View Full Version : Bird Watching
03-01-2006, 08:10 PM
How is the bird watching in Shannondale? Are there any bird watching clubs? Does anyone have a list of bird types seen in Shannondale? I just moved here and have noticed a of different species of birds at my feeder and I have also noticed that a lot of people here have bird feeders.
03-01-2006, 10:15 PM
Carl, you're right next door to bird heaven. The link HERE (http://www.shannondale.org/sca/FOSSpages/SSlifebirdlist.htm) is to a life list of birds seen at Shannondale Springs. The Potomac Valley Audubon Club is the only one of which I'm aware locally, but Our Mountain would be a perfect place for a project to initiate a club if you've the git up and go. We've got the website to coordinate activities and maybe you could interest some folks.
Take a digital shot of the unknown bird or describe it and someone is sure to ID it.
03-02-2006, 01:55 PM
We have had great luck attracting a large number of different birds to our yard. With the diminishing tree population the bird types have been changing. The most common birds we have seen are Gold Finches, Purple Finches, Cardinal, Carolina Chickadees, Black Cap Chickadees, Titmouse, Blue Jays, White Throated Sparrows, Mourning Doves, Nuthatches, Brown Creepers and Several species of Woodpeckers.
You will probably hear Carolina and House Wrens; they are the loudest of the birds around here. And in the winter months the ground is usually covered with Grey Juncos, they will probably be heading out soon though.
With so many trees being removed, we are starting to see a lot more field birds, some good (Bluebirds) some sort of good (Grackles) and some not so good (Starlings).
If you like large birds, we have spotted many Red Winged Hawks, as well as some American Kestrels, and many Turkey and Black Vultures. On a walk last night we went under about 200 Vultures roosting for the night up in the trees around Wild Rose, it was something straight out of a horror movie.
03-02-2006, 03:28 PM
Do we have an unusually large population of vultures, of the winged kind?
(we have more than enough of the developer kind LOL)
Craig do you set out different seed mixes or are you using a generic 'wild bird' mix to attract your birds?
Expect to see bats in the winter months - I am hoping to get my returning 'house bats' interested in new accomodations - a bat house this year...but know it is a multi-year project...
Does Anyone around here have any bat colonies?...
most all bats are protected species and are very essential to the environment...we are in a great location for bats being so close water sources...
03-02-2006, 04:05 PM
We use a variety of feed, mostly black oil sunflowers seed, cracked corn and millet. For the finches we use thistle seed. We also buy critter food corn, pumpkin seed and spread that around in certain areas this keeps the squirrels occupied and less likely to try and raid our feeders.
There is an abandoned house down the road from us that use to be the home to a bunch of bats, it is now boarded up and our bat population seems to have decreased. I have a bat house that has been up for about a year now, but no luck in attracting the little buggers.
03-02-2006, 04:52 PM
BIRDS - I found one bird feeder that keeps the squirrel out...it is a metal square feeder with slanted rood and a spring loaded feeding platform....the best the squirrels can do is slide and tap the platform as they fall off to pick the leftovers off the ground....
I got a corn swing thing that I thought would be amusing to watch the squirrels go-round-an-round except you need to make sure you super-glue the arms in place...and it is fund to watch the little tricksters....
BATS - I have a bat book I bought from the bat conservancy...they are very picky...the bat house needs to be dark in color to obsorb as much sun as possible, and needs to be placed in an area that will get a lot of sun during the summer they like it to be 80F inside...it needs to be off the ground by preferably 20ft and preferably on a pole. Bats will check out a potential new roost for years before calling it home...so dont give up yet...
The bats in our area they dont know a lot about regarding behaviours etc...
I need to get my bat house up for this year ...Bats are an endagered species I hope that we both get colonies some time soon...its a wonderful way to help conserve the species plus they are a great natural bug catcher...
BTW Ive started a bat topic
03-02-2006, 06:12 PM
This place is awsome for birds. I have 3 feeders and a bird bath set up in yard. Right now I am planning the landscape of my property. I am going to plant flowers to attract the birds and the butter flies and might did a little gold fish pond in the spring to add a little more water to the yard. I also want to build some feeders to attact Blue Birds. (I guess I will be spending alot of time in the yard in the spring.)
Thanks for the list.
