Psycho Birder and a busy yard bird morning

A bird watching woman is attacked by an uncontrolled dog. She voices her concern to the dogs owner about the leash law…. she is called a psycho birder.

A local news paper runs a story about wind turbines being considered for an area in Western Maine, which is located near an Avian Rehabilitation Clinic. The owner of this establishment was interviewed by the paper. In the comments section at the end of the story, a war of words break out. Birders are being called tree huggers, whining birders, nut jobs, and a few swear words that I will not repeat. In reference to a Mourning Dove that the article reported had been recently released, one fella commented that the Dove makes a great dish, tasting like chicken. Others said that if birds are stupid enough to run into the turbine blades, they should be killed. Misinformation was running rampant.

Let me ask you, what does this war of words solve? Do some people really think that cursing and name calling help solve the problems we have today? If I call my congressman and call him names, and use every derogatory remark known to man because gasoline prices are high, will I be able to step back and watch the price go down? No, it won’t happen! I look like an idiot and the price continues to rise.

It is beyond me why people can’t have a civilized debate about an issue without going off the deep end. There are always two sides to an issue. The environment, politics, global warming, war or any other issue that we have deep feelings about. Nothing is solved when tempers flare, it only makes matters worse. We have to keep calm heads even if our hearts are hot.

Incidents like this are happening nationwide, and not only to birders. I worry over environmental issues, the war, gas prices, how much it will cost to heat my home this winter, and many other things. But my biggest worry is how some people are acting these days. I worry about our nation as a whole and how much longer this can last before we have gone beyond the point of no return.

On a lighter note, it was a great morning to watch yard birds from the confines of our home on this chilly, rainy Saturday. Between the hours of 5:30 a.m. and 8:30 a.m., Sharon and I recorded 33 species!

We put out meal worms in very small dishes and the birds cleaned them all up. Chickadees took 3 to 4 at a time, Nuthatches and Titmice would fly off with single worms. More than likely, there were some happy baby birds this morning with this high protein diet.

Hairy and Downy Woodpeckers are making trips to our suet feeders and leaving with beaks full to feed the young ones. Tree Swallows are entering nest boxes with bugs. It won’t be long until fledglings will be visiting the feeders themselves.

We added new yard birds to our tally today, Rose-Breasted Grosbeak, Indigo Bunting and Brown Thrasher.

The 33 species recorded:

  • Gray Catbird (pair)
  • Rose-Breasted Grosbeak (pair)
  • Common Yellowthroat
  • Tufted Titmouse (pairs)
  • White-Breasted Nuthatch
  • Red-Breasted Nuthatch
  • Northern Cardinal (pair)
  • Downy Woodpecker (pair)
  • Hairy Woodpecker (pair)
  • Brown Thrasher
  • Indigo Bunting
  • Blackcapped Chickadee (pairs)
  • American Robin
  • Song Sparrow
  • Tree Sparrow
  • Savannah Sparrow
  • American Goldfinch (pairs)
  • Blue Jay
  • American Crow
  • Red-Winged Blackbird (pair)
  • Yellow-Rumped Warbler
  • Black and White Warbler
  • Ruby-Throated Hummingbird
  • Mourning Dove
  • Great-Crested Flycatcher
  • Eastern Phoebe
  • Canada Geese
  • Great Blue Heron
  • Snowy Egret
  • Osprey
  • Mallards
  • Black Ducks
  • Greater Yellowlegs

Happy birding!

Another Woodpecker Video

UPDATE 6/8/08: Having too much trouble embedding video into the post. Please click the link to play the WMV format movie in your default player.

Working this video through my video editing program, I have rendered a larger sized video with a smaller file size as requested. The video is embedded into this post. Click the play button and enjoy. The video was taken on a cloudy day, but sunny days are ahead!

If anyone has a problem playing or seeing this video, please let me know.

WMV Movie  Male Hairy Woodpecker (wmv format 6mb)


Happy birding!

Hairy Woodpecker Video

WMV MovieMale Hairy Woodpecker

Testing out the capabilities of our new Sony HD camcorder.

The above video is a 8mb file, so dial-up users beware!  (clicking the link will open the video in your default wmv player) I am still learning my video editing program, so be patient for videos with smaller file sizes, but in a larger format.

Feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Happy birding!

Evergreen Cemetery Warblers

This mornings bird watching trip to Evergreen Cemetery in Portland was not quite as birdy as I would have liked, but Warblers were never-the-less numerous. Northeast winds for the last several days have limited the fallout, holding down the number of species.

Bob Malbon, Sharon and I arrived at the cemetery at 6:30 a.m. under clear skies and cool temperatures. Quite a few other birders were present, peaking at 50 people or so later in the morning. I heard a report of a Cape May Warbler on the woods side of the junk pond, but I never found it.

My highlight of the morning was a Nashville Warbler, which is a life bird for Sharon and I. He was very cooperative for the camera. It was the exact opposite with an American Redstart. I do not have a good photograph of this beautiful bird, and I still don’t. The Redstart was either in the shadows or deep in the brush. He later parked himself within 3 feet of me, but I had to shoot into the sun, which is not conducive for a good photo.

