Persistence Pays Off For Burrowing Owls

10,000 Birds

As I opined in my post back in 2010 (and continue to preach) the Western Burrowing Owl needs a conservation plan. Above is a photo of the only Burrowing Owl ( Athene cunicularia ) seen at Tuscan Preserve back in February of 2010 when a group of concerned birders installed eight artificial burrows on this property, to be preserved in perpetuity. A pair of Burrowing Owls fledged six young! The owl can enter the tunnel at one end and escape through the other end if necessary.

2016 40

Cow Birds

10,000 Birds

It didn’t take much imagination to name Cowbirds or Cattle Egrets or Cattle Tyrants , but there’s more fantasy, even more wit, involved in the naming of other bovine birds. Go win a copy and you might get it before I get off my keister and write my review… Great Horned Owl Taking a Deer Leg Seriously, that really happens in this excellent video of a Great Horned Owl scavenging a deer carcass by Kirk Mona.

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Collaborative list – March 2020

10,000 Birds

Cattle Egret ( Bubulcus ibis ). Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl ( Glaucidium brasilianum ). Lady Helen has often made the point that we get very little opportunity to spend quality time together. The old saying “ be careful what you wish for ” comes to mind.

2020 57

Collaborative list – June 2021

10,000 Birds

Flaming June is busting out all over. Insects were held back by weird spring weather, but now the warmth returns and the birds are feasting on the late stirring bugs. June saw 8 beats get their birding boots on and share 90 checklists for your pleasure.

Shifting Baselines and Sneaky Jays

10,000 Birds

Flashy of look, brash of attitude, and strident of voice, they bomb around announcing every discovery – ripe acorns, sleeping owls, snakes in need of scolding – to the world. Unlike Barred Owls they were accompanied by no great controversy , and unlike Cattle Egrets or Eurasian Collared Doves they didn’t come as an abrupt continent-hopping surprise.

2018 50

What Flies Over Costa Rica in the Night?

10,000 Birds

Listening for birds on Poas Volcano and other high mountain areas would require cool weather clothing but it would be much more quiet and peaceful and could also come with the side benefits of Dusky Nightjars, Bare-shanked Screech-Owls , and maybe even Unspotted Saw-whet Owl.

Pat’s 2020 Bird List, Mostly from Costa Rica

10,000 Birds

The late nights with the mosquito crowd are worth it when the owls finally reveal their lethal soft selfs by sound. Cattle Egret – Bubulcus ibis; Tambor, 3-Jan. Middle American Screech Owl– Megascops guatemalae; Raptor Ridge, 6-Jan.

2020 80

Serbia – birding overview of a year in the Central Balkans

10,000 Birds

European Collared and Pied Flycatchers , Eurasian Hoopoes , Common Cuckoos and Tree Pipits are back in late March, while Eurasian Scops Owls are back by late March – early April. In the last ten years, Cattle Egrets have bred again, on and off, but for the first time since 1870s. Scops Owls can be easily heard, but not so easily seen, Little and Long-eared Owls are the easiest ones to see, while Tawny and Long-eared are the most easily heard owls.

2018 47

Birding India with the ABA

10,000 Birds

Then, we became birders again, noting Common Mynas and Eastern Cattle Egrets on the terraced lawns, Yellow-footed Pigeons, European-collared and Red-collared Doves in the trees bordering the garden squares. I was waiting at the entrance gate for everyone in our group to gather, when I remembered that someone had told me about nesting owls at the Taj. Luckily, I didn’t have to look hard to find the Dusky Eagle-Owl’s nest. It was a big owl.

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Birding a flooded highway

10,000 Birds

It was our second trip out on this piece of highway this year and sadly the second deceased Barn Owl. Unfortunately we have only ever seen dead Barn Owls in the Broome area and one day it would be nice to see a bird hunting over the land. Grass Owls are also present in the area, but remain off our bird list. We have seen and heard Barking Owls when camping in the bush and maybe one day our luck will change!

2014 56

India’s Raptor Rescuers

10,000 Birds

With almost 1200 species of birds in the Capital Region, the house and roof steadily filled with Egyptian Vultures, Barn Owls, Hornbills, Black Ibis, Cattle Egrets, Steppe Eagles , a multitude of songbirds and pigeons , as well as the occasional cobra or palm squirrel. When a tree filled with nestling Cattle Egrets collapsed, 60 orphans took up temporary residence in the house.

