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Your Questions About Bird Watching

Your Questions About Bird Watching

Nancy asks… What is there to possibly do in the tropical rain forest?!? I have to write a two page “brochure” trying to lure people to come visit the tropical rain forest. I am supposed to talk about the wonderful things you can do there. I already have filled about a page telling all about the beautiful things you could see while hiking through there. What else could I mention? What DO people really do in the tropical rain forest besides hike and bird watch? Ideas would be fantastic! Thank you. Admin answers: The solution to this question is to look at brochures for rain forest tours. Click the link for one example: http://www.frommers.com/articles/2256.html Michael asks… help!!what bird is this? I’m hoping somebody will help me. I’m from Ireland and feed the birds out in my back garden.with the heavy snow I have been feeding them quite a bit and have had many birds come in but everyday I have noticed that a little black bird about the size of a normal black bird has been coming in and out all day for the past few days.it is on its own.it is completely black except for a white ring around its neck and has a bright yellow beak. I have tried searching bird watch Ireland and cannot find it and have typed into Google to see if anything comes up but nothing.there is no contact info on bird watch Ireland so i cant email them and ask them.anyone who has been in my house and seen it say they have never seen one like it before. I’m hoping anyone can tell me what it is or guide me in the right direction. Thanks in advance Thank you all for your answers. I followed the link and I think this my fellow.although I am confused as it did say it was a migrating bird. I’ve been watching it all day it seems its nest is near by as it fly off for 5 Min’s then comes back.also a brown bird is with it now(the same bird but all brown with yellow beak)they come together and fly off together I’m thinking its the female. I will take a photo and upload it. thanks again for all your help and I will keep you posted when i identify him. Admin answers: Your bird could be a Ring Ouzel, or a Blackbird that is a white carrier, which there are quite a few pieds in some areas, Some female Blackbirds show white collars. A ring Ouzel tends to be slightly speckled but if you look it up on the web just put into search Ring Ouzel Jenny asks… How can I get over my bird? My family has two zebra finches, a boy and a girl. The girl laid about three or four eggs, one died, and the other never hatched, while one made a baby bird. Well, the baby grew up a bit until he was old enough to do things himself, and we went on vacation while the birds stayed at my aunt’s house. As a thank you we gave her the baby bird and it did well for about a week or so. Supposedly my cousin and his other cousin came over, and my cousin and my aunt were talking. The other guy just stayed outside with the bird, and he was kind of doing this kind of evil-ish smirky laugh. My aunt didn’t know why he was laughing, but...
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Birding Is Fun!: Fun With Bird Names

