Thursday, December 16, 2010

Yard bird #76 is life bird #1444

Can you guess what it might be? We will get to that later...

First, another congratulations to Harry Legrand, who nailed last week's nest quiz.

An absolutely atrocious picture. Not that you can tell, but the owner of the eggs was this Pauraque.

For some reason my most recent post got buried back in the October section even though I published it in December. For those of you who may have missed it, see: Birding Tiputini Biodiversity Station.

Second, great news out of New England. My friend, Peter Capobianco, has photographed what may be the first ever state record of a Lazuli Bunting. Go Pete! (it wouldn't be a post if I didn't mention his name somewhere). Link to Lazuli Bunting? pictures.

Anyway, the weather here has been downright nasty lately by North Carolina standards. Add to that final exams, and I sure haven't been outside a whole lot.

As if to reward my laziness, a Pine Siskin showed up in my backyard yesterday and a pair appeared again today.
I had been after this species for sometime. And by "after" I mean patiently waiting at home for one to show up. Yard bird #76, NC bird #217, ABA bird #285 and life bird #1444 all at once. A life bird in my backyard isn't likely to happen again any time soon. Unless of course I were to move to California. Or I suppose a flock of Evening Grosbeaks could show up, but that seems like quite a long-shot.

I may as well keep going with the backyard birding theme for this post. I just can't wait to be 75 years old!

The three previous additions to the yard list were Brown Creeper, Golden-crowned Kinglet

and Red-winged Blackbird.

The flocks of red-wingeds have been all over the place in the neighboorhood this winter including up in pine trees feeding, which I had no idea they ever did.

Obviously, this isn't a new yard bird, but it is the orangest House Finch I've ever seen.

Sibley has always claimed that the color can be variable; turns out he wasn't lying!

And check out this video of a ruby-crowned kinglet at my feeder going nuts at his own reflection in the window.

Make sure to watch it in HD!

Apparently these birds are rather territorial in winter. I saw another kinglet doing the same routine for his reflection in the window of a parked BMW.

We may as well do another nest quiz even though we know Harry Legrand will just win again.

Yes, I know. The adult is in the picture and the egg already hatched; so this is really more of a "Name that bird" quiz. But it's a cute picture (click it!) and the one I'll put up next time, of the chick much larger and about ready to fledge, may be one of the best bird pictures I have ever taken ever.

Please leave comments!

To inspire you (as if this post weren't inspiring enough!) here is a question:

What should be the topic of my next South America post? The Galapagos (epic pictures)? Jatun Sacha Bilsa (Banded Ground-Cuckoo story)? The Durand Brothers' Lodge (birding the Amazon on $30 per day)?

I'll probably write one first about Christmas counts. I plan to participate in Durham, Chapel Hill, Lake Mattamuskeet and Bodie/Pea Island.

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