Thursday, December 1, 2011

Tip for: Feeding Ground Foraging Birds

As most people well know there are birds that feed on the ground rather than on the feeder. These birds are mainly sparrows and doves. One main tip is to put a substantial amount of seed twenty to thirty feet away from your feeder or at the closest treeline. Ground foragers are often more comfortable being further away from the window where they can usually see you if you look through it. They like to have more cover available while they feed. Thirty feet away is probably the largest distance you want to put the seed for the ground foragers. Because the purpose of bird feeding is to get closer looks at birds that you would normally not see so close. Another tip is to set up a different place for the squirrels to eat. You CANNOT get rid of squirrells. They will come to your feeder anyway whether you shoot them or not. Some birds get along fine with squirrels but I noticed that the majority are scared away by the seed hogging fur balls. I chose to set up a large wood log for them to hop up on and eat the seed. The squirrels like where the more concentrated seed supplies are. Thus the log. Now birds are free to move about around or underneath them. Nuthatch tip: Nuthatches have a craving for peanuts, there are some peanut feeders you can buy. Occasionally they will come to your hand if you extend it with peanuts in it. I hope this encourages you to feed the birds this cold Winter. I had a Ruby Crowned Kinglet at my suet feeder today! You never know what might find interest in your feeders. Posted by John Mark Simmons.

Photo by John Mark Simmons

Dark Eyed Junco

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Warm to Cold Weather

It looks like the change in temperature is official. We will be going from something like this picture....
            Prairie Warbler (Non breeding plumage)

To something more like this one below...

Eastern Towhee (Female)

The change in temperature brings about a wide variety of birds. Waterfowl come to find the cold water, and sparrows seek out the cool fields. Many different species can be seen during Winter. Some non birding people believe that Winter is the time for birds to go away and leave. Which is true in some cases such as the majority of the warblers. But many types of birds come in to substitute. I think the alternation of species is a great system to keep us from getting to bored with the same birds in our yards every day. My favorite part about Winter is the sparrows. I love all the different varieties that are to be found at this time of the year. News: If you like our posts please subscribe to us and comment on the material. Vote on the current poll and come back soon! Subscribe by email to get notified when we post.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Almost half of the Winter backyard birds have arrived in GA. White Throated Sparrows, Cedar Waxwings, Yellow Rumped Warblers, and Purple Finches. There are still more to come and I am excited. I hope you are too. Many sounds that I haven't heard in months start to make themselves heard. The "tseeew" notes that the WT Sparrows make. The little chirps that the YR Warblers make. And of corse my favorite sound of the Winter, the WT Sparrow's full song. I predict that the Dark Eyed Juncos will arrive around Nov 6. We'll see if my guess is correct. Some scientists say this will be the coldest Winter in a long time. Winter bird paradise. My data from last year indicates that a lot of the other Winter backyard birds arrive in November. I hope you guys have a nice week. Keep birding!

Photo by John Mark Simmons

Posted by John Mark Simmons

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Finally a break from hot weather. I am looking forward to the colder weather and the Winter birds! I hope to find some good waterfowl and some Sparrows this winter. White Throated Sparrows will be in your backyard if you live in the U.S. and so will the Dark Eyed Juncos. Winter is a great time to look for some interesting sparrows and waterfowl. Cedar Waxwings have already arrived in my backyard and the Juncos and Sparrows are soon to come. News: If we reach 25 followers we will give away an Identiflyer. It is a device that plays bird calls that you can load in it using cards. It will come with 12 cards with over 100 different bird sounds. Have a nice day!
Photo by John Mark Simmons

Posted by John Mark Simmons

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Fastest Animal on Earth

The Peregrine Falcon have been proven to be the fastest animal on earth. Unlike the Cheetah which many people believe is the fastest. I have heard many different speeds in which the Falcon can go, 100mph,150mph,175mph, all the way up to 250mph. I am inclined to lean towards the 250 mph because I learned it from someone who actually does research on them and works with Peregrines. I am very happy that the fastest animal on earth is a bird, it makes me feel good. News: I uploaded an Audobon's birding on the net birdhouse to this blog so you can collect a bird! Have a nice day everyone.
Photo by John Mark Simmons

