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Courtenay
(@courtenay)
NarniaWeb Guru Hospitality Committee
Posted by: @aileth

Hey, if "he" can read enough to be insulted, we might have other issues!

Good point... ROFL (And you don't want swans getting mad at you, believe me. They have ridges inside their beaks that are almost as sharp as teeth, for grinding their food. I know from having made the mistake of feeding a black swan back in Australia and getting the edge of my hand bitten... ow!!!)

That's from my brother's camera (I didn't have my long lens that day, which is a rather long, sad story :-O) We were able to spend four months in the UK, and Conwy was one of those highlights you remember forever.

Oh wow, isn't it just??? I'm over the moon with the fact that, now that I'm pretty much permanently settled just on the edge of Manchester, North Wales is only a short drive away — 1 1/2 hours from my home to Conwy, which is my new favourite town and I'm looking forward to coming regularly for breaks and getting to know the area better.

Here's a heron on the same estuary, from my previous visit about three weeks ago:

PB020675.JPG

 

Some sentinel pigeons at Conwy Castle

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A cosier pair

PB020685.JPG

 

And two jackdaws, possibly distant relatives of the one who made (or was) the first joke in Narnia! Wink  

PB020701.JPG

"Now you are a lioness," said Aslan. "And now all Narnia will be renewed."
(Prince Caspian)

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Posted : November 24, 2021 2:46 pm
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Jasmine
(@jasmine_tarkheena)
NarniaWeb Junkie

I've seen vultures in our yard. We were surprised how big they are. I consider them to be God's clean-up birds, to eat up a dead thing. I guess it's no wonder I wasn't traumatized by Tash's appearance in the stable in The Last Battle, let alone the illustration, where he's holding Rishda.

Anyhow, vultures can sense a dead animal even far a way. They help clean out the carcass to keep from decaying.

"And this is the marvel of marvels, that he called me beloved."
(Emeth, The Last Battle)
https://escapetoreality.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/aslan-and-emeth2.jpg

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Posted : November 24, 2021 2:59 pm
Narnian78
(@narnian78)
NarniaWeb Junkie

Some people think that robins are confused when they are seen on mild winter days.  Actually it is quite common to see robins in towns when the weather is sunny and not too cold. While most of them  do fly south there are some that stay all winter in Michigan. The state bird is a year round resident. The robins feed on the berries of wild bushes which are found in the country when earthworms are not available in the frozen ground.  I like to see them since they add some charm and beauty to the landscape along with the cardinals, which also stay through the winter. Bluebirds will also sometimes stay through the entire winter, and they will often return very early in the spring. The wood thrushes usually appear in late April or early May. Robins, wood thrushes, bluebirds, and cardinals are among the best loved American songbirds.  🙂

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Topic starter Posted : December 14, 2021 6:33 am
Narnian78
(@narnian78)
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Here is a very interesting article about the ivory billed woodpecker:

https://emergencemagazine.org/essay/the-lord-god-bird/

I think the bird may still exist even though there haven’t been confirmed sightings in years. It still may be hiding in a forest or swamp in one of our national parks or in a similar place. Perhaps there are some of them are hidden in a large park such as the Everglades in Florida. We have the pileated woodpecker here in Michigan, which is similar in some ways to the ivory bill. I doubt if the ivory bill is extinct since there have been some sightings by people who knew what the bird looked like. Perhaps there are only a few of the birds, but they may still exist. There is no real proof of extinction.

 

 

 

 

 

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Topic starter Posted : December 30, 2021 6:37 am
Courtenay
(@courtenay)
NarniaWeb Guru Hospitality Committee

@narnian78 We've had a few cases in Australia of thought-to-be-extinct creatures turning up again — the most recent one I'm aware of is the Night Parrot, which had no confirmed live sightings for about 100 years, up until 2013. More information on the Bush Heritage Australia website if anyone's interested. Cases like that always give me hope!

"Now you are a lioness," said Aslan. "And now all Narnia will be renewed."
(Prince Caspian)

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Posted : January 3, 2022 10:43 am
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Narnian78
(@narnian78)
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@courtenay 

The Carolina Parakeet was declared extinct many years ago, and at least once it was sighted in Michigan. So we have even had wild parrots in our state, which is rather strange. I don’t know if it was related to the Night Parrot. I don’t think it’s impossible that some birds declared extinct may be still living, but if it has been over a hundred years since they were last seen there isn’t much chance of finding live specimens. However, the ivory billed woodpecker was sighted in 2005, and there are other reported sightings through the years.  So there is a chance that it still lives. 🙂

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Topic starter Posted : January 3, 2022 12:42 pm
Courtenay
(@courtenay)
NarniaWeb Guru Hospitality Committee
Posted by: @narnian78

The Carolina Parakeet was declared extinct many years ago, and at least once it was sighted in Michigan. So we have even had wild parrots in our state, which is rather strange. I don’t know if it was related to the Night Parrot.

Not very closely, I should think — the Night Parrot is nocturnal (as the name suggests), ground-dwelling, and lives in spinifex clumps in the desert.

I don’t think it’s impossible that some birds declared extinct may be still living, but if it has been over a hundred years since they were last seen there isn’t much chance of finding live specimens. However, the ivory billed woodpecker was sighted in 2005, and there are other reported sightings through the years.  So there is a chance that it still lives. 🙂

Very true, and I'd say more than a chance — I was surprised at hearing it rated as "extinct" recently when I was aware there was a confirmed sighting of it only about 15 years ago! I've always thought a species has to have no confirmed sightings or other definite evidence for a minimum of 50 years before it's officially declared extinct, but I could be wrong there.

