Archive for the ‘Birds’ Category

>Backyard Birds

February 18, 2011

>Today is the first day of the Great Backyard Bird Count.

Each year thousands of birdwatchers and bird lovers and outdoor lovers and nature lovers sit down for a few minutes each day and look at the birds in their yard or wherever they are.

I have done my count for the day. Glad to see some purple finches at the feeders.

This is not my picture…it’s from Wikipedia.

Go here to get information about the GBBC and to learn how to submit your observations. It is really simple. Really.

On Tuesday February 22 at 6 PM Bessemer Mayor Ken Gulley will give his state of the city address. Unfortunately I will not be able to attend, but maybe some of my City Council buddies or others will send me their impressions of the mayor’s address. Otherwise I will just have to wait until the Western Tribune report comes out.

Of course we pretty much know the state of the city. I have been reporting on that for years.

For Fun

Everybody loves Katy Perry. These University of Arkansas students obviously do.

Silly boys.

And here is a video of Adele singing at the Brit Awards this week

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>Doves

March 14, 2008

>First an update on the fire of yesterday. A neighbor told me that in addition to two humans that three dogs also perished in the blaze. Investigation is ongoing.

This may not excite too many people but I am wondering if Ringed Turtle Doves are visiting my backyard. I first became aware of this pair of birds last spring, and day after day I heard a dove sound that was not the familiar Mourning Dove “coo-ah, coo, coo, coo.”

Eventually I saw the two birds, a little larger than a Mourning Dove, lighter in color and with a distinct black collar on the back of the neck.

Reports tell me that the Ringed Turtle Dove has lost almost all of its fear of larger animals but these did not want to be photographed, and besides, it was before I had my “good” camera. From time to time, over a period of weeks, I saw or heard the pair.

Two days ago, I heard, and then saw them again. But (damn) the battery in my camera was dead.

I have read that they cannot survive without human handouts, so I will continue to feed the birds with dove attracting food and really to hope to get a picture.

This site says “The species is not on the Alabama Bird List for this reason and any reports of Ringed Turtle-Doves would have to be substantiated by an ornithologist or recognized competent field observer to be accepted by the Alabama Bird Records Committee.”

The other possibility is the Eurasian Collared Dove, similar in appearance, but with a three syllable “coo COOO coo” instead of the two syllable “coo croo” of the Ringed cousin. Four of these guys were reported in Bessemer by one observer (not by me) during the recent Backyard Bird Count. I’m hoping for the Ringed Turtle Dove.

Really all I need to do is listen more carefully, I guess. And get a picture. The camera is charged.

Doves

March 14, 2008

First an update on the fire of yesterday. A neighbor told me that in addition to two humans that three dogs also perished in the blaze. Investigation is ongoing.

This may not excite too many people but I am wondering if Ringed Turtle Doves are visiting my backyard. I first became aware of this pair of birds last spring, and day after day I heard a dove sound that was not the familiar Mourning Dove “coo-ah, coo, coo, coo.”

Eventually I saw the two birds, a little larger than a Mourning Dove, lighter in color and with a distinct black collar on the back of the neck.

Reports tell me that the Ringed Turtle Dove has lost almost all of its fear of larger animals but these did not want to be photographed, and besides, it was before I had my “good” camera. From time to time, over a period of weeks, I saw or heard the pair.

Two days ago, I heard, and then saw them again. But (damn) the battery in my camera was dead.

I have read that they cannot survive without human handouts, so I will continue to feed the birds with dove attracting food and really to hope to get a picture.

This site says “The species is not on the Alabama Bird List for this reason and any reports of Ringed Turtle-Doves would have to be substantiated by an ornithologist or recognized competent field observer to be accepted by the Alabama Bird Records Committee.”

The other possibility is the Eurasian Collared Dove, similar in appearance, but with a three syllable “coo COOO coo” instead of the two syllable “coo croo” of the Ringed cousin. Four of these guys were reported in Bessemer by one observer (not by me) during the recent Backyard Bird Count. I’m hoping for the Ringed Turtle Dove.

Really all I need to do is listen more carefully, I guess. And get a picture. The camera is charged.

>Idol Worship and Bird Count Results

February 19, 2008

>I knew that when John Katopodis became involved with Larry Langford’s computer distribution program the name Ryan Idol would come up. Those of you who might barely remember this man let me tweak your memory with just two words: Idol Worship. OK, now you remember. If that doesn’t ring a bell…forget it.

But let’s not dwell there. The Great Backyard Bird Count has concluded and all the results are not in. But from the results as of now, it looks like more Bessemer residents participated than last year. So far 20 lists have been submitted, up from 12 last year, and 47 species reported, with 1,136 birds counted. The most common birds in Bessemer appear to be the red winged blackbird and common grackle, followed closely by the American goldfinch.

Birmingham jumped from 118 lists in 2007 to 193 this year, and Hoover and Vestavia both went from one list each to 7 and 5, respectively this year. Fultondale dropped from 171 lists to 27 this year. What happened there? Lipscomb dropped from one list to none this year. But remember, all the lists may not have been reported yet (hint hint). I may report on this one more time after the time for submitting lists is up.

