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Monday, January 28, 2008

Web Cam Update 2

If you got to the blog from the weather site, the comments did not show up. I changed the URL, so comments should now show. Click on the "Main" category to see the comment links. Also, I had someone that still could not not get the cardinal videos to play. If the videos do not play, download the latest Quicktime player. After it downloads, close all browsers, and click to install the player. After all that, the videos should play.

I was trying out a different type of suet, hoping that it would attract other birds. I kept my eye on the it all weekend, but I did not see the downys. So I hung another cage, near the other one, with the old type of suet. I'll be curious to see which they prefer.

I tried out a new camera, a Lorex mcam, but I was less than impressed with it. Next up, a Trendnet TV-IP201P. Hope this is the one!

Posted by Dave at 6:41 PM
Edited on: Tuesday, January 29, 2008 7:48 PM
Categories: Backyard Birding

Friday, January 25, 2008

Web Cam

I checked in on the web cam at work today. I think I saw a downy. Actually, all I saw was a little blur hanging off the side of the suet block. I am really disappointed with this camera, and I really want to find a better solution. I need a color camera for outside use. It can be a network or USB connect, and does not need pan, tilt and zoom. If you have a suggestion, please let me know!

I truly do have to work on identifying birds. When I walked out to the feeder the other day, I saw what looked like a big, round ball of fur, sitting at the feeder. Most birds do not let me get within twenty feet of them before flying away. As I was approaching this one, I was wondering if it even COULD fly. Since it was on the feeder, I figured that it probably could. When I got a few feet away, I told it to leave, and it did fly- all the way five feet or so, into a bush. I am pretty sure that it was a juvenile, but of what, I do not know.

Posted by Dave at 8:07 PM
Edited on: Tuesday, January 29, 2008 7:49 PM
Categories: Backyard Birding

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Windy Day

I have a Water Wiggler that I bought at the same time as the birdbath. It says that the batteries (two "D" size), should last two months. I thought I could live with that, but when I installed the batteries, I had to use a screwdriver to take it apart. The screw is plastic and I wondered how many times I could change the batteries until that stripped out. Also, the water is very shallow in the center, I think because of the built in heater. If I place the Wiggler in the center, the water level has to be almost full in order for the wiggler to disturb it. Sure, I could place the Wiggler off center, but I thought it best to look for alternatives.

I replaced the Wiggler with a Duncraft Solar Fountain Pump Kit. Unfortunately, I didn't get to see it, because by the time I get home from work there is too little daylight. I noticed each night that the water level was much lower, so I suspected that the stream was shooting out over the side. Yesterday was Saturday, and I had a chance to view the fountain. As I guessed, the wind was blowing the stream out of the bath. I tried a different fountain head, and that helped, but it still went over the side. I removed the head altogether and added an extension. The display was less that spectacular, but it keeps the water in the bath. I wish I could find a compromise, but that will have to do for now.

Today was cold and windy, and for some reason, this brought the birds to my feeders. I saw goldfinch, the male and female cardinals, along with the usual house sparrows and house finch. I had a video of the female cardinal, and today I made one of the male. See it here. Edit- The video did not play, thanks to Skip for the heads up! I still did not get a pic of the downys, although I did try!

I started a picasa web site. I hope to upload the pictures that did not make it into the blog.

Posted by Dave at 1:50 PM
Edited on: Wednesday, January 23, 2008 11:35 PM
Categories: Backyard Birding

Sunday, January 13, 2008


I saw a Downy Woodpecker at the suet feeder today. This was the first that I spotted one at the suet block. Nuthatches are the only other bird that I have seen there. I would really like to get a pic of a downy, but they have been uncooperative, so far. Edit: A bit later I saw the female. The block was edge on to the camera, and she was on the side facing away from the web cam.. When the male was there, it was turned broadside to the camera, and he was on the opposite side as well. How do they know??

The web cam has been more popular than I would have guessed, so I have added other log ons. In addition to nhpa, you can use nhpa1, nhpa2, or nhpa3. They all use 'birder' for the pass, and they are all limited to 10 minutes viewing time. If one doesn't work, try another. I also enabled the chat window, but I'm not a big fan of using chat.

Edit: New URL for the web cam Hope I got the bugs worked out of this, now!

Posted by Dave at 3:28 PM
Edited on: Monday, January 14, 2008 4:03 PM
Categories: Backyard Birding

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Web Cam Update

The web cam has limited resources, so I have password protected it. To view the web cam, use the following settings- user: nhpa pass: birder This will give ten minutes of viewing time. There are two web cams available on the weather page, and these are not limited, nor password protected.

Activity at the feeders seems to have dropped off some. They have cleaned up the lot next door, and I wonder if that is the reason? Anyway, I have seen some new birds, but I could not identify them without a pic. One landed close by, while I was replacing the bulb in my dusk to dawn light. It sort of reminded me off a blue jay, but I really don't know what it was. I hope to someday be better at recognizing these guys, but for now I have to take a pic of them, then compare that to photos in the birder guides.

Speaking of jays, I had a pair in my yard a couple of years ago. When I mowed the yard they dive bombed me! After the first couple of times I got used to them, although I'm sure they did not get used to me.

Edit I just saw a thread on rec.birds, and others are reporting their visitors dropped off, too.

1/14/08 New URL for the web cam.

Posted by Dave at 8:21 AM
Edited on: Tuesday, January 29, 2008 7:48 PM
Categories: Backyard Birding

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Night Visitor

Tonight I walked out into the yard to install the new birdbath. I got about 10 feet from the bird feeder and I saw this guy. I really thought that he should have been afraid of me(?), but he was not. I turned around, went back into the house and grabbed the cameraI thought he surely would have run off by the time I got back outside, but he was still there. I snapped off some pics, none of which got real good, unfortunately. I said, "You really ought to be afraid of me!", and he started meandering away. He appeared to be healthy, and never made a sound. I never saw one near my house before.

Posted by Dave at 8:31 PM
Edited on: Thursday, January 17, 2008 6:46 PM
Categories: Backyard Birding