10,000 Birds

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Beaten by an Angry Bird

10,000 Birds

The water level was some three feet above the average, so off into the swampland we went, through a submerged forest of willows and poplars into a lake-like widening of a side branch with a few Garganeys and Green Sandpipers.

2017 86

Morning Coffee with Eastern Imperial Eagle

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Susliks lose home, eagles lose food, but a new bank or a shopping mall will look smart with that ever so green grass. May 2009. After a wakeup call at highly uncivilized 3.45 am, at the crack of dawn I am sitting in a car by the Suslik (European ground squirrel) pasture. It is still cold.

2017 70

Britain’s Birds: An Identification Guide to the Birds of Britain and Ireland–A Book Review

10,000 Birds

The two guides make for interesting comparisons–one is full of rich browns and greens and orange-reds and makes your eyes dizzy, the other is cool and elegant, with text on the left and artwork on the right. British birders are very serious about birding and their birds.

There’s a bear! There’s a bear!

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Eurasian Green Woodpecker – Picus viridis. In the most of Europe, Brown Bear is a mythical creature that lives only in mediaeval tapestries and folk tales. It has become extinct, one may say, but such formulation hides the gruesome fact: it has been exterminated. By us.

2016 86

The Smell of Napalm in the Morning

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Other species of special significance are herons and egrets (this is very important foraging area), Ferruginous Duck, as well as Lesser Spotted and European Green Woodpeckers , Spotted Flycatcher and the Icterine Warbler.

2016 82

Things I Learned While Birding at Laguna del Lagarto, Costa Rica

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It would give me yet another chance at lifering that royal pain known as a Tawny-faced Quail , the rare and beautiful Green and Rufous Kingfisher , and who knows what else. Last weekend, I guided a trip to Laguna del Lagarto for the Birding Club of Costa Rica. Since all sorts of rare species are possible at this remote lowland rainforest site, I was looking forward to this trip for a while.

Urban birding at its best

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Several Green Sandpipers , dozen Whiskered Terns and a few dozen Sand Martins (Bank Swallows) all make their appearance. And then, two canids appeared in my scope field of view… My plan was that the downpour should finally be over in the morning, so I could go birding.

2016 64

The Tar Side of Green Products

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This unhappy-looking tar baby is covered with a green, environmentally-friendly product called Tanglefoot. It is a non-drying, sticky compound that is used to protect trees by forming a barrier against climbing insects.

Pink-necked Green Pigeon

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Western Palearctic constitutions were not designed for these conditions, but here be Pink-necked Green Pigeons! Now simply seeing green pigeons should be enough for anyone and if only the females show, then that is what you get, but the males include a pink neck and orange belly in their plumage to make a spectacle best observed at close quarters. Birding Birds Pink-necked Green Pigeon SingaporeSingapore is sweltering its way through the monsoon. Heat and rain!

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How to create an IBA and get a permanent headache in five easy steps

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That is in line with the way I see this IBA – in my eyes, it consists of several wider floodplains, and the rest are ecological corridors which need to remain green, but not necessarily officially protected. Being inside the city whose officials do not recognise its green heart and its value, the area is under attack from developers on several fronts. First: Dream about it. As a teenager in Yugoslavia, I used to buy National Geographic in secondhand bookshops.

2016 59

City Guide: Finding Birds in Belgrade

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But, if you check the hotspot map of Belgrade, you will notice three single green hotspots and, along the Danube, two clusters with 3 and 4 green hotspots. Is Belgrade the New Berlin is a question recently raised in Vogue by Marry Holland.

2017 21

Better Birding: A Book Review (& a New Year’s goal)

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Green boxes offer Natural History and Taxonomic Notes. New Year’s resolutions from birding friends are starting to trickle in as I write this review. It is the last day of 2015, time to select the bird of the year past and set goals for the bright open future, when everything is new again. Big years, little-big years, surpassing your state list, trouncing your best friend’s state list, inching up on the eBird top 100 (well, no one says that, but you know people are thinking it).

Green Herons and their Groovy Necks

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The querent included many other details about location, coloration, and what not but once I heard about that neck, one bird sprung immediately to mind… Green Heron ! In either case, green herons are silly with subspecies, which may themselves eventually be recognized as full species.

2011 51

Highlights from the 2016 Arenal, Costa Rica Christmas Count

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It’s also good for many migrants, hummingbirds (we had five or six Black-crested Coquettes), Rufous-tailed Jacamar , and lots of other birds, and shows how important natural green space and second growth can be for a huge number of species. The Christmas Count season has begun!

