Spring 2013 Birding Festivals Throughout The USA
Replies: 13 - Last Post: May 22, 2013 11:06 AM Last Post By: trekker502
Mar 7, 2013 6:44 PM
Spring 2013 Birding Festivals Throughout The USAhttp://www.allaboutbirds.org/birdingfestivals which is sponsored by the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology, includes the 2013 Spring migration calendar of most Birding Festivals throughout the USA, starting in Florida this month, including Cape May, Acadia National Park, Arcata, Stikine River, Tongass National Forest, and Kachemak Bay, Homer, Alaska. It does not include the Copper River, Cordova, Alaska, festival, which is one week previous to that in Kachemak Bay and has thousands more birds. During Spring migration, many passerine birds and waterfowl fly low over Turnagain Arm and then over Anchorage, Alaska, before heading over the Glenn Highway and Parks Highway into interior Alaska. They fly at dusk and may be seen by commuters after work or early in the morning at dawn.
Passerine birds, waterfowl, sandhill cranes, and raptors flying north from the Midwest fly along the Titina Earthquake Trench, from Watson Lake, B.C. to Dawson City, Yukon Territory, then fly along the route north over the Yukon River into interior Alaska.
Edited by: trekker502
Apr 3, 2013 9:48 PM
Apr 4, 2013 9:34 PM
2Your welcome. I am currently sitting on a rooftop terrace near Green Lake in Kunming, China, listening to the birds communicating with each other. I just arrived here yesterday afternoon and will search for a bookstore with bird ID books for this area.
Hummingbirds are beginning to migrate north through Santa Fe, New Mexico, now. Many overwinter in Mexico. I think that there are 7 species of hummingbirds that take different migratory routes through New Mexico, and at least 2 species stay for the breeding season in Santa Fe. I have planted the wildflowers that they love. The Randall Davies Audubon Center in Santa Fe, at the top of Canyon Road, leads short hikes into the surrounding mountains and identifies the many bird species found in the area. I went on their Bird Count last month.
The last weekend in June, just before the Wildflower Festival in Crested Butte, the Rocky Mountain Biological Research Laboratory in nearby Gothic, Colorado, has its annual bird count and the bird counters are allowed to walk around the old ghost town area that is now used as a research station in the summers. It is located at about 10,000-ft elevation, on the backside of Aspen Peak, snuggled amongst 14,000-ft peaks such as the Maroon Bells.
Edited by: trekker502
Apr 9, 2013 3:31 PM
Apr 9, 2013 5:02 PM
4I could not find my old post either. I am having lots of fun exploring the old Tea Horse Wagon route from Yunnan Province to Tibet. I just bought 3 tins of the superb Yunnan tea as souvenirs. I spent 2 days exploring Dali's Old Town Marketplace -- it's huge. Lots of caged birds singing. Lots of wild birds in the trees also. It's Spring. I'm en route to Lijiang and Shangri-La now.
I am on the "gringo" trail here and many people do speak English and there are English labels as well as Chinese characters on many things. People are very friendly.
Apr 10, 2013 1:11 AM
5I wanted to mention my bird observations here in Southwestern China. In Kunming, around Green Lake Park in downtown, I noticed what looked like house sparrows -- almost the same markings as in the USA. House sparrows were imported to the USA by the British, so maybe ---- . I also noted a sparrow-sized bird flitting amongst the sparrows in the trees that had mostly yellow feathers. I did not catch a glimpse of the entire bird. I have not found a book store with English language bird guidebooks for this area.
I just arrived in Lijiang at 1:00 p.m, this afternoon, after traveling by minibus from Dali -- 3.5 hours. The bus stopped after 2 hours for everyone to use the latrines and buy a snack. There is a wind turbine power plant on the mountain ridgeline above Dali. The windmill farm looks similar to that in Livermore, California. Then, there are the huge electric power lines nearby -- all bad for birds migrating through the area. I had been forewarned to take Dramamine before the bus drive because it is a winding mountain road, only one lane each way, with lots of tour buses passing slow-moving construction trucks. It is very similar to the tour bus ride that I took in Nepal from Kathmandu to see the Valley. No one on the bus spoke any English, but we got to our destination without any problem. At the bus depot in downtown Lijiang, I was fortunate to find an Australian with a China sim card on his cell phone -- my hostel manager wanted me to have the taxi driver speak with her to find out directions through all of the alleys of Old Town. I am now huddled under an electric blanket while is rains outside!
Lijiang is a very modern city and huge. It is surrounded by mountains -- in the foothills of the Himalayas.
