WEDNESDAY, JULY 29, 2020   |   SUBSCRIBE    ARCHIVES   

BACKYARD BIRDING
Lively up your summer bird bath or add to your existing water feature by adding some action and the sound of moving water with a small fountain, waterfall, dripper, mister – or all of these options. Not only will one or more of these accessories create more lively action with the sight and sound of moving water, but they also make your bird bath, water basin, or water feature even more attractive to birds, especially birds that are making a migration stop or even looking for a winter layover.
BIRDING LIFESTYLES
Recording bird vocalizations is a wonderful experience as many birders can attest. During the past few months the number of bird song audio recordings submitted with eBird checklists surged in the archives of the Macaulay Library! It appears many birders took advantage of the new levels of quiet during the “shelter at home spring” to record bird songs and calls. Between March 1st and May 31st eBirders contributed more than 100,000 audio recordings.
BIRDING NEWS
Owls are among the most iconic birds we encounter, and as part of International Owl Awareness Day next Tuesday, August 4th, you can share your interest in owls with others, while learning more about North American species. A great place to visit online to learn more about owls, their diversity, and ongoing research and conservation projects is the Owl Research Institute website – you will surely be impressed and enlightened.
Registration begins Friday July 30th for the Virtual Crane Camp, a free one-hour event filled with interactive fun, a variety of crane-related activities and games, plus hands-on learning about cranes and their wetland habitats. Presented August 26 and 27 via zoom by International Crane Foundation (ICF) educators, you can register for one of four hour-long sessions available for children enrolled in grades from kindergarten to 5th grade. Be sure to register right away Friday, because each of the four sessions is limited to 25 children.
Who would have guessed a far-ranging young Great Black Hawk would still be a topic of discussion two years after the remarkable Latin American raptor arrived in Texas, and eventually made its way to Maine? Gone now, but not forgotten, this ultra-rare bird north of the border is now immortalized as an impressive new statue in the Portland city park where birders from across the nation and Canada came to view it and root for its survival as winter approached in 2018-19.
EDITOR AFIELD
It was a beautiful evening to share with an ever-mixing variety of birds, primarily shorebirds stopping over after their Arctic nesting season, plus others. The still water on the small rainwater pond mirrored the blue sky and provided a beautiful backdrop for the colorful Long-billed Dowitchers, Semipalmated Sandpipers, Pectoral Sandpipers, and the first Semipalmated Plovers of the year – all just a few feet away – plus a Lesser Yellowlegs, a Willet, Franklin’s Gull, fledgling Black Tern, and a host of Killdeer, including two downy hatchlings.
GEAR
The Pentax ZD 8x43 ED Binoculars feature high-quality optical elements including fully multi-coated optics with anti-glare properties, phase corrected BaK-4 prisms, and ED glass that virtually eliminates chromatic aberration. Together these features produce very bright, clear images with high contrast and accurate color rendition – and this model is on sale now. A rugged housing designed for a lifetime of outdoor use, is made of a strong magnesium alloy that protects against impacts while providing a slip-resistant rubber grip.
PRODUCTS
Fresh water attracts more kinds of birds than any single bird food, and moving water is all the more attractive to birds, especially birds new to your area as they begin migrations from northern nesting territories. The Water Wiggler from Duncraft keeps water moving with a rippling action and runs on two DD batteries. A unique lighted version is the Aurora Water Wiggler that features a dome that illuminates in a cycle of 6 different colors at dusk.
The attractive Perky-Pet Copper Finish Triple Tube Bird Feeder is on sale now, with two free gifts included! This extra-large capacity feeder has 12 feeding ports and you can offer three different kinds of seeds or seed mixes. The clear tubes let the natural variations in the seeds show through to attract birds, and the copper-colored accents add to your outdoor landscaping decor and upgrade the look at any feeding station. The new 2-in-1 feeding port openings flip up or down to serve larger seeds or small nyjer.
RARE BIRDS
Just north of the Rio Grande in Texas, a very astute birder recognized a First American Record Blue-and-White Swallow near Progresso, Texas! Individual Pacific Golden Plovers reported by birders provided a First State Record in Pennsylvania, and a Second State Record for North Carolina. Nectar feeders attracted two rare hummingbirds last week, including a Second State Record Mexican Violetear in Tennessee, and a Plain-capped Starthroat in Arizona. Pretty exciting, and that’s not all!
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