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H110Hawk
Dec 28, 2006


Bingo! My wife called me and told me to sneak in to the garage from the back door. Apparently it was much deeper in the garage when she noticed it, which startled her causing her to scream before realizing what it was. The bird gave 0 fucks. It wouldn't let us get right up to it but it definitely did not care about our presence within a few feet.

She named him Chuck.

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Dik Hz
Feb 22, 2004

Fun with Science



I had a canary on my bird feeder once in the middle of a snowstorm in rural North Carolina. Escaped pet, I would imagine.

Leperflesh
May 17, 2007






We have been hiking a lot more and recently I started bringing my binoculars - an old pair of 10x50s - but they're too bulky to just wear around my neck and it's a pain in the rear end to keep pulling them out of a backpack. I saw the recommendations on the first page via audobon, they all seem to be for 8x42s, but I think what I'd really like is something I can tuck into a pocket. I know going smaller means sacrificing magnificaiton & light gathering. Any suggestions for something quite small and light, but still of decent quality, around $150 or less?

Also here are some lovely cell phone camera birb pics.



Tentatively IDing as a cooper's hawk. Mt. Wanda, Martinez CA, Feb 3rd.



Gooses. We get shitloads of canada geese around here but these are a different flavor. Newhall Community Park, Concord CA, Jan 31st.


A white water birb of some kind. Newhall Community Park, Concord CA, Jan 31st.


A hawk in my back yard. Red shouldered or red tailed, most likely? Concord CA, Dec 25th 2020.



Hawk, probably red shouldered. Lime Ridge Open Space, Concord CA, Oct. 30 2020.

Later I'll get out my actual good camera photos. I don't have a long telephoto, and I rarely bring the 150-300mm with me, so it's not an ideal setup for birding, but I have a few that are better than lovely cell pics.

BetterLekNextTime
Jul 22, 2008

It's all a matter of perspective...


Grimey Drawer

Leperflesh posted:

We have been hiking a lot more and recently I started bringing my binoculars - an old pair of 10x50s - but they're too bulky to just wear around my neck and it's a pain in the rear end to keep pulling them out of a backpack. I saw the recommendations on the first page via audobon, they all seem to be for 8x42s, but I think what I'd really like is something I can tuck into a pocket. I know going smaller means sacrificing magnificaiton & light gathering. Any suggestions for something quite small and light, but still of decent quality, around $150 or less?

You'll be looking for Compact binoculars then, maybe check out one of these. Most of the major brands that you see in the Audubon rundown will also make some kind of compact binocular, so to some extent it's just finding something in your price range and that you like using. There aren't many bad binoculars these days once you get out of the super bargain class.

quote:

Also here are some lovely cell phone camera birb pics.
Actually pretty decent for sell phone pics! I almost never try.

quote:



Tentatively IDing as a cooper's hawk. Mt. Wanda, Martinez CA, Feb 3rd.
Not an accipiter, I think it's a dark-morph Red-tail, but I'm not 100% sure. If it's not a red-tail, then either a suuuuper dark Ferrugionous with weird legs, an early Swainson's or Golden Eagle.

quote:



Gooses. We get shitloads of canada geese around here but these are a different flavor. Newhall Community Park, Concord CA, Jan 31st.
Looks like a domestic goose, maybe Swan Goose?

quote:


A white water birb of some kind. Newhall Community Park, Concord CA, Jan 31st.
Great Egret with the big yellow beak

quote:


A hawk in my back yard. Red shouldered or red tailed, most likely? Concord CA, Dec 25th 2020.
With the super-long tail, that's an accipiter, and by the size, Cooper's

quote:



Hawk, probably red shouldered. Lime Ridge Open Space, Concord CA, Oct. 30 2020.
Red-tailed Hawk.

Leperflesh
May 17, 2007






Thanks!

For that first hawk, the color is deceptive: it's backlit somewhat, so the bird's colors aren't coming through, it's just dark. I made the tentative ID based on the fan-shaped tail, and looking at it with my binoculars. But I am not a Birder Person who can identify hakws easily so I'd still defer to your ID!

e. it is much more likely to be a red-tail hawk then a Ferrugineous, given it's hanging around the SF bay area rather than out in the desert, and Mt. Wanda is a known red-tail & red-shoulder hangout.

Here's a couple more pics of it, I just posted the two best ones but any of these might help.


Leperflesh fucked around with this message at 23:02 on Mar 31, 2021

Fitzy Fitz
May 14, 2005






I cannot ID hawks at all. No issues with any other birds. Just hawks.

BetterLekNextTime
Jul 22, 2008

It's all a matter of perspective...


Grimey Drawer

I was going in part by the darker belly. Red-shouldered would show obvious bands on the tail too.