"Now you are a lioness," said Aslan. "And now all Narnia will be renewed."
(Prince Caspian)

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Posted : January 3, 2022 12:59 pm
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Narnian78
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I always wondered why the Mourning Dove is so common and the Passenger Pigeon is extinct.  The two species had much in common and resembled each other in appearance except that the Passenger Pigeon was larger and the color was different. The loss of habitat was probably the reason for extinction, although over hunting may have been a factor.  Apparently bird species which have some similarities do not always have guarantees of survival.  There is even a river named after the Passenger Pigeon in the county where I live here in Michigan (it is called the Pigeon River), but that bird has not been seen in the county for over one hundred years.  It seems certain that the Passenger Pigeon no longer exists. 

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Topic starter Posted : January 10, 2022 2:47 am
Narnian78
(@narnian78)
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Here is something that I thought about recently: do birds compose their own songs or does their instinct do it for them to help them mate and survive? It is difficult for me to accept that a bird song is nothing more than instinct which was put in them to survive.  Consider the wood thrush, skylark, and nightingale.  It's hard to think that those birds did nothing to compose their songs.  The skill seems to be in them without something or someone else teaching them how to sing.  Perhaps they are self-taught musicians.  🙂

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Topic starter Posted : March 26, 2022 1:30 pm
Courtenay
(@courtenay)
NarniaWeb Guru Hospitality Committee

@narnian78 When I was working for Australian Geographic magazine, I wrote an article on our native zebra finches, which (I didn't realise this before) are the subject of a lot of scientific study, being very easy to keep and breed in captivity. I did a telephone interview with an American scientist who had sequenced the zebra finch genome, and one of the points that he made was that zebra finches learn their songs much the same way human children learn to speak. The young ones "babble" all sorts of sounds, but as they get older they imitate their parents more and more. In this species it's only the males that sing an elaborate song, and they learn it from copying the way their father sings. (This scientist was hoping that studying how finches learn their songs, and what genetic factors might be responsible for this ability, would help with speech therapy for humans as well, but I don't know how far research has gone in that area since then — this was back in 2010.)

I assume this goes for most if not all other birds too — they learn their songs and calls from their parents or other adult birds around them. I know from experience that some birds have regional "dialects". There's another small bird species in Australia, a black and white fantail that we all call a Willie Wagtail, and it has a short, sweet little song that you often hear over and over at night. I grew up in Victoria (south-eastern Australia), and when I moved to Queensland (much further north), I was fascinated to discover that the Willie Wagtails there sang slightly differently from the ones in Victoria. It was undoubtedly the same type of bird, but the rhythm of the song was just a bit different, which I noticed every time I heard it. Rather like how people from different parts of the same country can speak the same language with a different accent!

And then there are birds that can learn and imitate other sounds — the Superb Lyrebird is the most famous one in Australia. It can mimic an amazing range of sounds — human voices, a camera shutter, even a chainsaw, as well as other birds' calls — with such incredible accuracy you'd swear it was actually recording them and playing them back!! And I've read that there's evidence that lyrebirds can learn these sounds from other lyrebirds too and even pass them down through generations. So no, it's not some sort of mindless instinct that enables birds to sing — it's definitely intelligence and ability to learn from others. A really fascinating subject!

"Now you are a lioness," said Aslan. "And now all Narnia will be renewed."
(Prince Caspian)

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Posted : March 28, 2022 1:41 pm
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Narnian78
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@courtenay 

I don’t know if baby thrushes imitate their parents, but somehow they learn how to sing.  The song is a thrush song and they do not imitate other birds as some species in other parts of the world. But that’s the way it is here in North America. The mockingbird will imitate other birds, but it is an exception.  We don’t have many exotic birds here in the U. S. unless you consider parrots in Florida. Here in Michigan the birds are beautiful but not very exotic. We don’t have anything like lyrebirds or babblers, but we have birds that artists have made pictures of. Their songs are very pleasant to the ears as is their appearance such as the bluebirds and cardinals.  It is well worth going to the woods to see and hear them. 🙂

Interestingly enough, one of the most popular bird books here in the U.S. was published by National Geographic, a magazine with a similar title to the one you mentioned in Australia. The National Geographic Society has published many books on birds, national parks, and history.

I read somewhere that are no woodpeckers in Australia.  I wonder if that is really true.  Are there the right kind of trees where you live for woodpeckers and nuthatches?  We have several species of both here in Michigan-- flickers are among the most common and we have the red and white breasted nuthatches.  🙂

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Topic starter Posted : March 28, 2022 2:06 pm
Narnian78
(@narnian78)
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My favorite county parks did have wood thrushes again yesterday and the day before. A pair of them was foraging for food and perhaps searching for nesting material.  I have noticed that the forest birds usually keep their distance so it is better to observe them with binoculars. Usually the song is enough to identify the thrushes, tanagers, and red eyed vireos. They will come much closer if there are fewer people in the parks.

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Topic starter Posted : May 18, 2022 8:21 am
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Narnian78
(@narnian78)
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Here is an interesting article comparing the wood thrush and hermit thrush:

https://www.birdnature.com/wood-thrush-vs-hermit-thrush/

It is very helpful for easy identification when looking for these birds while walking in the woods. Now is the time to watch for them in the parks and natural areas.

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Topic starter Posted : May 26, 2022 10:46 am
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