My most unusual sightings for an urban area (not really unusual, but not everyday) were a red tailed hawk and a turkey vulture. Robins were common here, mostly I think because there is water (in the fountain and on the spa cover) that the robins congregate around. Those who have water know this. They will just sit in water and get “big” for minutes at a time, even when it is cold. Our fountain is three tiered and there will sometimes be two sitting in the top tier, three or four in the middle, and four or more around the edges of the deeper basin. Could robins be the intermediate between land birds and ducks? Just a thought (as MS says, “Just a thought”). And just kidding about the evolutionary link.

I give Michaelangelo Signorile credit for “just a thought” because I don’t want to be accused of plagiarism like Obama was. My two cents? Obama’s use of the phrases he used are no big deal. But I think others may think differently and it may cost him. We will just have to wait and see.

Biostats is calling.

Idol Worship and Bird Count Results

February 19, 2008

I knew that when John Katopodis became involved with Larry Langford’s computer distribution program the name Ryan Idol would come up. Those of you who might barely remember this man let me tweak your memory with just two words: Idol Worship. OK, now you remember. If that doesn’t ring a bell…forget it.

But let’s not dwell there. The Great Backyard Bird Count has concluded and all the results are not in. But from the results as of now, it looks like more Bessemer residents participated than last year. So far 20 lists have been submitted, up from 12 last year, and 47 species reported, with 1,136 birds counted. The most common birds in Bessemer appear to be the red winged blackbird and common grackle, followed closely by the American goldfinch.

Birmingham jumped from 118 lists in 2007 to 193 this year, and Hoover and Vestavia both went from one list each to 7 and 5, respectively this year. Fultondale dropped from 171 lists to 27 this year. What happened there? Lipscomb dropped from one list to none this year. But remember, all the lists may not have been reported yet (hint hint). I may report on this one more time after the time for submitting lists is up.

My most unusual sightings for an urban area (not really unusual, but not everyday) were a red tailed hawk and a turkey vulture. Robins were common here, mostly I think because there is water (in the fountain and on the spa cover) that the robins congregate around. Those who have water know this. They will just sit in water and get “big” for minutes at a time, even when it is cold. Our fountain is three tiered and there will sometimes be two sitting in the top tier, three or four in the middle, and four or more around the edges of the deeper basin. Could robins be the intermediate between land birds and ducks? Just a thought (as MS says, “Just a thought”). And just kidding about the evolutionary link.

I give Michaelangelo Signorile credit for “just a thought” because I don’t want to be accused of plagiarism like Obama was. My two cents? Obama’s use of the phrases he used are no big deal. But I think others may think differently and it may cost him. We will just have to wait and see.

Biostats is calling.

Great Backyard Bird Count

February 15, 2008

Today begins the Great Backyard Bird Count…lasts all weekend.

Visit Great Backyard Bird Count . Over to the left are some tabs about what the count is and how to do it. Get a checklist and get started. Turn them in online or by email. It’s fun and gets you in tune with your backyard in the winter.

You just count for at least 15 minutes on whichever days you can. Last year we had 12 lists submitted from Bessemer, with 30 species of birds, and 1 from nearby Lipscomb, with 11 species. That may not sound like much, compared to, say, Fultondale, which led Alabama with 171 lists with 48 species. But well to do neighbors like Hoover and Vestavia residents must be too busy to sit around counting birds…only 1 list from each city.

Trey, from The Human Animal, now writes a column having to do with gardening and horticulture for The Western Tribune. More bloggers moving up in the world. More local talent in the Tribune.

Oh, gee, something happened to the comments feature. Overloaded I guess. I will work on that later. Until then, remember, this is a blog. A place for me to log my progressive, sometimes entertaining views. Not a forum, which is for the exchange of views and ideas.

Ok that’s it for today; I’m out of town seeking an internship. Wish me luck.

>Great Backyard Bird Count

February 15, 2008

>Today begins the Great Backyard Bird Count…lasts all weekend.

Visit Great Backyard Bird Count . Over to the left are some tabs about what the count is and how to do it. Get a checklist and get started. Turn them in online or by email. It’s fun and gets you in tune with your backyard in the winter.

You just count for at least 15 minutes on whichever days you can. Last year we had 12 lists submitted from Bessemer, with 30 species of birds, and 1 from nearby Lipscomb, with 11 species. That may not sound like much, compared to, say, Fultondale, which led Alabama with 171 lists with 48 species. But well to do neighbors like Hoover and Vestavia residents must be too busy to sit around counting birds…only 1 list from each city.

Trey, from The Human Animal, now writes a column having to do with gardening and horticulture for The Western Tribune. More bloggers moving up in the world. More local talent in the Tribune.

Oh, gee, something happened to the comments feature. Overloaded I guess. I will work on that later. Until then, remember, this is a blog. A place for me to log my progressive, sometimes entertaining views. Not a forum, which is for the exchange of views and ideas.

Ok that’s it for today; I’m out of town seeking an internship. Wish me luck.