--it's better. A compendium of interesting and useful information about birds throughout the world, with an emphasis on their conservation. Yes, there is lots of information about where the birds are--and in the illustrations it is easy to see why the rain forests of South America are so vital. You can also see at a glance those countries that have birds found no where else and see the areas identified as Important Bird Areas for conservation purposes.
The book also has information about the various bird families--what makes them unique. Especially interesting to me are the small vignettes of various species. Just two of the interesting facts in this book:
- A Ruppell's vulture was recorded over West Africa at a height of 7 miles, which makes it the high-altitude record holder for birds
- Swifts are almost entirely aerial, feeding, mating and even sleeping on the wing. A newly fledged swift will not reach breeding maturity for 3 years and may spend all of that time exclusively on wing.
In addition to a lot of interesting and useful facts and dozens of maps, the book is full of eye-catching photos.
This book is a winner for any birdwatching enthusiast. The price (softcover) is $22.95, although I did see you can get it from Amazon for $15.35.
Monday, August 1, 2011
A Swift Night Out is also scheduled for September 9, 10, 11.