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Charlie Spencer

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Everything posted by Charlie Spencer

  1. What is your favorite bird?

    I'll stick with whatever I saw most recently. Today it's a Pine Warbler. Tomorrow? Who knows.
  2. A bad day birding is better than a good day at work.
  3. Pileated Woodpecker

    Aren't they beautiful? As soon as I can take a decent photo of one, I'm setting it as my avatar. They'll come to suet. If squirrels or raccoons aren't a problem, you can nail a standard suet feeder to a tree trunk. That will provide a natural tail prop. Similarly, you can make a suet feeder with a tail prop by nailing a standard feeder to a 1" x 6" board, about 18" long. Nail the feeder near the top so about a foot or so of the board sticks out at the bottom. You may have to mount it on a pole so it doesn't swing when the bird lands. You may not get Pileateds, but there are plenty of other birds that will come to suet. Bluebirds, wrens, other woodpeckers, mockingbirds, etc.
  4. Best design for feeders to hang on balcony

    If you're going to a public park, it would be easier to bring seed and scatter it on the ground. The birds will still eat it, and you won't have to worry about people taking the feeders. Does your building have a courtyard, plaza, or other common area? Maybe management would allow you to install a feeder.
  5. Mystery bird at my feeder

    The enhanced third photo makes the tail almost invisible. The first photo does a better job of showing the tail length. "Cry 'Havok!', and let slip the dogs of war!"
  6. Mystery bird at my feeder

    Ugly? I'm sure Mamma Cowbird doesn't think so! Oh, wait a minute ...
  7. Anybody have an idea what this is?

    How does that differ from using the same words in a post or reply?
  8. Adding to the cacophony of scaups

  9. Anybody have an idea what this is?

    I overlook them too, and I'm not sure why. I'm not really sure what function they perform, here or anywhere else.
  10. Mystery bird at my feeder

    At a feeder?
  11. Black Mystery Birds

    Nothing that can't be cured by 24" at 1680x1050 resolution.
  12. Anybody have an idea what this is?

    Great photo, by the way!
  13. Mystery bird at my feeder

    The eye stripe is too bold for a Purple Finch, and there isn't any streaking on the underparts.
  14. Unknown Bird

    Your photo shows the bird in its winter plumage. The book may show it in breeding / spring & summer colors, which are darker. I'm always surprised when the first one in breeding plumage shows up at my feeder in the spring, after I've been looking at winter ones for months.
  15. There's a great American Robin over here:
  16. Help me identify this beautiful bird?

    Welcome! Male Eastern Bluebird. The females are similarly marked but their colors are not as bright. Beautiful, aren't they?
  17. Dark Eyed Junko

    @The Bird Nuts I've only seen them eating by naked eye, and with my vision it looks like they're holding the seed. Thanks for the info! There's a great article in this month's 'Living Bird' about the food storing habits of Grey Jays.
  18. flying squirrels

    My apologies, but I forgot about the southern species. Still, the hot pepper suet should run them off.
  19. Anyone Know What Bird This Is?

    And that's a very interesting way of describing it!
  20. Black Mystery Birds

    The wings are too long relative to the body. On that many birds, the outside white tail feathers would be visible on at least one of them.
  21. Downy or hairy?

    @mamabirdnerd10, that 'little guy' is a female. With both Downy and Hairy, the males have red splotch on the back of their heads. The females are just black and white. It will be easier for us to answer your eventual House vs. Purple question if you'll include your location. If you want to, click your name in the upper right and edit your profile. Welcome to you and your nestlings.
  22. flying squirrels

    I'm waiting for pictures too, since flying squirrels aren't native to the Charlotte area. I suspect she has gray squirrels, and that her suet feeder is located within 5 feet of a launching point. Geronimo! Tell her to try hot pepper suet, or move the feeder.
  23. Dark Eyed Junko

    Yeah, they're almost exclusively ground feeders, along with doves and some sparrows. Chickadees, titmice, and nuthatches show another fun feeder behavior. They'll eat seeds, but their bills aren't well-adapted to shelling seeds like cardinal and finch bills. Instead, they'll take a seed, fly off with it to a tree branch or other support, then hold the seed between their feet while they hammer it open. You'll see them land on the feeder, take off with the seed after a few seconds, return to get another seed, take off, etc. Many of them have preferred 'anvils' they fly back to each time to open the seeds. A few may learn to hammer the seeds open right on the feeder itself, saving the energy of flying back and forth.
  24. Ebird question

    @MerMaeve, I added you to a private conversation with the backstory on this one.
  25. Winter 2017-2018 Finch Forecast

    Here further south, a couple of my American Goldfinches are showing patches of bright yellow breeding colors. Yesterday I had my first Brown-Headed Cowbird in weeks / months. If you don't have irruptive finches by now, you may not be getting them this year.