Category: texas birds

Regular

Hawks and the Impending Cardinalpocalypse

Finally saw some Hot Hawk Action! I was watching a frenzy of house sparrows destroy my window feeders (I try to keep the sparrows in the bushes), and I was wondering if I should disturb the other birds to move the sparrows back, even if it was almost dusk. I was just about to leave and grab the bird seed when the birds all freak out, and WHOOOSH hawk wings BRUSH AGAINST MY WINDOW before I realize what is happening, and then I see the familiar banded tail facing me from the fence. It’s the Sharp-shinned! And for once, not eating! He tried a couple times to get at a female cardinal who took refuge in a crape myrtle bush (which I do NOT trim, and which the birds LOVE to eats the seeds out of!), but he couldn’t reach her. Eventually, dispirited, he flew off empty-taloned.

The cardinal was in the bush closest to the house, so I could see that the hawk was TINY!!! Like, maybe only twice as large as the cardinal.

I was wondering why the cardinal didn’t fly off to the neighbor’s orange tree with the rest of the flock. But when I went out to fill the feeders, there was a small spot of blood on the side of the house, so she may have been injured.

It also reminds me: I had found a clump of feathers in the yard, unmistakably from the belly of a lady cardinal. I was very sad (fun fact though, a spider had moved into the feather clump and was using it as a hide!), but a few days later, I saw a female cardinal pigging out at the feeders. She had a bald spot on her belly.

These cardinals, I tell you. Last year, I had one bonded pair. One male, one female. They had an uncountable number of chicks—uncountable because they utilized quantum tunneling and alternate dimensions to pop in and out of existence for the sole purpose of terrorizing thirsty cotton mice.

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Above: Mouse terrorizing asshole Sweet juvenile male cardinal who has never done anything wrong ever

They disappeared for a season and returned en masse, with their mates, their mates’ siblings, and their mates’ siblings’ mates (and on and on…). They are still hard to count, but my best attempts are: 11 females, 14 males. The actual numbers are higher.

I don’t know how many hawks I will need before I start having cardinals nesting in my walls (j/k that’s the house sparrows and they ALREADY DO THAT ugh), but this sure is interesting.

February 19, 2019

lies: nanonaturalist: lies: nanonaturalist: …

lies:

nanonaturalist:

lies:

nanonaturalist:

Some Handsome Men Finches

Top two: Lesser Goldfinch
Bottom three: House Finch, who is yellow instead of red like most (I love him)

Posted Feb 12, 2019

Whoa. Your Texas LEGO males are wild-looking. I’ve had 30+ Lesser Goldfinches hanging off my two sock feeders lately, but none of them look like that.

Oh yes, we do get the black-backed flavor males here. I don’t know if I’ve seen the green-backed ones in Texas. My guide says most males from Colorado to Texas are black-backed, west of Colorado they’re green-backed. You do get some awkward-transition males during spring though:

Also HOT GOLDFINCH ACTION

The above photos were taken at the FABULOUS bird blind at Inks Lake State Park in Burnet County, TX (being in that blind was a religious experience). I left the blind and got to see two grey hairstreaks mating, then got onto a trail for a little bit, and a hummingbird saw me and immediately proceeded to I shit you not do hardcore aerial maneuvers (like, he was painting the sky with a gigantic smiley face holy carp that hummer was either loving life or was seriously high on fermented sugar water). And he was flying AT me for part of his show, too. 

Then on my way back to my car, I found a gall that is made by nematodes [link].

February 13, 2019

I’m not sure if it was from reading this post, but this morning I looked out at the thistle sock outside the kitchen window and there was an almost-completely-black-backed male Lesser Goldfinch on it! It’s the first of those I remember seeing around here. He got away before I could snap a picture, but I’ll keep my eyes peeled and try to document him if he comes back so you can enjoy the sight of one black-backed male surrounded by umpteen green-backed ones. 😀

Allow me to add today’s new visitor to the yard:

PINE SISKIN!!!!!

