My bird field guide and cd combo pack thingy arrived today which I was all excited about. The book includes information about 100+ bird species common to my area; the cd includes songs for the same 100+ bird species. The whole things comes in a nice little carrying pack. I am slowly trying to expand my knowledge and resources about bird watching which I am hoping this set will help me accomplish.
I ended up uploading the cd into itunes which I think will end up being a bit more user friendly as I can then just play the birdsongs through my ipod. I mean it’s not like a have a portable cd player anymore…though I’m sure if I dug around in my piles of crap in my apartment that I could potentially find one. Don’t wanna be carrying that with me while birding though – that is for sure. There are quite a few nifty birding apps out there to be sure but I do not have a fancy ipod touch so those won’t work for me. Maybe when I finally decide to get an ipod touch or smartphone or whatever I can utilize some of those apps. Until then, however, I’ll stick with what I got.
Remember a while ago when I was trying to identify the birds that I see swooping all over the place outside of my apartment? Well with my handy-dandy field guide and cd I now feel like I can say with 87% certainty that the birds are Barn Swallows. The cd is what really helped me, because these little guys sing almost constantly while in flight which is apparently very common for Barn Swallow males.
For more Barn Swallow info, click here. You can also listen to their song which is very distinctive and (I think) pretty entertaining because it sounds like they are just monologuing to themselves. The Barn Swallow have a beautiful blue/black back, with a white cream belly and a cinnamon brown/orange face. They also have long, forked tails that are quite distinctive when they are in flight. For some gorgeous shots of Barn Swallows, and birds in general, check out Robinsegg’s flickr gallery. Amazing, amazing stuff!
Footage of a raccoon deciding to pay a visit to my favorite eagles last night. You can almost here it say “Oh Shit” as it realizes that both Dad and Mom (as well as three huge baby eagles) are all in the nest right near by. Nothing serious happened of course.
As you have probably noticed (and maybe if you haven’t) I love birds. I am also an avid follower of various livefeeds depicting birds in their natural habitat. Most of these livefeeds are on nest sites where you can view mom, dad and little babies. The Decorah Eagles of course are my favorite and have been the family I have followed the longest. More recently however I have started following several other live feeds, including one for a Great Blue Heron. The livefeed for this nest site is hosted through the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Cornell’s Ornithology Lab does a lot of great work with preservation efforts and offers many wonderful services for those interested in birds. I am planning on taking advantage of some of their enrichment options like classes in the near future.
Within a few days of me watching Mama Heron, 4 out of the 5 eggs have hatched producing some of the weirdest? cutest? einstein-iest? baby birds I have ever seen. You have got to check out their ‘hair,’ it is amazing! Mama looks so grand in all of her elegant plumage and it is hard to imagine these little Einsteins growing up to look just like her. I find it amazing how much the feathers on both Mama and babies look like hair. Truly the Great Blue Heron is a majestic bird. I would love to get a chance to photograph one in real life. *crosses fingers*
Mama Eagle was striking quite the pose today. It’s hard to tell if she is hot, or trying to dry herself, or what is going on. All I know is that I found it to be quite amusing. I thought she was posing for a sculpture or something equally grandiose.
I went on a bird watching excursion this morning through my local Audubon society. For those of you not familiar, the Audubon Society is a group of people dedicated to the conservation of birds and other wildlife. There are over 500 local chapters working to preserve their area’s natural beauty.
I’ve always loved birds but I am an amateur bird watcher. I would definitely be considered a novice when it comes to identifying wild birds in my local area. I am working on improving my knowledge of the various species by appearance and by sound. Binoculars and additional field guides should help me expand my knowledge. And, of course, I really really want a better zoom lens for my Nikon D40 camera but that may have to wait for later considering the cost of such things. /mourn
I had a lot of fun though, and learned a lot from our guide. There was about ten of us and we spent about two and a half hours walking through the local park. I really enjoyed the experience. Getting up early on a Saturday morning was a bit rough though. Pretty sure I was a walking zombie for the first 40 minutes or so. And I took a LOT of pictures. 🙂 I really do need a better zoom lens though – dang birdies won’t get close enough for me to get a nice detail shot.