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      Whatbird Forums Rules   01/08/17

      'Help Me Identify a Bird' rules: When posting a new thread, please: 1. Read the FAQ and forum rules before posting 2. Include the location in your Post when seeking ID 3. Include the date of the sighting 4. Provide a photo or detailed description of the bird Forum rules: By posting in the WhatBird forums you agree to the following board rules: 1. You will be tolerant and respectful of your fellow members 2. You will not spam 3. You will not post sexually explicit, vulgar or racist material 4. You will not advertise or sell products 5. You will not discuss illegal activities 6. You will keep topics of religion and politics to a bare minimum 7. You will not take advantage of chat to break any of the above rules. 8. Members will not discuss homosexuality nor make any comments about others' sexuality. Breaking any of these rules may result in a suspension or a permanent ban from the forums!! Furthermore, anyone who causes continuous dissent and disarray in the forums will be banned as seen fit by the forum moderators under the pretense of "trolling." Gallery photos: Regarding photos in the Whatbird gallery, please keep in mind that the copyright belongs to the person who took the photo. So please do not use any of the Gallery photos without requesting permission from the photographer. Forum Photos: If you use photos other than your own, please place a link to the referenced photo and do not post other photographer's work directly.
Charlie Spencer

Things I've Learned in the Field

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I was in Pittsburgh, PA on business this week.  I learned that American Goldfinches will pull the seeds out of Sweet Gum 'gumballs' still hanging on the trees.

What surprises have you learned about birds from observations out in the field?  It doesn't have to be revelatory or ground-breaking, just something you didn't know before you observed it.

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I saw a Red-tailed Hawk hunting and eating Crayfish from a small drainage ditch creek. There was a huge pile of Crayfish exoskeletons under his telephone pole perch. Never heard of that before.

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Osprey will hunt in ocean waves. We were in Virginia Beach once and watched multiple Osprey pulling some sort of needlefish out of the surf over and over again.

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Gulls can get caught in breaking waves on the beach and drown. I saw a Western Gull under the surface of the water at the beach. I scooped him up with one hand, and he dried out on the beach.

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Puddles are important.  I was birding in a local hotspot in mixed pine / deciduous forest, with a hard-packed dirt road cutting through it.  A recent rain had left a shallow puddle in the road, no more than 3/4" deep.  The area had plenty of other water sources - creeks, river, pools, etc.  But that shallow water drew six small species in 15 minutes.

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