Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Update: 2 new good birds, and five bad!

Since my last post, I have shot 3 Starlings, and another House Sparrow with the Steelstorm! All three Starlings were taken at the woodpeckers hole: all I had to do was creep up to the trunk, keeping it between me and them, then slowly swing around, so I was right under them! I also added an additional Starling, my second attempt at the decoy idea, but an animal got him last Sat. night. Besides the House Sparrow taken with the Steelstorm, I also shot another, but it flew off, so I'm not sure whether it died or not.

As to good birds, several have visited our pond, including a pair of Mallards (Which could be the same as a pair we had last yr.) and 2 drakes, a pair of Solitary Sandpipers, a Little Blue Heron, a Green heron and, 4 Blue-winged Teals! The last species is new, so I added them to my life list. The other new species we saw at Columbia Bottoms Conservation Area, in the form of a huge flock of American Coots, swimming in 2 "ponds" (overflow from the Mississippi/Missouri rivers). Other birds we saw while there include a flock of about 40 American White Pelicans and a probable Gnatcatcher and pair of Common Mergansers. (BTW, the teals are still around, usually with the pair of Mallards)

These are the Mallards that lived at our pond last yr.

They had 13 eggs, but sadly, all of them were eaten by a fox and/or raccoon
 Right now, I am furiously studying Natural Sciences, so please pray for my success.

What is this bird?

Monday, April 18, 2011

College Math

I have passed the College Math CLEP with a score of 63! I now move to finish Natural Sciences.

Just set up the Mouse traps today for a pair of House Sparrows that were hanging around. The Starlings appear to be leaving a pair of Red-bellied Woodpeckers newly dug hole, now that I keep trying to shoot them.

Friday, April 15, 2011

A Live Starling Decoy

This past week, I finally caught a Starling in my trap. I had been waiting for this opportunity, so that I could use the bird as a decoy. The first day passed well. I kept him in a chicken wire cage, and fed him worms and grubs, and Alexandre nicknamed him Oscar, but during the second night of having him, an animal knocked the cage down, and somehow killed the poor guy inside. He did attract one Starling, which was wondering what in the world the guy was doing behind chicken wire, but I didn't get a shot at him. Maybe the next captive will work out better.
The Starlings I've gotten this week (including Oscar) amount to 4. Their added to the kills list.

Hey! No one has guessed what this bird is yet!
What am I?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Starling rules in Australia

Since Australia is my favorite Country besides America, and I know Starlings are pretty bad there too, I decided to find the info.

Note: Firearm permit needed for use of a firearm. (Obviously).
Australia (no seasons for species below): Info. from SSAA (Sporting Shooters Association of Australia).
Western Australia: Starlings and Rock Doves. No permit required.
Southern Australia: Starlings. Hunting permit required under 18 yrs.
Northern Territory: House Sparrows. No permit required.
Here is a really detailed site about most of what you need to know about Starlings!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

What's a Real Birdwatcher?

A great moment, hand feeding a friendly Tufted Titmouse!
A lot of people, when they think of a birdwatcher, usually picture an eccentric old thin man with a pair of gigantic binoculars, straining to catch a glimpse of an elusive warbler. You probably don't imagine a guy like myself popping Starlings, leaping up trees to nail up a birdhouse, or trailing a rag on the ground to catch a Hawk's eye, but this is what I would call a birdwatcher.

Golden-crowned Kinglet, preening

The first type of birdwatcher is the kind that will spend a fortune to travel to the border of Mexico just to add a Trojan to their life list, but the real ones are content with the local gathering of species, and whatever extras an occasional vacation brings. Their favorite part about birdwatching is not only adding new species, but being able to see and track those species already on their list.
Yellow-rumped Warbler, spring male
There is yet another partition that further narrows down the real birdwatcher. This is the difference between the passive and aggressive birders. The passive kind spends a fortune on different harmless repellents for Starlings, House sparrows, or squirrels, to help their own yard's population, but really what they're doing is simply sending those same bothersome creatures to other people, resulting in a somewhat vicious circle....... until the bird lights on the aggressive birder's feeder, then...BANG! That Starling will never bother another bird - or person - again!

By the way, the bird I asked all of you to identify was a Brown Thrasher, and I have seen a few lately.
I killed one more Starling; it's added to the kills list.

Now what is this bird? (please comment).

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Very Busy

A short update here: I've been very busy with my new job, the College Math CLEP and half a million other projects, but I can still manage a little Starling hunting if I wake up early enough. I just recently downed one more Starling.
I am trying to write another post, I'll get it out hopefully soon! It's very late, and tomorrow's Sunday, so I'm whizzing off to bed now!