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Hello from York, PA (2 Viewers)

Hi Everyone --

My name is Tim and I bird mostly in York, PA. Although I have long been fascinated by Red-Tailed Hawks, my real interest in birds only began about 2 years ago when COVID first hit and we were spending a lot more time in our yard, paying attention to the things right around us.

I started keeping a list in my notes app, which I named "Birds In The Yard." I still use that as a running list of everything I have identified both in our yard and beyond. Now, two years in, I am ready to say that my interest in wild birds is real. I took the plunge to buy a camera (Nikon Coolpix P950) so I can start to document the birds I see. And I started trying out checklists on eBird.

We have 3 feeders with different options, 2 baths, and a bunch of different plant options.

In 2021, I counted 45 species from my backyard (a combination of birds actually in the yard and ones passing overhead seen from the yard).

We usually have a pretty steady stream of birds at our feeders. That all changed about 3 weeks ago and I am not entirely sure why. My best guess at the moment is that it might have something to do with the feisty mating pair of Cooper's Hawks with a nest next door and a new favorite feeding parch that looks right down into my yard.

I consider myself a newbie, casual, amateur backyard birder -- but I have started to lightly explore some birding hotspots in the area, too. A pair of binoculars and the Merlin app have been my most-used tools. And I am learning -- slowly, over time -- to relax my ears and my eyes. I am finally getting to the point where I can identify a lot of the common birds around us from a far-away call or a glimpse of them flying. Getting better at what I think of as "rapid, suspected ID" based on a glimpse of a bird in flight has been particularly rewarding -- especially when I am able to verify later.

I'm looking forward to discovering the next stages of my birding adventure.

Tim
 

KC Foggin

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Hi there and a warm welcome to you from those of us on staff here at BirdForum (y)
We're glad you found us and please join in wherever you like. ;)

If you have nesting BOPs near by you can count on them keeping your normal yard birds away.
 
Hi KC Foggin and thanks!

The male has typical adult coloring while the female seems to have immature coloring (based on a quick consult with All About Birds). Is that normal for a breeding pair? They mate several times a day on their favorite feeding limb.
 

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Lisa W

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Hi, Tim. Welcome to the forum. I think you will find us a friendly and helpful group. Having a nesting pair or hawks will definitely cut down on the yard visitors, I don’t know at what age the female Cooper’s start to breed. Splendid photos of the two of them.
 

delia todd

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Scotland
Hi Tim and a warm welcome from me too. That's the camera I use too... suits me fine, so I hope you like it. I'll look forward to seeing some of your pictures in the Gallery.

I'm sure you will enjoy it here and I hope to hear about all the birds you see when out and about.
 

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