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  1. L

    Do you clean nest boxes after the season?

    I had a pair of Oak Titmouse use my nest box to raise their family of three chicks. Now they are all out of the nest, flying happily together for a few weeks more before the young ones go their own way. After a nesting season, do you clean the nest boxes? Or do you leave as they are? Do...
  2. L

    The mistake of buying an Ultravid HD+ 7x42

    I made a terrible mistake buying a pair of Leica Ultravid HD+ 7x42. Before, I was happy with my Pocket Victory 8x25, or Ultravid 8x32 HD+... yes, they required each the proper technique, aligning them just so and holding them against by brows so, but they really delivered beautiful images...
  3. L

    Flicker (I think) ID for California

    I saw this bird in California... I think it's a Flicker, and I think I know which one, but I'd like to ask for a confirmation ID here without biasing you. What do you think it is? Many thanks!! Luca
  4. L

    California Bay Area - Hawk id

    I need help with the ID of a hawk, or perhaps an owl, even if the latter is unlikely. I saw it as sunset in the hills of the South Bay, and it was already dark. It was flying with a prey in its beak, and I remember the large bird, the brown feathers, and the distinct and very white rim of the...
  5. L

    Advice on nestbox spacing

    I am in the California Bay Area. In my garden I have two live oaks, and some other trees; the bird population consists of oak titmouse, chestnut-backed chickadees, some finches, titbushes (on the trees and also in the brushes), and on the ground, dark-eyed juncos and california towhee. I have...
  6. L

    CA: Pine Siskin

    Is this a Pine Siskin? The photos were taken at my bird feeder in the Bay Area, California. The bird to me looks like a Siskin, but there's no yellow that I can see in the wings, at least, not evident... The beak does not look like the beak of a finch... What is it? Indeed a Siskin, or...
  7. L

    California, Bay Area - Sparrow ID

    I need help confirming the IDs of these sparrows. I think they are golden crowned sparrows. Am I right? These were seen today, in the Bay Area (Arastradero Park). Many thanks!! Sorry for the small photos; I did not have my best lens with me.
  8. L

    California, Sierra Nevada: Hairy or Downy Woodpecker?

    Is this a hairy or downy woodpecker? Seen in the Sierra Nevada, about 6000ft. Your help is much appreciated. I am also surprised at how narrow is the top white band; in the Sibley, it is depicted as being much wider. Here, in places, it is almost a thin line.
  9. L

    IS binoculars or scope for higher magnification?

    I currently do all my birding at 8x: primarily, 8x25 and 8x32, for which I have very good binoculars. This works very very well for me, except that occasionally (not that occasionally) I have difficulty identifying birds due to low magnification. Example: this Sunday I went to visit a pond in...
  10. L

    The 8x32 FL has been discontinued...

    I see now on B&H that the Zeiss FL 8x32 is now discontinued. I also don't see it any more on the Zeiss site. It's a pity, I really liked it, so compact and sharp... on the other hand, I have one, so I don't need to worry. But this leaves only the UV 8x32 HD+ as a small alpha 8x32.
  11. L

    ID help for Bay Area, Shoreline

    This time I don't have a photo, only a visual memory, and even if you can steer me even weakly in the good direction, it's helpful as it narrows the search. Let me phrase it as a riddle just for fun: What's a bird that has the head colors of a white-crowned sparrow, the beak and size of a...
  12. L

    California - Bushtit or Wrentit?

    Seen in the California Bay Area, Shoreline. Bushtit or Wrentit? I say Bushtit, but am I right? Thanks!!
  13. L

    Ruby-Crowned Kinglet? California

    This was taken at Shoreline Park, Bay Area. I think it's a Ruby-Crowned Kinglet. Do you agree? I am not yet very confident of distinguishing it from Hutton's Vireo. Thanks!!
  14. L

    California, Bay Area - song sparrow?

    Bear with me... I am trying to learn how to identify sparrows. This was seen in Bay Area marshes (Palo Alto Baylands). I think it's a song sparrow, Adult California Coast (on Sibley). Am I right? Thanks!
  15. L

    How do you use the leather pouch of the UV BL?

    I have Ultravid Blackline with this nice leather pouch. Dumb question: how do you use it? It has, on one side, those two push-buttons and a flap. I generally put the binoculars in with the focusing knob the side of the flap, so that the push buttons around it, and the added thickness of the...
  16. L

    New York - Sparrow identification

    Dear All, what is the sparrow in the attached image? It was seen in NY. I am not an expert of East Coast birds...and it does not seem to match any of the sparrows I have looked up (but of course there are juvenile forms, etc). Any advice? Many thanks! Luca
  17. L

    Zeiss FL objective covers

    It seems the Zeiss FL 8x32 use the same style objective covers as the Conquest HD, and those covers provide a very poor fit (at least mines; they do not fit properly and do not stay on). If you have Zeiss FL, are you satisfied with the covers?
  18. L

    Should send these Leica in for repair?

    These Leica Ultravid HD+ 8x32 have developed some very slight cracks/bulges under the plastic of the central hinge. It looks as if the hinge is covers with a thin layer of plastic, and the material under this layer is not homogeneous, but it is bulging and causing cracking. I tried to capture...
  19. L

    Black-throated sparrow or hairy woodpecker? - California, Bay Area

    This morning, on the Santa Cruz mountains (close to skyline boulevard) I saw this bird. I apologize for the bad quality of the picture, it's all I could get before it flew away. As you can see, the color pattern on the head recalls a Mountain Chickadee, but Mountain Chickadee it is not. Some...
  20. L

    Red-tailed hawk? California

    Is this a red tailed hawk? I am in doubt between red tailed and red shouldered, but from Sibley, this seems a light juvenile red-tailed hawk. Am I right? Photo taken in San Francisco.
  21. L

    California, Sierra (Tahoe) Woodpecker

    Today I saw a woodpecker I cannot identify. It was fairly small in size. It had the red patch on top of the head typical of many woodpeckers. The sides had black and white stripes, each stripe being about ... 1cm wide, perhaps. On the back, there was a large black patch that covered the...
  22. L

    Advice: eBird, Audubon, Bird ID apps

    I would like some advice about apps. In my ideal world, I would like to use in the field Merlin Bird ID to identify birds. I would then like to share automatically the ID with eBird. Is this possible? I am not yet expert enough to use eBird only. An app that seems to offer all-in-one ID...
  23. L

    Can I use Merlin Bird ID to add check-ins to Ebird?

    Cornell Lab has two apps among other ones: Merlin Bird ID, and Ebird. The problem is that I am yet too much of a novice to use Ebird efficiently: I am still learning how to identify birds. And I woudl love to have a way to save my IDs with Merlin Bird ID. So far, when I identify a bird, I...
  24. L

    California, Bay Area - song sparrow?

    I saw this bird yesterday, and given the plumage variability of song sparrows, I'd like a confirmation from more expert members: is this indeed a song sparrow? https://lucadealfaro.smugmug.com/Nature/Birds/n-5qxPgq/i-mMwK7gj/A Many thanks! (and thanks for bearing with me; I am quite a...
  25. L

    Zeiss 8x32 FL vs Leica UV HD+ 8x32

    I am considering getting 8x32 binoculars. I currently have Zeiss Victory Pocket 8x25, and I am looking for compact binoculars that would give me a bit more brightness, and even easier viewing, than the Zeiss Pockets. I am looking mainly at the Zeiss 8x32 FL, and at the Leica UV HD+ 8x32. I...