Definitely hit me up for any East Bay bird questions! Ferruginous aren't common but you can get them in the East Bay in winter, more commonly out towards Livermore. But I've gotten them even relatively close to the bay. This winter we saw one at Fernandez Ranch near Hercules and I've seen them in Wildcat Canyon near Richmond too, also once or twice out at Pt. Reyes. Usually when I see them they are super high up though.

Leperflesh
May 17, 2007






Oh you're local, cool! I know a long-time birder, family friend, who does raptors a lot; but she's more of a friend of my parents' and I don't like to bother her too often with "what's this bird" texts lol. She did teach me to identify red-shouldered by their (loud, incessant) calls, though, so I feel pretty confident in identifying them if they vocalize.

We've also been looking at lots of smaller birbs lately but those tend to be near impossible to photograph well with a cell phone. We are pretty sure we have a yellow-rumped warbler ID, we definitely heard a great horned owl around the backside of mt wanda on two different hikes, and we've seen a lot of little finches and stuff. Plus of course the woodpeckers and the jays, crows, mourning doves, and redwinged blackbirds that you find everywhere around here. There's also a pair of kites (or maybe merlins?) up on mt. wanda that we can spot at a long distance, their hovering is awesome.

BetterLekNextTime
Jul 22, 2008

It's all a matter of perspective...


Grimey Drawer

If it's smallish and hovering it would be a kite or kestrel. Merlins are all business and usually go direct from point a to point b.

Yeah, red-shoulders are super loud. Red-tails sound like what Bald Eagles sound like on TV (because real Bald Eagles sound too whimpy for amurican cinema).

waffy
Oct 31, 2010


Fitzy Fitz posted:

I cannot ID hawks at all. No issues with any other birds. Just hawks.

Accipiters (Coopers, sharp-shinned, etc.) vs. buteos (red-tailed, red-shouldered, etc.) is a good starting point and usually pretty straightforward by looking at tail length and general size/bulkiness. But yeah, positively IDing the specific species can be tricky, especially with the variability within a species like red-tailed. Coopers vs. sharp-shinned is always a classic challenge too.

The ones that kill me the most are gulls and shorebirds. I get a little bit better with them each year but there are so many little nuances that I feel like they both need more devoted study time beyond just going out in the field over and over. Coming across a huge group of either type and not knowing where to even begin is pretty humbling when you otherwise feel pretty confident with other birds.

Fitzy Fitz
May 14, 2005






Thank you. Accipiter vs buteo is a great starting point. I'm not bad at picking out defining characteristics, but there's so much variation within hawk species.

H110Hawk
Dec 28, 2006


Depending on where you are red-tailed vs red shoulder is normally down to the belly band on the red tailed. At least for me. Eventually you wind up noticing the heads look materially different. If there are any "see a hawk up close" things when stuff returns to normal try and see a red shouldered and compare to up close pictures of red tailed. That sorta sealed it for me.

Kobe Bryant
Nov 16, 2010


LA River has more birdlife than expected.





Ratjaculation
Aug 3, 2007



I AM A FREE
I AM NOT MAN
A NUMBER





Herons in trees just look bizarre imho

EPICAC
Mar 23, 2001



Cross posting from the bird photography thread: I finally got out to see the Great-Horned Owl nest near me (Fresh Pond, Cambridge, MA) with my camera and decent lighting.


Great-Horned Owl


Great-Horned Owl


Great-Horned Owl


Great-Horned Owl


Great-Horned Owl

H110Hawk
Dec 28, 2006


owl babies are Muppets.

Leperflesh
May 17, 2007






I love owls!
On one of the hikes we do every other week or so, there's a side-trail where we've heard a great horned hooting a couple or three times. Haunting and awesome to be walking very quietly through the trees and suddenly hear it echoing around. We haven't spotted it though. I'd really like to.

BTW thanks for the binocular recommendations, I wound up going with the Nikon Prostaff compact ones. Haven't gotten to go out and use them yet (wife got food poisoning last week, is still recovering).

HappyHippo
Nov 19, 2003
Do you have an Air Miles Card?

Nice! I just saw a great-horned owl for the first time (not counting zoos) last weekend. High Park, in Toronto. Here's a lovely cell-phone-held-up-to-my-binoculars pic



They also had wood ducks, my favorite duck:

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dupersaurus
Aug 1, 2012

Futurism was an art movement where dudes were all 'CARS ARE COOL AND THE PAST IS FOR CHUMPS. LET'S DRAW SOME CARS.'

I've got a new beta version of my feeder cam up, which adds machine learning to do species identification.

It's pretty good...


...but also makes some mistakes


that's not a great blue heron

Bonus pre-identification pic. Poor buddy was too heavy and triggered the squirrel lock. When this thing works it's really good

dupersaurus fucked around with this message at 00:44 on Apr 16, 2021

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