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Old 02-21-2012, 03:40 AM
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Default Bird watching

Anybody else bird watch as a hobby?

It's kind of funny I waited until I moved to NYC to get into birding, but Central Park is a fantastic place to bird watch in the early morning. Much easier to get close to a variety of birds than in rural areas, they're not half as skittish.

I'm very excited for the warbler migration this year. Last year I didn't have a good pair of binoculars and wasn't that good at identifying them, but over the past 6 months I've been studying them and feel prepared to identify just about anything now.

Are there any resources you find especially helpful? eBird is my go to for getting an estimate of what birds I should be on the look out for.
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Old 02-21-2012, 02:03 PM
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My Father is an avid birder. I started birding as a preteen and know the basics, but gave up after not too long. Getting up hours before dawn to drive out to some remote location and spending lots of time being very still just wasn't my idea of a fun time.
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Old 02-22-2012, 03:51 AM
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Warblers are tough, James. I'm impressed. Have you seen: http://www.whatbird.com/
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Old 03-03-2012, 08:30 AM
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I love whatbird! I have a neat little app on my phone made by them, it's very useful. I still prefer a good field guide, though. Peterson's the one I use now but I'm thinking about picking up a Crossley ID guide too, it's so different from every other field guide and I'm really intrigued with how they set up their ID pages.
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Old 06-16-2012, 01:32 PM
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I don't so much watch birds as a hobby, but because of my interest in gardening, and especially native species, I've taken pains to arrange my landscape so plants produce food recognizable by the local bird population.

It's not that difficult to do really, and the plants that are native that will provide food are usually more easy to care for in the landscape anyway, since they're already adapted to weather and soil conditions.

I've done a lot of work in my area helping others shift their landscape in ways that will support the local species. My community was the first registered Community Wildlife Habitat in the SE U.S. We worked with a lot of homeowners, businesses, and owners of other land such as churches and apartment complexes in that effort:

http://www.nwf.org/Get-Outside/Outdo...-Wildlife.aspx

It's easier to accomplish than you think, and you can get good free advice attuned to your area from the County Extension Office usually.
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Old 06-17-2012, 02:44 PM
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Ah! We get lots of birds in our yard, too. We just let things grow more or less wild - only taking out the most offensive weeds - and the birds just love it. The neighborhood cats love it, too, at the expense of the birds.
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Old 06-17-2012, 09:38 PM
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Too bad your neighbors don't put bells on their cat's collars.

We have neighborhood cats as well, but they seem to go after the ground varmints more, which is fine with me. I mean, I like chipmunks, but we have a bumper crop this year.
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