Squacco Heron

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The bill is usually greeny-yellow, tipped dark, but takes on a surprising blue for breeding, contrasting with the green skin around the eye. The Squacco Heron , Ardeola ralloides is an Old World heron, closely related to (and sharing a genus with) the eastern pond-herons. It shares the common characteristic of white flight feathers which fold away on landing to leave a cryptically coloured bird, well suited to its preferred reedy habitat.

2015 59

Dusty, Dry Forest Birding in Costa Rica

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It was downright abundant, perhaps because of the high number of flowering trees, and was joined by Green-breasted Mango, Steely-vented Hummingbird , and a few other species of feisty Trochilids. We also had several beautiful Long-tailed Manakins , more than one Elegant Trogon (a green instead of copper-hued tail, and a slower, slightly different song than Arizona birds), Ivory-billed Woodcreeper , White-lored Gnatcatcher , and many Myiarchus flycatchers.

How many birds are killed by windmills and other green energy projects?

10,000 Birds

Conservation bird mortality cats green energy windmills Nobody knows and I’m not going to pretend to tell you. However, in this post, I’d like to lay out the basic numbers as we pretend to know them about overall bird mortality, human related causes of mortality, and somewhere in there I’ll note that the number of birds that are killed by windmills is so small that it says “zero” on my pie chart.

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The Most Birds

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Who has seen the most Green Herons at one time? The most Green Herons ever reported is 3,000. Still, even assuming that the number is off by 500 that would still be 2,500 Green Herons , which is a huge number! A recent comment thread on Facebook about absurdly high counts of some species in the eBird database got me curious. Painted Buntings ? Gyrfalcons ? What is the most of any one species that has ever been reported at one time? And how reliable is this data?

A Brief Guide to Birding Costa Rica in 2016

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This Green Thorntail is enjoying the “dry season” Raptors are uncommon : Decidedly so. Are you headed to Costa Rica this year? I hope so because the birding and biodiversity are fantastic, and the flight time from most places in the USA is less than six hours. In other words, it’s easier to bird than most might think.

When a Ring-billed Gull is a Rarity- Tortuguero, Costa Rica

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Knowing that I wouldn’t yell for him to come quick if we were seeing regular species like the endangered Great Green Macaw , toucans, or even a Bare-crowned Antbird , Robert wasted no time in racing down the stairs. I went to Tortuguero National Park last weekend.

Varied Lorikeets

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In flight they look like a Budgerigar that has a very short tail due to their green colouring and the fact they are often in quite large flocks calling as they race across the sky. Varied Lorikeets are very bright green, but they can hide so easily in the foliage and I decided to focus on just capturing a pair of them feeding.

2016 44

The bills of the broadbills

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The first of the three species I visually met and photographed – although poorly due to the distances involved – is called Green Broadbill. Yup, that’s it, Green Broadbill. So it’s a broadbill and it’s green and the name suggests that this is all there is to it. Now, first things first and that’s not the green part but the broadbill bit. A broad bill on a green broadbill. A broad bill gone on a green broadbill.

2015 44

Beautiful Bird Portraits from Space Coast

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This isn’t the best picture of a Great Egret but I like that it already has green lores. Back in 2012 when I made my first foray to the Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival I put up back -to- back posts featuring up-close-and-personal shots of some of the cooperative birds I encountered.

Birding Florida’s Emerald Coast

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The area near the boardwalk was full of families and beach-goers, swimming in the emerald green water or relaxing in multi-colored beach chairs. I have now officially moved to the Emerald Coast of Florida, a beautiful region on the Florida Panhandle. I am within one of Florida’s sub-tropical zones, and my birding experiences have expanded, with life birds galore. As part of my new job I work on Okaloosa Island, separated from the beach merely by the dunes.

Easy Endemics and Photography at Myriam’s Quetzals, Costa Rica

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Although we were both rained and fogged out, we still managed a surprise Green-fronted Lancebill , Collared Redstart (E), Peg-billed Finch (E), Yellow-winged Vireo (E), Wrenthrush (E), Silvery-fronted Tapaculo (E), Ruddy Treerunner (E), and some other birds. Myriam’s Quetzales ! Are they her’s? Can there be a more enticing name than for a place that that? To be honest, quetzals aren’t seen that often right at Myriam’s but they are seen just down the road.

My Best and Worst Birds from Costa Rica in 2015

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Green-winged Teal : It might not sound exciting for birders slinging their binos in the temperate zone, but this fancy little duck is a heck of a rare sight in Costa Rica. The year is nearly over and that’s always a good excuse to talk about our best birds from the past 12 months. With more than 650 on my year list to choose from, it’s hard to pick out the best, especially when several happen to be glittering hummingbirds, tanagers, and trogons.

The Bee-eaters of Africa

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Furthermore, they are far more secretive, quietly perching on forest edges (where their predominantly green plumage makes them tough to spot), usually solitarily or in small family groups and inconspicuously making short sallies to catch bees and other prey.

