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Showing most liked content since 03/14/12 in all areas

  1. 63 points
    You just might be addicted to Birding if: 1. You wear your binoculars to the park for family get togethers. 2. Your non-birding family outings just happen to be to places having the best shot at bagging you a lifer. 3. Your wife introduces you to her friends as "My bird nerd husband." 4. You have swerved or otherwise drove erratically while gazing up at a bird, to make sure you got a positive ID. 5. Your wife asks "How was work?" You respond with "Not Bad. I saw five American Kestrels on the drive in, a White-tailed Kite at lunch, and a Barn Owl on the drive home!" 6. Your three year old daughter calls out birds to you while you're driving. 7. Said three year old could have a life list of over 120 species, if she could remember all the birds she has been shown and told about. 8. You have been "just a few minutes" late to work, going over to your mom's, school, put off paperwork, chores, or other important tasks, because you were checking out posts on WhatBird forums. 9. You try to talk up random strangers you see that are wearing t-shirts with pictures of specific birds on them, only to receive blank stares and the comment "I don't know or care what bird that is, someone gave me this shirt." 10. You divide the year up by Fall migration, Winter residents, Spring migration, and Breeding season. You reference it like " I'm going to need to rotate the tires before Spring migration," or "Rick's birthday? Oh yah, that's at the beginning of Fall migration." 11. Your three year old daughter comes up behind you when you're looking at the ID forum, and says " That's a Red-tailed Hawk!" And she's right. 12. Your wife wishes you never discovered WhatBird, because you "spend too much time on there." 13. And last, (for now,) you believe in Bigfoot, and he moderates your favorite forum. Just off the top of my head. Feel free to add your own to the list.........
  2. 43 points
    I'll try to restrain myself. Over the last four years of birding and photography, I've been fortunate enough to see lots of cool birds and some nice photos along the way. This still ranks as one of my absolute favorite pictures, and one I am quite proud of. Firstly, it was a fairly rare bird, so that always increases the intrinsic "value" of the bird to me. I also had spent a fair amount of time looking for this bird. Eventually it flew from parts unknown, directly over my head, and perched in perfect sunlight only about 20 feet away. I was shocked, and thankfully my camera actually focused correctly, and that I wasn't so excited that my hands were shaking too much to ruin the picture. This was the first, and still only, time that I then took the memory card out of my camera just to be sure that the card wouldn't get corrupted or otherwise ruined and lose the pictures. Rufous-capped Warbler by mattag2002, on Flickr
  3. 36 points
    Me and my oldest daughter...........
  4. 35 points
    I photographed this American Woodcock at an old cemetery in the heart of downtown Cleveland, Ohio (3-22-14)
  5. 35 points
    I went for the second time to the Buena Vista Prairie Chicken Management Area, near Plover, WI, to hopefully spot the Gyrfalcon that was reported there. I searched for a couple hours and decided to call it quits, only to pull over on the road to take a pic of another Snowy Owl. I just can't drive by without getting a pic of them. They are so stunning. Suddenly the owl looked like it was going to fly and I got excited because I haven't gotten an "in flight" Snowy pic that I am happy with yet. Seemingly out of nowhere, the Gyrfalcon showed up to harass the owl. What I mistook for the owl starting to fly, was actually his preparation for the confrontation. The Gyr made about 5 passes at the owl and then was gone. This is truly a moment I will never forget and most likely never witness again. It was brief, but...wow. The Gyrfalcon was a lifer!
  6. 34 points
    This thread is for all of Whatbirds young birders, under 20, to post their sightings and recent events in their birding life and on occasion, other non-birding jazz. Irrelevant topics are expected. To all adults on the forum: yes, this is an exclusive club. No offense.
  7. 34 points
  8. 33 points
    I'm sure we've all photographed some uncooperative subjects, but how many of you have had a bird give you the finger for taking their picture?
  9. 33 points
    Ok, me age 5 in Norway with an Eurasian pygmy owl that crashed into our window during the night.
