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Author Topic: Do you bird?  (Read 1985 times)

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Offline Zapper

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Re: Do you bird?
« Reply #15 on: June 27, 2019, 08:04:36 PM »
I like to watch all kinds of wild animals but the birds are watching me. I have these magpies and collared doves come onto my balcony and since that's the only place I have a window front these little creeps love to stare inside making me feel like I'm in a certain horror movie.

One time a huge dove tried to get in all curious. It was sitting in my open balcony door like "may I?" and its vast size was filling out half the width of the door it frightened me a little. I was thinking of the massive poops a panicked bird like that would leave behind so I rushed to the door like in slo-mo yelling "noooooo" and that's my dumb story for today.

I do like birds a lot, tho. My favorites are geese because they are so evil. And I also love ducks and small parrots. We can actually observe wild parrots in Germany thanks to a few of them escaping a zoo decades ago.
I would like magpies in theory but their job is to poop all over my balcony so they are not welcome anymore.

Post Merge: June 27, 2019, 08:17:10 PM

Swans are lovely to look at from afar but they are nasty nasty territorial creatures if you are close.

I never mess with swans. My father was almost killed by one when he was young, so had the swan have had its way I wouldn't even exist today :lol:
Basically, his friend tricked him to paddleboat into breeding swan territory and the enraged couple flew at my dads eyes and neck in tandem, trying to slice his throat with their little raptor claws. Eventually they could leave their territory and the swans backed off. He had blood all over him when they escaped and the friend was just like "lol!"
I also heard geese go for the achilles tendon when you run away and once you are down they go for your throat.
Reminds me of Jurassic Park. Clever girls :lol:
« Last Edit: June 27, 2019, 08:17:10 PM by Zapper »

Offline Broken Irishwoman

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Re: Do you bird?
« Reply #16 on: June 28, 2019, 06:14:46 PM »
Yes, I love birds! :D About ten years ago I started to "study" them (basically just learning their names and such), and I've already seen quite a lot of them in real life. I get really excited when I see a "new" bird. We also had baby great tits on our balcony this spring, so adorable. :D

One time a huge dove tried to get in all curious. It was sitting in my open balcony door like "may I?" and its vast size was filling out half the width of the door it frightened me a little. I was thinking of the massive poops a panicked bird like that would leave behind so I rushed to the door like in slo-mo yelling "noooooo" and that's my dumb story for today.

I love your story. XD My mother always claps her hands when there are huge doves in her backyard, she doesn't want them near either. XD
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Offline Galactica

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Re: Do you bird?
« Reply #17 on: June 28, 2019, 06:40:06 PM »
We have family members who are official "birders" but we just like to look casually and then look them up in books  :biggrin:

The best place I went for birding was Ecuador!  We were with a "birder" tour group and they were going nuts every 5 seconds


In my experience neither mute swans nor canada geese are in the slightest bit nasty.

As a kid we used to go up to the ponds a lot, we'd spend a lot of time right near the swans. They'd eat from your hand and they'd come right up to you, but there was never any aggression.

The geese are even less so because they're flock birds, and thus they share territory more easily than swans do. But swans will attack geese and other birds sometimes. That doesn't mean they'll automatically attack humans.

I think it's more that people don't respect them or their territory and try to force the issue. And also that people misunderstand their body language for aggression when it is often just like a cat warns someone it's done playing. If you continue to push and ignore the warning signs, your cat will scratch or bite...swans are the same. If you respect them they respect you. And if they respect you, you can feed them by hand.

And they are super cute as babies ;)

The swans that are most common here are the white mute swans. I believe they technically still belong to the Queen, thus killing one is treason. That comes from the mediaeval/tudor period when they would be killed for the royal table thus were reserved for the King's meals only...but now of course they're not eaten. They're just protected.

I am not sure how common other types of swan are here - on rivers in general you mostly see the mutes.

I forgot to mention before but we also have herons. They frequent the pools as well. Sometimes apparently they also visit garden ponds, where they are less popular! But the place I saw the most herons was the river Kamo in Kyoto. There were tons of them. I also remember seeing the hawks playing over the river in the spring air currents...and there were nesting swallows in the shopping arcade. I never saw an actual swallows nest until then, but it was so cute xD.

How interesting-  I guess the Canada geese in the UK are more relaxed than the ones we get?

During the spring, the Canada geese around here get very aggressive-  mostly just around where they are nesting - unfortunately that often means parks... so you could be walking along a path and suddenly a goose will come zooming out at you head low -  and they PINCH really really hard!!! They also poop the size of medium size dogs which does not endear them to anyone around here,  :lol: :lol: :lol:

Post Merge: June 28, 2019, 06:41:23 PM

« Last Edit: June 28, 2019, 06:43:03 PM by Galactica »

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Re: Do you bird?
« Reply #18 on: June 28, 2019, 07:45:47 PM »
I think maybe it's a territory thing? I know here they got flappy when the council got involved and moved their nests, but one of the pools here has an island and the other has a secluded bank so they nest there away from the paths. So the council had to actively go out to destroy the nests that one year but haven't since and it's been fine.

