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  1. Ruff

    Crow Family Thanks Man Who Helped Them With Tiny Gifts

    [I find this story entirely credible. When crows started visiting my bird bath to soften pieces of dried bread and such, I started putting out some blue marbles for them, based on another story I'd read. As soon as the marbles started disappearing, the crows started leaving little food treats...
  2. Ruff

    'Building The Perfect Squirrel Proof Birdfeeder'

    Well not quite, I'll just leave this here and say it's well worth a look. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=192&v=hFZFjoX2cGg&feature=emb_logo
  3. Ruff

    My new project: Operation Friendship Garden Crow

    For starters, I grew up in a rural culture that was at war with the crows, something mostly based on the belief that they would ruin sweet corn crops but I think mainly based on the general feeling that they were somehow creatures of darkness (Christian memories of Woden's ravens?). The...
  4. Ruff

    Vancouver Island fish farmers rescue eagle from octopus

    Bald eagles are probably not a staple of the octopus diet... there's a photo at the link. Vancouver Island fish farmers rescue eagle from octopus Adam Chan Associate Digital Producer VICTORIA -- An island bald eagle was rescued from a watery demise Monday afternoon after workers at Mowi...
  5. Ruff

    site helps identify common feeder birds

    'Feederwatch' site helps identify common feeder birds This new site from Cornell Labs will be great for non-twitchers who have feeders going, unfortunately for North America only at this point...
  6. Ruff

    Birding on Google Streetview, a new frontier?

    I caught this on a CBC radio broadcast yesterday. One of the stranger birding pursuits I've come across, strange for me I mean but others are really into it, often as the man says those who are in front of a monitor at work all day. The idea is to list as many birds as possible by touring...
  7. Ruff

    Do your crows 'wash' their food?

    Following the introduction of West Nile Virus, the crow population in my area declined sharply and is only coming back slowly but they've started coming to my selection of bird feeders and looking things over. Coincidental with that, I started finding strange items in the bird bath the odd time...
  8. Ruff

    Cornell Labs post: "Why do we feed the birds?"

    The Cornell University people just posted this on Facebook, which is to say that they may have done so a while ago but it just appeared on my page this afternoon. Pretty good article with some of their usual science supported data. Since it seems to be part of a current magazine article in the...
  9. Ruff

    Falcon troubles in Cornwall, Ontario

    Falcon attack troubles in Cornwall, Ontario The modern Canadian attitude towards living in 'harmony' with wildlife is not without its problems. It's a bit doubtful that the government's permission to relocate the merlin family will be given, or if it is that the move will be successful for the...
  10. Ruff

    New feeder, birds and even squirrels terrified

    For the past 5-6 years one of my main feeders has been a Squirrel-Be-Gone unit which uses a balance counterweight to close off access to seed when a heavy weight marauder like a squirrel gets on the normal perch used by the birds it's designed for. Over the years, it has served me well and...
  11. Ruff

    Another corvid curiousity

    A news story from western Canada; there are links on the original page that are worth viewing, including the featured video. I'm fond of crows and ravens myself, but normally they don't let people in closer than a hundred metres, at least not here in Eastern Canada. Infamous Vancouver crow...
  12. Ruff

    Now this is what I call feeding the birds.

    That's a lot of eagles! There are two versions of this video available; in the original the fisherman uses a bad word in the first 2 seconds so I'm posting a link the version with a musical overlay. The video itself seems to be about 5 years old but I'd never seen it before today...
  13. Ruff

    Cornel Labs study on the good/bad effects of bird feeders

    Personally, since all the birds that come to my feeders have wings, I've never worried that I was harming them, to me this study confirms that no harm is resulting. I recommend going to the link because there's a lot going on there beyond the mere text. And do note the disclaimer at the end that...
  14. Ruff

    Grey squirrel sets up its own feeder.

    I have a semi-ornate coach lamp looking thing attached above the front door here and I also use it to as an electrical light up parts of our Christmas lights display, accomplished by removing the light bulb inside and screwing in a 'tap' that allows a plug to be inserted. Here in Canada the...
  15. Ruff

    A very cold bird

    We have of course had what most countries would call extreme cold here in Central Canada for millennia, and certainly this year, but today I observed something new to me. A purple finch appeared at one of my feeders with an extraordinary white patch on its back and I looked at it for some...
  16. Ruff

    Bird of the season for this year

    My bird for the season, so far at least, is the Northern Junco (formally the Slate Coloured Junco and for all I know called that again). They arrive in a flock of 30 or so and stay for most of the day, assuming it's always the same flock, but they're not all that common. Other birds drift in an...
  17. Ruff

    Scientists observe rise of a new species of Glapagos finch

    In case anyone misses this in their regular news feeds: http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-42103058?ocid=socialflow_facebook&ns_mchannel=social&ns_campaign=bbcnews&ns_source=facebook The Galapagos are a scientific gift that just keeps on giving.
  18. Ruff

    Passive IR binoculars used in birding?

    Just a random thought perhaps, but infrared binoculars are becoming rather easy to find and affordable in my market these days (at least in comparison to past years) and I'm wondering how useful they might be for birding. OK, this is in large part a search for an excuse to buy one, but would...
  19. Ruff

    Puzzling Canadian woodland bird sound

    I was visiting a friend with a country property on the weekend, outside the living area it is densely wooded with a mix of white pine and red and white oak (the pine were planted probably 30 years ago, the oak are natural). There is a river a short distance away. My friend drew me a short way...
  20. Ruff

    Two designs of squirrel discouragers

    I came across a used Droll Yankee brand 'Whipper' bird feeder today and so far it has stood up admirably to one squirrel attack; it's basically just a rather large diameter tube with collapsing perches that will not stand up to a squirrel's weight. I give the little beggars about 6 weeks before...
  21. Ruff

    Up to 10 news species of North American crossbill?

    Maybe, but it might be necessary to hire an ornithologist to sort them out for you. This is an excellent and also entertaining essay on a team of crossbill researchers and it provided me with all kinds of new information about the species, which for the reasons stated are always transitory in...
  22. Ruff

    Irish students attacked and injured by crows

    I have an observation and then a question. First, the North American red winged black bird routinely attacks passersby that come close to their nests, and I mean savagely and from behind. A upfront crow would be a nice change. Secondly, while I don't know anyone from CIT, I do know a few that...
  23. Ruff

    How to record bird song with your smartphone

    Or with what is known as a mobile by British birders. Worthwhile tips from Cornell Labs, I'm just going to post the link as I'm sure they'd love a visit. https://www.allaboutbirds.org/how-to-record-bird-sounds-with-your-smartphone-our-tips/
  24. Ruff

    House finch eye disease reveals secrets of other outbreaks

    I've posted once or twice about this disease temporarily wiping out my local population of house finches (not a native species in eastern North America but now very common here, at least prior to the eye disease epidemic). This article from Living Bird Magazine which I received via Cornell...