Species observed at Evergreen Cemetery:

Location:     Evergreen Cemetery, Portland, Maine
Observers: John and Sharon Briggs, Bob Malbon
Observation date:     5/11/08
Notes:     Clear skies, temps low 40’s, winds NE 10-20 mph
Number of species:     37

Mallard     10
Double-crested Cormorant     6
Merlin     1
Spotted Sandpiper     2
Mourning Dove     3
Ruby-throated Hummingbird     2
Downy Woodpecker     1
Pileated Woodpecker     1
Least Flycatcher     3
Blue-headed Vireo     1
Blue Jay     5
American Crow     16
Black-capped Chickadee     8
Tufted Titmouse     2
White-breasted Nuthatch     1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet     5
American Robin     1
Gray Catbird     1
Northern Mockingbird     1
Nashville Warbler     4
Northern Parula     4
Chestnut-sided Warbler     2
Magnolia Warbler     1
Black-throated Blue Warbler     1
Yellow-rumped Warbler     3
Blackburnian Warbler     1
Black-and-white Warbler     2
American Redstart     4
Common Yellowthroat     4
Wilson’s Warbler     1
American Tree Sparrow     6
Song Sparrow     3
White-throated Sparrow     2
White-crowned Sparrow     1
Northern Cardinal     1
Brown-headed Cowbird     1
American Goldfinch     6

This report was generated automatically by eBird v2

I would like to report that not only did a Baltimore Oriole show up in our yard today, an Orchard Oriole also made an appearance! If we can get a nesting pair to stick around, I’ll be one happy birder.

The bird photographs below were taken at Evergreen Cemetery this morning. Click a thumbnail for a larger view. Comments and criticisms are greatly appreciated.


Black-Throated Blue Warbler- Evergreen Cemetery - Portland, Maine. Chestnut-Sided Warbler- Evergreen Cemetery - Portland, Maine. Chestnut-Sided Warbler- Evergreen Cemetery - Portland, Maine.
Double-Crested Cormorant- Evergreen Cemetery - Portland, Maine. Female Mallard- Evergreen Cemetery - Portland, Maine. Male and Female Mallard- Evergreen Cemetery - Portland, Maine.
Nashville Warbler- Evergreen Cemetery - Portland, Maine. Nashville Warbler- Evergreen Cemetery - Portland, Maine. Nashville Warbler- Evergreen Cemetery - Portland, Maine.
Northern Flicker- Evergreen Cemetery - Portland, Maine. Northern Parula- Evergreen Cemetery - Portland, Maine. Red Ear Slider Turtles- Evergreen Cemetery - Portland, Maine.

Happy birding!

The Hummingbirds are here

Just a quick post this evening. Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds are back and visiting everyone of our ten hummingbird feeders. Some territories are being set up and it looks like we my have a breeding pair or two this year. If only the Baltimore Orioles were as plentiful. Still no Orioles as of this time.

Tomorrow morning, Sharon and I will be at the Evergeen Cemetary and Capisic Park in Portand to look for Wablers. We are hoping this “hotspot” for migrating Warblers will be very productive and the photographs plentiful.

The following photos of the Ruby-Throated Hummingbird was taken on our feeder this morning. Enjoy!


Ruby-Throated Hummingbird - Bath, Maine. Ruby-Throated Hummingbird - Bath, Maine. Ruby-Throated Hummingbird - Bath, Maine.

Happy birding!

Warblers everywhere

This evening after having our meal, Sharon and I went to the back yard with the binoculars to do some bird watching. Flitting in the trees were a wide variety of Warblers, including two who now grace our life list.

Although I did not get any photos because of the lack of good light, our necks were aching after following the acrobatic birds doing there bug gleaning in the tree tops.

The Nashville and the Black and White Warblers were a first for us. I loved watching the Black and White move around the tree similar to how a Nuthatch maneuvers in a tree. Other Warblers would hover at times, trying for that juicy bug.

Among the madness in the trees, were American Goldfinches who would fool you for a split second as we tried to identify the bird action. At one point, 20 Goldfinches were either on the feeders or staging in the trees.

Most of these Warblers will be moving on to thier nesting areas, and I am hoping several species will stay and make our home thier home.

Here is the Warbler tally from this evening. (I am sure there are many more we missed, they are so hard to follow!)

Location:     Bath, Maine (Home)
Observers:    John & Sharon Briggs
Observation date:     5/6/08
Notes:     Partly cloudy, temp low 50’s
Number of species:     8

Nashville Warbler     1
Northern Parula     4
Yellow Warbler     2
Yellow-rumped Warbler     3
Palm Warbler     3
Palm Warbler (Yellow)     2
Black-and-white Warbler     4
Wilson’s Warbler     2

This report was generated automatically by eBird v2

As a side note, I am finding more and more characters out there stealing my images. As a photographer, I am outraged when people grab photos off the web and use them without consideration of copyright. I’ve been fighting this “It’s on the Internet, so it must be free!” ignorance for more than three years now.

Folks, if you see any of my images on the net, especially without a credit back to me or my website, please email me and let me know. There are several entities and people who I have given permission to use my images and they have a credit line with the image.

Happy birding!