They do poop a lot, but they sit with their young right by the pathways and don't cause any trouble. If someone sends a dog in after them that's different, but they even have proper road sense. Most of the water bids (Ducks, moorhens, etc) just run madly across roads into traffic, but the geese have a 'school party' type system with an adult at the front, babies int he middle and adult at the back and they cross slowly and carefully and don't panic when the vehicles come. It's required on our road to be aware of them and most people stop to let them cross.

Unfortunately this year we had some nasty person speed through and kill one or two of the babies because they were too impatient to let them cross.

People here were unamused.

The swans would be more in your face if you got in their way or messed with the babies - I heard stories of them trying to drown dogs which came too close - but they were never aggressive unless they were threatened in some way. It's like any wild animal, in my view. They're going to defend themselves. The people who complained about them around here were also always people with dogs off the lead. The kind of dogs who would be condemned if they were jumping all over someone's kid...

In any case it's a really common sight here seeing families taking small children  to 'feed the ducks' - in this case, that includes geese and swans :)
« Last Edit: June 28, 2019, 07:48:08 PM by Taffeta »
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Offline Maddie

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Re: Do you bird?
« Reply #19 on: June 28, 2019, 07:58:39 PM »
Sadly I’m actually terrified of birds. My mom even has a pet bird and my uncle had is it one of those grey parrots? They all scare me, but I do enjoy wildlife where I live. I live on a farm way out in the country. I was actually excited the other evening to see Henry. Henry is an oppossum  that has been coming to my house at night for the last five years. I hadn’t seem henry in about a month and then the other day there was not only Henry butna bunch of teenager looking ones as well. I assumed Henry was a boy always being a loner but guess she has gotten used to me enough to feel comfortable bringing the kids this year. I also have owls, bats, raccoons, hawks etc that come and go. There are coyotes as well,  but I’m
Notni srky excites about them.

Offline Galactica

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Re: Do you bird?
« Reply #20 on: June 28, 2019, 09:06:38 PM »
We have a crow family that nests nearby-  I leave leftovers out for them in the yard, so they have come to regard me as a friend.  During nesting and fledgling season, they divebomb anyone they don't recognize who happens to walk down the alley behind our house (their territory).  It's pretty funny...

They are amusing and clever birds-  I like to see them poking around (they like to turn over leaves and stones and moss).  When they have a successful fledgling -  they show the kid everything he/she needs to know to be a successful city crow.

A couple of years ago we watched "Dad" crow carry a mostly empty Dorito chip bag from somewhere with Jr. in tow-  find a smooth/clean patch of sidewalk, and then show Jr how to carefully "shake shake shake" the bag of chips so the crumbs fall somewhere where you can find them...   :lol:

Of course there is a downside to having crows around.  I looked out my window yesterday and noticed on the neighbor's roof (in plain view from our bedroom window) was a desiccated rat corpse- hanging out right in the gutter...  >_<:lookround:

Offline Zapper

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Re: Do you bird?
« Reply #21 on: June 28, 2019, 11:00:36 PM »

A couple of years ago we watched "Dad" crow carry a mostly empty Dorito chip bag from somewhere with Jr. in tow-  find a smooth/clean patch of sidewalk, and then show Jr how to carefully "shake shake shake" the bag of chips so the crumbs fall somewhere where you can find them...   :lol:

That's cute! I used to watch jackdaws during my lunchbreak together with my friends. We have a lot of jackdaws here which isn't common for all of Germany.
They are so funny and I prefer them to crows because they are smaller.
One time we saw a trash can exploding from the inside. Its contents were just catapulted into the air. It was a single jackdaw inside throwing out everything she didn't want. It looked hilarious because you couldn't see the bird, just a magic trash can.
Someone put some of the trash back inside not realizing the jackdaw was in there and got such a shock when the stuff kept flying out again :lol:

Offline Gator

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Re: Do you bird?
« Reply #22 on: June 29, 2019, 05:15:05 PM »
Today I was driving and saw what I thought was a dead bird in the road.  But as I go past I realize it has its head lifted up.  It's alive!  I turn around to go get it and watch in horror as two other cars almost run over it.  I get to it.  It's bleeding, can't use its hind legs.  It was a juvenile European starling, an invasive species here in the U.S.  I'm a veterinary technician, but this is my weekend off and I'm not going to work.  I took it to one of the local clinics near my house and dropped it off with them to perform a humane euthanasia.  Poor little guy.
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Re: Do you bird?
« Reply #23 on: June 29, 2019, 05:20:41 PM »
Today I was driving and saw what I thought was a dead bird in the road.  But as I go past I realize it has its head lifted up.  It's alive!  I turn around to go get it and watch in horror as two other cars almost run over it.  I get to it.  It's bleeding, can't use its hind legs.  It was a juvenile European starling, an invasive species here in the U.S.  I'm a veterinary technician, but this is my weekend off and I'm not going to work.  I took it to one of the local clinics near my house and dropped it off with them to perform a humane euthanasia.  Poor little guy.

