Monday, January 26, 2009

Northern Cardinal

I got a few shots of the Cardinal today on my lunch walk. Not the best of photo's to be sure but these are the first ones I have taken that were any where near good enough to post. He sang to me the entire time I stood there, or at least that is what I keep telling myself. For all I know he was telling me to move along there big fella, nothing to see here!

Did you know:
The brilliantly colored Northern Cardinal has the record for popularity as a state bird: in the United States, it holds that title in seven states. This common bird is a winter fixture at snow-covered bird feeders throughout the Northeast, but it only spread to New York and New England in the mid-20th century.
Population density and range increased over the last 200 years, largely as a response to habitat changes made by people. The cardinal benefits from park-like urban habitats and the presence of bird feeders. However, it is listed as a species of special concern in California and may disappear there because of habitat loss.

The female Northern Cardinal sings, often from the nest. The song may give the male information about when to bring food to the nest. A mated pair shares song phrases, but the female may sing a longer and slightly more complex song than the male.

The male cardinal fiercely defends its breeding territory from other males. When a male sees its reflection in glass surfaces, it frequently will spend hours fighting the imaginary intruder. Brighter red males hold territories with denser vegetation, feed at higher rates, and have greater reproductive success than duller males.

Did you know research from Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
Thanks for stopping by,

Monday, January 19, 2009

A cry for help...

Hey Buddy!

Hey, hey, yea you, can ya give me a hand? I dropped one of my nuts and traffic around here is murder! Can ya help me out? Can ya? Can ya? huh?... PLEASEEEEEEEE....

Ok, good! Ok, ok, now listen, it's right over here.... Come closer, closer.....

Now look where I point.... I am gonna show ya ready?????

It's right down there, ya see it...... NO listen, it's right THERE!!!!

Ahhhh come on, you killing meeeeee!!!! There THERE THERE!!!!

Forget it.... I will get it myself, but you stay back!
I'm watching you....

Got it!

Thanks for nothing! I am out of here...

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The American Nightingale...

Ok, its only a Mockingbird, but I love that it's called the American Nightingale!
Did you Know:
The "American nightingale," the Northern Mockingbird is known for its long, complex songs that include imitations of many other birds. It is a common bird of hedgerows and suburbs, and has been slowly expanding its range northward. The song is a series of varied phrases, with each phrase repeated many times in a row. Includes much mimicry of other bird songs and calls. Call a harsh dry "chew." listen to songs of this species
The Northern Mockingbird frequently gives a "wing flash" display, where it half or fully opens its wings in jerky intermediate steps, showing off the big white patches. No one knows why it does this behavior, but some have suggested that it startles insects into revealing themselves. However, it does not appear to flush insects, and other mockingbird species that do not have white wing patches use the display, casting doubt on this idea.
The Northern Mockingbird is a loud and persistent singer. It sings all through the day, and often into the night. Most nocturnal singers are unmated males, which sing more than mated males during the day too. Nighttime singing is more common during the full moon. In well-lit areas around people, even mated males may sing at night. A Northern Mockingbird continues to add new sounds to its song repertoire throughout its life.
The female Northern Mockingbird sings too, although usually more quietly than the male does. She rarely sings in the summer, usually only when the male is away from the territory. She sings more in the fall, perhaps to establish a winter territory.

Did you know research from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

Thanks for the visit, I look forward to your comments,


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Two guys having lunch...

It's cloudy and dreary here in central Florida today. Tough day to capture anything. I was walking by the Applebee's on my lunch time walk today and saw these two sitting just outside of the outdoor cafe section eating nuts. I hope they left a nice tip! Click on the picture to get a detailed view.

Thanks for stopping by!


Sunday, January 11, 2009

Muscovy Duck...

To Bird Girl...

Barb you asked about a bird in my post called Crane's Roost and the Little Blue Heron...

In the first picture there is a duck hiding in the shadows. It is called the Muscovy duck and I could never get him/her to come out for a shot. So I did some research for you, and me, and got you an answer. Research from Everything from this point and below is from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Enjoy...