Posted by John Mark Simmons

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

On the Georgia Coast Birding Rampage Pt.3

My trip to the Georgia coast was great. I got a lot of birds and lots of photos to share with you guys. Here is another batch of photos. My list ended up with ten lifers and two rarities. Also I might have the opportunity to be a volunteer doing research on Rusty Blackbirds this winter. Update: If we get two more followers and do the contest to give away the random birding stuff we are considering giving away something even better that can be very useful in the field. Like our Facebook page and follow us on this blog if you like. Have a nice day everyone!
Photos by John Mark Simmons
 Marsh Wren
 Seaside Sparrow
 Yellow Warbler
Western Sandpiper
Posted by John Mark Simmons

Saturday, October 8, 2011

On the Georgia coast Birding Rampage Pt.2

I had a great time birding Little St. Simons Island this morning. Highlights were Long Billed Curlew, Reddish Egret, Great Black Backed Gull, Roseate Spoonbills, and Red Knots. I got ten lifers total on this birding field trip. The wind was maddeningly powerful. It shook our spotting scopes and cameras making it very very hard to see shorebirds at times. We also ran into some jumper cactus that stuck into our shoes and poked through and sand burs. But overall it was definitely worth it. Here are some of the pictures from the trip. I hope you enjoyed the report! Have a nice day.

Photos by John Mark Simmons
 Yellow Warbler
 Sanderlings fighting
 Peregrine Falcon
Prairie Warbler
Posted by John Mark Simmons

Friday, October 7, 2011

On the Georgia Coast Birding Rampage

I spent the weekend at St. Simons Island doing some birding around the area. One of the days I went to the Altamaha River Delta to do some serious birding. Some of the highlights were Black Bellied Whistling Ducks, King Rail, Roseate Spoonbills, American Bittern, and Clay Colored Sparrow. These are only a few of the awesome birds I saw that day. I managed to get some good pictures of some birds. The next day I birded at Little St. Simons Island. The highlight birds of that trip included Reddish Egret, Long Billed Curlew, Marbled Godwit, White-Rumped, Least, and Western Sandpipers. While on the way to the GA coast I did some birding and stopped at some state parks. I found this Palm Warbler ( pictured below) which was very curious about me and got very close allowing a great photo. Hope you guys will have an opportunity to get some cool birds soon. Have a nice day and happy birding!

- John Mark Simmons
Black Bellied Whistling Duck
                                                                  Palm Warbler

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Cerulean Warbler on The Way to Decline?

The Cerulean Warbler (Dendroica Cerulea) is a less common Warbler. They are certainly not your typical  migrant. There are an estimated 560,000 of them left in the U.S. They have dropped from 4% around 1980's to 7% today. The main reason for it's decline is loss of habitat. Many birds are suffering from habitat loss but the Cerulean Warbler seems to be taking quite a hit. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service tried to get a warrant to put it on the endangered species list, but it was not so. I hope we will be able to save this bird from an extreme drop in population.

Photo Copyright by GLENN BARTLEY. Check out his website at he has excellent pictures.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Field Marks

Take this 1st year Female American Redstart for example. When you have trouble identifying a bird, it is a good idea to try and find something on the bird that is rather distinctive. It can be anything: an eye ring, a faint streak on the belly, bill color, bill length, or leg color. Anything that would help while looking at it in the field guide. Look at the American Redstart in this picture. What are the field marks? Let's see, where the yellow is located on the bird, the amount of yellow underneath and how bright it is, how the tail is positioned, and the white eye ring. These are simple field marks of the Redstart. But some birds require very descriptive field marks and some don't even have any differences at all. For example the Alder and Willow Flycatcher. There is not a way to tell which species it is until it vocalizes. ( Vocalization, key factor in birding.) The field marks of a bird is what makes it unique. Thanks for reading everybody and happy birding!

- John Mark Simmons
    Photo by John Mark Simmons

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Recipe For a Great Birding Day

1. Get a recent report from the area you want to go.

2. Focus on one category of birds like shorebirds or warblers.

3. Go with two or more people to pick up more bird sounds and see more.

4. Look at maps of the area and figure out where you need to go and how to get there so you won't be delayed by backtracking and dead ends.

5. Pack accordingly and dress accordingly to the habitat to avoid delays.

These basic tips might help improve your day of birding and let you enjoy the experience more.  Have a nice day!
Posted by John Mark Simmons
Photo by John Mark Simmons

What is a Traill's flycatcher?

I know some people out there already know what one is but I wanted to clarify it for everyone. ( Sadly) I just figured this out recently. A Traill's flycatcher is the name used when someone finds a flycatcher that could be either a Willow or an Alder flycatcher. The only way to tell them apart is if you here it vocalize. For a very long time the Willow and the Alder Flycatcher were considered the same species. Because even if you got to hold each one in your hand you would not be able to tell the difference. Because there isn't one except for the voice. A bird's song is one of the most important tools to memorize. It helps in so many ways.

