|BCDC Members at Silver Lake near Rehobeth Beach watching Canvasbacks|
Sunday, January 30, 2011
Posted by Al Guarente at 4:17 PM
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Obviously it's time to be feeding the birds. I feed birds in my yard all year round, but a lot of people only feed in winter. One of the most popular seeds to feed the birds is Niger (often spelled Nyjer). Did you know that Niger seed can dry out. Niger is an oily seed and when left out for a long period it will dry out. The oil provides the fat content in the seed which the birds enjoy, but once the oil dries the seed is no longer attractive to the birds. So only buy the amount that you will use in about a month's time, thus preserving the freshness of the seed.
As small as it is, a niger seed does have a shell. If you think birds aren't eating the seed because you see some on the ground, examine it more closely: you may be seeing mostly the thin niger hulls.
Niger is an agricultural crop imported primarily from India, Ethiopia, Nepal and Burma (Myanmar). Niger is not the typical niger you see along roadsides. The niger used for feeding birds is imported and must be heated to sterilize the seed so it will not propagate.
Niger is also vulnerable to spoilage while in the feeder. It should be changed every 3-4 weeks. The birds are able to tell that the seeds are bad and if you notice the birds are not eating the seed throw it away and refill with fresh seed. I'm sure you are aware that Goldfinches love niger but other birds will also be attracted to it. Pine Siskins, which associate with goldfinches, also love it, as do both Common and Hoary Redpoll. Occasionally, chickadees and nuthatches will also eat the niger.
Posted by Al Guarente at 9:34 AM
Thursday, January 20, 2011
|Light phase Rough-legged Hawk|
|Scenic view of landfill|
Dave Eberly, Jacob Socolar and I took an afternoon frolic to Lancaster County hoping for a Lapland Longspur, Horned Larks and Rough-legged Hawks. On the drive put Jacob spotted a Turkey but unfortunately Dave and I weren't able to see it in time. We had no luck with the longspur but we found lots of Horned Larks. Along Voganville Rd we managed to find a light phase immature Rough-legged Hawk. After cruising around some, we found a dark phase Rough-legged Hawk on Amishtown Rd.
|Dave & Jacob scouring the gulls|
After leaving the Lancaster area we headed to the South Eastern Chester County Refuse Authority landfill and got permission to drive up to the top. The trash trucks were emptying their loads and the bulldozers were pushing the trash around as a thousand gulls flew about. The most common gull was by far the Ring-billed, followed by Herring Gulls. We managed to find at least four Lesser Black-backed Gulls. Other birds present were quite a few Fish Crows, Black & Turkey Vultures and many, many Starlings.
Posted by Al Guarente at 5:52 PM
Monday, January 17, 2011
|Partial Albino Pileated Woodpecker (Photos by Bill Stewart)|
Written by Bill Stewart
I was fortunate enough to observe an albinistic/leucistic female yesterday morning at Shaw's Bridge Park outside of West Chester, PA. Best description would be that 98% of the normal black plumage was white as snow, still maintained a red crest, black primaries and a whitish bill. A rather stunning bird to see. It appeared to be excavating a feeding hole and was joined by a male piwo making me think these two birds may be on territory and could possibly be re-found. If you go to the park to try and find the woodpecker, pull into the parking area and drive towards the comfort station, park on your right and the birds were directly in front of me in the treeline along the road.
Posted by Al Guarente at 3:46 PM
Sunday, January 16, 2011
|Bob Kelly, Dave Eberly & Chris Pugliese|
|Blurry Photo of our Merlin|
We found some other good birds, such as a Horned Lark & Killdeer at the airport and some very late/early Brown-headed Cowbirds. Adding to the delightful days mix of birds were 37 Tundra Swans floating along the river near the Harrah's Casino. It was a fun 6 hours of birding locally throughout the county.
Posted by Al Guarente at 2:40 PM
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
|Female Rufous Hummingbird in Yardley Pa|
|Showing Band on Right Leg|
Colleen and I decided at the last minute to run over before the storm this morning to see if we could see the Rufous Hummingbird. It was literally a spur of the moment thing when we realized we could squeeze it in when other plans fell through. She was easy to find, as long as you don't look at the feeders. She was hanging out in a holly tree and a boxwood below it. The holly tree is along Vernon Road. Here is a photo of the Rufous I got. We didn't stay long because I didn't want to prevent her from going about what she needed to do with us present. She didn't seem phased by us, and did a lot of preening and moving from perch to perch. However, with temps in the mid-twenties, I didn't want to take the chance. Hopefully, getting through the snow storm won't be a problem for her.
Posted by Al Guarente at 3:59 PM
Monday, January 10, 2011
Posted by Al Guarente at 8:55 PM
Thursday, January 6, 2011
|Harlequin Duck - Photo from Barnegat Light|
After watching the Harlequin for a while we searched for Saw-whet Owls in the nearby cedars but no luck. Then we headed to Montgomery County to try and add the Bullock's Oriole to our trip. This was my second time there and once again I struck out. The oriole refused to show and it was last seen early yesterday morning, so it might have moved on to greener pastures.
Posted by Al Guarente at 4:32 PM
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
|Male Bullock's Oriole|
Posted by Al Guarente at 4:21 PM
Monday, January 3, 2011
|Sunrise at Port Mahon|
|Canvasbacks - Silver Lake|
Cape Henlopen produced a flock of Snow Buntings, Red-breasted Mergansers, Red-breasted and Brown-headed Nuthatches, a Sharpie and Pine Siskens and Black-capped Chickadee. The surprise of the day was at the Cape Henlopen Hawk watch. There was an usually large amount of cars in the parking lot when we approached and when we got to the beach there was a Polar Bear Swim that was just about ready to start. So we stayed and watch the crazy people strip down to their swimsuits and run into the water. Not many of them stayed in for more then a few seconds. I don't blame them.
Prime Hook was our last stop and we added a few birds on the bay. We ended the day with 74 species and the weather was quite warm for a New Year's Day.
Posted by Al Guarente at 1:44 PM