Feral, domestic muscovies are abundant in Florida, particularly in residential and park situations. These birds were released primarily by private individuals for ornamental purposes or as pets. Domestic muscovies continue to create nuisance problems throughout the state. To our knowledge, no populations of wild-strain muscovies have been established in Florida.

Muscovies are protected by Florida Statute 828.12 regarding animal cruelty. However, because these birds originated in Florida from domestic stock, they are not considered "wildlife." Therefore, they are not protected by state wildlife laws nor laws set forth by the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Muscovy ducks have been introduced into urban and suburban areas in Florida where they often occur in high densities. Muscovies can be extremely prolific, and local populations, if uncontrolled, can increase dramatically in a short time. As a result, controversies frequently arise between residents who enjoy the birds and residents who consider them a nuisance.

Domestic or captive-reared ducks, such as muscovies, can transmit disease to wild waterfowl. All confirmed outbreaks of DVE, also known as duck plague (a sometimes-devastating viral infection), in wild waterfowl have been linked to domestic or captive-raised waterfowl. Fowl cholera is another serious disease that is transmittable between domestic and wild waterfowl. Although we have had no major outbreaks reported yet in Florida, the potential for muscovies to spread disease to wild waterfowl remains a biological concern.

People often wonder about moving the problem muscovies to other areas. We consider feral domestic ducks to be undesirable in the wild because of their potential to transmit diseases to or interbreed with Florida's native waterfowl. To minimize these problems, Florida Statute 372.265 prohibits the release of exotic animals, including muscovies. Therefore, relocating muscovies into a wild situation is not a legitimate or appropriate solution to nuisance problems. You could, however, move muscovies to a captive situation where they would not come into contact with wildlife and would not escape.

Muscovy ducks, like other domestic animals, are considered private property. If someone claims ownership, the birds are the owner's to do with as he or she pleases, so long as Florida Statute 828.12 regarding animal cruelty is not violated. Similarly, if the muscovies have no owner, no state or federal law prohibits their capture and humane euthanization. This can be a last resort to resolve a nuisance problem.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Cranes Roost and the Boat Tailed Grackle...

Next in my list of birds from uptown Altamonte. The Brown Headed Cowbird. Or so I thought...

Update and Edit to this post:
Thanks to my faithful and gracious readers I have a correct ID on this bird as well as a first for me. Friends, I submit to you the Boat-Tailed Grackle. The birds are the same but the information has been changed to the correct bird. So please take the time to see if you can learn something new about the Boat-Tailed Grackle as I certainly learned. If you are reading this post after the edit, I misidentified this bird as a Brown-Headed Cowbird.

Did you know:
A large, long-tailed blackbird, the Boat-tailed Grackle is found exclusively along the Gulf and Atlantic coasts of the United States. The noisy, iridescent, purple-black male is hard to miss when it displays on power lines and telephone poles. The smaller brown female is much less conspicuous, and might even be mistaken for a different species. (sorry, I had to hightlight that part!)

Sex Differences
Male iridescent black. Female dull brown and significantly smaller.

Eye color in the Boat-tailed Grackle varies from region to region. Grackles along the Atlantic coast north of Florida have straw-colored eyes. Florida birds have dark eyes. Grackles west of Florida to eastern Louisiana have light eyes, but those further west have dark ones.

Fledglings that fall into the water can swim well for short distances, using their wings as paddles.
The Boat-tailed Grackle has an odd mating system: harem defense polygyny. Females cluster their nests, and the males compete to defend the entire colony and mate there. The most dominant male gets most of the copulations in a system similar to that used by many deer. But all is not as simple as it seems. Although the dominant male may get up to 87% of the copulations at a colony, DNA fingerprinting shows that he actually sires only about 25% of the young in the colony. Most of the young are fathered by noncolony males away from the colonies.

Did you know brought to you by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

Thanks for stopping by and please leave a comment. Also a big thank you to all of the birders out there that help me all the time to learn more and more about the birding world!