During lunch in the hostel garden at 2 p.m., I saw unusual sparrows -- a white ring around the neck with the black bib and other brownish markings of the house sparrow. It looks similar markings to the small sandpiper-like bird seen with killdeer -- I don't remember the name off the top of my head right now. This one is a sparrow, unmistakably.
May 13, 2013 9:35 PM
6I returned home to Santa Fe, New Mexico, on April 27, at about 7 p.m. About 16 hours of flying in one day, from Hong Kong -- 12 hours across the Pacific to SFO, then more than one hour to LAX, and more than one hour to ABQ. Gorgeous scenery flying near Grand Canyon; Arizona geology is much more interesting than Texas from the air.
Temperatures here are now rising into the 80sF degrees. We now have Western Tanagers, with red head and yellow body; Bullock's orioles also with yellow body; humingbirds -- I have not see close-ups yet. I spotted 6 House Sparrows taking dust baths yesterday evening, although there was a water fountain within a few yards from them. The covey of Quail have been searching far and wide for seeds, including my own yard.
I am changing to a mix of seeds with nuts and berries plus sunflower seeds to attract a greater variety of birds. The Oriole, with a long, narrow beak, was able to drink the syrup from the hummingbird feeder.
May 15, 2013 3:42 PM
7Wind-energy farms dodge penalties for eagle deaths by Dina Cappiello, The Associated Press, in Santa Fe New Mexican 05/15/2013.
As I previously mentioned during my bus tour to Lijiang, the wind turbines above Dali are detrimental to migrating birds. In today's newspaper article, it states that the windmill turbines at Altamont Pass, above Livermore, plus the many other wind farms in the USA, have been noted to kill 573,000 birds each year, including 83,000 raptors, of which many are eagles. This data has just been published in the Wildlife Society Bulletin. Each death is a federal crime, a charge that the Obama administration has used to prosecute oil companies when birds drown in their waste pits, and power companies when birds are electrocuted by their power lines. No wind energy company has been prosecuted, even those that repeatedly flout the law. It is the rationale that we need to get off of carbon and fossil fuels that allows them to justify this, said Thomas Dougherty, former environmentalist for the National Wildlife Federation in the West.
By not enforcing the law so far, the administration provides little incentive for companies to build wind farms where there are fewer birds.
Wind farms are clusters of turbines as tall as 30-story buildings, with spinning rotors the size of jet liners.
Flying eagles behave like drivers texting on their cellphones -- they don't look up. As they scan for food, they don't notice the industrial turbine blades until it's too late.
While I have been typing this post, a Bullock's Oriole flew into my covered porch and perched where he could watch me through the screen door. There are heavy winds outside with dark skies forecasting the thunderstorm soon to appear.
May 16, 2013 10:10 AM
8I find that interesting that eagles don't look up as they scan for food. I've never heard of them smashing into a tree, the side of a cliff, or other natural objects. I wonder why they run into wind turbines.
Was your dog happy to see you when you returned from China?
My yard is covered with baby quail this year, and lots of baby cottontails and jack rabbits!
Cole B. Ozbourne
May 17, 2013 7:35 AM
My dog and rabbit were getting anxious for my return, so my friend began assuring them that I would soon be returning home. She left a message on my phone wanting me to assure her that I had survived the 7.0 earthquake in Sichuan (I was in the 5.8 earthquake in Chengdu, 8 miles from the epicenter, and our afternoon tour to see the Leshan Buddha would have gone over the earthquake epicenter). I phoned her from SFO, but got voicemail, so I phoned again from LAX. Yes, my pets were so relieved that I had finally returned home to them. I don't have so many strict rules in my house and they supervise everything that I do here. They managed to both be well-behaved while visiting.
I am getting white-crowned sparrows at my feeders now. I have a new mix of seeds, including some nuts and berries, cracked corn, and the sunflower seeds. There is a squirrel nearby that I have to be wary of. A few days ago, a pine siskin flew into my covered porch and was nervous about not immediately being able to fly back out. I gently caught him and then opened the door to release him.
This morning, I am going to earn credits for Santa Fe Master Gardeners by doing some volunteer work landscaping at the Audubon Center for erosion control in the foothills. It is supposed to be about 84F degrees here today -- bright and sunny, so I will slather on the sunblock and wear a large-brimmed sun hat. I am also going to be a Docent at the new Santa Fe Botanical Garden at Museum Hill, across the road from the International Folk Art Museum -- it opens in July. I have to memorize the names of the plants and how to grow them in residential gardens. I am also going to be a Docent for several high-end residential garden tours in June -- costs more than $100/day to tour them.