That's so sad :( I'm glad at least you could stop its suffering, even if you couldn't help it.

We have lots of starlings here (I am guessing ones like the one you found). I call them the mafia because of how they hoard around the food stuff and how cheeky and forward they are. They're fun birds, and it's sad to think of a baby being in that state.


I told my Dad this morning about the hostile geese and stuff over the atlantic and he was stunned. He used to go down and film them and spend a lot of time with the swans when he first retired, and he couldn't believe that they could ever be violent. He saw lots of examples of people egging their dogs on or letting their dogs rush at the birds and those were the people who then complained when the swans kicked off and got angry - but as far as he and I are concerned, that was the fault of the dog owners, not the swans.

I dunno what other people's experiences here have been, but I'm glad the ones we had are friendly.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2019, 05:22:32 PM by Taffeta »
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Offline nebulavery

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Re: Do you bird?
« Reply #24 on: June 29, 2019, 07:19:47 PM »
I casually bird! I like identifying wildlife, and if a bird'll stay still long enough for me to snap a picture of it, then it'll get identified right along with the bugs and plants. I'm also trying to learn to recognize common bird calls this summer!

The geese where I live do have a reputation of being nasty, but mostly anecdotally. People know to stay away from them.

Offline BlackCurtains

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Re: Do you bird?
« Reply #25 on: June 30, 2019, 08:54:56 PM »
Sort of? I live in an area with abundant wildlife (though if people keep tearing down the greenspace and building houses, that'll change...). We get so many different birds in our yard; sandhill cranes, woodstorks, ibis of all colors, doves, blue jays, osprey, black and turkey vultures, crows, occasional pelicans and seagulls - there's a lake across the street. I enjoy taking pictures of them :)
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Re: Do you bird?
« Reply #26 on: July 01, 2019, 02:51:59 PM »
I had some neighborhood magpies stay within 3 feet of me while we had a conversation yesterday. 

The ravens at work... oh they are fun... they started hiding by the exterior doors and surprising anyone who isn't paying attention with, "AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAUGH!" I watched several co-workers get caught out and the reactions were total gold.  Meanwhile I always "AAAAAAAAAAAAAA" back at them, so they don't harass me.  We also have conversations. 
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Re: Do you bird?
« Reply #27 on: July 01, 2019, 08:14:12 PM »
Not in any organised way or actively, but I like to try and identify birds I see! There are some trees right outside our window and as we live on the 2nd/3rd floor, it's nice to watch birds all relaxed. There's also some grassy fields and foresty areas so we have a variety of birds! Pheasants, magpies, hooded crows, ravens, great and bluetits, pigeons, robins, wagtails, sparrows, chaffinches, flycatchers, blackbirds and other thrushes... Then there are a number of small birds I'm not good at identifying, like warblers and such. On the nearby river there are ducks, such as mallards and goldeneyes, and whooper swans (the national bird of Finland!).

Last winter I spotted a white-throated dipper for the first time in my life! That was pretty fun. And when we moved here there was a corn crake nearby, unfortunately I've not heard it again since that first summer. :( Okay the constant croaking was pretty annoying, but still! I hear they get easily killed when hay is harvested.

I haven't met aggressive geese but seagulls oh my gosh. They always nest on top of the university buildings and once the babies leave the nest, the adults get aggressive. Luckily this phase only lasts a few days but still, the moment you spot the fledgling and realise you're about to get attacked in a second...  :yikes:
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Offline Gator

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Re: Do you bird?
« Reply #28 on: July 03, 2019, 12:27:52 AM »
My parents and brother and sister in law are the beach right now.  I couldn't go due to work, but I love seeing shorebirds!  Gulls too!

Blackcurtains, when I attended the North American Veterinary Conference in 2006, which is held in Orlando each year, I was excited to see and add the Sandhill Cranes to my list!

Post Merge: July 03, 2019, 01:11:29 AM

Oh my gosh, I just read on the news that in Dublin, Ireland, a swan beat a cocker spaniel to death! 
« Last Edit: July 03, 2019, 01:11:29 AM by Gator »
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Offline BlackCurtains

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Re: Do you bird?
« Reply #29 on: July 03, 2019, 03:37:42 AM »
Blackcurtains, when I attended the North American Veterinary Conference in 2006, which is held in Orlando each year, I was excited to see and add the Sandhill Cranes to my list!

They're quite something, aren't they? One of those birds where you can still see the dinosaur in 'em.
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