India 80

Collaborative List ? May 2020

10,000 Birds

Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis). Barn Owl (Tyto alba). Eurasian Scops-Owl (Otus scops). Tropical Screech-Owl (Megascops choliba). Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus). Little Owl (Athene noctua).

2020 57

Collaborative list – February 2021

10,000 Birds

201 Cattle Egret – Bubulcus ibis. 242 Barn Owl – Tyto alba. 243 Bare-shanked Screech-Owl – Megascops clarkii. 244 Spectacled Owl – Pulsatrix perspicillata. 245 Great Horned Owl – Bubo virginianus. 247 Tawny Owl – Strix aluco.

The Lion Forest of India

10,000 Birds

A low branch is decorated by a Green Bee-eater (above) and a tree top above it holds several Cattle Egrets. We have almost forgotten that Manoj has promised us some creatures of the night, when he raised his hand to point at three Mottled Wood Owls right above us, beautiful large Strix owls slightly amused by us. A longish drive – long enough to forget that he has actually promised us two owls. Manoj really knows his owls. Two owls and a nightjar!

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Birding Cape Town

10,000 Birds

On my recent visit I managed to see specialties like Spotted Eagle Owls , Swee Waxbills , Cape Sugarbirds , Malachite Sunbirds and Cape Francolins. Spotted Eagle Owl. Cattle Egret in spring flowers. I’m a big fan of city birding. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy getting away from it all out in some remote forest or desert, but a good city can combine some excellent birding and outstanding diving, drinking, dining and sightseeing.

2016 59

Collaborative List – July 2020

10,000 Birds

Cattle Egret – Bubulcus ibis. Barn Owl – Tyto alba. Great Horned Owl – Bubo virginianus. Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl – Glaucidium brasilianum. Little Owl – Athene noctua. Tawny Owl – Strix aluco. Barred Owl – Strix varia.

2020 57

Collaborative list – November 2020

10,000 Birds

103 Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl – Glaucidium brasilianum. 123 Barn Owl – Tyto alba. 445 Cattle Egret – Bubulcus ibis. 498 Barred Owl – Strix varia. 499 Northern Saw-whet Owl – Aegolius acadicus. Who remembers birding parties?

2020 57

Bring back the Blue Tit

10,000 Birds

The Barn Owl was a cosmopolitan species, so as it is split the name has to be shared (American, western and eastern). Similarly when the Hoopoe and Cattle Egret were split, these are widespread birds with huge ranges even after the split. I’m a long-time champion of the IOC World Bird List as a standard for bird names. I pushed for Wikipedia to adopt them, and then to follow the taxonomy, and given the dominance of Wikipedia in Google search results, this is no small thing.

2019 45

Collaborative list – March 2021

10,000 Birds

It is slightly weird that when I first saw the name of the virus, I misread it as Corvid-19. Is that just a birder thing do you think? A year on I still have to think carefully. There is no escaping the fact that as soon as restrictions are relaxed, infection rates rise again.

Collaborative list December 2020 and year’s round up.

10,000 Birds

The overwhelming sentiment in Christmas cards this year is that 2021 cannot come fast enough. Lock downs and restrictions have curbed our birding, so if you can summon any blessings to mind, count them instead.

2020 57

Hoping for Grasspipers in Costa Rica

10,000 Birds

It’s more like hoping for them because the abundance of open land on cattle farms and little birding coverage brews up a fine needle in a haystack situation. So far, it’s been Dickcissels , a friendly (or voracious) neighborhood Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl , and a few other birds but I’m still hoping, maybe that bubbly call will drift in from the sky tonight.

The Raptor Situation in Costa Rica

10,000 Birds

In keeping with high diversity in other aspects of the avian kingdom, including falcons and excluding owls, this small country has a raptor list that tops fifty species. In general, the best spots aren’t going to be wide open fields because those are recent, human-made habitats much more suited for cattle than forest birds. What birder doesn’t get excited about raptors?

