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Old 7th March 2020, 01:00 AM   #456542  /  #3776
borealis
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We are getting snow tonight but yesterday I saw pussy willows just beginning to open along the road.
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Old 7th March 2020, 01:11 AM   #456543  /  #3777
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Originally Posted by borealis View Post
We are getting snow tonight but yesterday I saw pussy willows just beginning to open along the road.
I don't see anything like that, but if you care for filthy old ravens...

https://imgur.com/OQ8QZvr
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Old 17th March 2020, 01:17 PM   #456696  /  #3778
borealis
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It's -8 this morning, but at 7:00 a.m. the first song sparrow (that I've heard) was practicing his song among the fir trees. He hasn't quite got it down yet, not sure if it's two whistles or three at the start, then a trill, got that, then the final run of six notes, he can't quite get that number right.

Every year I've noticed this - the first returnee sparrows seem to need to hear other (maybe older?) birds in order to perfect their standard song.
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Old 17th March 2020, 03:42 PM   #456700  /  #3779
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Originally Posted by borealis View Post
It's -8 this morning, but at 7:00 a.m. the first song sparrow (that I've heard) was practicing his song among the fir trees. He hasn't quite got it down yet, not sure if it's two whistles or three at the start, then a trill, got that, then the final run of six notes, he can't quite get that number right.

Every year I've noticed this - the first returnee sparrows seem to need to hear other (maybe older?) birds in order to perfect their standard song.
I used audio software to chop up bird songs (stolen from my Smithsonian Bird Book CD) which I use for various notifications.

I didn't know how to do it when I started, but for YEARS, it has made me pretty happy with my phone. Especially compared to dinging.

Side note - there is almost nothing more interruptive than a duck-frenzy going off during a conversation.
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Old 17th March 2020, 03:43 PM   #456701  /  #3780
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Quote:
Originally Posted by borealis View Post
It's -8 this morning, but at 7:00 a.m. the first song sparrow (that I've heard) was practicing his song among the fir trees. He hasn't quite got it down yet, not sure if it's two whistles or three at the start, then a trill, got that, then the final run of six notes, he can't quite get that number right.

Every year I've noticed this - the first returnee sparrows seem to need to hear other (maybe older?) birds in order to perfect their standard song.
Not just the pattern of the notes. I'm sure that (for some species at least) they pay attention to the pitch.

I spent 7 or 8 weeks somewhere near oblivion's neighborhood back in '88, and I noticed that there was some sort of bird (maybe something boring like a pigeon) whose calls went like this: Start on F# and slide down a major 3rd to D, then hit that same D note twice.

They were all in the same key, so they had to be listening-to/imitating each other.

And then, near the end of my stay there, there was one bird with the same call in the same pattern (and same timbre and everything), but in a different key: E major instead of D major.

Question: Was this one more attractive to potential mates, by being a nonconformist? Or less attractive, by raising suspicions of being tone-deaf?

I don't know. I don't understand birds at all. Nor even like them much, with their propensity for pooping on you from on high.
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Old 17th March 2020, 08:42 PM   #456703  /  #3781
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I've told you, that's good luck

There's a lot of research that shows songbirds' songs are learned by listening to others. Song plays a big role in mate selection too. A female song-sparrow would probably listen to that bird bo heard and think "nah, he's still a bit under-cooked."
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Old 18th March 2020, 01:15 AM   #456706  /  #3782
gib
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Answer me this, MSG. According to scientists, small birds have to spend most of their day eating because of this, that and the other. Yet for the last 2 days one of the blue tits that nest up me soffits has decided to ditch this advice and prefers to use his energy attacking his reflection in my kitchen window like some tiny befeathered perpetual motion device.
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Old 18th March 2020, 02:16 AM   #456707  /  #3783
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it sees its refection as competition, or your house is full of food and it wants in
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...these people are idiots.
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Old 18th March 2020, 02:33 AM   #456708  /  #3784
MSG
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It's gib's evil experiment. He's created conditions for the poor tit to starve itself and its family by wasting all its energy on an illusory intruder, and is now spending all his time watching its futile attacks on its own reflection.
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Old 18th March 2020, 07:20 PM   #456711  /  #3785
borealis
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For MSG:

No link atm, but a recent study in California reveals that 40% of an urban coyote's diet consists of domestic cats. There are lots of urban coyotes.

On another note, our lake opened up almost completely today and half a dozen male common mergansers showed up.