  10. 33 points
    Egret #1: HEY! Get off my branch! Egret #2: I was here first. YOU get off! Egret #1: I said get OFF! Egret #2: I'm not moving. YOU get off! Mom Egret (lower center): You two KNOCK IT OFF! There's enough room on that branch for both of you. Friends (far right): Oh boy. They're at it again. Egret #2: Fine. We'll share, but don't look at me.
  11. 31 points
    2013 BIG YEAR SUMMARY, part 2 There are a few people, who have helped as we’ve gone along, and it would be extremely wrong of me to not thank them in this report. As you will read in a few moments, we began 2013 as relatively inexperienced birders. Even now, we remain always anxious to learn something new. We’ve been extremely fortunate to have met/had the assistance of some truly great birders along the way. Special thanks go to Frank Nicoletti in Minnesota, Paul Lehman from California/Gambell, Wes Fritz from California, and Laurens Halsey and Melody Kehl in Arizona. Thanks to the pelagic experts, Debi Shearwater and her team of ace spotters in California, and Brian Patteson and his first mate, Kate, out of Cape Hatteras, NC. I had a great time hanging out with my new friends from Tropical Birding, namely Scott Watson, Andrew Spencer, Andres Vasquez, and Sam Woods. Huge thanks go to the pros out at St. Paul Island; Doug Gochfeld, Scott Schuette, and Cameron Cox. Also, a big thank you goes out to those many unknown strangers who reported their rarity findings via ebird or NARBA. There is simply no way those birds would’ve been seen without them. I can’t say “THANK YOU” large enough to Bob Ake. Bob has been a mentor, taking us under his wing. He has generously given us his time and expertise, always providing useful information or the right words of encouragement at the perfect time. Thank you very much Bob. Despite the BIG Year being finished, I hope that we will continue to meet for our lunches. Thank you to all the members of this site who have offered encouragement, read a trip report, or “liked” something I posted. I sincerely appreciate you. Having you along for the journey has really helped along the way. There are many, many of you who have offered tips, and who I’ve had the privilege of having private conversations with. There were so many times when I stopped to take a photo, that I wouldn’t have taken otherwise, knowing that it would be good for a trip report. It has been really fun having you along. Please know that I consider you to be friends and I sincerely hope to meet all of you in the field someday. More than anyone else, I have to thank the woman who allows me to hang out with her. Marie. Where do I begin with Marie? As I’ve indicated before, there is a very important part of this story that I haven’t shared up to this point. Now is the time to do that, as it lends perspective to the project and my lackadaisical attitude towards 700. In October 2012, I came home from a meeting one evening and found Marie lying on the floor, curled up in a ball, shaking and sweating. She didn’t know what was wrong with her, but she knew that she was in trouble. She even went so far as to make me promise to look out for her son and his young family. Marie said that it felt like she had torn a muscle in her chest, but somehow, she instinctively knew that things were much worse and she could tell that she was dying. The ambulance took her to the hospital, where, after a CAT scan, she was rushed into surgery. Unbeknownst to her, an aneurysm had been growing near her aorta since she was a child. This evening was when it decided to burst. I’ve learned that when this injury occurs, the individual usually has about 8 minutes to live. Ninety percent of the people don’t even make it to the hospital. Marie went into shock right before the surgery. Almost no one survives when that happens. In her particular case, she didn’t go into the operating room until two and ½ after the aneurysm burst! The next ten and ½ hours crawled by as the surgical team operated on her, attempting to save her life. The surgeon would later explain to us that when he sees this injury, the wound is usually about 2 inches in length. In Marie’s case, it was 7 inches. He had never experienced anything like this before, and told us that he had almost stopped the surgery immediately. The explanation that he gave was that it looked as if a grenade had gone off inside her rib cage. Marie spent the next five days in a medically induced coma, surviving with the aid of life support machines, ready to go back into surgery in case something went wrong. While in the coma, the doctors warned us that she might not be the same person we knew before the injury. There