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Sunday, November 23, 2008


The Wingscapes camera caught a good image of the male cardinal. I like the remnants of the frost on the ground. The temperature has been below average most of the past week, so I was surprised to see this! I guess it is true, some do not migrate. I was curious as to what they eat during the winter, and after checking several sources found that, robins diet comprises of over 60% fruit and berries year round! I still wondered how they found enough to eat, so I thought about trying to feed them. I worried that putting a platform feeder on the ground would set them up for all the neighbor's cats, but how could that be worse than their normal feeding habits? So I ordered this feeder. Also, robins are supposed to eat suet from a platform feeder, so I ordered this to try out.

Finally, these two, one and two, are for Skip, or anyone that does not get to see this sort of thing.

Posted by Dave at 11:44 AM
Categories: Backyard Birding

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Heat On!

Skip identified the New Visitor as a carolina wren. After checking the guides, I believe Skip is correct. There was a recent BirdNote about LBB. Little Brown Birds are difficult to tell apart, especially for a novice like me. I won't be going to their Seattle seminar, however!

One day this week the forecast was calling for the temp to be around freezing. I figured the birdbath would be OK, maybe I'd see a bit of ice floating around. See the male cardinal contemplating the ice. I don't think the goldfinch has ever seen this before! I'm not sure, but I think the HOSP is ice skating. Even the doves can walk on it. When I saw the pics, I plugged in the heater! It warmed up since that day, but the temp is supposed to be below freezing several days this week.

Since I pulled the ice pics, it mostly rained, and the batteries died in the Wingscapes camera. I didn't get any other pics, except for my favorite female.

I checked the web cam (user- nhpa pass- birder) several times at work this week. Most times I at least saw a HOSP or HOFI, but the throughput was not too great. I tried turning on compression, and set it to various levels, but I ended up turning it off- it didn't help much, and made the quality even worse. I did note that, the picture looked much better during the first half of the day, because of the lighting. The camera has a manual aperture, and I have to find a happy medium between over and under exposure. I do have an outdoor enclosure, and I am thinking about moving the camera outside. I believe that would make a big improvement in the quality.

Posted by Dave at 2:28 PM
Edited on: Sunday, November 16, 2008 2:41 PM

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Web Cam Update

When I stepped outside today, I saw a pair of pheasants in my yard. I think they were eating the cypress vine seeds. When they saw me, they ran off but did not fly. Odd. I have never seen them around the house before this.

I heard about Project FeederWatch, but didn't know what it is about. Here is a popular birder site, with an audio file that explains it well. Look for the Program #12 - October 29, 2008

I was looking for ideas for the Downy Cam. It is hard to catch a downy at the feeder, and even more so since I added another suet cage. I thought about turning the cam into a snow depth gage. -put a stick in the ground, paint inch marks, point web cam at stick, but it seemed it would be used even less than it is now. So I thought that I would point it at the tube feeder. Yes, I have a cam pointed at that feeder, but it is too far away to really see the birds. Within the first ten minutes of moving the camera, I saw a handful of chickadees, a juvenile cardinal, and the ever present HOSP and HOFI. Of course, I didn't see anything after that! But it was close to the end of the day. The camera is close to full magnification, so the quality dropped off some. Compare it to the last downy pic. Over the next couple of days, I do hope to play with the aperture and focus to get it a bit better. If you want to take a look, it is linked on the right side. The user name is nhpa, nhpa1, nhpa2 or nhpa3 and the pass for all is, birder. If you like the cam better this way, please let me know. Thanks!

So after looking at thousands of bird pics, I finally saw a new visitor! After not seeing the female cardinal for months, and rarely seeing the male, they have been showing up pretty regularly of late. The blue jay, doves and goldfinch have been in a lot of pics lately, too!

edit -I believe the juvenile cardinal is in fact a Tufted Titmouse! I really would like to get a better image, hopefully it will be back.

Posted by Dave at 6:51 PM
Edited on: Thursday, November 27, 2008 10:04 AM
Categories: Backyard Birding