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60

This is rather speculative, but draws on a few birding/wildlife books I've read and it's too much for a comment. It also has a little UK bias, but I've visited 4 continents on wildlife trips, and much of this seems universal. First, to get them out of the way: invertebrates may be interesting but in the general population there's a bit of a "yuck factor". ...


26

You are indeed correct that robins use their eyes individually as they tilt their head from side to side. It's known as monocular vision, and is how they, and many other birds, locate their food, primarily worms and grubs. In May, 1965, an ornithologist named Dr. Frank Heppner published a 10-page report entitled Sensory Mechanisms and Environmental Clues ...


18

For the same reason carrion birds circle over fresh kills: They're waiting for an opportunity to swoop in and get some food. All the gulls see is a large gathering of humans, which typically means dropped chips, bits of hotdog buns, discarded scraps, leftovers on tables, people throwing bits for the birds. Wherever you have big gatherings of large mammals ...


17

Birds do not typically reuse nests, as pests and parasites typically move in and use it as a habitat after the birds are done with it. Those birds who do reuse nests often don't have much success raising healthy chicks, because of said parasites. Also, predators have a much easier time finding food in nests that have been around for a while vs. having to ...


16

Cornell Labs has several good resources: Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Exploring and Conserving Nature. The Sibley app also has bird sounds you can compare to (as do several other mobile apps): Sibley Birds of North America There is supposed to be an app coming out which can identify automatically, but I have not yet found a copy of it to download. It's ...


15

It's also a case of accessibility, birding really doesn't take any special equipment beyond say a pair of binoculars and birds will visit peoples backyards and bird feeders. While mammals can be shy or limited in area requiring trips to see them. Fish take special equipment to catch and mammals especially the biggers ones can often be dangerous to humans. ...


14

We love crows! I live in America, where there are three main breeds of crow, including American Crows, Fish Crows, and Northwestern Crows. They're a bit different from the Common ravens, and other ravens, found in some other parts of the world. Although there are many varieties of each, their diets are fairly similar, so to make it easy for me, I'll call ...


13

I agree with berry120 that contacting local experts, or even hobbyists will most likely be the easiest way to go. They should have a much better knowledge of local species than you would be able to find in (online) literature. Coming across plants or animals in the outdoors it's always interesting to identify them, but not always easy. In my experience, it'...


13

TLDR: Yes they eat them, No they don't feel the heat. The tiny Bird’s Eye Chili originated in Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, The Philippines, and surrounding countries, but they can now be found all over the world. They are presumably called Bird’s Eye Chili because of their small round shape and because they have been spread by birds, which are not ...


12

Before we did the following we had barely any birds in the garden... We put up one of those stick in the ground multiple feeders which has three hooks with three different feeders on, a table/bowl and a water bowl . So what you've added to the garden should be plenty. The issue here maybe what food you use - what you feed when is important, however your ...


12

The osprey does seem the most likely option. There are only a handful of breeding pairs in North Wales, but they are in your area so it's credible. The wingspan of a small common buzzard starts at around 110cm and a large osprey can reach 170cm, so although they are normally of similar size the wingspan differential is possible. And the osprey has the white ...


11

The best thing to do would have been not disturb them in the first place, but I do understand the need of this question. So I wouldn't add any advice like "Do not disturb them in the first place". From what I have seen, Buzzards and other raptors (not specifically the ones you mentioned) would return to kill if left alone. But, provided that it is done ...


11

You can definitely go for one pair. I've actually been pleasantly surprised at the quality of the optics at almost the bottom end of the market, if you go for something common like 8x20. We've got 8x, 10x and 12x for wildlife (mainly). None were expensive. The 12x50s are great at dusk but lack the close focus for garden birds or some hides. The 8x20s are ...


11

According to this article, (How to Tell a Raven From a Crow): Ravens often travel in pairs, while crows are seen in larger groups. Also, watch the bird’s tail as it flies overhead. The crow’s tail feathers are basically the same length, so when the bird spreads its tail, it opens like a fan. Ravens, however, have longer middle feathers in their tails, so ...