was the possibility of paralysis or brain damage. There was a very real chance that she may have to be institutionalized. Through the grace of God, the expertise of the medical team, and Marie’s hard work, I am so happy to report that, a little more than a year later, she is almost completely recovered. In late December of 2012, we purchased the movie “The Big Year” and watched it for the first time. We had done a little birding the previous two winters, always near the house, and had a life list of 132 species. While Marie recovered, our favorite activity, golf, was out of the question. Part of the prescribed healing process was light exercise, and, as long as it wasn’t too strenuous, some hiking was a healthy activity. I think it was December 29, 2012 when we had a discussion about growing our life lists. We felt that if we could see 350 species throughout the course of the year, it would be an amazing accomplishment. As you can imagine, almost dying changes your outlook on life. Marie had always wanted to visit Texas and Maine. Those were the first two trips we took together. Throughout the course of the year, we were able to share most of the outings. The main exceptions were when I was out chasing one or two birds, the trip to Colorado, or the two trips to Alaska. Even those times when I went on the road alone, she was always there, making last minute flight changes, or making rental car and lodging arrangements. The idea of chasing 700 birds never crossed our minds early on. I’m writing this on November 2, 2013 while I sit in the Tucson airport. If we don’t reach 700, it really isn’t a big deal. From the beginning, this entire thing is about Marie healing, and the project has been a part of that process. It has been a distraction from medical visits, and we’ve had a great time. My favorite moments of the journey all involve her. Watching everyone get excited when she found the Blue-winged Warbler at High Island, or especially the Antillean Nighthawk out at Fort Jefferson in the Dry Tortugas. Seeing how happy she was when we visited Frank Nicoletti and got to interact with the Northern Saw-whet Owls. I loved when we were spontaneously jumping up and down like little kids after finding the Yellow-throated Warbler in northern Ohio. For us, 2013 was an extremely BIG Year, but a lot of it had nothing to do with birds. Marie, I love you. Thank you so much for everything. Ron Please don't take tomorrow or your loved ones for granted.
  12. 30 points
    An ode (mode) to an infamous Whatbird legend: RIP our dear Fyn October 2013-April 2016 BIGFOOT: I SENT THIS TO FYN AND HE HAS NO PROBLEM WITH IT. ALL IN FUN.
  13. 29 points
    Help! I can't get up! Black Skimmer chick! by Owen Strickland, on Flickr
  14. 29 points
    ...do..do..do..lookin' out my backdoor..
  15. 29 points
    Because you have a booger on your beak!
  16. 28 points
    I'll start with this, though it's not the best I have taken, but was the best today. Black-headed Grosbeak female, Silverado, CA by canyon53ss, on Flickr Edited to include this: 1/400 ƒ/8 ISO 640 215 mm handheld.
  17. 28 points
    Since I don't post here every day and I'm having such a hard time choosing LOL, these are my favs from today. I had a GREAT birding day! Gray-crowned Yellowthroat ~ Lifer today. Ringed Kingfisher ~ Lifer today. Nashville Warbler ~ I just like this pic. Coot ~ I love that it's feet are in the shot and look at that eye!!
  18. 27 points
    What I saw today were two of our awesome, young Whatbirders! I had the pleasure of spending this morning with Parula, Shenandoah Kestral, and his Godmother. These two gentlemen reached out to me, in effort to help get a Kentucky Warbler for my BIG Year project. Although the bird didn’t cooperate today, I had an absolute blast looking for it with these guys. Nothing gets by these two; the slightest little chirp and they are right on the bird. You two rock! Thanks, Ron
  19. 25 points
    Red-bellied Woodpecker IMG_0350 by toddcameron, on Flickr My Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/94870854@N06/12489457554/
  20. 25 points
    Though elevated to First Tenor, Bob sometimes struggled with High C. Untitled by canyon53ss, on Flickr
  21. 25 points
    ...and please God, don't let the Seahawks mess it up this time. Amen. ChickadeePrayer by RaptorGurl, on Flickr
  22. 24 points
    Great Horned Owl by Johnny, on Flickr Yellow-bellied Sasucker by Johnny, on Flickr
  23. 24 points
    peregrine falcon during snow storm
  24. 24 points
    Just kidding...I just thought it was a neat pic that my sister took. MODERATORS. I know this is off topic, just delete it if you want.
