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 Post subject: Re: Migrators this weekend - MORE Added as they show up!
Post Posted: May 18, 2019 7:06 am 
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Location: "and the flag was still there".
My Tanager couple are finally back! One of the happiest moments of the year!! :D

Still watching for Black-headeds.

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 Post subject: Re: Migrators this weekend - MORE Added as they show up!
Post Posted: May 18, 2019 7:51 am 
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We are blessed. We, too, are at 9,000 feet. No stream, but there is a seasonal creek with willows that bring in the Red-winged Blackbirds. Not running yet this year??? Red wings are here though. Deer Creek is not too far away and there are big ponds in the Valley where we see waterfowl. But we provide water here at the house every day. That is a big factor. It is forested here with aspens right around the house that provide shelter for the feeders.

Our feeders are almost always full. If we are traveling, we have a friend drop by to fill the seed, suet and water.
I think the really big factor is that we have lived here a long time and always fed the birds. So there are many local birds and migrators that have stopped here for generations. They know this is a (relatively) safe refuge. There have been a few times we have had local domestic and ferrel cats hunt the feeders. We have used squirt guns and soakers filled with ammonia solution to discourage that. A face full of ammonia is pretty effective and they remember.

It's quiet here, too. No banging, crashing, mowing, whacking or other loud noises. Although I know bird feeding people who are constantly doing those things and if the birds have food and water, they get used to it to some extent.

BGR always has his camera handy and that is a factor for getting neat birds posted here. Plus, we both find it peaceful and meditative to watch the birds and pay attention to their behaviors. Over the years we recognize when something is off or new and pay even closer attention. That often tips us to a predator finding a new route to "lunch."
It is also why we notice new species and returning migrators. Often the migrators only feed once or twice so you have to notice them when they arrive. BGR and I are both pretty situationally aware as a way of life. That, too, is a factor. We can be working inside or out and an unusual movement or color gets our attention. Of course, we have LOTS of windows so there is a sense of being outdoors even working at our desks.

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I'm so glad your Tanagers are back. We are a little high for them to nest, I think. But we always see them several times a year and they are remarkable and breath-taking to see. Once we saw a Summer Tanager in Wyoming and it was so beautiful, it almost stopped my heart. The Summer Tanager and a one-time Blue Grosbeak are images in my head I frequently use to break a funk. They remind me of how very lucky in life I am. I want for nothing.
Mrs. BGR

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 Post subject: Re: Migrators this weekend - MORE Added as they show up!
Post Posted: May 18, 2019 9:50 am 
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If you want to see Grosbeaks, just take a drive down Elk Creek Rd. They love it here, I've got at least 10 pairs that hit our feeders perennially. The Nuthatches, Chickadees, and Tanagers are also abundant, but I have yet to see a Goldfinch or Crossbill...must not be canyon dwellers. We had a Great Blue Heron fly through yesterday, right along the creek and maybe ten feet up, which is impressive because the creek is pretty narrow here and heavily treed and they've got an amazing wing span. I grew up on all three American coasts and one thing I've always found a little disconcerting about this area is the lack of Seagulls. lol As a kid, I would go out into our back yard(s) and hold up a piece of bread and within five minutes have approximately 7.2 billion Seagulls eating out of my hand. lol I do get my fix though...every few years we take a camping vacation at Padre Island National Seashore...I go out every morning with a cast net to catch bait and the Laughing Gulls always gather around to remind me to keep the lid on the bait bucket. lol Little thieves.

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 Post subject: Re: Migrators this weekend - MORE Added as they show up!
Post Posted: May 18, 2019 12:44 pm 
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That's funny about the seagulls. I had an Alfred Hitchcock moment in St. Pete., Fla., went to feed the gulls some stale bread and like you said 7.2 million came right at me! I tossed the bread and ran. Don't you love that Great Blue heron? I'm way upstream on Elk Creek and he stalks the banks spearing fish. Mrs. BGR--great tip about just putting out water. We have a lot of black bears and I didn't want to attract them by putting out seed or suet. Besides I have three cats who go outside (supervised) for a few hours everyday and don't want them to bother birds. They can't help it, it's natural for them. But I enjoy your photos so much. It must bring you great pleasure to see so much beauty out your window!


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 Post subject: Re: Migrators this weekend - MORE Added as they show up!
Post Posted: May 18, 2019 7:05 pm 
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I haven’t shopped there in a good many years but I do remember seagulls in the Conifer Safeway parking lot. They would stand on the light poles like some tall slender pier waiting for the tide to turn, or someone to drop a French fry from sonic....


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 Post subject: Re: Migrators this weekend - MORE Added as they show up!
Post Posted: May 18, 2019 9:35 pm 
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We finally got a shot of the female Black-headed Grosbeak!
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She is VERY nervous and flighty!
I had to sneak around a corner until I could barely frame the shot!
That - and try to keep my "internal energy" suppressed as we are sure the birds can sense excitement near themselves!
Try that trick out someday when you are stalking a bird/critter for a shot!
Flowers don't seem to care!

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 Post subject: Re: Migrators this weekend - MORE Added as they show up!
Post Posted: May 20, 2019 8:19 am 
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Location: "and the flag was still there".
I just had a visitor at my black oily seed I've never seen before. He was all black and kind of resembled a Junco, but larger, smaller than a Robin, but same shape. My Merlin is down so no help there. Any ideas? he is solid black with no markings so not a black bird. Also, he was smaller than that, dark eyes.

Maybe an all black female Bronzed Cowbird that's far north of her territory?

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Post Posted: May 20, 2019 6:24 pm 
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Thanks so much for posting the great pic of the Crossbills. We were not sure what they were and are FLOODED with them today, as soon as the snow stopped. At least 20. Wow. So beautiful. Bonnie


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 Post subject: Re: Migrators this weekend - MORE Added as they show up!
Post Posted: May 20, 2019 9:54 pm 
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Spotted this Indigo Bunting at our thistle feeder today between the snowflakes. First time sighting for us!

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 Post subject: Re: Migrators this weekend - MORE Added as they show up!
Post Posted: May 23, 2019 7:47 am 
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White-crowned Sparrows at the feeder this morning. :O)
This particular batch drops by each Spring (?) on their way
to the way high country to nest.
Mrs. BGR

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 Post subject: Re: Migrators this weekend - MORE Added as they show up!
Post Posted: May 23, 2019 8:06 am 
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Location: "and the flag was still there".
You guys have birds I long to see! Indigo bunting (!!!) and White crowned Sparrows are on my life list.

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Post Posted: May 23, 2019 8:13 am 
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pretty sure I saw a painted bunting with mate fly through my yard in Aspen Park yesterday


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