I have been banding birds for 18 years and I would like to start a series on my recapture birds that I have encountered during my banding carrier. The first bird that I would like to share is the Yellow Warbler.
I have been giving the opportunity to review the “Warbler Guide” App that is available with my iPhone/iPad. The Warbler Guide “book” that this app follows is not something you would carry with you on every birding adventure. However the two together complement each other really well. The book gives you more of a text book description of each species; the app appears to be a more field identification guide. My favorite feature of the App is that it’s always accessible when needed and then look up the other info in the book later when you get home. (more…)
Today while driving along the roads near Quaker Lake (Allegany State Park) . . . . I saw a some larger birds feeding on the salt in the road. I slowed the vehicle down and needed to take a closer look at these guys. I realized they were crossbill’s and quickly grabbed my binoculars (which I luckily had in the truck) to discover they were Red Crossbill’s (CHECK) 45 species for 2013. This wasn’t any ordinary check this was a LIFER CHECK!!!
Had a great bird day today. Where I was working, had a huge flock (~25) of Snow Buntings in the grape vines. (CHECK) They would fly in a group to another spot in the grapes and then 10 mins later do it all over again.
I heard the news today that a dear friend Robert G. McKinney passed away yesterday. He will be greatly missed and will forever be remember for all of his bird banding and bird watching accomplishments. I will eternally think of him every time I release a bird on some child’s head.
I took Patty on a date to see the new movie “The Big Year” that was recently released in the movie theaters on the 14th of October. Not going to lie to you . . . . I totally expected it to be kind of corny. Hollywood portraying birdwatchers? To my surprise they threw in three big names, Steve Martin, Jack Black and Owen Wilson as birdwatchers working towards seeing the most number of birds within a years time. Hands down . . . this movie was well researched and did an outstanding job in keeping me entertained throughout the movie.
Steve Martin’s character was absolutely amazing with his struggle of retiring from a big corporate job and the decisions he makes with his supportive family in completing his life long dream (doing a big year). He has many hard decisions that could possibly jeopardize him seeing important birds on his quest.
Owen Wilson’s character was the experienced birder that knew what needed to be done for winning the big year title. He risked a great deal with his family in making sure he keeps this title and was always a bit sneaky with misleading the guys away from seeing the birds.
Jack Black’s character was marvelous in doing the big year while holding a steady job. Every birdwatcher has a boss who doesn’t understand the importance of migration fallout!! Seriously . . . . his boss ROCKED!! He also struggles with his father not understanding his love for the birds and then coming up with the finances for paying for the year. Unexpectedly he meets the girl of his dreams . . . Ok, I will not spoil the ending but I am glad how it ends.
I asked Patty which part was her favorite and she liked the beginning where Jack Black’s coworker ask to hear the song he’s listening to and he was playing bird calls. Honestly . . . what birder doesn’t spend hours and hours reviewing bird songs? My favorite part was the Great Gray Owl find with Jack Black’s father. Birds can seriously do amazing things when people finally find the amazing beauty in them.
Ok . . . . so hands down this will be a DVD that will end up on my shelf and I am really glad I had an opportunity to supporting the movie during opening weekend. I doubt it will beat footloose movie in ticket sales but “The Big Year” is a must for every birdwatcher and or nature enthusiast. Please support this movie in seeing . . . Patty and I both give it two thumbs up!