  25. 24 points
    Benjamin's cool flight shot of the Osprey above reminded me of a similar shot I got of an eagle. I almost fell over backwards when it flew overhead while hand holding my 500. This shot is almost full frame, that's how close it came! Couple of Great Horned Owlets making eye contact with me.
  26. 23 points
    Prothonotary Warbler 6-17-17, Ohio
  27. 23 points
  28. 22 points
    What you've all been waiting for: YERA & Rice festival pics! Definitely a successful weekend birding, herping, and photography wise. 3 herp lifers: Blackmask Racer, Western Green Watersnake, and Broad-banded Watersnake. Bird lifers (world): Yellow Rail, Le Conte's Sparrow, Franklin's Gull, Fulvous Whistling-Duck, Vermillion Flycatcher, Snowy Plover, and White-tailed Kite. ABA lifers Crested Caracara and Great Kiskadee as well. Here's the whole album: https://www.flickr.com/photos/90726323@N05/albums/72157676282941355 Some of my faves: Yellow Rail by Jack Rogers, on Flickr (amazingly lucky to see one out in the open on the ground!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) Neotropic Cormorant by Jack Rogers, on Flickr AHY Swamp Sparrow in hand by Jack Rogers, on Flickr Great Egret by Jack Rogers, on Flickr Interior Nelson's Sparrow by Jack Rogers, on Flickr Gulf Coast Seaside Sparrow by Jack Rogers, on Flickr Gulf Coast Clapper Rail by Jack Rogers, on Flickr
  29. 22 points
  30. 22 points
  31. 22 points
    A combination of situations, some negative, some positive, caused me to take a "hiatus" from this forum over two years ago. These situations were mostly my own life, nothing negative stemming from Whatbird at all. I have continued birding throughout this span, though I have not viewed this forum since April 2014. I'm back now though, hoping that some of you remember me, and I'm sure there are many other birders, hopefully some other young people that I do not know yet who have joined in my absence to this fantastic community that has helped shape me as a birder for years. This is the first place where I could interact with other young birders, and this place is an amazing one for people of all ages to share their love of birds and other aspects of nature! I hope to once again become a regular contributor to Whatbird for years to come!
  32. 22 points
    PINE FLYCATCHER http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S30016389
  33. 22 points
    You guys get a special treat and get to see these before the trip report. Shh, don't tell anyone, this can be our little secret, eh.
  34. 22 points
    A couple of recent shots, the Woodie from yesterday and the Hoodie from last Sunday. Both taken from the same spot.
  35. 22 points
  36. 22 points
    The Story of the String Wow, that looks like something I can use! But I have to get by the bird who's following me. -Mine. -No, mine. -No, really, it's mine. -NO. MINE. -Give it to me! -You can't have it! -Look, I had it first. -Sorry. You snooze, you lose. Ahhh. Sweet success. Wait, what happened? I thought everybody wanted me.
  37. 22 points
    Well this is my 10,000 post and I figured I should do something different about it. I wanted to thank all the whatbird members for keeping me interested in birds. Early on this site encouraged me to keep looking at birds and learn more about how to ID them. I have learned more stuff on this site then on all other sites I've been on combined. There are too many people to list that have helped, but I figure I could list a few people who have helped a lot. TheBillyPilgrim, darknight, and psweet for pointing out helpful ID tips on just about every bird you could think of. PoorMatty in sparrows, and Aberrant in gulls are two more people who early on helped me learn a lot about those families. Liam, well for a lot of things. Starting the whatbird's young birders topic, and suggesting what camera to get are just two off the top of my head. Creeker, ColoTomo, and CaBirds for giving tons of laughs! And who could forget about the benevolent dictator, BigFoot? Thanks for smashing all the spam BF! All of the young birders on here for creating a friendship with me but I can name a few who I have known longest/have had the most fun with (no offense to the people who aren't on here). Jdeitsch- a while back we'd be the only ones in chat during the early morning. We'd tell jokes and talk about birds of course. Remember the ghost of whatbird, JD? GreatHorn- oh GreatHorn... so many hilarious chatting experiences with you. Shoveler26- You're one of the people four or so people who would chat a lot a long time ago. Lots of fun times when it was us chatting! Melissa- Another person who chatted a lot. Always jealous of your camera, and would always have "Who has the better pictures of this family of birds" wars with me and anybody else in chat! Again, thanks to everybody! There's too many people to name but I figured that I should at least try to name some. Best regards, JimBob
  38. 22 points
    I didn't get a chance to post this yesterday when I photographed it in the morning (celebrated my Mom's birthday in the evening). Like Amber's Prothonotary Warbler, this one also was cooperative. I was on a railroad alongside a swamp photographing the local eagles when this guy started hunting insects in front of me.