Posted by John Mark Simmons

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Ruby Throated Hummingbird At My Feeder

I finally put up my hummingbird feeder after several years of letting it sit. The Hummers found it immediately and one particular female has found a prominent perch in an Oak tree right outside my dining room window. It is very easy to put the scope on and I look at it every day. What I really wanted to talk about was the Hummingbird's migration. The Hummers have to fatten up before their very long a perilous journey to the South. I have watched as this Hummer gets bigger every day. I think she might leave sometime soon. If a Hummer stops just once during their migration they might die. They have to keep moving. Hummingbirds are one of the coolest birds in creation. I mean, 80 beats a second?? Yeah, thats a lot. I tried to put up a video of the Hummer that I phone scoped. It turned out great except that I can't upload it. I'll try to figure out what the problem is.
Photos by John Mark Simmons
Posted by John Mark Simmons

Her favorite perch in the Oak tree! Twelve feet from the window.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Battle of the Owls

Do you agree with this?  I saw this article in the Wall Street Journal awhile back. It is quite disturbing. The Spotted Owl is an endangered species. And there are a group of ornithologists ( I cannot remember if it was DNR or something else) that want to start SHOOTING Barred Owls in order to save the Spotted Owl. The reason being that the Barred Owl is a competitor of the Spotted. Because other efforts have failed to try and save the Spotted Owl. It continues to decline.  I do not agree with this plan. I think you can try to defend a bird to a point. But when you cross the line in trying to save one bird is starting to kill another. This is definitely crossing the line for me. Mind you this is only going to happen in the Spotted Owl's territory in the West.  Comment below and state your opinion. Kill Barred Owl to ATTEMPT to save Spotted? Or don't shoot Barred Owls.

 Spotted                                                                                          Barred


 Spotted Owl Image from                                            Barred Owl Image from
I just pulled them from google images and these links were attached.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Coffee Break or Go Outside?

This was a very intersting fact that I came across the other day.Many many studies have pointed to the fact that going outside for a walk will help you much better than just drinking coffee for energy. So when you need energy for work or school go outside instead of just have coffee or other drinks. The studies have also shown that going outside helps you get into a beter mood. Even if you unwillingly go outside it still improves your mindset for work. But just staying inside won't help at all even if you like what you are doing inside.
     So now onto the birding point of it. Since being outside helps you so much, birding is some what good for you! Besides the fact that you get exercise and you enjoy doing it. Isn't that awesome? Even though you probably already enjoy birding it helps your mood, clears up your mind, and calms you some what. I have reason to belive that this info is valid. It was on the front page of the Wall Street Journal! And I looked it up on other websites to to make sure it was valid, and it is. This doesn't mean you shouldn't have inside breaks at all but this is suprisingly interesting info. I love it! Hope you enjoyed the info and have a nice day!

Photo by John Mark Simmons
Posted by John Mark Simmons

Monday, August 29, 2011

Gear Review: Sigma 70-300mm F4-5.6

     This is a great choice for an affordable wildlife photography lens. This is the lens that I use for all of my pictures that are on our website. It is a great solution for a non expensive but good quality lens. It has autofocus and manual focus, a macro mode, and it comes with a lens hood. I think Sigma is a fairly trustworthy brand. This lens is very lightweight, and the 70-300mm range gets you very good zoom. All my bird photos are taken with this lens. The Nikon or Canon version is so expensive. The quality is great for the price of $160. But the most important thing is knowing how to use it!
     If you know every component of your gear and how it works, you can get better photos than someone with a much more expensive lens, who does not know how to work it. If you really use your gear to it's limit you will get the most out of it. We hope this encourages you to consider getting this lens. Have a nice day and happy birding!