The nearest pine is like, 20 miles away, but okay 😂 I keep joking about having great reviews on Finch Yelp

February 14, 2019

lies: nanonaturalist: Some Handsome Men Finc…

lies:

nanonaturalist:

Some Handsome Men Finches

Top two: Lesser Goldfinch
Bottom three: House Finch, who is yellow instead of red like most (I love him)

Posted Feb 12, 2019

Whoa. Your Texas LEGO males are wild-looking. I’ve had 30+ Lesser Goldfinches hanging off my two sock feeders lately, but none of them look like that.

Oh yes, we do get the black-backed flavor males here. I don’t know if I’ve seen the green-backed ones in Texas. My guide says most males from Colorado to Texas are black-backed, west of Colorado they’re green-backed. You do get some awkward-transition males during spring though:

Also HOT GOLDFINCH ACTION

The above photos were taken at the FABULOUS bird blind at Inks Lake State Park in Burnet County, TX (being in that blind was a religious experience). I left the blind and got to see two grey hairstreaks mating, then got onto a trail for a little bit, and a hummingbird saw me and immediately proceeded to I shit you not do hardcore aerial maneuvers (like, he was painting the sky with a gigantic smiley face holy carp that hummer was either loving life or was seriously high on fermented sugar water). And he was flying AT me for part of his show, too. 

Then on my way back to my car, I found a gall that is made by nematodes [link].

February 13, 2019

So the only all-bird rehab center in North Tex…

oxytocinwanted:

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I can’t even put into words how upset I am about this. Rogers Wildlife Rehabilitation has been open for almost twenty years, and is the only place in North Texas that takes in literally any type of bird if it’s been injured, orphaned, or otherwise incapacitated. They’re finally out of funds, and if they can’t come up with anything by April 2nd, they’re going to be forced to close their doors.

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They’ve never turned away birds. Not when it’s a surprise 200 baby cattle egrets that’ve been orphaned because city planners thought they could cut down their homes and no one would notice. Not when it’s raptors with one good eye and in need of seven different antibiotics. Not even when it’s ducks that irresponsible parents won’t let their kids keep after easter. This is where anyone let me first get up close to birds. I mean, I’ve known I wanted to work with birds and wildlife since I was seven- I’m twenty four now, and halfway through an environmental science master’s and it’s a big reason I kept going.

I’ve been going to this place on and off for ten years, I was THIRTEEN when I started volunteering and seeing all the terrible things that happen to the birds that come in. Not just…hit by trucks, or caught in a hailstorm but parrots that have been left in foreclosed houses for weeks, and roosters that have come out of cock fighting rings and would otherwise be put down because the SPCA and humane societies don’t think they’re salvageable. There’s an emu that was raised there as a baby because no one wanted her. Her name’s Riley and I can’t even begin to comprehend what shutting the doors to the center would mean?

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They don’t get government aid. They’ve been funded by the public donating and Kathy, the lady who owns the place, going through her retirement funds and savings and her social security to keep it running. She’s finally run out of money. Please,  just reblog? Even if you can’t donate anything- and I know it’s a lot to ask for poor teenage/college kids to donate money that they don’t have, or struggling artists I know but maybe someone who can spare something will see it eventually? They need $200,000 to keep open for a year to continue to help 4000 birds a year.  

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Just, thanks for reading, guys. Here’s the gofundme link: http://www.gofundme.com/l8aj7k

Their facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rogers-Wildlife-Rehabilitation-Center/398035120217303

Here’s their website: http://www.rogerswildlife.org/about.html

Friends, please help spread the word! If you can spare some funds, please consider it! Can we drown them in $5 donations? Anyone have a birthday coming up they can do a fundraiser for instead of gifts?

I can’t tell how old the original post is (thanks tumblr). OP deactivated but I don’t know how to tell when and which April? The gofundme was created a few years back BUT smart people create fundraisers like that before going through their retirement funds, and they are almost at the $100k point. We can HELP!! I’ll be sharing this on my facebook page, I have naturalist friends in the DFW area, and they can spread the word (if they haven’t already).