11

It looks like a Starling (Sturnus vulgaris), which are quite common over here in the UK. https://www.rspb.org.uk/birds-and-wildlife/bird-and-wildlife-guides/bird-a-z/s/starling/ Starlings love suet. Search for "Starling murmuration" and go to videos, in the UK & Ireland this is a common site in the winter - Try https://www.wired.com/2011/11/starling-...


11

All it takes is one of the birds to notice and give the alarm and then the other birds join in. Even the chipmunks and squirrels will listen to the birds and then pass the message along. Birds' lives are so filled with danger that they're on alert at all times, just to stay alive. Luckily, they have several tactics to avoid becoming the next meal for a ...


10

The real question is what won't ravens or crows eat. Ravens hang out at the garbage dumps and perch on dumpsters, the easiest way to get them to visit your yard would be to leave garbage spread out behind your house, or leave a hunk of rotting meat nailed to a perch of some sort. They will eat pretty much anything. Crows are always in competition with ...


10

Crows and ravens are opportunistic foragers, meaning they eat carrion, rodents, steal eggs and nestlings, insects, etc. You will likely find them curious and very cautious (more so than typical "bird feeder visitors"). I have great success finding roadkill deer in the winter, and placing out of sight, using trail camera and/or binoculars to observe. They are ...


10

Some species reuse abandoned nests. According to the Bird Nests and Eggs field guide, great horned owls reuse abandoned raptor nests, and elf owls nest in abandoned woodpecker holes. This is far from a complete list of species that reuse nests; this is just two I remembered off the top of my head and could find a reference for.


10

Of the three possibles I came up with from your description (wagtail, oystercatcher and lapwing), wagtail was ruled out by its size, and you would have seen an oystercatcher's beak as they are pretty bright (and oystercatchers don't have a swooping flight) - the only one that matches correctly is the lapwing. It is black and white and has very squared off ...


10

Think like a bird. If I were a bird, I would go were I can feed, breed, and hide from predators. Bird-feeders address only one of those needs, and most of the time birds can find natural food, which they prefer, elsewhere. But come winter, they will happily stop by at hygienic, crow- and cat-proof feeders. Birds love trees. This is were they live, breed, ...


10

I'm not a bird-watcher myself, but I have bird-watchers in my family, so I had rich opportunity to observe their conversations on their hobby. Here's a collection of points that I think contribute to the appeal of bird-watching. Note that for reasons of homogenuity, I'll use websites and quotes mostly from the UK as an example in the following, but the ...


9

According to The Cornell Lab of Ornithology, American Robins are indeed found in wild places like woodlands, forests, and mountains. Because worms hibernate, the winter robins feed primarily on berries, found on trees and shrubs in the woods. The Ohio DNR Division of Wildlife lists robins as native to Ohio. Some migrators travel through but there is a ...


9

This answer may apply to other countries but is pretty cert for the UK. Bird feed sold in the UK (from big chain pet stores, to garden centres, to little corner shops) usually comes with a time of year printed on the packet. This can be Spring-Summer, Winter or All Year for example. Which is because we get a cycle of birds throught the year and what is good ...


9

I suspect this mostly is a result of need, and antipathy. First of all I think your premise that humans can't identify individual animals within a breed or species is false. People who spend significant time with animals like pet owners, farmers, and naturalists can differentiate between "their" animals and new animals much easier than people who aren't ...


9

The smallest owl in the world is the elf owl (Micrathene whitneyi). It's about the size of a sparrow, and weighs about an ounce and a half, which is just less than the weight of a golf ball! Wingspan: 13 1/2 - 16 1/2 in. Length: 5 - 5 3/4 in. Tail: 1.8 - 2.1 in. Average Weight: 1 1/2 oz. The back side is rusty-...


9

Those grackles are engaged in a courting behavior, most frequently called “bill tilt.” It's also been called “head up” or “head up threat.” While establishing pairs for mating, males vie for the attention of the females. Usually as the birds arrive, a group of males will chase the females. Gradually the males drop off until there are fewer males vying for ...


9

The bird you are listening to is a northern mocking bird. I am not sure why it’s making the calls in the middle of the night. Mockingbirds in general are known for their intelligence and their ability to learn new calls. That’s why you’ll mostly hear it making a lot of different types of calls. EDIT: After some research I found the following reasons why ...


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