Photo by John Mark Simmons
Posted by John Mark Simmons

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Nuthatch Nesting Box Tip

I have had Brown Headed Nuthatches nesting at my house ever since I loved here. They used to nest in a very short, dead tree that was beside our driveway. There are holes all over it from all the nests they have made in it. But then, it finally came down in a storm. So now I use Nuthatch specified nesting boxes. They have a hole that is just big enough for the nuthatch, bigger birds and squirrels can't get in. This provides the protection and the feeling of protection that these little birds need.They love the boxes! I have two of them set up on the same pole and this season there was a nest in both of them. We had two nuthatch families right beside each other. They were very friendly too, I could walk up to their house and they would come out sit, on top of the box and just chill. I suggest that you use these types of boxes if you want nuthatches in them because they love nesting places where the hole fits just them. In a tree, they would just make their own hole, but with these boxes their work it cut out for them. We even had some researchers come over one time and band a couple of the nuthatches. I got to hold one, they are the cutest bird ever. Hands down no other bird can possibly compete with the Brown Headed Nuthatch for cuteness. The Nuthatches are much happier in these boxes, I think they feel much much safer. Because they moved in the boxes within two weeks of placing them! The Nuthatch is one of my favorite yard birds. I hope you enjoyed the tip everyone, and as always, have a nice day.

Photo by John Mark Simmons
Posted by John Mark Simmons

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Hummingbird Feeder Tips

For hummingbird feeders you always have the problem of ants. Ants are incredibly annoying when they get in the feeder and all over it and they bite you when you change it. It' just a mess. So here are some tips for anti ant hummer feeders. Number one, just hang it high. Number two, use ant moats. You can get them at several different stores. All it is is a moat that keeps the ants away. Once they get in the water, they just float like a dead duck. ( Forgive the cruel analogy that is related to birds.) Number three, is to use vaseline or other slick substances that the ants slip on. But I wouldn't use it unless you have to because some substances that people use might harm other birds. Hope these tips helped! And as always have a nice day.

I know they are not a hummingbirds but they are birds and that's all that matters right?

Photos by John Mark Simmons
Posted by John Mark Simmons

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Birding Tip: Quick ID Help With Sparrows

Here is a short tip for Sparrow identification. When you find a Sparrow, note if the breast has streaking on it or not. If it does have streaking, then it's a dirty breast. If it doesn't have streaks, it is a clean breast. So when you see a clean breast Sparrow but you don't have a positive ID yet you simply call out to your fellow birders "clean breast Sparrow over here!" That's it! by doing that you eliminate the many other possibilities the bird could be.  Now you know not to even look at the dirty breasted Sparrows in the field guide. This White Crowned Sparrow would be considered a clean breast. Hope this helped, and as always, happy birding!

Photo by John Mark Simmons
Posted by John Mark Simmons

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Birding Tip: Learning Birds By Hear

When it comes to learning birds by ear, you may think it will take a very long a strenuous process to learn a lot  of birds. This is sometimes true, but there is a trick to learning birds by ear that helps so much. Which is learning a phrase or set of words in the English language that go with that bird. For example: When you hear an Eastern Towhee sing, it usually does it's "Towheee!" song or it's "Drink your teeeaaa!" song. By learning these kind of words to go with the song helps you learn them much faster. Here are more examples. Red Eyed Vireo song: "Here I am! Up in the tree! Look at me! Whatcha doin?" These are all part of the vireo's song which is a variety of mixed chirps that are formed into measures. Another example is the Barred Owl song: "Who cooks for you, who cooks for you alll!" Those are the words that go with the owl's song. Of course you can try to make up better ones but these are just examples. Hope this birding tip helped and happy birding!

Photo by John Mark Simmons
Posted by John Mark Simmons

Monday, August 22, 2011

Gear Review: Vortex Fury

These are a very nice pair of optics from Vortex whom I trust very much. I love Vortex, they make awesome stuff and it's cheaper than most other professional companies. These are also a suitable solution for amateurs that have some birding experience and want to improve it by having some good optics. They are waterproof and fog proof. They have a minimum focus distance of 4.9 feet and are equipped with phase corrected roof prisms. Some other cool features include: XR multi coatings, deluxe 5 element eyepiece, and extra tough armor. The armor that is on the Vortex Fury is specially designed to withstand very rough handling. They use Argon instead of nitrogen purging to prevent any internal fogging of the lenses. At 1.3 pounds the Fury's are incredibly easy to carry around. This pair of optics was also crafted to ensure that more light comes into the eyepiece giving you the clearest image. I hope this review helped in any hard decisions! Have a good day everyone. And as always, have a nice day.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

When Someone Tries To Make Fun of birding, Don't Play Dead.