ALL BIRBS ARE GOOD BIRBS

Feb 12/13, 2019

Gaze Upon My Christmas Bird Count Photos Ye Mi…

for they are too cute ugh

Vesper Sparrow

American Kestrel

Cedar Waxwing (who is she??)

One of THREE Bald Eagles coming in to home base (the nest is VERY far away!)

Tufted Titmouse is TOO MUCH I can’t TAKE IT (may or may not be hybridized with Black-crested Titmice at this spot)

Yellow-rumped Warbler

A retina-scorching Pine Warbler

White-throated Sparrow

Chipping Sparrow

A Dark-eyed Junco?! I didn’t realize Texas got those!!

Eastern Floofbird *cough* I mean, Bluebird

There were at least five life birds my group saw that I didn’t (and some they saw SEVERAL times), so I took out my frustrations re: the sub-optimal bird photography conditions with something that WASN’T flying out of view constantly 

Hermit Thrush

Red-bellied Woodpecker

and speaking of Red-bellied Woodpeckers… My photo of a memorable one last year made it onto this year’s T-shirt!

2018 Lost Pines Christmas Bird Count held Dec 29, 2018, my region was within McKinney Roughs Nature Park

Posted December 31, 2018 at 6 am BEFORE going to bed because these photos weren’t going to edit and upload themselves onto iNat. 

The absolute cutest baby Loggerhead Shrike. Th…

The absolute cutest baby Loggerhead Shrike. These birds are nick-named “butcher birds” after their habit of impaling their prey on thorns, barbed wire, or other sharp things, for safe keeping so they can eat it later. They have beautiful singing voices!

San Marcos, TX
Photo from July 2 / Posted September 14, 2018 (STILL BEHIND)

An adorable baby grackle 😂 Great-tailed Grack…

An adorable baby grackle
😂
Great-tailed Grackle (teenager, really) and mamma

Seen June 1 / Posted Aug 10, 2018

Half a million Purple Martins roost in trees a…

Half a million Purple Martins roost in trees around malls and parking lots in central Texas every year around this time. It’s a rest stop during their migration to South America for the fall/winter. Before settling in to sleep, they fly and play around for an hour at sunset.

Travis Audubon Society hosts Purple Martin Parties, and advertises the location of the roosts (they change every year and from day to day!). A huge crowd of over 100 people came to sit in a parking lot in 95 deg F to watch birds and get pooped on. Notice the umbrellas? 😀

Very nice. Good birbs. A+ roosting.
July 28, 2018

underthehedge: veronica-rich: marypsue: bec…

underthehedge:

veronica-rich:

marypsue:

becausebirds:

Britain’s smallest bird, the Goldcrest, weighs the same as a teaspoonful of sugar.

(via tumbleaboutit)

If everyone else flying around you was the size of a Cadillac Escalade, you’d be pissed, too.

Has anyone met a small bird that wasn’t made entirely of fight?

The Ruby-crowned Kinglet, the Goldcrest’s American cousin (both genus Regulus, both v small) is a sweet and curious angel. They are also very hyper and prone to teleporting. These babies will come up to human-watch. I’ve been birding, staring intently at some trees trying to figure out what bird is making all those noises (it’s ALWAYS a damn cardinal), then I’ll give up and turn around to see a RCK has been perched an arms-reach away watching me very intently. As soon as eye-contact is established, they teleport away.

Photos from this winter (~Jan 2018) / Posted July 28, 2018

Check out whooooo I met today. Lookit those fe…

Check out whooooo I met today. Lookit those feets!!!

My first time EVER seeing a Great Horned Owl and it was when my camera was out, on, and ready. I was the only person at the bird observatory. Usually the place has a few other people at least, but it was just me, a bunch of deer, a million dragonflies, and this dork with his floppy horn-doodles.

I took a million photos AND VIDEO!!! These were just a couple random photos I transferred over super quick to share—expect more later!

Great Horned Owl at Hornsby Bend Bird Observatory, Austin TX
July 27, 2018