Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Cornell is back at it

Bird Songs Bible: A Must-Have for Birding Faithful
Blend of art, science, and sound makes a unique holiday gift

Ithaca, NYThere’s that old saw about a “bird in the hand.” Better use both hands for the Bird Songs Bible: The Complete Illustrated Reference for North American Birds, edited by Les Beletsky. This deluxe offering from Chronicle Books blends artwork, information, and sounds for all breeding bird species found in North America. The songs and calls for each species come from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Macaulay Library.

“Months of winter lie ahead, but there’s no reason to miss out on the lovely sounds of all our birds,” said Greg Budney, audio curator of the Macaulay Library. “The Bird Songs Bible has a built-in audio player so the songs and calls of nearly 750 bird species are just the push of a button away with beautiful images at every turn of the page. “

Each species account includes four-color illustrations and range maps, showing where the bird is likely to be found. Information about the bird’s habitat, behavior, and vocalizations is also included. But the most unique feature of the Bird Songs Bible is its sound player. The numbered recordings match up with the appropriate species. From the nasal honking of the Trumpeter Swan to the clucks, rattles, and whistles of the Yellow-breasted Chat—this is a great way to practice learning how to identify birds by sound before testing your ears in the great outdoors.

Editor Les Beletsky is a bird biologist and author of Bird Songs and Bird Songs from Around the World, also from Chronicle Books. He lives in Seattle, Washington. The Bird Songs Bible retails for $125.00.

Pat Leonard, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, (607) 254-2137, pel27@cornell.edu

Monday, September 13, 2010

Cutie Hummer!

We have 3 feeders that have been very busy lately. It has been hard to capture any photos of these zippy friends- they are so busy fighting each other off, it seems they hardly have time to enjoy themselves & eat! It has been fun having them so close to the windows- we can hear them squeaking and chirping at each other angrily... is it strange that it makes us smile? :)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Win an iPod Touch & Try the New BirdsEye "Lite" App

Simply by entering checklists into the eBird online database (www.ebird.org) birders have a chance to win an iPod touch® and a free download of the BirdsEye bird-finding application.

BirdsEye is the revolutionary iPhone app that harnesses the power of eBird to help users find the birds they want to see. It's not a traditional field guide for identification. It does what a traditional field guide cannot do: guide users to the places where birders are seeing birds, using fresh eBird data that are frequently updated.

BirdsEye has information about 857 species in North America, including eBird sightings, sounds from the Macaulay Library, photographs from VIREO, and birding-finding tips from Kenn Kaufman.

And now BirdsEye has a little brother: BirdsEye Lite. Designed for beginning birders, BirdsEye Lite features information about 135 species that are easy to find in North America north of Mexico.

“It’s a fantastic tool for new birders especially,” says Cornell Lab of Ornithology director John Fitzpatrick. “It helps users actually find birds, which is something even the best field guide can’t do.”

Designed for use on the Apple iPhone® and iPod touch®, BirdsEye and BirdsEye Lite are available on the App Store℠. BirdsEye Lite sells for $1.99 and BirdsEye sells for $19.99.

The contest takes place from August 16 through September 6. Anyone who signs up at www.eBird.org (it’s free) and submits at least one checklist during this three-week period will be entered in a drawing for the touch device and a free BirdsEye download. Five runners-up will get a free app download. For those already participating in eBird, anyone who submits checklists during the contest period will be entered in a separate drawing for another iPod touch and BirdsEye download. An additional five will also receive the app for free.

The BirdsEye Lite and BirdsEye apps were developed by Birds in the Hand, LLC, of Virginia, and bring together content from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the Academy of Natural Sciences, and author Kenn Kaufman.

Portions of BirdsEye and BirdsEye Lite sales go to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology to help support its research, education, and citizen-science projects focused on birds, and to the Academy of Natural Sciences to support VIREO, the world’s largest collection of bird photographs.

Todd Koym, Birds in the Hand, (434) 327-8533, tkoym@birdsinthehand.com

Pat Leonard, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, (607) 254-2137, pel27@cornell.edu

Apple, the Apple logo, iPod, iPod touch, and iTunes are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. iPhone is a trademark of Apple Inc. App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc.