03-02-2006, 06:49 PM
Carl, I may have missed it in the thread, but Bluebirds, Robins, Towhees, Brown Thrashers and others feed almost exclusively on worms, grubs and small insects. The cost of meal-worms might put you off in your quest to feed the bird of happiness. The best luck attracting them I've had is the standard BB house and a birdbath. I note you haven't forgotten the water to wash down the chow!
03-02-2006, 09:27 PM
quote: Do we have an unusually large population of vultures, of the winged kind?
Hey OzGirl.... I've been thinking the same thing lately. There seems to be a HUGE flock of those icky looking vultures (sorry, I know they're God's creatures, but man are they ugly!) that seem to have taken a liking to the tall trees in the area of Blueberry, Wild Hare and Wild Rose. I see MANY of them roosting in the morning and again in the evening. I can't say I've ever noticed them like this before and we've lived here for several years. Kinda reminds me of Hitchcock's "The Birds". (I'd recommend carrying an umbrella when walking in that area.....they are definitely messy!)
03-03-2006, 10:33 AM
Our favorite feeder is one that my mother in law gave me that she found at a birding store in Blacksburg, VA. It is a long tube feeder with a motorized spinner on the bottom, the birds are not heavy enough to cause it to go but the squirrels sure are. We get a lot of enjoyment out of watching the squirrels spin around and around then get thrown into the woods. Some are very persistent and will come back again and again. It is like a mechanical bull ride for rodents. Some will hang on for a long time with their legs and tail sticking straight out, it is just great. Then a bird will land and eat as the dizzy squirrel sits and wonders what just happened. [spin2][spin2][spin2]
03-03-2006, 02:01 PM
The vultures used to all hang out at the first street to the left when you come in gate 3 past the mailboxes...I wonder if they are still there...and yes they are ugly beasts...
I wonder if one could make a squirrel tunnel...they crack me up the little buggers trying to figure out the new feeder...it really seems like they are a lot smarter than they look...one of the weirdest things I saw was a crow and squirrel playing together...I am not joking it was hilarious...must have been over 5 minutes of running and scurrying, like a kitten with a ball of string...the crow was very patient and seemed to be enjoying the annoyance...all I can remember thinking was (to the squirrel) did you not see the bigass hawke swoop down and eat your relative yesterday? What are you thinking? LOL
03-07-2006, 09:20 PM
I have to show off my squirrel proof feeder linked HERE (http://www.shannondaleclubalumni.org/PhotoPagesForNowPicSlideshow/pgslinkedtosorg/squirrelproof.htm)
03-07-2006, 10:18 PM
i saw about 5-6 vultures on gate 4 last week going through trash along the road. mustve had some good steak bones in it or something.
04-06-2006, 06:36 PM
When do you usually put out the humming bird feeders? Should be in about a month. Are there Orioles here? If there are I guess the oriole feeders are put out the same time as humming bird feeders.
04-06-2006, 06:58 PM
I've been waiting for someone else to bring up hummers for a change. I'm putting my feeders up this weekend. The first Hummers usually show up about April 20th, probably on its way to New England. They'll be here till the second week of September.
<center>Check the topic HERE (http://www.shannondale.org/forum/topic.asp?ARCHIVE=true&TOPIC_ID=51&SearchTerms=hummingbird)</center>
And the links to some pix I took last year(don't expect much, I'm no Photographer)
The best feeder I've found is the Hummzinger(seen in the photo) and is sold at Gower's feed store in Ranson. Don't waste money on pre-made "nectar"- just use 1 part sugar to 4 parts water-no food coloring necessary. Post some pix if you get them. I'm just crazy about Hummers.
04-07-2006, 09:28 PM
We have all kinds of woodpeckers around our place. Down on the river we constantly see Heron. We've seen osprey and even a pair or eagles last fall.
04-13-2006, 04:41 PM
I have my hummingbird and fruit feeders out. Now I just have to wait for activity. I will let everyone know if I get any summer birds to my feeders.
04-20-2006, 07:56 PM
<center>http://www.shannondale.org/forum/uploads/willis/2006420165036_hummerR.gifA heads up Carl:http://www.shannondale.org/forum/uploads/willis/2006420165139_hummerL.gif
I thought I caught a glimpse of a Hummer at my feeder- Out of the corner of my eye. The timing would be right on- the 20th to the 24th of April. Let's hope!!!</center>
04-22-2006, 08:41 AM
I just saw the first humming bird at my feeder just two minute ago.
04-22-2006, 01:50 PM
HOORAY, Carl-Even on a crappy day like today, Spring Hath Sprung
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