Feathers on Friday

If you would like to join me for my Feathers on Friday meme, please put the link to your blog post in the comments and I’ll add the link to my post.

I saw this Great Horned Owl earlier in the week and I was finally able to get my first photo of a Great Horned Owl,

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More Feathers on Friday Posts:

:: From Ethan at Bird Boy: Feathers on Friday

:: From Josiah at Birds in Your Backyard: Feathers on Friday

 

Birding News #44

::  A hand-reared Spoon-billed Sandpiper has been spotted more than 8,000 km from where it was released in Russia

:: In a settlement announced on Friday, Duke Energy Renewables will pay $1 million US for killing 14 Golden Eagles over the past three years at two Wyoming wind farms, after pleading guilty to misdemeanor charges under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The case was the first to be prosecuted against a wind energy company under the MBT Act. Duke Energy Renewables is the renewable energy arm of Duke Energy, which is the largest electric power holding company in the United States and has a market value of about $50 billion US.

:: The intense heat of a solar thermal project going online soon in the California desert is singeing feathers (warning: graphic photo with article) and injuring birds.

:: Great Blue Heron numbers are declining in Maine, but biologists are hoping citizen scientists will help collect data on heron nesting sites to reverse the trend.

:: A Dutch traveller was caught trying to smuggle more than a dozen live hummingbirds in his pants

:: An article from The New York Times about the population increase of Wild Turkeys in New York City

Zelda, a Wild Turkey in Battery Park, lower Manhattan, photographed in November 2009 by my mother; at the time, Zelda had lived in NYC for about six years

Zelda, a Wild Turkey in Battery Park, lower Manhattan, photographed in November 2009 by my mother; at the time, Zelda had lived in NYC for about six years

:: Bird brains need testosterone for strong song in the mating season

:: Speaking of the role of song in mating, scientists are studying the mutated language gene, FoxP2, in Zebra Finches’ courtship singing

:: Many of Ireland’s birds are facing extinction

:: Rapid construction and new development projects in the Indian city of Kolhapur has meant a loss of trees and green cover, leading to fewer birds and more insects.

Great posts in birding blogs this week: 

:: From Dan at Bird CanadaCanada’s Shrikes, a tale of two seasons

:: From Ethan at Bird BoyPerplexing Plumage – How to tell a female Mallard from a female Gadwall

:: From Aidan at The EyrieBook Review: The Warbler Guide

:: From Laurence at Butler’s BirdsLight Birding and a Feat of Swallowing

:: From Eileen at Viewing nature with EileenGambel’s Quail lifer

:: From Alex at Flight of the Scrub-Jay11/2 – Litchfield County – Barnacle Goose

:: From Stewart at Paying Ready AttentionWild Bird Wednesday 71 – King Parrots

:: From Sharon at Birdchick: the latest Birdchick podcast

Feathers on Friday

If you would like to join me for my Feathers on Friday meme, please put the link to your blog post in the comments and I’ll add the link to my post.

It has been quite cold here the past week, so here’s a picture of an American Crow from the summer,

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More Feathers on Friday Posts:

:: From babsje at Great Blue HeronsGreat Blue Heron’s Gorgeous Wings Akimbo in Molt

:: From Josiah at Birds in Your Backyard: Feathers on Friday

:: From Ethan at Bird Boy: Feathers on Friday

Birding News #43

:: 14-year-old Khalid Boudreau has discovered British Columbia’s second-known breeding grounds of the endangered American White Pelican.

:: A study by some Idaho scientists shows that traffic noise has more of an effect on birds than previously thought.

:: Climate change is changing the timing of bird migration, especially in long distance migrants

:: There is a new Young Birders Club in Burgos, Spain

:: An article from National Geographic about how albatrosses are such efficient flyers

:: Rome is being overwhelmed by the amount of droppings around the city from millions of migrating starlings

:: A cooling spell in Antarctica 10 million years ago may have spurred penguin evolution

Great posts in birding blogs this week: 

:: From Jacob at The EyrieBobolink Conservation

:: From Chris at Birding is FunSanderling – a “True” Sandpiper

:: From Tim at Bird Canada: The American Dipper – a photo essay

:: From Rick at Wader QuestRecurvirostridae, avocets and stilts; what a beautiful family! 

:: From Dragon at 10,000 Birds: The Search for The Holy Grail

:: From Larry at the Brownstone Birding BlogChecking Out Some CT Lucky Duck Ponds

:: From Eileen at Viewing nature with EileenMore Bosque Del Apache NWR

Blogging My Way Through the Cornell Lab’s Home Study Course in Bird Biology

HBBBI’ve been hoping for a couple of years now to take the Cornell Lab of Ornithology home study course in bird biology, but the textbook (second edition, 2004, Princeton University Press) has been out of print and used copies sell for hundreds, and thousands, of dollars. I found out that a new edition is in the works, but it been delayed several times already, and according to the Cornell website its publication date is now the summer of 2014. The course takes about four to six months to complete, and because I’m in grade 11 and have an awful lot on my plate, I want to take the course before I finish high school. If there are any more publication delays, if I depend on getting the new text, I probably wouldn’t be able to keep to my plan.

I spent most of this past spring and summer looking for a copy to borrow, but it wasn’t easy. I was finally able to find a copy from a birder in Calgary, who is generously letting me borrow it for the time I need to take the course. Thank you, Doug!

I’ve decided I’m going to blog my way through the course and the book, for anyone else who might be interested in the course and is wondering whether or not to do it. My mom signed me up for the course earlier this week — approximately $200, with the membership discount and shipping of course material to Canada — so now  I’m just waiting for the package to arrive.

I’ve already started reading the book, but once the materials arrive, I’ll be able to start the course properly and blog my way through it.

Feathers on Friday

If you would like to join me for my Feathers on Friday meme, please put the link to your blog post in the comments and I’ll add the link to my post.

A drawing of a Killdeer from my Young Birder of the Year field notebook,

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More Feathers on Friday Posts:

:: From Josiah at Birds in Your Backyard: Parkland Mews Volunteering

:: From Ethan at Bird Boy: Feathers on Friday

Woodpeckers Come in Threes

On Saturday, I went out for a walk around the slough across the road from our house. The weather was fairly cold -15 C (5F), but luckily there was no wind so it was quite a pleasant walk. Even thought it’s still the beginning of November, winter has set in on the Canadian prairies; the sloughs are covered with ice, snow has blanketed the ground, and most animals have migrated to warmer places or are hibernating. On my two and a half hour walk, I saw only seven bird species: Downy Woodpecker, Black-billed Magpie, Black-capped Chickadee, Common Raven, Pileated Woodpecker, and Hairy Woodpecker.

This is the first walk  I’ve taken where I saw all three species of woodpeckers occuring in our area. I was able to get fairly good photos of the Downy and Hairy, but not the Pileated! It flew away before I could take a photograph. The Pileated Woodpecker could be considered a nemesis bird for me because I’ve never been able to get a photo of one. Hopefully on my next walk I’ll see another one and finally get a photo.

Some photos from my walk:

A view of the slough and woods,

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This Downy Woodpecker was tapping away on some cattails,

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I found this Meadow Vole hiding in the snow,

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A young Whitetail buck jumping over the silt fencing that was put up to keep amphibians away from the pipeline activity in the summer,

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Snow covered woods,

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A male Hairy Woodpecker flew into the same bunch of trees just as the Pileated flew off,

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