bird journal

june 9 2022: new birds and a rookery

since ive moved ive seen a few new birds. i saw a large amount of goldfinches. that might be the only new bird ive idenified currently, ive been a little behind on my identification lately.

i found a birdfeeder someone was giving away on facebook marketplace and installed it into the backyard. it is beautiful. im glad i found it. it can hold seed and two bricks of suet. initally i had issues with squirrels climbing up it to eat the seed, but a squirrel baffle cone immediately solved my problem. now they, along with the chipmunks, just eat the seed the birds drop below the feeder. im glad they still have something to eat.

i got a little lost on the way back from my friend leah's house the other day and drove by a grove of barren trees inside a marsh. there were people pulled over with binoculars looking into the trees so i figured there must be some birds in there. i pulled over and approached a couple looking and asked what they were looking at. it was a heron rookery! a place where many herons gathered to build their nests in the trees. the baby birds were quite old, but not old enough to fly yet. they had grown so big they all had to stand in the nest because there was not room for them to all sit! it was very cool to see. i want to revisit it to see if theyre still there. considering the lack of sitting room i hope not.

july 24 2021: dead bird

a bird died in one of my feeders. its a hanging feeder with a platform for birds to perch on or stand in with a tube in the middle to hold seeds. the seeds spill out of the bottom of the tube from a few cutout holes.

the tube was nearly out of sunflower seed so a house finch squeezed his head in a hole to reach more seed and got stuck; wedged between the seed and shells and the plastic tube. he suffocated.

after i looked him over a single crow in one of my trees flew off.

i dont think i will put sunflowers in that feeder anymore.

july 11 2021: corvids

ive been watching birds a lot more. i checked out some books about birds from the library so i can learn more about them. i dont think i would mind learning birdcalls anymore, but i dont think i ever will. they all sound so similar.

i bought another bird feeder and hung it up near the other one. in one in some smaller seed and in the other is a mix of larger nuts and berries. my goal has been to attract a blue jay and i was hoping this (along with the new seed) would help attract them as well as seperate the smaller birds and the bigger birds into their own feeders.

i was successful. this morning i saw a blue jay through my binoculars for the first time! theyre even prettier up close. it flew away shortly after i spotted it, but it was so lovely to see.

i went outside a few hours later to watch the birds and not long after it showed up again! it could have been another blue jay of course, but i think its cute to imagine that all the birds that come to my backyard are the same ones. it stayed around for much longer this time and i got such a nice long look at them.

they really are beautiful birds. their beaks are a little longer than i had thought and the pattern on its feather was so much more complex! it was like tall hexagons along its back. a cardinal flew at it to scare it off and it was a really pretty mix and red and blue birds side by side. i was also lucky enough to watch it pick up an almond and peck and eat at it. it even caught a piece it pecked off before it could fall away. such pretty, pretty birds. i hope i see more.

i saw a crow too. it landed on my fence for a small moment. such a large bird.

aside from the corvids i saw today ive also seen a couple of new birds: a vulture and a carolina chickadee. i didnt get a good look at the vulture since it was on the side of the road, but the chickadees have been visiting my feeders often.

i really want to get a bird bath for the birds to use. we had one but we let it fall into disarray and threw it away. even though i wasnt into bird watching so much at the time it made me upset. we couldve fixed it pretty easily. and it would have been a lot cheaper than buying a new bird bath. oh well.

april 18 2021: the gardens and the crow

last month they opened a bird-watching exhibit at the gardens that i volunteer at sometimes. i went a few weeks ago to check it out. it was pretty disappointing, but they said it was in stage one of three. it was very clearly unfinished, just two benches in front of a pane of glass that looked out into a zone they're working on. the idea is that the zone will become a place where birds will naturally want to hang out at and then people can look at them.

in the far distance were some bird gourds made for some kind of finch. purple martins. they were all nesting and flying around it, but were so far away it was hard to see them. i had binoculars with me, but theyre not very powerful. i was able to see them just fine with them. i hope they finish it soon.

there's been a very large crow in my neighborhood recently. i see him a lot. there could be more than one, but ive only ever seen one at a time so i choose to believe its just one crow. hes much bigger than the other birds that come around here.

sometimes he will land on top of the thin bushy trees outside my window and i can look at him closely. he's so heavy he makes the top of the trees bend over a little. a lot of the smaller birds (robins and cardinals) like to fly into these trees and i think even make nests in them. its hard to tell. if i look at him with my binoculars while hes on the trees i can see him in great detail. i hope he sticks around.

yesterday while perched on one of the trees he poked his head into it. two birds flew out from it and when he took his head out of it he had something in his beak. it looked like a pink flower petal.

i dont think it was.

mar 16 2021: birds in my backyard

i've been looking at birds in my backyard lately. i have a lot of trees around me and most of them are still barren from the winter, so it makes it easy to spot birds that perch in them.

i also hung the bird feeder back up. i want to grow some sunflowers so i can put my own seeds in it, but growing those is very hard if you dont have a lot of room. the last time i tried i got pretty close, but after i put them in the dirt a rabbit came by that night and ate them all! im sure he was very happy with his snack.

there have been a lot of northern cardinals in my backyard. theyre very territorial so theyve been fighting and chasing each other around the house for a few days now. ive gotten some very close looks at them and have even been able to see a couple chirp up close. im starting to recognize their songs.

i like identifying birds, but i dont really want to learn their songs. i like to hear birdsong, but i think i would be annoyed if i heard them and went "oh thats a so-and-so, oh thats a this-and-that." it would make it hard to mindlessly listen to them.

i saw a bird that i had never seen before today. it had a brown body, a white belly, and a black head. i looked at it for as long as i could to commit it to memory before looking in the bird book vivian bought me, but i couldnt find it. i went to look at it again, but i think a cardinal scared it off since there was one near where the mystery bird used to be.

i looked on my bird id app to try and find it but i couldnt find anything concrete. i think it might be an eastern towhee, but (as far i remember) it didnt have any red on it at all. brown feathers on the back. white belly. a black head as if it was wearing a hood.

sometimes i wonder if the book i have is outdated. its from 2006.

i hope i see that bird again.