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January 2010

Monday Morning Mystery 011810

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    This mystery bird (above), which comes by way of a birder in Dumont, has Pics%201-3-10_862challenged some of the state's birders, as well as the indefatigible Seymour Drakes.

The birder writes:

    "Could you identify this bird for me?  This picture was just taken a few days ago (January 3-4ish). 

   "He lives in the Hemlock tree in my neighbor's yard and came down to eat the walnuts that I threw outside.

   Pics%201-3-10_237"I thought this might be a Pine Warbler but the reddish areas are throwing me off."

   She has included a measure of the bricks so you can see its size -- and a photo of Mr. E. Bird with a sparrow for comparison's sake.

   Click "Continue reading..." for more photos, and what the thinking on this bird is...

Continue reading "Monday Morning Mystery 011810" »


Must-read Blog Post on Hawk Mountain's Saviour

  Founder of rosalie edge at entrance gate Dyana Z. Furmansky, who wrote the recent excellent biography of Rosalie Edge -- the woman who saved Hawk Mountain's raptors from the gunners (amongst many other conservation achievements) -- has a new  post on Edge on the Audubon Magazine's blog, The Perch.

   Dyana argues persuasively that Rosalie Edge has never gotten the credit that was due her.

   You can read the post here -- it includes a photo by Kevin Watson from the coffee-table book Kevin and I did on Hawk Mountain.

   You can help Rosalie Edge get the recognition  she deserves by placing a comment at the end of Dyana's post on Perch. The more support that's shown for this amazing woman, the better chance she has for the public acclaim that's long overdue.


Blue Jay Harassing Screech Owl Box

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     One day earlier this month, bird after bird started to land on a Wood Duck nesting box near my backyard and then squawk like heck.  

   Toward sunset, a screech owl popped up and left at dusk. He has not returned to the box since then. In December, I had a red-phased screecher catch some shut-eye there, and it has not returned either.

   Click "Continue reading..." to see a pic of the recent screecher, taken from my window. (It is best to leave screech owls alone.)

Continue reading "Blue Jay Harassing Screech Owl Box" »


Gorgeous Redhead

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   Thanks to all who steered me to the adult Redheaded Woodpecker in Oradell by the Waterworks Conservancy site.

 IMG_6622 The bird is both beautiful and easy to find. Kurt Muenz offered these directions on the Fyke e-mail list:

  "To get to this small park, just follow Oradell Avenue to Elm Street (the 4th right east of Kinderkermack Road), make the right onto Elm and go as far as you can, parking just before the barrier.

   "Walk around the barrier onto the pedestrian-only portion of Elm which ends about 1000ft further south at New Milford Ave. There didn't seem to be any convenient parking at the New Milford Ave. end, so suggest you approach from Oradell Ave. as per above."

   Once you cross the bridge, look into the tall dead tree ahead and to your right, and other trees to your right.

   You'll see the bird zipping around.

   Sunny days are best for photos.

   More on Red-headed Woodpeckers here.


Instant Habitat

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   Instead of taking the needle-shedding Christmas tree to the town recycling center to be wood-chipped, I hauled it out back and put it near the feeders.

   The little birds love it, and even sleep tucked away in the branches at night. Early in the morning, they pop their heads up, look around a bit, then head over to the feeder for breakfast.

   Just want to get my money's worth out of a cut tree. The other pines in the back yard are all former dirtball Christmas trees -- the ideal way to go.