I'll get straight to the point. There are a lot of people out there that might think birding is studied, or dumb, or a waste of time. Don't let that discourage you! When Steve Martin was interviewed for his role in the Big Year (coming out this fall, can't wait!) he was on the tonight show. And once he told everybody what the movie was about everyone laughs their head off. Their saying stuff like " Competitive birdwatching? What a stupid thing to do!" I mean it was ridiculous. But what are they to have such a low opinion. But if someone really dislikes you just cause you bird you don't have to play dead. You can stand up for what you love. Just like they might stand up for what they love it's the same thing! Cause if you always ignore or (play dead) to their comment they might think your admitting that it's stupid or something. Don't get aggressive unless you really have to but just make a stand. News: First TB video coming out tomorrow! It's about Tufted Titmice and how they use physics to their advantage. Don't forget to vote on the new poll also! Don't be shy to email us about anything! Have a great day everyone.

Photo by John Mark Simmons
Posted by John Mark Simmons

Friday, August 19, 2011


Molt is one of the coolest thing to witness in birds. Their feathers can turn into the most bizarre sight you've ever seen depending on the bird. In this first photo is a juvenile foresters tern that is in the molt process. These two examples are just samples of what bizarre birds you can see out in the field. And it is one of the most exciting things you will see. To see this kind of biology first hand is amazing. In the second photo is a juvie Laughing gull. Now you are probably used to seeing the black headed bird that is so common on the beach. But since it is molting, you can see the difference. Now is the time to see some cool birds in their molting process! Fall migration is one of the best times to go looking for cool molts. Have a good day everyone! And keep birding.

Posted by John Mark Simmons
Photos by John Mark Simmons

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Birds Aren't The Only Wildlife Out There (and) A Short Tip For More Lifers)

Even though birds are our primary target in the production of this blog, I can't help but mention the other wildlife that there is. I love watching other wildlife as well such as, deer,bears,lizards etc.. Taking pictures of them is even funner. ( Next part photo heads only) When you take a picture of something keep in mind the background. The background is almost as important as the subject in a photograph. Depth of field can also make a huge difference. The background in this Lizard shot here is grass. But if that had been in focus as well as the entire Lizard wouldn't it be such a boring photo? For me, yes it wold be boring. Soft background, sharp subject. One of my main rules of photography no matter what I am shooting. I also like composition to be one of my specialties. Every photographer has a different style in their photos. What's yours? Figure it out and you might be encouraged in your photography. ( Ok back to birds) I have a simple tip that might help you with birding this Fall. When you go birding, target a specific category of birds. This week I am targeting warblers, last week I went after shorebirds. Get it? It might improve your chances of getting more lifers. But as always, it's not just about lifers. Every birds deserved just as much attention as the one next to it. Remember that.
Have a nice day everyone.

 Posted by John Mark Simmons
Photos by John Mark Simmons

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Fall migration is Just About Here

Now it the time to do some serious birding. I am heading down to Jekyll Island for a GOS meeting and to do some field trips. Now is a great time to do birding on the beach. I have been sent reports from Curlew Sandpipers to Cerulean Warblers. I certainly hope to get that Curlew Sandpiper. If you are uncomfortable about going out ito the field by yourslef or with a couple other people that don't have much expierience in birding, see if you can hook up with a local birdwalk. They are a great way to learn birds under a professional. They will point out bids that you might not get on yor own and identify them for you if need be. I have gone on countless bird walks and they have boosted my expierience level up so much. I hope you do the same. When you go to the beach find a flock of shorebirds to start out with. It's best to find all the birds in the flock and then move on and find the others out on their own solitary hunting mission.Look at every species carefully, you never know where that rare bird could show up. Have a nice day everyone and as always, keep birding.
Least Tern

Monday, August 15, 2011

Gear Review: Vortex Diamondback 8x42

These binoculars are great for amateur and advanced amateur birders. They are very sharp and are easy to work with. They have adjusting eye cups, diopter, smooth focus ring, and they are waterproof. They are 25.2 ounces providing a light and easy to carry pair of optics. Phase correction, multi coated lenses, and tough rubber armor all come together in these binoculars to make the viewer enjoy the experience of using them. They have a close focus of 4.5 feet which is pretty darn good. I suggest for a cheaper alternative you use ebay to purchase these. Just be careful on ebay, make sure the seller has high ratings, and make sure the optics are almost brand new.  They also come with a rather spectacular case. I use these in the field now, and they work flawlessly. Have a nice day and happy birding.