Birding Is Fun!: Fun With Bird Names

In the 12 years I’ve been actively watching birds I’ve often found myself intrigued – and sometimes confused – by some of the names, both common and scientific (Latin). Currently in the midst of a top secret bird -related project, I’ve had a chance to go over the complete A.O.U. checklist and, along with some I’ve known about for a while, found a few interesting names along the way. At times one has to wonder what went/goes into the thought process in naming some species. Some common names, of course, are very descriptive choices. Who could argue with the appropriately named Painted Bunting or Vermilion Flycatcher? Some names are based on the sounds they make: the chickadees, Great Kiskadee, and Killdeer are just a few examples. Some common bird names, on the other hand, are a bit silly, the Clark’s Nutcracker (Nucifraga Columbiana) being one example. This species uses its large bill to open up pine cones to extract the seeds -which it then stores away by the tens of thousands for the winter and, to my knowledge, doesn’t make a habit of eating nuts (at least as part of their natural diet). But I suppose “nutcracker” has a better ring to it than “seedstorer” or some other name that describes the species’ behavior. One of the worst examples almost certainly has to be Worm-eating Warbler (Helmitheros vermivorum), a species that gleans insects from the leaves or bark of trees and rarely, if ever, eats worms. Quite a few, of course, are simply named after people, but, if you weren’t aware of the protocol, the “discoverer” of a species would never give it their own name -that job would be handled by some ornithologist later on. Take the two species named after Lewis and Clark, for example: Lewis didn’t name a woodpecker after himself and, likewise, Clark didn’t name the “Nutcracker” after himself. Those names were chosen later on by a 19th century ornithologist in their honor (I used to think Clark’s Grebe was also named after the explorer, but it’s actually named after American surveyor and naturalist John Henry Clark). Frequently, birds are named after the discoverer as in the examples above, but sometimes names were (are?) used to honor a friend or a member of a friend’s or discoverer’s family. Lucy’s Warbler is named for the daughter of Spence Fullerton Baird (of Baird’s Sparrow and Sandpiper fame), while Virginia’s Warbler is named after the wife of the man who discovered the species. Quite often the person’s name is latinized and used in the scientific name also and, other times, you’ll just find the person’s latinized name in the scientific name and not in the common name. Going back to Baird for a moment, the (almost certain to be extinct) Cuban Ivory-billed Woodpecker’s scientific name is Campephilus principalis bairdii, the “trinomial” or subspecies designation, honoring Mr. Baird. You can certainly have fun with some of the scientific names, too. Sometimes you can find an explanation of the name, but in others maybe it’s best just to let your imagination run wild. A few examples of the former include Bald Eagles, where Haliaeetus leucocephalus roughly translates to “White-headed Fish Eagle” (Hali, according to Wikipedia, is actually “salt,” aeetus is “eagle,” leuco is “white,” and cephalus is “head”). From there it’s easy to figure out that, in the case of the White-crowned Pigeon, the scientific name, Patagioenas leucocephala, also refers to its white head (my best guess is that the...
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Bird Watching Gifts – Holiday Gift Ideas

Bird Watching Gifts – Holiday Gift Ideas...

Bird watching is one of the fastest growing interests in the world. If you’re buying for a bird watcher, here’s a primer on ideas for bird watching gifts. Bird Watching Gifts Bird watching may seem the simplest of tasks. In truth, there are lots of gadgets, which gives you an opportunity to find great bird watching gifts 1. Binocular Pack Straps – Where you find bird watchers, you’ll find binoculars. Binoculars are the staple equipment item of all birders. The problem, however, is binoculars have a habit of flopping around your body when walking and putting a strain on your neck. Any bird watcher would love to find a solution and binocular pack straps are the answer. They look like backpack straps and snuggly hold binoculars to your body while you walk. Brunton is a great brand and you can expect to pay $30 or so. 2. The Birder’s Handbook – The Birder’s Handbook is a great companion piece for any birder. Over 600 species are covered and all can be found in North America. This book is an excellent list for bird watching enthusiasts to compare their life lists against. The list price of the book is $20.00 and you can find it at any only bookstore. 3. Bird Cams – If backyard bird watching is the primary bird watching activity of the person your giving gifts to, bird cams are great gifts. The bird cam sits inside of the bird house and lets birders see the birds in action. A fascinating view of a bird’s life. Night-Owl and NovaBird make solid cams. You can expect to pay $80 to $300 for a solid cam. 4. Nomad Bird Watching Journals – A little self-promotion. Nomad Bird Watching Journals are great gifts for bird watching enthusiast. Whether they enjoy bird watching tours, backyard birding or bird watching vacations, these journals let bird watchers keep track of sightings, conditions, locations, people met and impressions of the birding experience. A great Christmas gift, you can see the journal by clicking the link in the byline of this article and expect to pay $25 for the journal with case. Bird watching is sweeping the world. Now you know what to buy bird watching enthusiasts for the holidays. There is more information available on There is more content available about free download music there’s plenty of information not outlined in this post, take a look at the author’s website to locate further details. there is a lot of details not detailed on this page, take a look at author’s website to discover...
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Sian Ka’an Nature Reserve – The Best Place To Experience Bird …

Sian Ka’an Nature Reserve – The Best Place To Experience Bird …...

