Blog Birding #93
by Nate Swick
Laura Erikson offers her take on a bizarrely ignorant local editorial that includes birds:
I was out of town for the past couple of weeks, and came home to a Google alert and half a dozen emails calling my attention to a Duluth News-Tribune op-ed from Sunday, in what the paper titled “Birder’s View: Hawks are eating all the songbirds.” Someone named Lars Fladmark, credited as an avid birder, wrote a passionate but disturbingly ignorant diatribe about hawks. He started by referring to Koni Sundquist’s recent point-of-view about the tragic decline in many of our most beloved songbirds, and wrote, “I started noticing a fall-off in numbers several years ago and even called local birding expert Laura Erickson to see if there were any known reasons. As Sundquist’s column suggested, people much more knowledgeable than me don’t know the reason.”
Chris Petrak at Tails of Birding shares some stories on the subject of the ABA's current Bird of the Year:
Evening Grosbeaks were irruptive winter birds in my previous home. In spite of the spike they created in the bird seed bill, they were welcome visitors. The male’s gaudy plumage, dominated by bright yellow, was a spark of color against the gray-brown winter landscape. The sudden appearance and equally sudden disappearance of the nomadic flock - the enthusiasm of their voracious appetites - the energy with which the flock seemed to do everything - all helped to chase the winter doldrums.
At the Vermont Center for Ecostudies Blog, the comings and goings of Common Loons in a Vermont lake are as fascinating as a soap opera:
A non-breeding loon, a.k.a intruder, was observed on 35-acre Zack Woods Pond several times this June. The bird was identifiable by the color-bands on its legs. (I have contacted BioDiversity Research Institute to find out where this loon was originally banded.) On 7 July, Alexis, a Green River State Park intern, found this loon 30 feet from the water on the main path to the pond. Loons usually beach themselves only when they are sick, injured, or exhausted from chases with other loons. I drove down an hour later but the bird had left the access area.
Rob Ripma, writing at Birding is Fun, gets the opportunity to photograph one of North America's strangest birds:
We went back to the park on Thursday, hoping that the woodcocks would still be there and that they would be in a good position for photographs. We found one woodcock on the mudflats, but it ran for the woods immediately when we walked up. After scanning the rest of the mudflats for awhile, the woodcock came back out into the open and seemed pretty comfortable with us being near it. Eric slowly moved closer and closer and I followed a few minutes later. We settled into position and waited for the woodcock to move in towards us.