The day started at 4am with a couple productive hours of owling around Octorara Lake. Using calls from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s recent release, Voices of North American Owls, we managed to hear (but not see) 5 species of owls; 6 N. Saw-whet Owls, 6 E. Screech Owls, 2 Long-eared Owls, 2 Great Horned Owls and 1 Barn Owl. The new CD proved particularly useful in getting responses from the saw-whets which are often hard to find. The variety of calls, particularly one which we dubbed the pewp (or poop) call, were very good at eliciting responses. Once daylight arrived we walked a long loop through some conifer plantations and scrubby area and were quite pleased with the 18 dapper looking Fox Sparrows that we saw. Other highlights included both Cooper’s and Sharp-shinned Hawks, Killdeer, Eastern Towhee and several Winter Wrens.
Read More
Thought you should all know that there are some excellent uses for the photo sharing site, Flickr.I just started two groups to document the variation of Song Sparrows and Fox Sparrows across North America. Because of the new mapping feature I hope to make it possible to quickly look at photos of all the different subspecies of these two sparrows. Its just starting so there are not many photos up now but if you see any, please invite them. I also have two longer running groups that have grown a lot. The first was to compile lots of pictures of hawks in flight to help ID them as you would from a watch site. The Flight: Raptors of N. America group now has 86 contributors and almost 300 pictures. The Confusing Fall Warblers was formed to compare all those fall plumaged warblers that can be so hard to identify.
Read More

Funny birding video

By
Uncategorized
I found this on youtube.com. Pretty interesting characters giving some not so good birding tips.
Read More

Foggy Birding at Lake Ontelaunee

By
Bird Sightings
It was wonderfully foggy yesterday but I decided I wanted to see what the lake held before the fog lifted and everything flew off. Unfortunately, the fog was so thick that I could barely see anything on the lake. There was a good flock of Canada Geese with one young Snow Goose mixed in as well as a Red-breasted Merganser. That was it for the lake. I walked around some of the brushy areas near the lake and managed to get a fine picture of the fog. Looks pretty haunted… Also got some good looks at a hyper Winter Wren(when aren’t they) and some Golden-crowned Kinglets. I really love the way the kinglets hang out in tall grassy areas and pop right up in front of you when you pish.The other highlight was the large flock of gulls that were pulling worms out of a nearby schools lawn.
Read More

Good News for Whooping Cranes

By
Bird News , Conservation Issues
Sometimes good news is hard to come by so I am happy to say that the first wild hatched Whooping Crane chick from the Operation Migration flock has successfully completed its fall migration to Florida. Currently the flock consists of 64 released cranes plus the 1 wild hatched chick. I was lucky enough to see a pair of Whooping Cranes last spring at Necedah NWR in Wisconsin among a flock of Sandhill Cranes and I can say that they are stunningly beautiful. Also check out Mike’s Birding and Digiscoping Blog for more on the story.
Read More
So its been quite a problem for a while now but Cerulean Warblers are in a precipitous decline. Apparently, the populations have dropped 82% in 40 years which is pretty dismal but to make matters worse, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has decided not to list it as endangered. The National Audubon Society may follow up on this decision and fight it but it is very depressing when a bird can decline this rapidly and be ignored by the Endangered Species Act. Check out Fatbirder.com for the article.
Read More
Well, first of all let’s look at my luck so far. There was a Rufous Hummingbird only 15 minutes from my house for over 3 weeks. As luck would have it I was busy working at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary and did not have time to chase this bird. When the season was over I went home and the (almost) first thing I did was head to the house where the Rufous had been seen daily. Every 15 minutes most mornings to be exact. Well, after 2 hours I realized that I was one day too late, the hummingbird had waited to make its last appearance when I could not make it. So that is my most recent dip. Then there is the Fork-tailed Flycatcher that was in Bucks County, Pennsylvania earlier this year. I managed, once again to go the day after the last day it was seen.
Read More

Blogger messed up

By
General Rant
And my previous blog is inaccessible…so I will start a new one. My lost blog has some great pictures that I have taken so check it out on Blogspot. This Red-tailed Hawk is giving the blogger in beta folks the evil eye for letting my previous blog disappear somewhere between the two blogger worlds.
Read More
It’s fun to see what poses you get when you take a whole series of pictures. I managed to catch this Yellow-rumped Warbler in two funny poses. The first caught him in mid jump while the second he is looking inquisitively at me.
Read More