Moving, rippling, sparkling, sunlit water replacing months of white still flatness. It is mentally restorative.
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Old 19th March 2020, 09:50 PM   #456737  /  #3786
borealis
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Not natural:

Someone calling themselves Destructor on fark.com has swiped my manul avatar! Definitely mine because it was specially manipulated for me.
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Old 19th March 2020, 10:02 PM   #456738  /  #3787
Cunt
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Not natural:

Someone calling themselves Destructor on fark.com has swiped my manul avatar! Definitely mine because it was specially manipulated for me.
With meming, (memeing?) avatars and suchlike are now definitely living things.
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Old 20th March 2020, 07:14 AM   #456751  /  #3788
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sounds like OP8

I'm just saying
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Old 20th March 2020, 08:24 AM   #456756  /  #3789
MondoVman
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^My yay of bor's post is an empathetic consoling yay. Just saying.
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Old 21st March 2020, 12:33 AM   #456811  /  #3790
gib
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youngest has named the bird 'titty'
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Old 21st March 2020, 12:35 AM   #456812  /  #3791
gib
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ffejrxx View Post
it sees its refection as competition, or your house is full of food and it wants in

i guess my point was, where does it get the energy from if it's doing this all day
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Old 21st March 2020, 01:55 AM   #456815  /  #3792
MSG
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it's a good question, and you would be doing it a favour if you could find a way to discourage it from wasting its energy on the phantom tit


you could try doing something to make the window less reflective. or putting a plaster owl on the window sill, or a hawk silhouette on the glass to scare it away


I used to volunteer at the bird hide at Edithvale Wetlands and a magpie-lark used to assail the reflective glass window all the time. Hawk silhouettes and hanging CDs didn't work but a rubber snake on the window sill did the trick








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Old 21st March 2020, 08:25 PM   #456832  /  #3793
gib
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It's extra reflective to stop the neighbours nosing in. The cat has stared to sit there now, so that's putting them off.
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Old 25th March 2020, 06:34 PM   #456964  /  #3794
borealis
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My daylilies have sprouted!

Good time to mention day lilies - not other plants called lilies, those are toxic- have edible sprouts where young and flowers in the bud or bloom.
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Old 13th April 2020, 03:55 PM   #458720  /  #3795
borealis
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Yesterday I found mayflowers (in a very sheltered south-facing location) beginning to bloom.

In my neighbourhood wanderings I've also discovered that most of the places I used to find them are now too overgrown with young spruce, fir, and shrubs to support their continued existence. They require small clearings in acidic soil with lots of sun and protection from wind. Shade or competing plants quickly eliminate them.

It never fails to amaze me how quickly local ecosystems can change, especially wrt wild flowers. In 25 years I've watched, just along this short dirt road, cleared areas become forests, old spruce and fir stands fall and be replaced with birch and maple, spots where trilliums grew become habitats for lady slippers instead, bog laurel fade away, outcompeted by leatherleaf and Labrador tea, rattlesnake plantain succumb to too much light when old shading conifers blew down, ragged robins take over the banks of a small seasonal stream that once supported tall grasses, queen anne's lace move into the neighbourhood.

Oh, and grackles are back, and it's time again to listen nightly for spring peepers.
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Old 13th April 2020, 04:27 PM   #458721  /  #3796
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I saw a castle, unused and falling into ruin, due to the lockdown.

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Old 13th April 2020, 04:51 PM   #458723  /  #3797
borealis
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That's a very cool (in all senses) photo.
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Old 13th April 2020, 05:06 PM   #458724  /  #3798
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That's a very cool (in all senses) photo.
Spoiler


The others weren't as good. I'm trying to figure out what I got so right wrt dynamic range in that one. It's rare to get it so...something.

And I shoot a lot of snow scenes.

Spoiler



Spoiler
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Old 13th April 2020, 06:20 PM   #458725  /  #3799
Zeluvia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by borealis View Post
For MSG:

No link atm, but a recent study in California reveals that 40% of an urban coyote's diet consists of domestic cats. There are lots of urban coyotes.

On another note, our lake opened up almost completely today and half a dozen male common mergansers showed up.

Moving, rippling, sparkling, sunlit water replacing months of white still flatness. It is mentally restorative.

We already knew this didn't we? The question is why are dingos slacking in Australia?



Sometimes I can hear the coyotes yapping at night. I live in an urban area.
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Old 13th April 2020, 06:29 PM   #458727  /  #3800
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Originally Posted by Zeluvia View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by borealis View Post
For MSG:

No link atm, but a recent study in California reveals that 40% of an urban coyote's diet consists of domestic cats. There are lots of urban coyotes.

On another note, our lake opened up almost completely today and half a dozen male common mergansers showed up.

Moving, rippling, sparkling, sunlit water replacing months of white still flatness. It is mentally restorative.

We already knew this didn't we? The question is why are dingos slacking in Australia?



Sometimes I can hear the coyotes yapping at night. I live in an urban area.
This has me wondering what differences I'll see here around wildlife...

With spring coming, I always bring a (slower) runner along when going 'into the shiggy'.

I certainly expect more bear activity for the regular season, but the only other change I can think of, is less highway traffic, which could bring more bison onto the roads (they are usually looking for the easy way to go from sedge patch to sedge patch)
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