Above Our Gardens in the Sky in June

dan_staley(5b/SS 2b AHS 6-7)June 5, 2009

I was outside in the garden tonight cutting salad greens for dinner and I heard the first nighthawks of the season. Ahhhhh...

That is all.

Dan

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greenbean08_gw(PNW)

and for those of us with no clue what that sounds like...

Here is a link that might be useful: Nighthawk sound

    Bookmark   June 6, 2009 at 2:06AM
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jnfr(z5b CO)

Around here I always know it's spring when the Western Meadowlark starts to sing.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2009 at 11:11AM
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digit(ID/WA)

Thank you for providing a sound link, Bean. (I went to allaboutbirds.org to find out what I'd been missing in that regard. Sitting in front of an open window with the sparrows going nuts outdoors - I punched the "play" button. With the volume cranked up, it put a stop to the sparrows "melody" real quick. ;o)

I've associated the nighthawk with the end of Summer instead of Spring. They can be almost "dense" around here the last of August.

Enjoy those meadow larks, Jnfr. I rarely see them anymore.

The population seems to take a real hit after the housing developments move in. I've wondered why that is - just the lost of pasture land, where they seem happiest? Or, could it be because they seem to be kind of a shy bird with humans despite their bright gold breast and wonderful song?

It may be because their cousins the starlings are squeezing them thru competition for the same food sources . . . ?

digitS'

    Bookmark   June 6, 2009 at 12:15PM
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dan_staley(5b/SS 2b AHS 6-7)

Yes, I listen for the meadowlark too. I listen for the nighthawks when I'm looking for a break in the wind.

Or, could it be because they seem to be kind of a shy bird with humans despite their bright gold breast and wonderful song?

The birds we hear outside our window are synanthropic - they get along with humans. And the meadowlark's environmental requirements are not met in sterile boring landscapes interrupted by bulky unmoving shapes that do not afford a place to perch. Starlings can outcompete them and do in their habitat, but those horrid birds prefer farmland and suburbs for the easy food.

Dan

    Bookmark   June 6, 2009 at 12:43PM
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jnfr(z5b CO)

I'm fortunate that there is open space nearby, and with birds passing through to Standley Lake, we get lots of strays you wouldn't otherwise find in the 'burbs.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2009 at 12:48PM
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jclepine(8b)

Night before last was a horrible night for sleeping. Something was scurrying outside against the house and the dogs kept barking...and we kept waking up!

In the morning, we realized something was in the wall. When we opened it, a little sparrow-sized bird flew out! Aw, so cute.

Right now, we get the most darling little yellow birds, they like to flit about the blue spruce, playing. Then, they eat little bugs off the trees. I have no idea what they are but they are fun to watch. It cold be a western tanager, but with out the rosy coloured head.

:)

    Bookmark   June 6, 2009 at 6:34PM
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dan_staley(5b/SS 2b AHS 6-7)

Goldfinch?

Dan

    Bookmark   June 6, 2009 at 7:24PM
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Skybird - z5, Denver, Colorado

I had a couple goldfinches at my thistle feeder yesterday before I left. I know theyÂre around, but I so rarely see them that I just sat transfixed. They are SO bright! In the last 24 hours, my thistle sock got empty! Guess I better fill it up again!

No nighthawks or meadow larks tho! IÂd LOVE the have a meadow lark singing close enough to hear it, but being in a very residential subdivision, I donÂt think itÂs gonna happen!

Happy birding,
Skybird

Here is a link that might be useful: Goldfinch

    Bookmark   June 6, 2009 at 7:56PM
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david52_gw

We've got a fair number of meadow larks about - I love hearing them early in the morning. Overall there have recently been some major swings in specific bird populations. When the West Nile hit, it hammered the magpies, crows, and owls. I see the first two coming back, but still nowhere near the numbers we used to have. I did hear an owl last week, but thats the first one in a few years. We had a huge barn owl that used to perch in one of my trees.

This year, I don't see very many redwing black birds, and there are usually hundreds of them in my yard, what with the cat tail swamp. And, surprisingly, very few starlings - they too used to show up by the hundreds. In a way, I wish they'd come back, because they're listed as one of the natural predators for sod web worms, of which I have an abundant supply. But this year, robins. They're all over the place.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2009 at 8:12PM
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jnfr(z5b CO)

Goldfinches maybe? I've seen those around here.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2009 at 9:34PM
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jnfr(z5b CO)

Okay, I started that post this morning and forgot it, so when I hit submit I didn't know the rest of you had posted already!

    Bookmark   June 6, 2009 at 9:35PM
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jclepine(8b)

jnfr, I've done that before!

Yes, goldfinches!

Now, what is the small (but a bit larger than a goldfinch) bird that is a bright and surrealistic shade of blue, almost turquoise? I think it looked like the mountain bluebird (Nevada state bird) and so does Darren. Would those be up here?

So pretty!

Our bird songs are coming from the frogs! We have such loud frogingales!

    Bookmark   June 6, 2009 at 10:21PM
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digit(ID/WA)

Probably a Mountain Bluebird, Jennifer.

Nevada state bird, huh? Well, it's Idaho's state bird, too!

Problem is, I don't see them most years . . . We also have the Western Bluebird here. (And, I think that's more than Nevada can say. ;o) He's the little guy with some red on his breast.

I think there has been a decline in the bluebird population because they like to sit in trees and swoop down and grab butterflies on the ground. One of our prettiest birds eats butterflies . . . I guess that figures?

The problem is that trees with open ground around them usually have a house nextdoor. The house has a cat . . .

Honestly, I doubt if the bluebird gets caught often by cats. I'm going to say that he's too smart for that but I'm sure that he is deterred from hunting in someone's suburban backyard because of the feline population. Did you know that there are an estimated 100 million cats in the US?

I think that a Townsend's Solitaire is a real cool bird. They are gray but some of us are, too. . .

You can find Solitaires in evergreen forests. Despite their name, I've only seen them in pairs.

digitS'

Here is a link that might be useful: cats . . .

    Bookmark   June 7, 2009 at 4:32PM
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greenbean08_gw(PNW)

I see bluebirds on occasion as well. That is a surreal shade of blue!

I was talking to the neighbor tonight and she actually saw a squirrel trying to get into her birdfeeder. I was really surprised since I've NEVER seen a squirrel out here. She hadn't either, until today...

Here is a link that might be useful: Tales of a Transplanted Gardener

    Bookmark   June 7, 2009 at 11:50PM
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jclepine(8b)

Our neighbor's cat comes over and sometimes eats the catmint. Since "Jack" has been described as a birder, I suspect the occasional goldfinch feathers on the ground are Jack's fault. We just had dinner there tonight and Jack was very friendly...hmmm...I wonder why!

That was the only bluebird of this particular shade I've ever seen! We had to check with each other to see if we really saw a bird that bright.

Chipmunks and squirrels are living in my yard and are all over up here. I love them! So far, they have not bothered my garden. Phew!

And then there was that particular speckled bird that Darren pointed out to me twice...but that was a dream. I just double checked, yep, dream. No wonder I can't pin a genus on them!

Night, night

    Bookmark   June 8, 2009 at 12:46AM
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