Sian Ka’an is one of the most wished for destinations when it comes to birding and it is one of the best bird watching sites among birding communities. This place is a picturesque protected area which sits on the Riviera Maya close to Tulum Mexico has plenty to offer like the ancient Mayan ruins, rich flora and fauna and a lot more. In Maya language, Sian Ka’an means, ” Where the sky is born”; the name is given by the ancient Maya. This portion of the Yucatan Peninsula features generally flat landscape with limestone bedrock and minimal real elevation. Even if there are no real surface rivers in the area, the limestone bedrock as well as sandy soil permits the rainfall to filter through and be contained underground. This underground aquifer expands not merely beneath the Sian Ka’an grounds, yet beneath the entire peninsula. This reserve is usually flooded with water during rainy season from May to October and the wetland areas are turned into small lakes containing soil which is naturally rich. The Sian Ka’an is a UNESCO World Heritage nature reserve and the habitats found here are protected by the Mexican government; this reserve consists of lowland forests, lagoons, hummocks, mangroves as well as barrier reef These various habitats are home to more than 350 species of aquatic as well as terrestrial birds and are paradise for the bird watching lover. Don’t hang around! Go and get your birding equipments. The well guided birding tour to Sian Ka’an will offer you the opportunity to look at with your own eyes several of the rarest avian species, along with some birds which you cannot see somewhere else on this planet! A comprehensive list of all birds endemic to the Yucatan peninsula could be uncovered here: Birding Sian Ka’an You can search for rare birds in Sian Ka’an such as the Yellow fronted parrot as well as the Yucatan Woodpecker. Over 40 of the bird species you can observe in Yucatan are endemic and travellers from around the world come here to view them. In case you are a bird watching  junkie and desire to explore the Sian Ka’an biosphere reserve, then consider booking your trip early. This place is a protected habitat and it is only with organized tours that tourists are permitted to visit the place, where the guides will do everything possible to help protect the natural habitat and to make sure that the plant life and animals species will not suffer from the presence of mankind. Birds dwell in every single are of the nature reserve but one very interesting place to visit is the lagoon of San Miguel with its “Bird Island”. This is an awesome spot where by countless tropical birds get to roost and also raise their young. In this nature reserve, you can find Herons, White Ibis, Frigates, Pelicans and many other species in significant numbers. Several of the birds in Sian Ka’an biosphere reserve are tougher to see when compared to others; for anyone who is searching for a unique bird, you can simply inform your guide that you desire to see such rare bird, and they’re going to do their very best to get you to an area where you are in all likelihood to see it. Bird watching is such a nice and very interesting activity to experience. In the event that you wish to see as much species of birds as you possibly can, then consider visiting...
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Birder Profile with Mike Munts

Birder Profile with Mike Munts

Which is your favourite field guide and why? The Sibley Guide to Birds is the one I carry. David’s paintings are amazing and is one of the most well researched. For a digital guide, I use Thayer’s Birds of North America. It’s great software package. It has a quiz feature and the song features are great. When I need to practice or study for survey work this is what I use. Which three books from your personal birding library would you recommend to other birders? Field Guide to the Nests, Eggs and Nestlings of North America (Harrison) This is a great book for a side of bird ID that is often overlooked. Dead Owls Flying (Powers) I’m a bit biased on this one. If you don’t know why check out Robert’s review on this site. Hawks in Flight: The Flight Identification of North American Migrant Raptors (Sutton, Dunne, and Sibley) Great little book on identifying hawks as we actually see them most of the time. If a fellow birder had a question about a bird, do you consider yourself an expert (or at least proficient) on any specific family of birds? I have dabbled in a number of things but much of my experience is with owls and coniferous forest passerines and woodpeckers. What future birding plans do you have? Continue exploring my new location here in NE Washington. I just moved here about 4 months ago. What is your current nemesis bird? Boreal Owl. I have spent years surveying forest owls. I have gone to known active breeding territories, I have accompanied Forest Service staff on survey to known sites. If I’m there it will be the only night all season they won’t get them. Any birding related pet-peeves you’d like to vent about here? Birders who do not follow the rules or even break the law. Trespassing is a big one. A significant birding site here was recently closed to the public because people kept driving into an area which was posted no vehicles. So now the land owner no longer allows any entry, because a few people would not walk a couple of hundred feet. I have seen Great Gray Owls abandon nests because hundreds of birders came to see it and numerous people refused to stay on the trail and got too close. Anything about your family you’d like to share with us? I have never been married so don’t have kids. However, I do have the world’s smartest nephew (although it may be possible I am a bit biased on that one). Outside of birding, what are your other interests or hobbies? Photography and travel are the big ones. Any funny or embarrassing birding experiences you could tell us? A couple of years ago while doing the CBC in Howe, Idaho I was riding with a certain birder from another city to the east of there. Some unidentified songbirds flew across the snow covered BLM road in front of us. The driver slammed on the brakes. After we identified the American Tree Sparrows we all jumped back in his truck. Only to find out we could not move. Back outside to spend about 20 minutes digging to get moving again. Fortunately he had a shovel in the back of his truck. After we spent some time digging the driver asked the rest of us is there a door open on your side. No we answered. Because his keys were still hanging in the ignition...
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Why You Should Go Bird Watching in Sian Ka’an