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology is a membership institution dedicated to interpreting and conserving the earth’s biological diversity through research, education, and citizen science focused on birds. Visit the Cornell Lab’s web site at http://www.birds.cornell.edu.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Hummingbird CRAZY!

Some folks are having GREAT success with their Hummingbirds!

Thank you Lynne Johnson for sending us this footage. AMAZING

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Yummy Breakfast!

Looks like one of our resident hawks took down a pigeon this morning. I certainly do not begrudge them that. I'm just happy to know that it was an extremely well fed pigeon! :)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Backyard Birds to be Impacted by Oil Disaster

Will the Gulf Oil Spill Affect Birds That Nest in Our Backyards?

NestWatch Needs Your Help

We've seen images of oiled pelicans, plovers, and other shorebirds and wading birds from areas affected by the recent spill. Species that nest on beaches and in coastal marshes, like plovers and terns, are being monitored by state wildlife officials. But many birds that nest in backyards all across North America, such as Red-winged Blackbirds and Tree Swallows, may winter in the coastal and marsh environments along the Gulf of Mexico where they could potentially be affected by the oil spill. We need your help to track nesting success of these birds in your own backyard and neighborhood.

Call for Data:

Birds passing through the Gulf region could carry contamination with them, creating an "oil shadow" of declines in bird reproduction hundreds of miles away from the coast. We need data for these key backyard bird species, all of which use the Gulf during some part of their annual cycle and could potentially be affected by the oil spill.

Click on the species name for additional life history information.

Northern Cardinal

Northern Cardinals are permanent residents in the coastal "cheniers," coastal ridge woodlands, in the Gulf region. Will the oil affecting the beaches and marshes impact birds of the coastal woodlands?

Red-winged Blackbird

Large flocks of Red-winged Blackbirds winter in marsh habitats along the Gulf. Blackbirds spend several months in coastal marshes before heading back north to nest.

Barn Swallow

Barn Swallows migrate past the Gulf of Mexico. These swallows roost in large flocks in marsh habitats during their annual journeys to and from wintering areas in Central and South America.

Purple Martin

Migrating Purple Martins pass through the Gulf of Mexico. They roost in large flocks in marsh habitats during their annual journeys to and from wintering areas in Central and South America.

Tree Swallow

Tree Swallows winter along the Gulf, relying on insects from coastal marshes and wetland habitats. Flocks of thousands of Tree Swallows can be seen along the Gulf Coast in winter, foraging over marshes when food is scarce.

This year's nesting season is already in full swing; it is critical to collect nesting data for these species this year and in the years ahead. Follow the NestWatch Code of Conduct and Nest Monitoring Protocol to help us track nesting success of these key backyard bird populations that may be affected by the Gulf oil spill.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Cute as heck baby Mockingbird!

Just found this little guy (along with a nestmate) back in the Holly bushes at the Goodlettsville store - couldn't for the life of me figure out why the parents were "CHACK"ing at me!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Tree Swallows

Tree swallows loving the boxes at my mom's home in Sparta, TN

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Very Wet Owlett

As some of you may know, Nashville experienced a rain last weekend like we have not seen in this area in 70 some years. At our home in Hendersonville, we received more than 15" of rain within 48 hours - unheard of!! Luckily for us, we live well up the ridge and halfway up a hill in a hollow. This location protects us from high winds and also from most of the impacts of heavy rain. Our front yard (near the road) was a river by Saturday night, and we were unable to leave our home due to the flooded creek.

Because of our inability to leave, we were also lucky enough to catch a glimpse of one of the Owletts that fledged 3 days earlier. This is the first time that we have ever seen live chicks after they have left the nest. We did, however only see one. I fear the worst for the other...

Anyway, here is the chick that we saw on Sunday....
He was VERY wet! Cute, but wet. :)

If there is any way that you can help with the recovery, either with money or volunteer time, consider doing so. Here is a great place to start.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Flood waters behind Granbery Elementary

Here are a couple of shots of the "pond" that used to be our walking trail and kids playground at Granbery school on Hill Rd. The geese seem to like it !!