May 18, 2013 5:58 AM
10SPRING 2013 BIRD MIGRATION THROUGH SANTA FE, NEW MEXICO
Ann Schmauss' column in today's Santa Fe New Mexican newspaper lists the birds sighted by many of her customers from throughout Santa Fe, from all habitats and elevations 7,000-feet to 9,000-feet. Desert and forest habitats.
Missing from her list are the abundance of Broad-tailed Hummingbirds that I saw at the Randall Davey Audubon Center yesterday, at about 9,000-feet elevation in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Some Black-chinned Hummingbirds had also been sighted, but I did not see them because the Broad-tailed are so noisy and obvious. The Audubon Center has many hummingbird syrup feeders and also seed cylinders and seed trays hanging from the trees.
Ann Schmauss theorizes that the reason that Santa Fe has so many more migrants this year compared with last year is because of the severe drought here in New Mexico and the fact that much of the birds' routes was burned last year in the forest fires. It is now supposedly past the frost season and temperatures are now reaching 100F degrees in southern New Mexico, in Carlsbad yesterday. Residential areas that are still lush green with artificial oases in the desert -- fountains and pools/bird baths are now attracting the birds.
May 21, 2013 6:55 PM
11My gentle malamute husky every so often reverts to hunting mode, and yesterday was definitely not the time to do that -- she had an up close encounter with the neighborhood skunk! It was pitch-dark at 5 a.m., as I was walking her to the dog run area, and suddenly she was pulling hard on her leash. I shined my flashlight, and there was the skunk with its tail straight up, and my dog's face was only 2 feet away! Fortunately, I must have pulled her fast enough because she got just a light spray, not the full force. Dawn dishwasher detergent is excellent for removing the scent oil and smell of the skunk.
I finally saw a Scott's Oriole at my bird feeder a couple of days ago. I have also seen bright, lemon-yellow-colored warblers flitting about too fast to discern their identity. I am waiting for the Evening Grosbeaks to arrive. My first Spring here, they arrived en masse to alight on the plot of sunflowers that grew next-door. Unfortunately, the next gardener did not like sunflowers! My garden now has blue bachelor buttons and gold weed flowers in full bloom. Columbine flowers are also blooming under my Siberian elm. Snowball flowers are blooming on my two nearby shrubs and also in my neighbor's garden. Irises are starting to bloom. I missed the daffodils and other Spring bulbs last month, but I am now planting cana lilies everywhere, after seeing how beautiful they were in China. They will not winter over, so I will need to dig up their bulbs in the Fall to replant in the Spring next year. I also want to plant bougainvilleas now that the frost has ended. They also will not survive the winters here.
May 22, 2013 10:22 AM
12When it comes to skunks and porcupines, most dogs never learn their lesson and they will go back for more if given the opportunity.
My yard is laden with baby birds. Curve-Billed Thrashers, Fly Catchers, Gila Woodpeckers constantly screeching for a mouthful from their parents, and plenty of Quail. I looked out my kitchen window last night and saw 3-4 batches of baby Qail at once with their parents. Each batch had 15-20 babies, ranging from new hatchlings to teenagers. They looked like mice scampering all over my yard.
Boat-Tailed Grackles have been landing in the scrub brush close to the ground in the desert near my house. That's a bit unusual since I normally see them in areas that are more green and damp. I think they are taking advantage of a bumper crop of baby Praying Mantis. The bushes are teaming with baby Praying Mantis less than a half inch long, and I see the Grackles hunting and catching them. I've seen them do that before during the Spring, but not often. Other desert birds are also joining in on the feast. CVC
May 22, 2013 11:04 AM
13I just saw what looked exactly like a mockingbird or magpie flying, but it had a bright yellow-gold tail! Now, I do need to look that one up in my guidebook.
The neighborhood quail were in my yard last week, scouting for food. Their covey maintains its size and has not increased due to the cats that roam around here. Fortunately, I have not seen any foxes lately.
I was going to say that robins are the loudest songsters at 5 a.m., but I discovered that the house finches can be just as loud this season. At 5:30 a.m., when I am returning home from the dog run area, there is a full chorus of birds singing. I do not list all of the common birds seen nearby or at my feeders, such as 2 starlings yesterday, and the ravens and crows and doves and pigeons and curved-bill thrashers and northern red-shafted flickers that are here year-round. I did see a grackle last week -- the first time that I noticed it looked differently from the crows and ravens and it had perched nearby. The last time that I saw grackles was in Oklahoma City, in 2009, I think.
Edited by: trekker502
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