Expectations and Suggestions for Caribbean Lowland Birding in Costa Rica

10,000 Birds

They used to be but a burgeoning population in need of more living room and land for cattle and crops destroyed a fair portion of those rainforests during the 20th century. At least two gave their growling, frightening calls all night long and were joined by the low rumbling call of the Crested Owl. Although we never saw the owl, we almost bumped into the potoo as it roosted on a tree near the platform. Costa Rica is situated right between two oceans.

Invasive Species Week Wrap-Up

10,000 Birds

One wonders how innocent the Spotted Owl finds the rampant range expansion of the Barred Owl. – Acclimatisation Societies of New Zealand – The Cattle Egret Expansion – Feral Cats Are An Invasive Species in North America (and elsewhere) – It’s a Myth – Isn’t It? Invasive is such an ugly word, isn’t it? An invader, after all, is nothing if not unwelcome.

Great Miami Winter Bird Count 2015

10,000 Birds

Cattle Egret: 133. Barn Owl: 3. Eastern Screech-Owl: 5. Great Horned Owl: 3. Burrowing Owl: 3. Barred Owl: 1. For many in the birding community, Miami is a destination meant only for ticking off ABA-countable exotics such as Spot-breasted Oriole or Red-whiskered Bulbul. For others, it is simply a launching point to Everglades National Park or the Florida Keys.

2015 56

Collaborative list – April 2021

10,000 Birds

The roadmap out of lockdown here in the UK has allowed us to meet up in small groups to indulge in outdoor activities, so birders have been gathering in loose flocks to greet the migrants as they head north.

Some of My Favorite National Wildlife Refuge Photos

10,000 Birds

The auto tour route at SNWR even holds Great Horned Owls ( Bubo virginianus ). Check out this image of a Great Egret ( Ardea alba ), Snowy Egret ( Egretta thula ) and Cattle Egret ( Bubulcus ibis ) together. I think most of you know how important our National Wildlife Refuge system is to me. After all, I have written several posts on wildlife conservation and the Wildlife Conservation Pass that my co-founder Ingrid Taylar and I have been encouraging for years.

2018 40

The Amazing Exploding Dove Meets Montana

10,000 Birds

And reports of birds nesting – not owls, of course, those weirdo snow fetishists, but other birds nesting – light up my life. We remember starlings not skylarks, House Sparrows not Eurasian Tree Sparrows , Cattle Egrets not… well, whatever we’ve forgotten because it didn’t do as well as the Cattle Egrets.

Zero Gravity Brewing Company: Bobolink Saison

10,000 Birds

Even the names we give to some birds reflect their dependence on the cultivated landscape – we have Barn Owls ( Tyto alba ) and Barn Swallows ( Hirundo rustica ) over much of the world, and Orchard Orioles ( Icterus spurius ) in the Americas really do have a fondness for fruit groves. And of course, there are Cattle Egrets ( Bubulcus ibis ) and several species of cowbirds that rarely stray too far from livestock.

2019 44

South Florida Specialties Birding

10,000 Birds

Anyway, we arrived, spotted a Great Horned Owl in flight and waited and waited and waited. Sure, I might have said that I wanted to see Burrowing Owls but I figured that Carlos would manage to combine them with another bird I needed to check off my list. Sadly, he couldn’t (or wouldn’t) so I had to content myself with just Burrowing Owls , Monk Parakeets , Loggerhead Shrikes , and Cattle Egrets.

Collaborative List – September 2020

10,000 Birds

217 Cattle Egret – Bubulcus ibis. 251 Oriental Scops-Owl – Otus sunia. 252 Great Horned Owl – Bubo virginianus. 253 Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl – Glaucidium brasilianum. 254 Tawny Owl – Strix aluco. 255 Barred Owl – Strix varia.

2020 66

Birding the Little Rann of Kutch

10,000 Birds

We follow the tire tracks in an off-white, salty soil and then, without a word of warning, our guide/driver turns into the bushes, driving left and right… until one and then another Short-eared Owl flushes in front of us. Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis. Short-eared Owl Asio flammeus. Wake up buzz at 5.30 am, breakfast at 6 (toast – who can eat at that ungodly hour?) and at 6.30

2013 66

Brazil’s Pantanal: A Birding Spectacle

10,000 Birds

Once the birds settled down for the morning, I explored the forest interior, consistently practicing my Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl imitation to draw in flocks containing Rufous Casiornis , Masked Gnatcatcher , and more. Halfway between SouthWild Pantanal and the northern terminus of the Transpantaneira, Pousada Alegre offers slightly more affordable lodging set within a working cattle ranch.

