ornithology

BIRD NERD: CATBIRD

The party is over folks; my landlord has taken away one of my simplest pleasures, watching and listening to the birds who grace my feeder daily and keep my hyperactive cat “Bean” out of trouble.

Remember this music video I made to the house finches? There won’t be any more of those.

Today two Gray CatBirds (Dumetella carolinensisvisited. They are really beautiful, all matte grey, with a reddish underside, a long tail and little black hat on their head. Their call sounds like a cat and they were going nuts over the suet.

Then I heard repeated banging on my door. It was my landlord. ”No birdfeeder!”

I should have acted like a catbird; according to Wiki, they “are not afraid of predators and respond to them aggressively by flashing their wings and tails and by making their signature mew sounds. They are also known to even attack and peck predators that come too near their nests.”

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Great Backyard Bird Count Starts Today!

© Jon Pywell

We can all be scientists, civilian scientists that is. Researchers, including ornithologists, rely on data collected from us regular people because they can’t be everywhere at once to observe everything all the time!

Today begins the Great Backyard Bird Count, an annual 4 day event that “engages bird watchers to create a real time snapshot of where birds are across the continent.” After our Winter Bird Walk on 1/28, we learned there are lots of different kinds of birds in Greenpoint!

It takes as little as 15 minutes on any day between today 2/17- 2/20. Your data helps birds!

How? Just look out your window, or any location in Greenpoint, and count the number and types of birds you observe.

If you need help check out the Kings County bird count list. This list will blow your mind. Once you’re done, just enter your data by March 5, 2012. Plus there is a huge photo library and photo contest you can submit to.

I just completed my bird count from the window at the Kingsland Ave HQ.

6 Housesparrows
2 House Finches

Just after I completed this post, I was washing dishes and looked out the window and saw this Cooper’s Hawk eating a pigeon. It was magnificent.

I also made this video.

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