  39. 22 points
    2 people go this way, I go the other. So sometimes I get lucky and see things others don't. Check this out... I think this is a Blue Mockingbird,,,so nice!
  40. 21 points
    The best processed yesterday, but far from yesterday's shots LOL I gotta get my hard drive cleaned up!! Eastern Bluebird EABB12012016 by Michelle Summers, on Flickr Northern Harrier NOHA02252017-2 by Michelle Summers, on Flickr
  41. 21 points
    From this morning Wood Duck
  42. 21 points
  43. 21 points
  44. 21 points
    HELLO, EVERYONE! My name is Kojo Baidoo, and I am a 14 year-old birder from Baltimore County, Maryland. I recently attended ABA's Camp Colorado II, and was introduced to Whatbird by a friend there who has, I believe, informed you of the possible joining of a few new youth birders (his username is The Birding Geek). WELL, THAT'S ME! I'm looking forward to sharing my birding experiences with others who have the same interests as I, and I hope to meet many new friends on this site! You can reach me at Kojo Baidoo on Flickr and kojobirder on Instagram. Thank you!
  45. 21 points
    Northern Pygmy-Owl young by David Tonnessen, on Flickr Northern Pygmy Owl Family by David Tonnessen, on Flickr
  46. 21 points
    I am just going to rant for a minute here. Buckeye is a problem. He is knowledgeable and uses that to his advantage by providing intelligible responses, quite a few times correct. Oddly enough, he sticks to the rules and keeps his cool with delicately articulated, almost diplomatic replies. However, he intentionally stirs up trouble by stating an incorrect ID and sticking to it with erroneous evidence to back up his claims. It's not so much that his field marks are wrong. On the contrary, he always supplies appropriate field marks for the bird he is defending. However, he applies them wrong. His opinion on identification is completely wrong. I don't know if he does this to cause trouble or if he honestly thinks his lack of American bird identification application is correct. Either way, his arguments, though well versed and articulate are drizzled in passive aggressiveness and dissent. It's obvious he gets a kick out of causing trouble and he revels in arguing with people. I have come to the conclusion that he is a lonely sociopath with nothing better to do with his time. This is a difficult situation because of he is obviously knowledgeable about birds and is generally "polite" in his responses. However, he is creating much unhappiness in the forums and I can promise you I will do everything I ethically can to have him permanently banned from the forums. We do not need a repeat of markieobrien. Trolls get worse the more you feed them.
  47. 21 points
  48. 21 points
    SpreadHawk by RaptorGurl, on Flickr
  49. 21 points
    Finally got some good images of Brown Creeper, one of my favorite birds! Brown Creeper by Thomas Cantwell - intrepidbirder.com, on Flickr Brown Creeper by Thomas Cantwell - intrepidbirder.com, on Flickr
  50. 21 points
    Today I saw and photographed American Goldfinches, Tree Swallows, three otters, a Black Tern, an American BIttern, numerous American Pelicans, an Osprey, some horses, various ducks, and even a jet flying through the dark half of a half-full super moon. But for all of those there was some kind of problem: too far away, bad lighting, other tech problems, etc. But my best pic was of—wait for it—a Song Sparrow, go figure!