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About Saphine

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    Sooty Chicken
  • Birthday December 29

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  • Location
    Union County, North Carolina
  • Interests
    Birding (duh!), art, gardening,plants, butterflies

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  1. Yup, that's a Firecrest! Nice photo.
  2. It definitely should help. A lot of people from my year went on to attending Cornell. Fyi tips for getting into the YBE: -They definitely prefer girls/out of country people: they get a lot of guys applying, so they tend to select girls since there are less of us. They try to get people from out of the US too- my year we had a Canadian (hardly counts, I know), 2 guys from India, and a guy from Guatemala. I think in 2016 they had a guy from Brazil and someone from the UK. -They also prefer seniors, mainly because when you're a senior it's your last chance to apply and get in. One of my friends applied for like 3 years in a row until they finally accepted him. With this in mind, I'd start as early as possible. I got kinda lucky and went when I was a freshman, but I think that's because of rule 1 lol. -Unfortunately for everyone, more and more people have been applying (in 2014 I think only 70 people applied; I was told in 2016 over 150 had but I'm not 100%) so do double check your application. But, don't stress out too much over it, especially if you have multiple chances of getting in (later years). To be honest, looking back over my application it's a wonder I got in... but I'm glad I did. It's a really cool experience and I think everyone should give it a shot. The cost to go isn't much ($600) and most local clubs can cover that. It really does open your eyes to what a career in birding can look like.
  3. I have! I attended in 2014, when I was more of a beginner. You get to mess around with some of their awesome equipment (microphones, video cameras, etc.) check out the specimen collection (which is pretty amazing), work with eBird/Merlin a bit, and bird with some of the best birders in the country. It is a bit short, but it's really worth it. Also, it looks good on resumes/college applications!
  4. Maybe the best reported trip... Jack and I's trips to the OBX were pretty awesome. (Albeit one of those trips mostly took place in 2016)
  5. Mine is still Gray Kingbird in FL... we're going to Orlando in April and it'll be another case of "so close, but so far". Oh well. I think my #1 right now is Common Goldeneye, I've had 0 luck in finding them.
  6. Just gonna leave this here...
  7. My patch is my neighborhood. There's a nature trail that runs alongside a power cut. The habitat is lawn, mixed forest, shrubby/scrub habitat along the powerline, and a small stream within the forest. That is all surrounded by suburbs. There's also some mature hardwood forest which is beautiful, but, of course, it's going to be developed. I'm hoping they at least leave some parts intact, but I doubt it. Anyway, I'm proud of what I've managed to find in it. It's not quality habitat at all. I've found 26 species of warbler (counting chat), including Kentucky and Wilson's (both are pretty good for a random patch of woods in the middle of the suburbs), Clay-colored Sparrow, Merlin, and Sedge Wren. I've also recorded 54 breeding species (which will be less, thanks to that development). I also keep a list of needs for that spot... things I should be able to find relatively easily. Right now, I'm looking for Orange-crowned Warblers and White-crowned Sparrows. I'm also considering going owling one of these nights and seeing if I can rustle up a screech-owl.
  8. My yard isn't too big; our property is a third of an acre and the house takes up about a third of that. The front yard is mostly just lawn, and the back has some more shrubs/trees, but it's all fairly young growth (10 yrs). I have a variety of feeders (it definitely helps that I work at a Wild Birds Unlimited!) that changes depending on the season. Right now, I have 2 tube feeders, a Dinner Bell, a hopper feeder, a suet log feeder and suet feeders. I get your average feeder birds- cardinals, House Finches, doves, chickadees, titmice, a Downy Woodpecker or two, juncos, white-throats, towhees, thrashers, Carolina Wrens, Yellow-rumps, kinglets, starlings, house sparrows, Song Sparrows, goldfinches, etc. My neighborhood is full of lawns; it was only until recently (2 yrs ago or so) that I started getting some more woodland species, such as Downy Woodpeckers and Tufted Titmice. I'm hoping this keeps up- Blue Jays and Red-bellied Woodpeckers are starting to become slightly more common! I also have an ant moat and a hummingbird feeder (Aspects) that I keep filled up with water in the winter. The chickadees, mockingbird, cardinals, and goldfinches enjoy drinking from it.
  9. I think he may be referring to the Old World Warblers, since our New World Warblers aren't the "original" warblers.
  10. You'd be surprised, swallows aren't really too unexpected. They're good fliers, so it makes sense that one could end up out there.
  11. One of my favorite lists...
  12. I'm doing Bodie/Oregon Inlet Fri morning with Jack, Pea Island (both ponds) in the afternoon, and on Sat the all day Mattamuskeet trip. Too bad you can't stay longer!
  13. I think it's a tough call between Common Greenshank and Marsh Sandpiper... I don't have my guide with me right now, but I'd agree with Common Greenshank, due to the slightly upcurved bill and the projection of the feet behind the tail. Marsh Sandpiper has longer legs and a straighter bill, but also can be pretty pale like this bird is.
  14. Not this again... Anyway, it isn't the case anymore. If you read "A World of Watchers", a good book on the history of ornithology in the US, it explains. Most ornithologists didn't have optics (there weren't many Swaros back then) and wanted to see birds up close only had one option, shooting the birds. That allowed for obviously good looks, and ornithologists ended up naming birds based on small details that were hard to see in the field (ring-necked, red-bellied, orange-crowned, etc.) Binoculars ended up replacing guns, and thanks to people like Roger Tory Peterson who started the first field guides, there wasn't a need to kill birds for identification anymore. Unfortunately we do still need to kill birds for specimens, but it isn't a free-for-all, Passenger Pigeon-esque type of shootout on birds.