Why You Should Go Bird Watching in Sian Ka’an...

Sian Ka’an is one of the most wished for destinations when it comes to birding and it is one of the best bird watching sites among birding communities. This place is a picturesque protected area which sits on the Riviera Maya close to Tulum Mexico has plenty to offer like the ancient Mayan ruins, rich flora and fauna and a lot more. Sian Ka’an means “Where the sky is born”, and its name was given by the ancient Maya. This area of the Yucatan Peninsula features mainly flat landscape having limestone bedrock and hardly any real elevation. You can hardly find real surface rivers yet the limestone bedrock as well as the sandy soil enables the rainfall in the area to filter through and be contained underground. This underground aquifer stretches not just underneath the Sian Ka’an grounds, however underneath the whole peninsula. When it is rainy season such as from May to October, this nature reserve gets to be flooded with water turning wetland areas into small lakes which contain natural rich soil. The Sian Ka’an is a UNESCO World Heritage nature reserve and the habitats found here are protected by the Mexican government; this reserve consists of lowland forests, lagoons, hummocks, mangroves as well as barrier reef These various habitats are home to more than 350 species of aquatic as well as terrestrial birds and are paradise for the bird watching lover. Don’t miss the experience, go and grab your birding equipment. The carefully guided birding tour to Sian Ka’an will provide you the opportunity to witness with your own eyes most of the rarest avian species, plus some birds which you cannot see somewhere else anywhere! A total list of all birds endemic to the Yucatan peninsula could be seen here: Birding Sian Ka’an A few of the rare birds which you can see in Sian Ka’an are the Yucatan Woodpecker, the Yellow fronted parrot. More than 40 of the bird species you are able to see in Yucatan are endemic and vacationers from around the globe come here to view them. In case you are a bird watching junkie and desire to explore the Sian Ka’an biosphere reserve, then consider booking your trip early. This place is a protected habitat and it is only with organized tours that tourists are permitted to visit the place, where the guides will do everything possible to help protect the natural habitat and to make sure that the plant life and animals species will not suffer from the presence of mankind. Each and every area of the Sian Ka’an is inhabited by birds however the most interesting place to check out is the “Bird Island” in the lagoon of San Miguel. This is an enchanting location in which a lot of tropical birds visit roost as well as raise their young. White Ibis, Pelicans, Herons, Frigates and many other species can be found in this area in large numbers. A few of the birds in Sian Ka’an nature reserve are harder to see compared to others; if you’re looking for an uncommon bird, you can inform your guide that you want to see this certain bird specie, and they’ll do their very best to get you to a location where you are almost certainly to see it. Indeed, bird watching is a nice activity that provides an awesome experience. In case you would like to see plenty of species of birds as possible, all you need to do is...