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Thread: Backyard Wildlife

  1. #1171
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
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    Clear Lake City, TX
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    We have a suet cage hanging from the crepe myrtle in the back yard. The other day I noticed a newcomer, a black and white, downy woodpecker feeding on the suet. A society finch landed on a branch of the tree and seemed to watch the woodpecker. Then the finch dived down toward the suet. (I've noticed finches feeding on it before.) It didn't land, just swooped by and back to the branch. It did this several more times, until the woodpecker - either full or annoyed - flew away.

    And so did the finch.

    It didn't want any suet. It just didn't want the woodpecker to have any.

    Finches can be real jerks.
    Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by ignorance or stupidity.
    Isaac Asimov

    You know, the very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. They donít alter their views to fit the facts. They alter the facts to fit their views.
    Doctor Who

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  2. #1172
    Here is a video of some ducks I saw the yesterday.
    https://twitter.com/BackroadAstro/st...91499668512768
    ...I'm still free, you can't take the sky from me.
    You cannot run away from the truth, the world is not big enough. DI Jack Frost
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  3. #1173
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    Mar 2007
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    Falls Church, VA (near Washington, DC)
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    I saw a mama and a papa mallard in a neighbor's front yard this morning. There is a creek across the street with lots of slack water in which I have seen ducks frequently.

  4. #1174
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    British Columbia
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim View Post
    Finches can be real jerks.
    When I lived on the coast, my GF's house was at the top of a cliff overlooking the harbour. On the edge of the cliff were a few trees, and one morning while I was enjoying the view and a coffee, I noticed a bald eagle on one of the limbs in that spread wing posture they assume when they're drying off or perhaps thermoregulating. Two crows were mercilessly harassing the eagle, and this went on for about 20 minutes. I was amazed by the patience of the eagle. Then at last it flew off. A lone seagull happened to be flying by about halfway down to the water. The eagle dove towards the gull, which did some evasive maneuver, easily escaping, and then the eagle continued on its way across the harbour. I'm sure it was taking out its frustration on the gull.

  5. #1175
    Saw a wild goose today but I did not chase it.
    ...I'm still free, you can't take the sky from me.
    You cannot run away from the truth, the world is not big enough. DI Jack Frost
    Don't Panic THGTTG
    Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds. Einstein
    http://davidsuniverse.wordpress.com/

  6. #1176
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Clear Lake City, TX
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    My wife finally determined that it's our robin who wakes her up at 4:00am. I had no idea they were night birds.

    Took the dog for a walk through the park this morning. A small gray hawk swooped down near us, then arced back up and landed on a tree branch. It didn't catch anything. I looked around and saw a wide-eyed squirrel frozen still at the base of a pine.
    Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by ignorance or stupidity.
    Isaac Asimov

    You know, the very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. They donít alter their views to fit the facts. They alter the facts to fit their views.
    Doctor Who

    Moderation will be in purple.
    Rules for Posting to This Board

  7. #1177
    The other day a woodpecker flew up to someones civic number (it is a metal plate with the house number on it they are used for every house in the province.) and started to peck at it and when I got my cell phone to get a video of it, the bird stopped.
    ...I'm still free, you can't take the sky from me.
    You cannot run away from the truth, the world is not big enough. DI Jack Frost
    Don't Panic THGTTG
    Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds. Einstein
    http://davidsuniverse.wordpress.com/

  8. #1178
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    The Great NorthWet
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    13,187
    Last week I had a visit from the builder to discuss something on our new house and heard a raven croaking. We often hear those, but seldom see them. Then I looked down the way and said "Oh, maybe that's him down there on the tree!" I didn't have my distance glasses on, it was just a couple of bald eagles.

    A day or two later, it was an eagle on a utility pole next to the road, then yesterday there were two on a chimney at the lighthouse.

    It's quite lovely to live in a time and place where I can say "Oh, it's just an eagle."
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  9. #1179
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Earth
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    10,033
    Quote Originally Posted by The Backroad Astronomer View Post
    Saw a wild goose today but I did not chase it.
    My parents' last dog did that, and found the futility, mostly by following them over an escarpment. The dog dropped ten feet into fairly deep water, but the geese flew away, no doubt giggling.

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  10. #1180
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    British Columbia
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    I did a quick motorbike ride out to the coast a few days ago to take advantage of the beautiful, sunny and warm weather we're having this week. On the second day I saw nine black bears foraging on the new growth beside the road.

  11. #1181
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Peters Creek, Alaska
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    11,910
    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    It's quite lovely to live in a time and place where I can say "Oh, it's just an eagle."
    They've been much more active here with the improving weather. Just last week, I saw a dozen or more in flight, all at once...appropriately...near the community of Eagle River.

    I don't get how ravens are heard but seldom seen in your area. Here, [they] walk and fly around like the own the place.
    Last edited by PetersCreek; 2018-May-15 at 07:02 PM. Reason: they
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    Man is a tool-using animal. Nowhere do you find him without tools; without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all. ó Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881)

  12. #1182
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
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    The beautiful north coast (Ohio)
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    Quote Originally Posted by PetersCreek View Post
    I don't get how ravens are heard but seldom seen in your area. Here, walk and fly around like the own the place.
    We don't have ravens around here, but we have crows (their smaller cousin) and that's one of the things I like about crows - that bold attitude that they run place.
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

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  13. #1183
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    British Columbia
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    We don't have ravens around here, but we have crows (their smaller cousin) and that's one of the things I like about crows - that bold attitude that they run place.
    I like that about them too. But I've noticed they show less of that attitude when they have a nest nearby. Last spring a pair built a nest in an aspen 15-20 m from my house. They were very quiet around my property and I never noticed them fly directly to the nest whenever they came back to it. Instead, they took a longer route the full length of the treed lot, as if to make it difficult for an observer to figure out where the nest was. Each spring they dig around in my eaves troughs pulling out the clods of aspen leaves that collected there the previous autumn. I noticed this morning that they'd done it again, with chunks of debris lying on the walkway below the gutters (which I'd cleaned yesterday!). I don't know if they are looking for insects amongst that stuff or using it to line a nest.

  14. #1184
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    Sep 2003
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    The beautiful north coast (Ohio)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Torsten View Post
    I like that about them too. But I've noticed they show less of that attitude when they have a nest nearby. Last spring a pair built a nest in an aspen 15-20 m from my house. They were very quiet around my property and I never noticed them fly directly to the nest whenever they came back to it. Instead, they took a longer route the full length of the treed lot, as if to make it difficult for an observer to figure out where the nest was. Each spring they dig around in my eaves troughs pulling out the clods of aspen leaves that collected there the previous autumn. I noticed this morning that they'd done it again, with chunks of debris lying on the walkway below the gutters (which I'd cleaned yesterday!). I don't know if they are looking for insects amongst that stuff or using it to line a nest.
    I'd pay the crows to clean my gutters - save me a lot of work.
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

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  15. #1185
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    15,892
    Our backyard has been in Ardnamurchan this week - a place with a good population of pine martens. My wife laid out pine marten bait - strawberry jam and raisins - while I set up a camera trap. No luck on the first day. But something came and ate the bait overnight, after I'd taken in the camera.
    Over the next three nights there ensued a three-way tussle between bait-eater, me, and the camera set-up. On our last night I at least solved the mystery of what was eating the bait - but the IR flash completely burned in the images. One more night and I'd have got the camera geometry right and produced some decent photos and videos. But here's what I got:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    And the clean-up squad:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Yes, you're right, the background view is different in the two images. The badger moved the camera.

    Grant Hutchison

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