Whoo-Hoo! Green Heron is the 2015 American Birding Association Bird of the Year!

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My lobbying must be more effective than I thought because the Green Heron has been named as the American Birding Association Bird of the Year for 2015 ! After all, Green Heron is the bird that made me become a birder. Not only that but Green Herons are sometimes called “ Shitepokes “ and they have awesome necks. Your average Green Heron has more than an amazing neck and a scatological nickname though. Yeah, that’s right, Green Herons are smart.

2015 25

Buff-sided Robin

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It was lovely to see the park looking so green after visiting after bush fires on other occasions. I mentioned last week that we had set off on a journey north to check on the Tawny Frogmouth nest and then we continued north. We actually travelled as far north as Timber Creek in the Northern Territory through some very varied weather due to it being our Wet Season.

2016 40

Birding Culebra, Puerto Rico

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Antillean Crested Hummingbird was the easiest to find though Green-throated Carib and Antillean Mango weren’t too tough. Culebra is the lesser known of the two major islands that lie off the eastern edge of Puerto Rico. Vieques is the island Americans tend to think of when they think of an island vacation destination off the coast of Puerto Rico, both because it is larger and because of the more recent and public fight to stop the American military from using it for bombing practice.

Migration Up North, Migration in Costa Rica

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I yearn to be back on Goat Island but am also content with seeing Blackburnian, Black-and-white, and Black-throated Green Warblers here instead of there. When people find out that I moved to Costa Rica from Niagara Falls, New York, one of the first things they ask is if I miss much from the City of the Cataracts.

Killingholme Haven Pits

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Bowling Green Marsh, Topsham, Exe Estuary, Exeter, Devon, SW England. Black-tailed Godwit green/orange/yellow-green/yellow/green. Black-tailed Godwit yellow/orange-lime/green.

Surviving the Storm on the Emerald Coast

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In calm conditions, the water here is a brilliant emerald green, while the sand is so white and fine that it literally squeaks when I walk through it and is constantly compared to sugar. Storms can be fierce on the barrier Islands along the Florida Panhandle. Hurricanes are a very real possibility, but even without events of that magnitude squalls and thunderstorms kick up high winds and waves that batter the shoreline.

New Year’s Day Birding at San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary

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I don’t normally get to see Green-winged Teal this well. On New Year’s Day 2016, our last day in California before heading back to New York, I was pleased for the chance to get out for a few hours in the morning to jump start the year list. The best place I could come up with that was within a short drive of my in-laws’ place in Yorba Linda was the San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary in nearby Irvine, only a quick twenty-minute drive away.

Christmas Counting in Arenal, Costa Rica

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We had three trogon species, several wrens, several antbirds including Ocellated, Spotted, and Bicolored , Uniform Crake (heard only), Bicolored Hawk , King Vulture , Green Thorntail , White-tipped Sicklebill and several other hummingbird species, three toucan species, and the list goes on for one heck of a birdy day. If there was such a thing as a birder holiday, the peak of spring migration would be the high point on the calendar.

Budgerigars need water!

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We then noticed swirling green all around us and the dam and it was literally thousands of Budgerigars. Swirling “green” over the dam. You will note that in the wild they are only green and not any of those odd pink or blue ones you may see in cages! Life’s been pretty hectic since we returned from a trip into the Pilbara area of Western Australia and I have hardly touched on all of our adventures due to other exciting bird news back home.

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Pat’s Year List, it’s 2016!

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On the other side of the weather coin, now that I live in Costa Rica, the first month of the year also means warm sunny days punctuated by windy weather, and migrants like Yellow Warblers and Baltimore Orioles sharing green space with Blue-gray Tanagers and other avian locals. By simply letting the vegetation grow back, Paul has created a green oasis that brings in the birds. Green Heron – Butorides virescens; Coris, 17-Jan. Another year, another list.

2016 38

Clark’s Grebes Were Once Considered a Color Morph of the Western Grebe

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The appearance of the Clark’s Grebe ( Aechmophorus clarkii ) differs from the Western Grebe ( Aechmophorus occidentalis ) primarily in the white of the face extending above the eye and onto the lores… and its bright orange, slightly upturned bill (above), compared to the Western’s straight yellowish-green bill (below).

Lakes 40

Pin-tailed Sandgrouse

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They will eat new green shoots as available, but much of their diet is made up of dry seeds, so a reliable source of fresh water is important.

2017 21

Brown Falcon foraging after a bush fire

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Following a bush fire the whole area looked particularly bare and the few remaining green trees in the centre of the rest area were still being occupied by a few birds.

2016 28