Posted by John Mark Simmons

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Light: What photography is all about

     Light is the most important thing when it comes to photography. Depth of field comes into play here also. When you are taking a picture, make sure your subject is lit well and doesn't have back lighting, photoshop effects on this will make it look fake usually.
     Don't worry too much about technical aspects. Ask yourself, what am I taking a picture of? Do I need to spend so much thought and worry on technical stuff? No, you just need to find an interesting subject, light it, shoot it, and create a spectacular image. Apply this to birds, lizards, lady bugs, anything! Anything you shoot, make it spectacular.
     Find the light, find the composition, find the angle, and put it all together. As for me, composition is what I try to make my speciality. One rule about composition, never put your subject in the dead center of the frame. It is rather boring when that happens, push the subject to the left or the right move it up or down but change it from being right in the center of the frame. Don't use flash unless you have to. Although flash can be used in the daylight to create great fill light. Also, make your depth of field suck the viewer into the photo, make the background as blurred as possible and your subject as sharp as possible. Hope this helps some and happy birding everyone!

Posted by John Mark Simmons
Photos by John Mark Simmons

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Play The Hunch

What do I mean by that? Well, when you go after a bird to photograph it, do you chase it? Constantly walking towards it as it moves away will get you nowhere. Here is the idea, get up early. How early? 5:30 should be fine. Find the food source of the bird you are trying to photograph, wait for it to come to you, create a blind, hide yourself and wait. Playing the hunch that they will come to that source is risky sometimes. But also, this location that you pick, make sure you will have the good light. The morning sun is the best light you can possibly ask for. Position yourself so that the sun is at your back. For example, lets say your after a Sandpiper. Now, go to it's feeding grounds early in the morning, hide yourself, make sure the light will be in your favor. When the time is right and you start clicking, keep clicking until the light is gone, enjoy the opportunity you have created, and get fantastic images. All this applies to just birding as well, Do the same thing if you just want to get a superior look at some cool birds.
American White Pelican by John Mark Simmons
 Posted by John Mark Simmons

Lifers Can be Anywhere

Don't let the thought betray you that the only way to get life birds is to travel far and wide across the country. Unless you have been birding for a long time or have the privilege of being able to travel a lot this is for you. Especially during migration, lifers are everywhere. Close to your home or even at your home which is often a case too. But if your like me and have pretty much birded your property out, go one step further and travel to a local birding hot spot. I did that today and got a lifer, Pectoral Sandpiper to be exact. But the fact is that at this time birds are coming in fast and now is your chance to get some lifers. The location where I got this bird was fifteen minutes from my house. Get on a state wide email list that reports rare birds if you can. GABO is the emailing system I use. It stands for Georgia Birders Online. There is most likely a similar thing in your state or wherever you may be. Get out there, have fun, get birds.
Copyright John Mark Simmons

Posted by
John Mark Simmons

Friday, August 12, 2011

Learn Your Trees

 There are a couple reasons why you need to learn trees. The first and most important reason is that when you find a bird and you are trying to describe where it is, you need to know what kind of tree its in. This applies to the person you are pointing the bird out to also. For example, when you find a bird, and another person asks where it is, you need to know what kind of tree it's in. So yo can describe specifically to the person where the bird is and allow them to see the bird that might be a lifer for them. That person could be you, so you need to know what tree species there are. Another reason is that it shows your more intelligent. It's true! It  shows that you have put the time in to know what the trees are that you are birding around.  A third reason is that it's just fun to know all the trees! Knowing the trees will increase the speed in letting other people find the bird you are trying to point out. It is very simple, but it has big results. News: If you have any suggestions on anything we should do to the site to make it better, please email us at            

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Wind Turbines

Wind turbines are a great solution to get energy. But are they bird safe? Most certainly no, these wind turbines are one of the top killers of birds. The blades can be as long as two semi trucks. Ornithologists have not yet determined exactly how many birds they kill a year. But the numbers are reaching the hundred thousands. Will they ever be bird safe? There is a possibility. Many think that we should go back to using all hydraulic power instead of using so many wind turbines. We can still use some but we must use more
hydraulic power than wind turbines, which isn't happening. Solar panels are another thing we should use in my own
opinion because they are completely still. Unless they do something to birds that I am unaware of I think they should be used more often too.
      Now, there is a new bird killer out there now. The power lines that connect the wind farm to the national grid are causing Whooping Crane fatalities. Whooping Cranes have been colliding with the power lines and being killed. The numbers are up to 46 adults a year. That may not seem like very many but this is an endangered species. Help the effort if you can and keep your fingers crossed that we can get a bird safe solution to wind energy.

This is not my photo. Copyright unknown.

John Mark Simmons