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Old 10-29-2010, 01:38 PM   #1
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Bird Watching and Bird Photography

Just wondering if there are members out there who have a keen interest in birding? Would love to meet up with fellow birdwatchers and or Bird Photographers. We are based in Arizona. I'm sure Fraser would be willing to show you some AZ birding hot spots. We will be on the move off and on always birding where ever we go. Would love to here from other RVer's who have an interest.
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Old 10-29-2010, 03:02 PM   #2
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My youngest son is an avid birder (along with being a defensive end on his football team, go figure...) who wants to go to Cornell U. and become an ornithologist.

We have been all over the country finding birds with him. Blue Hole in the Florida Keys, Mesa Verde where he flipped out over seeing a Western Tanger, private birding tour of Yellowstone, etc. Since we're in NJ, he participates in the World Series of Birding every year.

He has not one but two Nikon spotting scopes and one is rigged to hold his camera so he can get some great shots 'digiscoping'. Traveling in the MH suits his passion since he can bring all his equipment on every vacation. Although he has a bunch of birding books, he prefers his 'ibird' software on his Apple itouch. At least we know what to get him on Christmas...

If you are ever in NJ, he is always open to go birding. He just saw a vireo yesterday and pileated woodpeckers nest in our back woods.
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Old 10-29-2010, 03:43 PM   #3
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Although I'd never call myself a "birder", I enjoy photographing birds - Birds, Page 1
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Old 10-30-2010, 02:40 PM   #4
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I'm a SOB...spouse of a birder. We just returned from Cape May, NJ for the annual raptor migration. Of course she/we birded all the way from Texas to NJ and back.

If you ever get the opportunity, come to the Texas coast in April for the neotropical migration. If you're really lucky, you'll get to experience a fallout. Now that is something to behold.

We have a trip planned in January to visit the Whopping Cranes in Aransas Pass. We know the state ornithologist and get some extra privileges while there...thats always nice. I would give you DW's blog address with the pictures but she would kill me. Its her way of keeping a personal diary. BTW, she has over 2000 photos in albums and is looking at a new camera and lens. There went my new truck.
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Old 10-31-2010, 07:19 AM   #5
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Jim,

If you considering a new camera, look into digiscoping systems. Same as having a 1500mm lens on a regular camera.

Below are pics my teenage birding son took with his Nikon Fieldscope linked to a Nikcon Coolpix D6000.










Yesterday's birding highlight while on a 10 mile hike in northern NJ was a Ghost Hawk with a dead grey squirrel in its talons. That was very cool to a bunch of teenage Boy Scouts...
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Old 10-31-2010, 11:56 AM   #6
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Tom (RVThere)...I had looked at the Nikonscoping set-up...but their scopes do not seem to work with the digital Canon SLR's - and I have a few lenses for my Canon...so I am out of luck.
Great photos by your son!! I am envious of his set-up!!I have another question for you- Does your son use Picasa as a photo storage program...or has he heard of PicNik?

I took his cardinal photo and did an "Auto-Fix" with it.. here is the results... (just a thought)



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Old 10-31-2010, 12:21 PM   #7
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He uses flickr which I think also has some auto-fix capabilities. I don't think he uses the fix on all his pics but I will definitely show him your results!
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Old 10-31-2010, 06:16 PM   #8
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Hummingbird...I have just taken up photographing birds. I still have a couple of hummingbirds left in the yard. I took this photo just a bit ago.


I have many of my hummingbird photos located on the left side of my blog in a slide show format . You can double click the photo to see them in a larger size.
Almost all of the other birds in this slide show were taken this year...with a few in the very beginning that I took previously.

I am not sure if I should thank JoeK or not ...but it was his thread about the Norfolk Eagles Nest WebCam that got me interested. The cam won't start back up for another few months - but the photographers have started taking photos of the nest rebuilding already. Some of these photographers also donated photos for the 2011 Calendar that is ready to order.



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Old 11-09-2010, 09:39 PM   #9
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Greetings to All.....It seems we do have some VERY interested birders and photographers too. Nice photos. Fraser takes advantage of the terrific birding opts here in our home base (Arizona). We plan to be in south Texas next spring. Not sure when yet....I really love the photo of the Cardinal on the snow covered tree. I was originally from Iowa.....So it reminds me of winter views outside my window. I hope we will meet some of you during future travels or a rally or??? We are new to this but so far we love it.
Jim what is the fallout you mentioned on the Texas coast? Fraser is a Texan...he grew up just south of Dallas and went to University in San Antonio on a football scholarship. Of course that was LONG LONG ago !!!! hehehehe Hummingbird aka Shari
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Old 11-10-2010, 02:04 AM   #10
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Here is one for you serious birders to answer. I cannot ID this pair. Do any of you have any idea? I have a couple more interesting photos on my blog from today too. You can view them here...





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Old 11-10-2010, 04:52 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HUMMINGBIRD View Post
Jim what is the fallout you mentioned on the Texas coast?
There are a couple of reasons for a "fallout". The neotropical birds will migrate in the spring north of course. They may have wintered in South or Central America or Mexico and will travel all night (using the stars for navigation) across the Gulf of Mexico approaching land during daylight hours. They are usually so exhausted they touch (fall) down at the first site of protection-woods. Since they travel in large flocks, there may be literally thousands of birds.

We were blessed last April to actually witness this phenomenon-twice. The Rose Breasted Groesbeak were so hungry that we could walk within one to two feet as they devoured the oranges we had placed on limbs. I'm trying to remember but I believe the red-winged blackbird, summer tanager, gray cat bird and the northern flicker arrived about the same time; and that was the first day.

I don't want to get into the arrival of the warblers, vireos and the buntings. I will say this, it was not unusual to have as many as two hundred indigo bunting at the water feature at one time-awesome.

The second reason for a "fallout", is weather. They either run into a strong north wind (head wind) or heavy rain.

You gotta be in the Texas gulf coast in March/April if your a birder...or a SOB (spouse of a birder).

Some places we enjoy:
Quintana Neotropical Bird Sanctuary - BirdForum Opus
TPWD: Goose Island State Park
Texas Coastal Birding Trail - Bentsen - Rio Grande Valley SP in Hidalgo Co.
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Old 11-10-2010, 05:12 AM   #12
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MM,

Are they Steller's Eiders? Black bill, whiter male, darker female. Alaskan bird so my venture down to NW continental US?

I also emailed the picture to my budding ornithologist but he's in school now so won't be able to comment until later today.
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Old 11-10-2010, 10:23 PM   #13
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MM,

Are they Steller's Eiders? Black bill, whiter male, darker female. Alaskan bird so my venture down to NW continental US?

I also emailed the picture to my budding ornithologist but he's in school now so won't be able to comment until later today.
Tom...no..the coloring is opposite on my birds... plus the feet are the wrong color. I think we would have TONS of birders flocking to where these birds were if they were Steller's Eiders - they are rare to begin with..but to have them in California from the Alaskan region would be a phenomenon!
I will be curious to see what your son says!



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Old 11-11-2010, 03:33 AM   #14
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We will be volunteering at KOFA NWR this winter, Jan-March. We would love to have someone familiar with Arizona birding show us around. My wife does the bino and listing thing and I lug the scope and camera around.
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