Collaborative list – June 2020

10,000 Birds

102 Cattle Egret – Bubulcus ibis. 121 Barn Owl – Tyto alba. 122 Barred Owl – Strix varia. So, just as our heroes head back out into the woods, the woods go quiet.

2020 58

Collaborative list January 2021

10,000 Birds

Elves love the collaborative list. This is where they come in January while there is still nothing to do on the naughty and nice list.

Collaborative list – August 2020

10,000 Birds

Barn Owl – Tyto alba. Barking Owl – Ninox connivens. Cattle Egret – Bubulcus ibis. Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl – Glaucidium brasilianum.

2020 57

Collaborative list – Year list 2020

10,000 Birds

This year you get two listy posts for the price of one. You lucky, lucky birders! The idea being that putting December and the 2020 year review in the same post may prove to be listing overload for some. So this is the list for the complete year and the December list can be seen here.

2020 56

The 2011 Cyprus Bird Race

10,000 Birds

All four of our team started off together at 6am from the BirdLife Cyprus office in Strakka, but counting actually began 35 minutes earlier when Stavros and Dan heard Scop’s Owl at the old University of Cyprus campus, and then Long-eared Owl at the Strakka offices. Highlights there was a Garganey , 75+ Cattle Egret , 10 Purple Heron , 5+ Penduline Tit , 2 Night Heron , a Great Reed Warbler , and a Water Rail.

Zamora Estate… Avian-rich Eco-Luxury in Costa Rica

10,000 Birds

Over 144 different bird species have been spotted on the grounds, including crackers like Lesser Ground-Cuckoo and Spectacled Owl. Cattle Egrets dominate the rookery but are joined by Little Blue , Tricolored , and Green Herons , both American night-herons, and at least a couple of Northern Jacana. Costa Rica enjoys an international reputation as an iconic birding location, bursting with epic Neotropical species and breathtaking natural attractions.

Pat’s Year List from Costa Rica, 2019

10,000 Birds

Cattle Egret – Bubulcus ibis; Turrucares, 1-Jan. Barn-Owl – Tyto alba; San Juan, 8-Jan. Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl – Glaucidium brasilianum; Carara, 3-Jan. Mottled Owl – Ciccaba virgata; San Juan, 8-Jan. A new year begins and last year’s bird list gets archived. It’s a fresh start, a time when we can start counting once again to see how many birds we can find over the next 12 months.

2019 43

Collaborative list – October 2020

10,000 Birds

231 Mottled Owl – Ciccaba virgata. 320 Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl – Glaucidium brasilianum. 363 Barn Owl – Tyto alba. 372 Oriental Scops-Owl – Otus sunia. 646 Cattle Egret – Bubulcus ibis. Fall is well and truly underway and the shoreline is filling with waders and wildfowl. October has seen the return of closer to normal activity for the beats and collaboration has been as high as it has been since February.

2020 47

Starting Another Year of Birding in Costa Rica

10,000 Birds

Cattle Egret – Bubulcus ibis; Sarapiqui, 2-Jan. Spectacled Owl – Pulsatrix perspicillata; Sarapiqui, 2-Jan. Striped Owl – Pseudoscops clamator; La Fortuna, 12-Jan. Black and White Owl – Ciccaba nigrolineata; Arenal, 12-Jan. Not long ago, I had trouble sleeping because of these small, random explosions going off in my neighborhood. Each one was followed up by a litany of dog barks, some high in pitch, others low, far-carrying woofs.

2018 48

Better Birding: A Book Review (& a New Year’s goal)

10,000 Birds

There are no warblers here or small shorebirds or raptors, excepting Accipiters and Screech-Owls. New Year’s resolutions from birding friends are starting to trickle in as I write this review. It is the last day of 2015, time to select the bird of the year past and set goals for the bright open future, when everything is new again.

2016 63