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Perfectly Imperfect Life..........

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Thursday, January 10, 2013

Birding Season

 


Yep, it's that time of year...my favorite!
When eggs start to hatch and it's time to count the bird types in your neck of the woods.

The Great Backyard Bird Count is Feb, 15 - 18 this year.
You can bet your bottom dollar I'll be out there with my tally sheet and camera. I could only hope to EVER catch a photo like this years winner of the photo contest.


Pastel perfection:
 the overall 2012 winner is this lovely Cedar Waxwing
from Ben Thomas of Georgia.

2012 Overall Winners

2012 Behavior Winners

2012 Composition Winners

2012 Group Winners

2012 Habitat Winners

2012 People Winners


Intimate Glimpses of One of the Most Endangered Birds on Earth

On a tussock in arctic Russia a tiny russet bird opens its curious, flat-tipped bill. Out issues a sharp trilling full of lungpower and tenacity. The bird's singing pays off, attracting a mate for the cold Siberian summer. A few weeks later, two impossibly fluffy chicks emerge from the nest to take their first steps on wobbly black legs. They are the next generation of critically endangered Spoon-billed Sandpipers—as few as 100 breeding pairs remain. Our cameras were there (in a concealed blind) to capture the nesting cycle in high definition video for the first time ever—images we're using to raise awareness about the plight of shorebirds migrating along the East Asian-Australasian Flyway
Spoon-billed Sandpiper: Breeding Season

These are a fun and interesting videos to watch. There are 4 that take you from Breeding Season through Courtship, Foraging and ends with Hatching  


"Spoon-billed Sandpipers arrive in late May and early June on nesting grounds in Russia, still gripped in ice and snow. Over the course of about two months, as the landscape transforms from white to brown to green, they court, nest and raise their young.
Within days of arriving on the breeding grounds, Spoon-billed Sandpiper courtship begins. Males perform display flights over favored areas to attract females and establish territories and females select a mate. Once together, a pair becomes inseparable. They forage within earshot of each other, copulate frequently, and prospect for potential locations to nest.
The common foraging behaviors of Spoon-billed Sandpipers on the breeding grounds differ significantly from their behaviors on the wintering grounds. Birds move more slowly and pick food items -- invertebrates and small amounts of plant material - from the surface in a fashion similar to most other small sandpipers. 
Spoon-billed Sandpipers lay 4 eggs in a simple tundra nest comprised of a shallow depression, most often in mosses, lined with a few dwarf willow leaves. The nest is incubated by both adults on half-day shifts -- the male most often during the day and the female at night. After 21 days of incubation the eggs begin to hatch in a process that takes a day or more to complete. When the young finally emerge from the nest they stumble about on well-developed legs and feet and begin to feed themselves. After the last chick emerges, the male begins his job of leading the chicks as they grow towards independence about 20 days later; the female soon departs and begins moving south."
Video's includes commentary by The Cornell Lab's Gerrit Vyn.
Filmed  near Meinypilgyno, Chukotka, Russia 



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