Friday, April 30, 2010

Another Big Day

Today was the Carolina Wrens' turn to get their babies out of the nest box -- well actually they used a plastic gourd for this nesting.

I was just minding my own business, leaving for work, backing the van out of the garage and noticed a lot of wren chatter. Looked in my side mirror and saw something more stout than a leaf drop down behind my car. I got out to find this little guy: I actually had to "chase" him around a bit in orde to get him out of the driveway. No sooner did I get him back with his sibs, I turned around and saw this!
Another little Wren that needed to be moved along. This one was a bit more fiesty and it took a couple more minutes. All was well though. I cornered him and got him up into the holly bush.

Happy little Wrens. They seemed a bit under-developed for fledging and I hope that they weather the coming weather ok.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


OMG! I am sitting here at the foot of my bed and this is what I am seeing when I look out the window:
These little guys are a full 8 days earlier than last year. Generally, we look to Mother's Day for our Barred Owls to fledge... but the wonderful weather has allowed Mom and Dad to be able to provide very well for these chicks. We have seen them taking in LOTS of Chipmunks - and that is perfectly fine with us!
They actually hunt in our birdfeeding area - they are afterall birds. :)

They sit in this one tree and then off they go up the hill to catch some food for their babies.

Two days ago this is all I could see:
One little Owl peeking at me from the safety of his ~up to this point~ world. Occasionally, I would see some fluttering in the background or another little rounded head jumping up behind him... but for the most part - just the top of his head and eyes.

This morning there was a new surprise when I woke up. Little Owlett almost all the way out of the box:

And his sibling was adjacent to the box on a branch!! VERY BRAVE!! Look at the Carolina Wren in the forground of this picture -- talk about brave! She does not want this mean ol owl anywhere near her nest site.

So, here they are. Ready to hit the big wide world. Hard to believe that they have completed their nesting already. This year is already flying by.....


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Not your "everyday" backyard bird

I kept hearing rumors of an unusual visitor to Berry Hill over the last few months. Yesterday, I finally witnessed her...our resident wild turkey was at the store most of the afternoon and seemed perfectly at home there. The other birds, squirrels and even the resident chipmunk all did double takes, though, along with every customer who came in while she was there.

She is always by herself...very independent obviously. Loved the corn, peanuts and water provided. She is an inspiration to all the "single ladies" out there !! YOU GO GIRL !!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Nest Cam Time!

Cornell Lab's Nestwatch is a great site to check out nesting birds from around the globe.

Barn Owls are back on the nest. Check it out! Nestcams - Barn Owl (Italy)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Bluebirds X 4

This cute little picture belongs on a mug, in a picture frame or on the cover of a magazine! A Wild Birds Unlimited customer was nice enough to send this to me (wish I had taken it myself!). She apologized for the lack of focus, as it was a long range shot of the birds in her neighbor's yard. I don't think you could have asked the bluebirds to line up and pose any more perfectly. Though they were huddled together for warmth, they managed to show beauty in light of dreadful weather conditions. This makes me smile!

Apparently Spring has Arrived!

Saw something very strange today... something that you only expect to be privvy to with the magic of the television. There was quite a fracas in the birdfeeding station this morning. It took awhile to figure out what exactly was happening. There was this brown ball rolling around, and kinda jumping here and there. When the ball slowed to a stop, we were able to determine that it was two Carolina wrens having the battle of the century! Right there on the ground! AMAZING! They had ahold of each other with their feet and were rolling and pecking and flapping. It was a once in a lifetime experience. An experience we would have missed had we not been watching our feeding area.

Keep your feeders full and your eyes open, and you too may get to see these rarely viewed behaviors!

Cardinals fighting for territory.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

January 30, 2010

I have seen them eating snow for moisture, but they also really love my fountain.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Winter visitors

Just a couple of shots of the juncos and white throated sparrows in my yard.   They were getting water by eating the snow (and snacking on thistle seed with the gold finches).